Details for FAMILY FOCUS COVER 4
T Tips for Living Greener he creator of the Zero Waste Home says she and her family produce a pint of trash each year. For most of us, that’s a drastic and overwhelming lifestyle change to consider, but all of us can embrace some of these habits to live greener every day. Some of these are ideas you’ve already considered, including the three Rs and composting, but there may be ways you haven’t thought of yet. Think about which of her ideas you can implement in your home this week. In the kitchen and laundry room: Use cloth rags instead of paper towels, containers instead of sandwich bags and aluminum foil and avoid plastic dishes altogether. Rags can be old T-shirts and other clothes that are too worn to wear anymore. Buy in bulk and freeze meat, produce and even flour until you’re ready to use it. Also look for dish soap, laundry and dishwasher detergent in bulk. Drink tap water or buy a water filter. Bottled water requires significant resources to create, filter and move and take up tons of space in landfills. Get a pressure cooker, which can cut cooking time in half and reduce the amount of energy needed to make dinner. When you’re bored of leftovers, find a way to use them in a different dish instead of throwing them away. Hang clothes quickly after they finish drying to reduce the amount of ironing needed. A side bonus: no one really likes to iron, so this saves you from one of the least pleasant chores. In the bathroom: Use 100 percent recycled, unbleached toilet paper that is wrapped in paper instead of plastic. Buy shampoo, conditioner and body wash in bulk and refill containers. Use baking soda and vinegar instead of harsh chemicals to scrub the bathtub, sink and toilet. In the living areas: Instead of air fresheners, get a plant and open a window (if the weather outside is nice). Use cloth napkins, both for meals and parties. Use rechargeable batteries in your TV remote, use a whiteboard to write notes to family members instead of paper, sweep instead of vacuuming whenever possible. Use a power strip on your office equipment; refill your printer cartridges instead of buying new; avoid printing whenever possible; and when you need to print, print double-sided copies.