Green Urban Living
So you are interested in living green, but are wondering how to do this when you live in the city. Well there are a number of different ways you can live a more Green lifestyle, no matter where you happen to live, in an apartment, penthouse or condo. Many of these tips can help you save money on electricity, save water, and even put a few extra dollars in your pocket.
One of the first things you can do to live a more Green lifestyle, even if you live in a city, is recycling. It doesn’t take much to set up recycling bins in your home, and even if you only save your aluminum cans and plastic bottles, it’s a start. First of all, you are reducing the amount of waste going out to the garbage. When it says on the can that you can earn 5-10 cents on every can, this can add up. Even if aluminum recycling is based on weight, these days the minimum amount is around fifty cents a pound, depending on where you live. The same goes for plastic and glass bottles. Collecting these and recycling them can make you money.
Don’t be throwing out your old electronics. These not only fill up land fills, but the batteries and other components can actually be harmful to the environment. Instead, you can take these appliances and electronics to a number of different agencies who will fix them up, and provide them to less fortunate people who need a cell phone, or a computer and may not be able to afford them.
Another way to be more urban green is to think about the normal every day products you use. For an example, lets take common household cleaners. Instead of purchasing expensive, harmful chemical products use natural cleaners instead. For an example, if you like coffee, you know what a pain it is to clean the pots and sanitize the system. Instead of using chemicals, simply add about an eighth of a cup of plain white vinegar to a pot of water and run it through your coffee maker. You will be surprised how much residue is cleaned out of the system. Instead of using harsh abrasive cleaners on your counters, use some lemon juice diluted in water instead. The natural citric acid in the lemon juice will clean up many stains, and make your home lemony fresh. For harder stains, try a little bit of baking soda instead.
There are many other ways to live greenly, even in urban areas like New York City. One of them is to really sit down and look at your power bill. Did you know that New York is one of the states that have energy deregulation? This means that instead of having to deal with electric companies that charge whatever they want, you can change your service provider to a provider that offers lower rates, or that uses more green energy sources.
Did you know that having just a small draft around a door or window could be costing you hundred of dollars a year in wasted heat and air conditioning? Just going around and sealing up these cracks can help save a lot of money. There are also local agencies that can come in and do an energy audit, looking for cracks, checking your furnace and air conditioner for leaks, and other agencies that can help pay the costs of making your home more energy efficient.
Some small changes can produce big results. Let’s take light bulbs for an example. One way you can save money on electricity, as well as help the environment is to switch your old incandescent bulbs over to compact florescent bulbs, or even LED lights. Most of the energy a regular bulb uses is through heat, not light. That is why when a bulb goes out it is hot to the touch. CFB’s and LED lights produce more light, saving you energy. Some other ways to live a more green lifestyle, is by changing your faucets over to low flow faucets and shower heads. There are aerators that can be easily installed, reducing the flow of water without compromising pressure. This means that you are using less water. If you have the ability to change out your major appliances, it is a good idea to buy EnergyStar appliances instead. Changing your old tank water heater over to a tankless water heater can save you a lot of money on energy as well.
These are just a few of the many ways you can live a green lifestyle, even if you live in an urban community.
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