Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Green Living Made Simple

3 Ways to Live Greener and Reduce Your Water Bill

RRavenel : September 19, 2012 1:46 pm : Green Living Made Simple

In our initial post we promised that living a greener lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, sometimes living a more eco-friendly lifestyle can put a few extra bucks in your pocket. We wanted to begin the series with three steps that anyone can do today that will also help reduce your living expenses. So let’s head to your bathroom to find three simple ways to live greener and reduce your water bill.

Turn Off the Water While Brushing Your Teeth

You’ve heard it before. We all have. In fact, it was nearly two decades ago that my little boy and I sang “Brushing My Teeth” with Barney the purple dinosaur.

I never let the water run. No, I never let the water run.”

And we didn’t. For about two weeks. Then we were right back to our water-wasting ways.

Maybe you’ve done the same thing, too. We know it’s the right thing to do, but taking the time to turn the faucet off and on is so… inconvenient. So we don’t. We let the water run because it’s quicker and easier. But have you ever wondered exactly how much water you’re wasting when you let the water run as opposed to wetting your brush and then turning off the faucet?

According to Earthday.org we waste two to four gallons of water when we let the water run while brushing our teeth. If we turn the facet off after wetting our brush, we only use about one gallon. Now, multiply that waste by the number of times you brush your teeth each day. Then by the number of people in your household. If you’re running hot water, you’re also wasting the energy required to heat the water. The costs of not making the eco-conscious choice quickly adds up.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but helping the environment (and keeping a little extra cash in your pocket) are worth the effort. The same advice applies to running the water while shaving.

It’s a Toilet, Not a Trash Can

Bathroom - Some rights reserved by N1NJ4When getting ready in the morning, it’s typical to use a facial tissue, dental floss, or cotton balls, chuck the item in the toilet, then flush. I did this for years and never really gave any thought to it. But, let’s put on our Green Living Made Simple goggles and replay this scene.

When we toss items like these in the toilet and flush, we are essentially using the toilet as our trash can. We do this despite the fact that most of us have to reach over the trash can to do it. I’ll admit, the thought of never having to see the offending item again, is nice. But, let’s consider how much water we’re using for this convenience. Each time you use your toilet as a garbage can you use five to seven gallons of water unnecessarily. This simple act wastes even more water than allowing the water to run while brushing your teeth. If you do it repeatedly throughout the day, the costs of this convenience add up rather quickly.

If you have a septic tank, the problem is compounded. Your tank will fill more quickly. This will also incur additional costs. So, when it comes to cotton balls, facial tissues, etc. do the environment, your wallet, and your septic tank a favor, don’t use your toilet as a trash can. Keep a small garbage can beside the toilet and put it to good use. Your wallet will thank you.

Take a Shower Instead of a Bath. Just Don’t Stay in There All Day.

I was surprised to learn that showers use far less water than taking a bath does. This is particularly the case if you have a nice, big, garden tub like we do. You likely paid extra for the luxury of having a big soaking tub. So we’re certainly not going to suggest that you don’t use it. Still, being aware of the higher water usage may make you rethink  how often you fill the tub.

It takes about 70 gallons of water to fill a bathtub.

Bathtub - Some rights reserved by Erica Nicol

Reduce the water level by an inch or two when taking a bath and you’ll reduce  you water usage by two gallons or more. Whenever possible, opt for a shower instead. A four-minute shower uses up to forty gallons of water. Shave a minute or two off your shower time and you’ll see additional savings. According to the City of Spokane Public Works Utilities, you can save up to 700 gallons of water per month by doing so.

Today we examined just a few of the ways green living can save you money in the bathroom. Next week, we’ll share three ways to reduce water usage in the kitchen and trim your water bill even more. Be sure not to miss next week’s post by subscribing at the top of the right sidebar or by using the box below.

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3 Reasons Living Greener Doesn’t Need to Be Complicated

RRavenel : September 5, 2012 7:30 am : Green Living Made Simple

Photo credit: Canton Public Library

 

If you’re like a lot of clients we talk to, you’re all for helping the environment. Where things get a little fuzzy is in the execution. Green living sounds great, but seems expensive and inconvenient. So, we feel a little guilty, but don’t do much to change our lifestyle.

