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tips for living simply

Tips for Living Simply

We all have the power to make a difference. Small changes in our daily lives can add up to big changes in the conservation of natural resources and reducing waste. If you’re interested in finding ways to make simple changes, check out the tips below.

  • conserve water
  • Fix leaks
  • Insulate electric water heaters and pipes (reduces waste and saves energy and money).
  • Wash full loads of laundry.
  • Use the shortest cycle for washing clothes.
  • Use warm water rather than hot and if available, use the “suds-saver” feature on your machine.
  • Don’t allow water to run continuously when washing hands, dishes, fruits and vegetables, brushing teeth, shaving, etc.
  • When using an automatic dishwasher, make sure it’s fully loaded and use the energy saver option or shortest cycle necessary.
  • Keep a large container of water in your refrigerator, instead of running tap water.
  • When watering your lawn, water it during the coolest part of the day (before 10 a.m.) and on non-windy days. Also, use automatic timers on sprinklers if you will be leaving during the watering time.
  • When watering your lawn, water it during the coolest part of the day (before 10 a.m.) and on non-windy days. Also, use automatic timers on sprinklers if you will be leaving during the watering time.
  • Collect rainwater in a large container that can be used to water your lawn or garden.
  • conserve electricity

Home Appliances

  • When doing laundry, set the water to cold or warm setting.
  • Set your dishwasher’s energy option on, if available.
  • Replace old appliances that may not be the most energy-efficient models.

home heating and cooling

  • Turn the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer.
  • Clean/replace air filters as recommended.

miscellaneous tips

  • Use energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Wrap your electric water heater. Weatherize your house or apartment. Click here to get more information on weatherizing materials and how to energy audit your home
  • recycling

reduce

Be choosy when shopping and when throwing items away to reduce the amount of waste your household creates.

  • Buy only what you need. Items that one uses rarely can be shared/borrowed amongst friends and families.
  • Purchase products with little packaging, so that less of it will end up in your trash bin.
  • Purchase products by the bulk to save money and to reduce waste.
  • Reduce paper waste by canceling unwanted mail.
  • Contact companies, by mail or phone, who are sending you unwanted mail and ask them to remove your name from the list.
  • Ask the Direct Marketing Association to put you on the “do not mail” list, but remember, this will not affect current lists held by specific companies.
  • Write “refused, return to sender,“ if the mail has the phrases “return service, forwarding service, change service, or address service requested” on the envelope.

reuse

Many items lying around your home can be used for multiple purposes. Here are a few everyday items that can be reused:

  • Envelopes – stick labels over address on a used envelope
  • Jars – use them as storage containers to organize and store items lying around your house
  • Old clothes – old textiles can be used as dust rags
  • Newspaper, cardboard and bubble wrap – reuse as packing material when moving, shipping or storing items
  • Food waste – create a compost pile using food remains such as eggshells and tea bags that can be used to help your garden grow.

recycle

  • Plastic bottles
  • Batteries
  • Glass bottles
  • Paper
  • Cans
  • Cellular Phones
  • Computers/small consumer electronics

When recycling, remember to wash and squash containers to prevent contamination. Remove all labels and lids from containers as well as paperclips, staples and plastic windows from paper to recycle efficiently.

  • grow your own food

One of the simplest ways to get back to nature is to grow your own fruits and vegetables. If you have been blessed with a green thumb, you might want to consider starting a garden filled with your favorite fruits and vegetables in your backyard. In addition to helping you reconnect with nature, growing your own produce can also offer a wide variety of other potential benefits, including:

It’s Good for Your Family’s Health

  • Planting a garden is a wonderful activity for everyone in your family. It gets them out of the house into the fresh air and helps get them moving.
  • Your children may be much more likely to try fruits and vegetables that they have helped grow.
  • Children can learn valuable lessons about life by watching how tiny seeds can magically transform into luscious fruits and vegetables in a short amount of time.

It’s Economical

  • Growing your own fresh fruits and vegetables could help you save money at the grocery store.
  • You can preserve your own homegrown produce so that you have it on hand throughout the year.

It’s Good for the Environment

  • Maintaining your own garden helps reduce the amount of waste caused by excess packaging of goods from the grocery store.
  • You can start your own compost pile from grass and hedge clippings, leaves, vegetable scraps, used coffee filters and tea bags.
  • Use the compost as mulch or mix with your soil to help improve your soil’s structure and provide it with nutrients.
  • Tips from You!
  • Home Grown Produce - Picking produce from your garden might help reduce the number of trips you have to make to the grocery store and also save you gas money!
  • A loyal customer, South Bend, IN
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