Establishing a green home does not happen overnight but requires planning, commitment and practice.  Summertime is a great time to start this endeavor.  School is out, and the household is functioning at a slower pace than normal.  This also is a teachable moment for both the adults and children in the family.  The family can start with an outing to the local landfill.  Just seeing the huge mounds of discarded plastics, electronics and other trash is an eye-opening experience.  It effectively and dramaticallyquantifies the overall effect of one household’s trash at the curb combined with the whole area’s trash at a single location.  Just think– this is only one of the landfills in this county alone!

Each family’s efforts towards living green represents a positive step in the right direction.  It is best to start with a master plan.  It can be as simple as first committing to reuse.  Using washable cleaning towels as opposed to paper towels goes a long way as does the incorporation of reusable items such as mugs, plates, cups and water bottles.  Consider the purchase of products such as liquid soap in bulk and refillable decorative bottles.  Donating clothing, toys, household items and electronics to charities serves the dual process of helping others who are less fortunate, as well as keeping these items out of the landfill.  These practices alone will substantially reduce the number of articles going in the trash and on to the landfill.

Summer vacation also is an excellent time to examine your energy and water usage and to make cost-cutting changes.  This is a great time to take a trip to the hardware store to learn about and to invest in energy-efficient lighting and appliances.  If a new appliance is on the shopping list, make sure it it an energy star product.  These products are very energy efficient and will save money in the long run.  This also is a good time to invest in energy-efficient light bulbs for your home.  Thirdly, take a look at water filters.  An investment in a tap filter negates the need to purchase bottled water, thereby lowering grocery costs and most importantly, reducing the number of plastic bottles taken to the landfill.

Going green in the summer presents several opportunities for families to learn healthier and environmentally friendly ways of living, establish green plans, save money and improve the environment.  So this summer try to live green be green.

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