by Laura Turner Seydel
Atlanta is becoming more environmentally aware everyday and eco-living is the new trend to stay. By making eco-friendly choices in our day-to-day lives that enhance our impact on the environment, we can move our friends, family and neighbors in the direction of a sustainable lifestyle. The choices we make regarding the food we eat, the types of cleaning products we buy, the clothes we wear, how much energy we consume, the kind of car we drive, all can have a positive or negative impact on the earth. It’s easy to live green. Not only will your eco-friendly actions make a difference in your life, but they will benefit future generations.
Here are 5 easy eco-resolutions for the New Year:
- Check Your Bulbs! Don't waste energy by using a light bulb that has higher wattage than needed. You can save energy and money by installing more efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs and turning them off when you're not in the room. Not only do they last longer, but they cut your energy bill by 66%, saving at least $30 over the lifespan of the bulb. Compact fluorescents also produce few greenhouse gases, reducing the need to build new power plants.
- Buy Eco-friendly Paints. Low VOC paints (volatile organic compound) keep indoor toxic emissions to a minimum. According to the EPA, indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Choosing the right products will eliminate smog-forming chemicals from escaping into the air. Also, when painting, use a brush or roller instead of a sprayer.
- Educate the Office! Turn your computer monitors off when you’re not using them to reduce energy usage. Replace conventional CRT monitors with LCD screens, which use 60% less energy.
- Recycle, Recycle, Recycle! You can recycle your newspaper, plastic and aluminum – even coffee grounds can be used as fertilizer for some plants. So don't throw away what you can use again! Did you know that recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or provide power to your television for three hours?
- Shop Smart! At the supermarket, avoid single-serving and multi-pack food items. Their excessive packaging is extremely wasteful. Instead, purchase non-toxic, organic and all-natural household products from Publix GreenWise Market or Whole Foods. Ask for paper bags rather than plastic. If you do get plastic, be sure to recycle it. Wishing you healthy and responsible “green” living in the New Year!