Guest Author - Meredith Ball
Going green can seem overwhelming. There are literally hundreds of thousands of tips and actions to take to help our amazing planet. The way to succeed in going green is to break it down into simple steps. Rather than take on the millions of tasks out there, which will soon only tire you out, try to incorporate what I like to call weekly “Green Missions” into your life. These missions are meant to be practical, simple and fun. Research shows that when new behavior changes involve steps that are practical, simple and fun, those actions will be more likely to result in permanent lifestyle changes.
The first step is to take a look around at your home, starting with the inside. Break it down. There is water and electric. Keep it simple. Focus on just those three elements of your home first. Then, break those categories down into separate week, or if your life is too busy, month long missions. Involve your family and create a reward system or celebration at the end of each week to reinforce their excitement to continue.
The first week you can focus on Mission Water. For Mission Water do just the following during and by the end of the first week:
1. Listen for and fix or have fixed all of the leaky faucets in the house.
2. Use a kitchen timer set for 5 minutes in the bathroom for everyone’s showers each day.
3. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, and only turn it on to rinse.
The total estimated gallons of water you can save by completing these 3 simple and fun tasks throughout the week will result in a savings of about 5700 gallons of water in one week and approximately 300,000 gallons of water per year when you continue Mission Water.
The second week you can focus on Mission Electric. For Mission Electric do just the following during and by the end of the first week:
1. Turn off the lights every time you leave a room.
2. Unplug all appliances and electronics when not in use.
3. Have one electronic free family night - pull out board games or play charades!
Since coal is still the main way that electricity is generated and this creates poor air quality and other negative environmental results, it is imperative that we do our part to cut back our electric usage as much as possible.
Start with these two simple Green Missions for your home’s interior. You will find that framing these green acts as a fun challenge for you and your family will create year-long eco-friendly habits.