With energy consumption at its peak during the winter season, it may seem a daunting task to remain eco-friendly. With these simple steps, you can stay warm and do your part to keep the planet safe.
One easy way to save energy is to change your incandescent bulbs to fluorescents or LEDs. More hours of darkness in the winter means your lights are on much longer, so itís important to use the most energy efficient lighting you can find. Investing in the latest LED light bulbs can save up to 89 percent of electricity used. Standard LED or compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are good alternatives, though be aware that if you plan to use them outside, cold temperatures can effect the startup of the bulbs, and some CFLs wonít work at all when the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another way to stay green and save green is by letting the sunshine in. Even on the chilliest of days, if the sun is shining brightly, open the curtains. The sunís rays will provide you with both light and warmth. If you are afraid that warm air might creep out, visit your home center and get an indoor window film kit. These inexpensive clear wraps keep the cold out and the heat in without blocking natural light. They can be easily attached to your window using double-sided tape, and they shrink to fit your window opening with a common blow dryer. Available at most major retailers, window film is one of the lowest cost options for fixing a draft.
Ice removal is a mandatory part of winter safety. However, did you know that most rock salt mixtures are capable of killing both your grass and landscape plants, as well as contaminating your water supply? Opt for sand instead. It wonít melt the ice, but it will provide you with much needed traction without the contamination.
Whether itís using one of these tips, snuggling up in an organic cotton blanket or trudging through the snow to use public transportation, any small step you take to ensure your winter white is eco-green is a step in the right direction. And remember, in the words of Gaylord Nelson, co-founder of Earth Day, "The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard."