By Sherry Brooks
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn't just happen overnight.
It begins with a few small changes, or better yet, some big ones. We can't always be perfectly green when we are feeling overwhelmed with obligations and our lives are happening at warp speed all around us.
What if, however, this was your new green mantra?
"When I have a choice, I will . . ."
. . . reach for the cold water handle instead of the hot so that the hot water heater does not have to use fuel to heat the new water to replace what was used.
. . .turn the water in the shower off while sudsing and conditioning your hair.
. . . shut the refrigerator or freezer door when pausing for a conversation so that the inner temperature will remain low, not requiring electricity to restore it to pre-wide open temperatures.
. . . refuse a bag and carry the item out of the store in hand or in any handbag, bag or tote that you are already carrying.
. . . eat vegan meals and snacks to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from livestock farming.
. . . plan group errands with other trips already using petroleum-based transportation to that area for another reason.
. . . offer to share rides with friends who are going to the same place to use less gasoline.
. . .turn the the car off when idling longer than 10 seconds.
. . . clean with pastes of baking soda plus water or with spray bottles of 2/3 water with 1/3 white vinegar and a drop of dish soap to reduce plastic bottle refuse/recycling and to reduce toxic chemicals at home.
. . . bring filtered water from home in a safe container instead of creating pollution by buying water in plastic bottles or accepting a disposable cup.
. . .opt for "no receipt" when withdrawing money from an ATM at a bank or getting gas at the gas station, thus saving resources and reducing waste.
. . . wipe up spills on the kitchen floor with rags kept under the sink in a bucket instead of with paper towels. Wash these with your cleaning rags each week.
. . . purchase staples such as, rolled oats, rice, beans, nuts and seeds in bulk using plastic bags from your last shopping trip turned inside out.
. . . purchase produce at a local Farmer's Market, placing your items in a big straw or canvas bag instead of accepting plastic bags from the vendors.
. . . open slow or clogged bathroom drains by pulling the hair clumps up and out of the drains with an unwound wire hangar with its end bent into a tiny hook instead of using caustic chemicals.
. . . bake or reheat food in the more energy-efficient toaster oven when size does not require a large oven.
. . . adjust the temperature at home or in a hotel room when leaving for the day to use the least amount of energy required and also turn off lights whenever possible.
Sometimes we don't have a choice and we may waste or pollute despite our best efforts. However, when we do have a choice and we choose consciously we can make a difference in the world with minimal effort.Sherry Brooks is a healthy, happy and trim "Frugalista" living the lean and green life near Malibu in sunny southern California. Follow Sherry on Twitter
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