Massachusetts

Green Life Hacks

Looking for ways to GREEN your every day life and teach your kids sustainable habits? Look no further, we've pulled together some tips below!

 

Reduce Beef Consumption

Many of us want make an impact on climate change and are looking for personal ways we can make a difference. Eating less meat is a very important personal choice you can make. Check out these informative 3 minute videos:

Level 1: Give up some meat. Eat Beans Not Beef

Level 2: Give up meat.

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Many of us set goals to declutter and during this process we may notice just how much *stuff* we have. Did you know that buying less stuff and/or buying things second-hand is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint? According to the Carbon Trust, clothing accounts for 850 million metric tons of CO2 per year. Simply put, items brought into existence utilize resources. If we can abstain from buying them or buy them second-hand we can reduce the amount of resources used and carbon emitted.

Check out Boomerangs, The Goodwill, Savers, or Craigslist or borrow an item from a neighbor instead of owning something yourself. You’ll help the planet, spare your wallet, and tidying your home will take less time. More time to focus on the important things in life!

 

Laundry. Laundry. And more laundry.

As moms we do a lot of it. To lower your carbon footprint wash all your clothes in COLD water. If you have real grit, give up the dryer and hang up your clothes. You will find that the clothes last longer and that your energy bills are lower.

 

Turn down the heat.

According to Energy.gov you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. Try setting your thermostat at 68°F while you are awake and setting it lower while you sleep or are away from home.

Programmable thermostats can help you avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home. Check out Mass Save to find out about discounted wireless enabled thermostats.

 

Fly Less  

It’s a big, beautiful world out there and traveling by plane is the only practical way to see and experience parts of it.  However, when possible, consider reducing your air travel. Maybe a “staycation” would be more relaxing this year, and you can do special, fun activities with the money you would have spent on air travel. Or maybe the train will take you where you want to go?

If you have to fly for business, look into ways to reduce your company’s average number of flights per year. It’s good for the planet.

 

Time to go electric!

Natural gas is not a bridge fuel. Studies show that it is as bad as coal. Methane, which is the primary component of natural gas, is 86x more warming than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period.

We can help reduce demand for gas by removing appliances that use gas and plan to make our homes 100% electric. The green rule is: reduce your energy consumption and electrify the rest.

 

Plastic lasts forever

Single use plastics damage our oceans and impact our climate.  Please consider discontinuing using items such as plastic straws, disposable cups and plastic bags. You can buy reusable produce bags on Amazon and at Whole Foods. And, bonus, your coffee stays hotter for longer in your metal travel mug anyway!

Watch this video to learn more.  

 

Toilet paper doesn’t have to come from trees

We are flushing our trees down the toilet. A World Wildlife Foundation report estimated global toilet paper production wipes out about 27,000 trees per day, which comes out to almost 9 million trees per year.

The good news is that we have choices. We can choose recycled or tree-free (bamboo) toilet paper instead. The Natural Resources Defense Council, "if every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 trees."

In my house we have tried the tree-free toilet paper and paper towels. The toilet paper is surprisingly soft! We don’t endorse any specific toilet paper. You can find recycled and tree-free toilet paper on Amazon but if you want toilet paper that goes the extra mile and doesn’t come wrapped in plastic you can also try Who Gives A Crap. They donate 50% of their proceeds to improving sanitation around the world and deliver right to your door.

Next time you are in the store doing the shopping for your family you can save a tree just by changing your toilet paper to recycled or tree-free. Moms are so good at multitasking!

 

Reduce your energy consumption and green the rest

Your electricity usage is one of the largest parts of your overall environmental impact. To find out how to reduce your energy consumption, schedule a free MassSave energy assessment. Or consider purchasing 100% green energy for your home. It’s just a couple cents more a kWh and there is no change to your electricity provider.

 

Time for a new furnace, boiler, or water heater?

Make sure the next heat source for your home is electric.  Natural gas is not a bridge fuel. Studies show that it is as bad as coal. Methane, which is the primary component of natural gas, is 86x more warming than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period.

We can help reduce demand for gas by removing appliances that use gas and plan to make our homes 100% electric. The green rule is: reduce your energy consumption and electrify the rest.

Check out cold climate air-source or ground-source heat pumps. They are much more efficient than gas or oil AND they cut carbon and methane, which is good for our climate. If you need a water heater, consider an air-source water heater. MassCEC.gov has lists of rebates and certified installers.


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