Going green brings many benefits both to ourselves and the planet and here at Green Cyprus we are committed to making Cyprus a greener place to live. So, how can we live an earth-friendly, greener life and save money at the same time? Here are some ideas on how to go green at home and work. You can help play your part in reducing environmental impact, save money, and live a happier, healthier life.
1. SAVE ENERGY TO SAVE MONEY
• Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs.
• Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
• Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Or, use a smart power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts "phantom" or "vampire" energy use.
• Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
• Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.
2. SAVE WATER TO SAVE MONEY
• Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
• Install a low-flow showerhead. They don’t cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.
• Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
• Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Ask at your garden centre for advice.
3. LESS PETROL = MORE MONEY & BETTER HEALTH!
• Walk or cycle to work. This saves on petrol and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.
• Consider car-pooling or telecommuting if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term.
4. EAT SMART
• If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot and it’s even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.
• Buy organic food including eggs and dairy whenever you can. It’s better for you and the planet.
• Whatever your diet, eat low on the food chain. This is especially true for seafood.
5. SKIP THE BOTTLED WATER
• Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste.
• Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably stainless steel rather than plastic, with you when travelling or at work.
6. THINK BEFORE YOU BUY
• Go online to find new or gently used secondhand products.
• Check out garage sales and thrift stores for clothing and other everyday items.
• When making purchases, make sure you know what’s good and what isn’t. Do your research and know what you are buying e.g. good buy = Fairtrade Coffee
7. BORROW INSTEAD OF BUYING
• Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
• Share power tools and other appliances. Get to know your neighbours while cutting down on the number of things cluttering your garden shed or garage.
8. BUY SMART
• Buy in bulk. Purchasing food in bulk can save money and packaging.
• Wear clothes that don’t need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.
• Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. You might pay more now, but you’ll be happy when you don’t have to replace items as frequently (and this means less waste!).
9. KEEP ELECTRONICS OUT OF THE RUBBISH
• Keep your mobile phones, computers and other electronics as long as possible.
• Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. E-waste contains mercury and other toxics and is a growing environmental problem.
• Recycle your mobile phone.
• Ask your local government to set up an electronics recycling and hazardous waste collection event.
10. MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING SUPPLIES
• All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and lemon which make excellent kitchen and bathroom cleaners.
• Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention reducing chemical toxins in your home and your indoor air quality.