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30 Ways to Go Green with Your Family

by Tiffany in A Green Home

30-ways-to-go-green-with-your-familyI am pleased to bring to the NatureMoms blog a guest blogger by the name of Abel Cheng. In addition to being a great source of information through his comments on this blog he also maintains a great blog over at ParentWonder. Abel has been widely featured as a parenting expert on the web and most noticably in places like The Star (a Malaysian newspaper) and the popular site writing about Fatherhood. It is wonderful for us to get a father’s perspective on this blog when the primary focus is often geared towards moms.  Abel brings to us 30 Ways to Go Green With Your Family.

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” — Ancient Indian Proverb

Everybody plays a part to conserve and protect the environment. We don’t need to wait for the Government to regulate some policies on this.

The best place to start is home. And the best time is from young.

Creating environmental awareness in family and getting everyone involved are critical steps toward saving the bleeding planet Earth.

Following are the green habits you can help your family adopt:

1. Perform routine maintenance on all appliances. From the newest refrigerator, right down to the KitchenAid mixer standing guard on the counter, the parts in any appliance (especially any gaskets) can become worn out. This can cause a hike in the electric bill due to a larger energy draw produced by faulty parts.
2. Use reusable utensils not disposable. Bring your own container next time when you order take away food. Decline any plastic forks and spoons.
3. Do full loads of laundry. Don’t start the washing machine until it’s full of dirty laundry.
4. Buy organic foods. Free of pesticides and chemical-based fertilizers. In case you ask, organics are affordable.
5. Use rainwater for plants. Collect rainwater and use it to water your plants. No wastage on treated water.
6. Do not to open the fridge for too long. Decide what you want before opening the fridge. It takes more energy to bring down the temperature when the cool air leaks from the fridge.
7. Avoid dryer. Sun-dry your clothes whenever possible to conserve energy.
8. Plant a tree. Trees help reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen, which we breathe in.
9. Print on both sides of paper. This simple act reduces consumption by half.
10. Walk or cycle to work, go shopping or school. Leave the car in the garage. Good for environment and health.
11. Use energy-saving light bulbs. Don’t throw them in regular thrash. Dispose of them carefully as they contain dangerous mercury.
12. Send online greeting cards. Save trees and money.
13. Stop taking flyers handed out to you on the street if you don’t read them. It’s better not to waste the flyers than pleasing the person distributing the flyers.
14. Ask for a cone instead of a paper cup when you buy ice cream. Why not? You can eat the cone instead of throwing it away.
15. Turn the tap off. When you’re taking a shower, and if you’re soaping or shaving, stop the water. This adds up to a lot in the long run.
16. Buy in bulk. Stop buying things packaged in single use. Buy in bulk to cut down on packaging waste and shopping trips.
17. Recycle old books and magazines. Pass them around to your friends. Donate to libraries or charitable organizations.
18. Wash your car on the lawn. Not only do you prevent car shampoo from getting into your waterways, you water the lawn at the same time.
19. Easy defrosting. Do not use running water to thaw frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the fridge or by taking it out a few hours before cooking.
20. Turn off the computer when not in use. Don’t let the PC on or connected the whole day. Computers don’t consume much energy but think about it, you’re only one of the million computer users. That really adds up if everyone saves a little.
21. Use a handkerchief instead of packets of tissues. You save trees as well as money.
22. Quit smoking. You can help curb air pollution and improve health.
23. Get educated. You can learn more about environment online.
24. Pay bills online. Or shop online. You avoid car trips. Save time and gasoline.
25. Take shower instead of using the bathtub to save water.
26. Unplug your cell phone as soon as it’s fully charged.
27. Use climate-friendly electrical appliances. An energy-efficient refrigerator can save half a ton of carbon dioxide a year compared with an older model.
28. Light up right. Use natural daylight wherever possible. Switch off lights when you leave a room.
29. Be a green shopper. Consider buying products that can be recycled or reused.
30. Compost kitchen waste. Instead of dumping fruit and vegetable peelings, decompose them naturally to make fertilizer. More info at