But what if I told you living a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated or cost you a ton of money? In fact, what if living greener could actually put more green in your pocket?

Well it’s true. All of it.

It Isn’t an All or Nothing Proposal

Committing to living a greener, more environmentally-conscious lifestyle doesn’t have to mean growing all your own food and powering your blender with a bicycle. Making such an abrupt lifestyle change is difficult. While some are able to do so with great success, it isn’t the most advisable path for most of us. However, we can all do little things that contribute to a healthier planet.

Take a progressive approach to living a greener lifestyle. Choose one or two actions you can commit to, then add a few more. On Thursday we’ll share three super simple things you can do to begin living a green lifestyle right now.

Green Living Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune

Living a healthier, more eco-conscious lifestyle can certainly be more expensive. (Just take a stroll down the organic food aisle.) However, there are countless little steps we can take to conserve water, gas, and energy; be environmentally-conscious; and reduce waste that don’t cost a single dime. Turning off lights when you leave a room and not running the water while you brush your teeth won’t cost you a thing; in fact, it will help you keep a lot more green in your pocket.

Living a Green Lifestyle Saves Money

We listed two examples above of simple actions that will have a positive impact on the environment and on your wallet. Over the next several weeks we’ll cover numerous others, including some of the latest, energy-saving appliances. Refrigerators, washers, dryers, and other appliances include Energy Star labels that make it easy to determine if that dryer on sale is really a good deal or not.

That doesn’t mean we need to go out and buy all new appliances and plumbing fixtures today. But eventually they wear out. As we replace them, making good, eco-conscious choices may cost a little more on the front end, but will save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in the long-run.

Living green doesn’t have to be scary, complicated, or expensive. It can be incredibly simple, take a minimal of effort on your part, and save you a ton of cash in the long run. Today is the launch of Fresh Green Solutions’ new weekly series of bite-sized blog posts designed to help you take simple steps to live a healthier, happier, more eco-friendly lifestyle while banking a bit more of your green. (You’ve been generous to the energy and oil companies long enough!) Each Wednesday we’ll share brief tips to help reduce our carbon footprint and be better stewards of the environment.

Got a question about living a more eco-friendly lifestyle? Submit your questions to us here.

For now we’ll leave you with moving words of advice from the late, great tennis legend, Arthur Ashe. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Photo courtesy of Canton Public Library.

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Why is regular window and gutter cleaning so important?

RRavenel : May 4, 2010 8:26 pm : Green Living Made Simple, Window Cleaning

Windows allow light into your home which helps heat your home in winter and keep energy bills low as they brighten your home, they also provide your own little picture boxes of the world.  You sit at them to read by natural light, you watch your children play outside, and you place your plants next to them to grow.  They bring warmth to your home in many ways.  If you are looking to sell your home, window washing is rated the best return on investment when selling a home.  Nothing transforms a homes beauty like sparkling clean windows do!

Windows that are not regularly cleaned will eventually stay dirty permanently.  Glass is porous similar to human skin so dirt and grime can get permanently etched into the glass making it difficult to restore.  Regular window cleaning also helps protect your windows from hard water build up and acid rain.  If you own a store or restaurant, regular window washing allow people to clearly see your merchandise and gives everyone a good impression of your restaurant or business.

DownspoutGuttersClean and unclogged gutters are equally important.  During a rainstorm, gutters route runoff water from a home’s roof to where it can drain away from the house.  By doing so, they protect siding, windows, doors, and foundations from water damage and help prevent flooding in basements.

To do their job, gutters and downspouts must regularly be cleared of leaves and debris.  If they aren’t, drain outlets will dam up and rainwater will fill the gutters, back up, overflow, and eventually pull gutters loose from their mountings. Water that pools in troughs will rot wood gutters and rust sheet metal ones.  If your gutters are not regularly maintained it could cost you a small fortune in repairs down the road.  These are just a few important reasons to call Fresh Green Solutions today for a free no obligation window or gutter cleaning quote.

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Why your windows are the eyes to your business

Danone : November 1, 2009 9:05 am : Green Living Made Simple, Window Cleaning

The windows are the eyes to the soul. But, your windows are the eyes of your business. Sparkling windows are inviting and encourage passersby to peek into your storefront. That is the first step to getting them into your doors to make a purchase.

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