As we finish up 2014 and look towards 2015, it is a good time to review our habits and lifestyle choices both as a business and personally. As a company, GreenWeaver continually strives to improve the services we offer to our clients for environmentally friendly landscape options. Additionally, we try to make decisions throughout the year to live simply on a personal level. Here are some things you might try in 2015:
Hang clothes to dry
Hanging clothes outside conserves energy and leaves clothes smelling fresh. If you don’t have space outside, try hanging clothes on an extra curtain rod in the shower or laundry room; they may not smell as fresh as the outdoors, but clothes will last longer and hanging them conserves so much energy!
And while you’re in the laundry room, consider switching to a phosphate-free, biodegradable detergent. I love Seventh Generation’s Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender scent!
A wood stove is a powerful addition to the home and they install fairly easily. Purchasing local wood supports the local economy and burning wood produces no additional carbon than it would during the decomposition process. And although we love trees, they are a renewable resource and sometimes they need to be removed from the landscape. And there’s something about the warmth produced by a wood stove that’s extra cozy.
For a few dollars early on and some ongoing effort through the summer, you can produce your own organic, local veggies that will taste better than anything bought at a grocery store. You will also reduce fossil fuels used in transportation. Ted grows vegetables through each season in the garden he tends at our shop, so if you need advice, he is a great resource.
If you’re not quite prepared to grow-your-own, we also recommend shopping locally. Markets like Wolff’s Apple House and Reading Terminal Market offer a wide variety of goods and produce from local vendors.
Use simple, non-toxic products
We recommend using water with baking soda or vinegar to clean around the home. These simple, inexpensive ingredients often clean as well or better than store bought products and there’s no chemical residue left when you’re done.
I have made really awesome homemade oxy-clean using hydrogen peroxide and washing soda (sodium carbonate) that left my carpets very clean and fresh. There are tons of similar non-toxic recipes for cleaning solution online.
When using your simple cleaners around the home, try ditching the paper towels and opting for cloth rags that can be washed and reused. Once again, reducing our impact can save money, energy, and resources.
Use environmentally-friendly labeled products
From recycled and Forest Stewardship Council approved paper products to Energy Star appliances there are many choices we make throughout the year where we can make an impact. Choose the environmentally friendly option as often as possible.
Turn off lights, TV, and computer when not in use
Dad was right! Leaving the lights on is wasteful and expensive! And since today there are so many more electric and electronic devices that we use, the impact is much greater. Even in sleep mode, these devices use electricity, so make it a point to shut them down when not in use.
Many of these are common sense tips, but we all need a gentle reminder once in a while to make the greener choice. Remember, as the adage goes, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. And don’t forget to follow those steps in that order. Reducing consumption goes much further than recycling, but all three steps can make a big difference.
We invite you to share tips to live more sustainably in 2015 so we can all learn from one another!