Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Baby Steps to Going Green

I want to go green. I really do. But I have to admit that I am a little overwhelmed and don't know where to start. I certainly can't afford a hybrid car right now, though I would LOVE to reap the benefits of its superb gas mileage. And we don't really have the option of a compost right now, so cutting back on our garbage output has to remain delegated to forcing my husband to eat all the really old leftovers. I was thinking about sewing all our clothes and making them out of hemp, but realized quickly that I can't sew for shizzat, so that was out of the question. I am very envious of the families and celebrities that have the resources and dedication to make their households completely eco-friendly, so I decided to take some baby steps to becoming green. "Knowing is half the battle," as the all knowing GI Joe once said, so I did some research. Here are five baby steps you can take today to start your path to a "greener lifestyle":

1. Leave your shoes at the door. It cuts down on dust-bound pollutants in the home. I read this and I thought "Really? This helps the environment? I already do this!" So you never know, you might be on your way already. I thought I was just trying to keep my floors clean, but I think subconsciously I knew I was helping the planet.

2. Replace high-use indoor lights with compact fluorescents or LEDs. These puppies are more expensive than regular lightbulbs, but they last FOREVER and end up paying for themselves. Right on, I say, I HATE getting up on that chair to change a lightbulb, so the less I have to do it, the better.

3. Load up the washing machine. Since washers and driers use so much energy, make sure you only do full loads. Another one that I already do, but only because I only do laundry once a week so we have 50 pounds to get done in one day. Sure, it takes our ancient drier about two hours to dry each load, but now I know it's all for the best!

4. Drive Smarter. Tips include driving at (or near!) the speed limit, keeping your tires inflated, making sure oil and air filters are clean, and stepping on the gas/brakes carefully. OK, enough drag racing down the highway ladies!

5. Avoid perfume, cologne and products with added fragrance. Round up your CK One and your husband's Drakkar Noir!

So there you are! You've got five baby steps for going green, just in case you are behind the eight ball like me and haven't joined the Green Mommies Club. I'm not quite ready to use a reusable rag for a menstrual pad or go back to cloth diapers, but hey, it's a start right?