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As with every new year, we make changes hopefully for the better of lives and our world. We are already pretty conscientious about living green but we know we can do better.
Using Less Energy
- We have pretty much switched all of our light bulbs over to LED. Since the energy savings is 25% – 80% and the life of the bulb is at least 100% longer, we can justify the extra upfront cost. We tried to start switching our Christmas lighting to LED this year. What a costly venture that turned out to be, especially when you make a mistake. I thought I wanted Cool Light bulbs which is very bright white light and very different then the warm yellow lighting of most of our traditional Christmas décor. I will repurpose the lights I bought for our new porch and start over again next year with a warm LED light string. I’m keeping my eye open now for sales.
- The one lighting area that we still need to switch over is our under the counter kitchen lighting. It currently is on a transformer and we aren’t sure exactly how to change that out. Any electricians out there with some ideas?
- We eliminated a very old refrigerator and full-sized freezer from our shed. We replaced it with one new energy-efficient refrigerator/freezer. It’s a lot less space but it works for us now that the kids are grown. I’ve already noticed the change in our electric bill. The other perks is that we were able to take advantage of a recycle program with Commonwealth Edison. Not only did they pick up our old refrigerator and freezer for free, they gave us a $50 Visa Gift Card for both. What an awesome recycling program that I’m sure many people aren’t aware of. They will even come out to your home and do a “check up” on your home’s energy efficiency with an energy assessment.
- Things I wish I had known: Commonwealth Edison gives rebates for new appliances, insulating your attic, and so much more. We didn’t know this when we did all of this in the past year. If I had done my homework we could have had hundreds of dollars in rebates. Please learn from my mistakes.
- I’ve always been a big fan of using my own grocery bags but I’ve gotten very spoiled with the sturdy box carriers that I use. I just ordered another three pack from Amazon. You can fit so much into each one. You can pack it pretty heavy without worrying about it breaking. I get complements from the grocery store baggers every week. Now that I’ve started shopping at Aldi (a whole other post), I really give these grocery boxes a workout.
- Another new purchase from Amazon was re-useable produce bags. I’ve had some in the past but overtime they have gotten lost. I hope they were found and being used by their new owners.
- We have always been great recyclers of our household garbage. However, one of my 2019 resolutions is to repurpose and recycle household decorating items as well. I need more space in this little house and since I can’t build it, I need to carve it out of the space I have. I’m sure someone else will enjoy the things I no longer want or use. Joining a local Facebook virtual garage sales is a great way to find new homes for your “stuff” and make a few dollars in the process
- Composting was something we did regularly but over the last couple of years, we’ve gotten lazy. It’s time to dig out my indoor little kitchen compost holder. I’ve had mine for years but you can find some really cute ones that are similar on Amazon. I promise to make the extra effort to bring our kitchen scraps out to our composer that we have behind our chicken coop. If you’re wondering what you can and can’t compost, check out www.smallfootprintfamily.com. There is a ton of great information on this site.
Sustaining our earth in even the smallest ways is the least we can do for our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends. We all need to do our part. What will be your 2019 “Green Living” resolution?