WHAT does it take to go green at home? How do you start reusing, reducing and recycling?
Make it a team challenge. Engage the whole family. Gather the household members and explain to them the rewards of going green. Start with savings for everyone’s benefit. You can incentivize them with a reward when certain goals are met. After a while, the greening becomes a habit. These can be simple changes like: turning off lights where not needed. Using less water in the shower or even turning off the tap while brushing your teeth.
Make it easy to do. Get extension power cords. The ones with lights that turn red when in use. It becomes a reminder that you may be plugged and consuming electricity even if you do not want to. How many of us use phantom loads by keeping chargers plugged even if there is nothing charging at the other end of the line? How many of us keep the pilot lights of our TV and stereo on when we do not use them everyday or every hour?
Change to LED lights.Consider it as a small investment. They may be more expensive than CFLs or halogens but they are cooler to use, while also consuming less electricity.
Change to inverter air conditioners. Air-conditioning is easily one third of your present electric bill. Invest in new generation models that use the inverter technology and you’re off to saving a lot of money on electricity. They may be a little expensive at the start but they will pay off in no time.
Use only non-toxic products. This goes for household cleaners and similar products. This also goes for your own personal bodycare products. Use less chemicals or non-toxic ones. The chemicals in products we use leech into sewage systems and will soon go back to the soil. Be safe. Use only products, which use natural ingredients.
Buy organic when¬ever you can. Organic products use natural medium, which is the soil. They also are chemical-free as they use only natural insect repellants and organic fertilizers. It’s the best for our bodies. And good for the farmer, too. Read about slow food so you can make the world a better place with good, clean and fair food. (www.slowfood.com). If you believe in the principles, sign up as a member and join a Convivium near you.
Eat local for less carbon footprint. Buying closest to point of use makes business sense. You give business to your local supplier, local farmer or retailer. Your produce is fresher and does not need preservatives. You save on gas while getting your money’s worth in nutrients and freshness.
Local, organic, eco-friendly. In the final analysis, the benefits for going green are big and they all go back to your pocket. You can save electricity. You can save money. And you can also save your health.
So why don’t you start now. It’s worth the change. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
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Chit Juan is a founder and owner of ECHOStore sustainable lifestyle, ECHOmarket sustainable farms and ECHOcafe in Serendra , Podium, Centris QC mall, Davao City and Cebu City. She also is President of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and President of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc.,. She often speaks to corporates, youth and NGOs on social entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and coffee. You can follow her on twitter.com/chitjuan or find her on facebook:Pacita “Chit” Juan. Email her at email@example.com