Growing Green

More people are becoming acutely aware of protecting the earth, and the “green” revolution is sweeping the country. Reducing, reusing, and recycling are a reality. Organic gardening is on the rise and the research suggests it's here to stay. If you are looking for ways to “green up” your life here are simple tips to help you get started. Stay tuned for more tips on going green.

Reducing hazardous waste starts at home. Remove chemically based products from your shelves. Many home products are considered hazardous waste and must be disposed at the proper drop-off sites and not simply dumped in with your garbage. Contact your city or county government to find a collection site in your area and a list of what is considered hazardous waste.
Other ways you can go green in your home:
Replace products only as you need them.
Many cleaning products contain chemicals, so look for organic alternatives.
Try multi-purpose cleaners that can be used on a variety of surfaces.
Buy the least harmful product available, avoiding those labeled "Danger" or "Poison."
Wipe up spills when they happen to avoid the need for strong chemicals to remove stains later.
Make your own cleaning products. (Look for recipes in May issue.)
It's easy to get into the habit of recycling. All it takes is three bins: one each for paper, glass/plastic, and aluminum. Once you start recycling it quickly becomes a routine, and teaches your children good habits, as well.
What gets recycled? Mail, office and school papers, magazines, catalogs, newspapers, and boxes (cardboard, cereal, cracker, pasta, cake mix, shoes, gift, electronics, toothpaste, medications, and other toiletries).
Paper that can't be recycled: Pizza boxes, egg cartons, boxes soiled with food, boxes from refrigerated or frozen foods, milk cartons and juice boxes.
Choose to reuse paper products or eliminate all together. Reduce junk mail. Contact the
Direct Marketing Association to have your address removed. Adjust your shopping habits with a new green attitude.
Set the table with china and silverware instead of paper plates and plastic flatware.
Reuse backside of printed-paper.
Use cotton towels instead of paper towels.
Do the research and buy quality products. While they might be more expensive, they should last longer.
Repair appliances before replacing them.
Buy a battery charger and rechargeable batteries.
Select energy savings appliances and light bulbs.
Express your concerns to manufacturers about excessive packaging.
Use your own canvas bag when shopping to reduce paper and plastic usage.
Use an electric shaver. About 2.5 billion disposable razors end up in the trash every year.
Choose bar soap over liquid soap in plastic bottles.