Living Well is Living Green

“Oh, you look a little green.” That might just be a compliment, if you’re practicing earth (and energy) saving measures this summer. Yes, this is a good time to give green a try – Green living, that is. Part of any health and wellness plan includes feeling socially responsible and connected. Helping to clean up this planet for the next generation is certainly one way to participate. It also includes creating financial stability, hopefully supported with an energy saving household plan.

It’s easy to make a few changes to save the earth. And while you’re at it, save a bundle of money too. Now that’s a win-win green strategy that everyone can appreciate. Here are a few of my favorite tips for summer savings:

Turn the AC up. No need to keep it feeling like a walk-in cooler. The contrast in temps can hinder your outdoor training efforts. Air conditioning costs can eat up your savings as well. Turn your thermostat up a few degrees to save several hundred dollars a year. Use ceiling fans to keep the air circulating. Close curtains and shades to direct sunshine.

Use less water. Take shorter showers, don’t over water your grass, turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth, fill the dishwasher completely before running it (and set it to No Heat dry). Check out your water bill for more saving ideas.

Use less gas. Walk the short trips, plan your errands around location, carpool when possible. This takes a bit of pre-planning, but once you see the savings, you might find it worth the time.

Reduce mowing time. Gas-powered lawn mowers and trimmers are major polluters. Sweep the porch and rake the yard rather than use a gas blower. You’ll get the bonus calorie burn and strength building points!

Use washable dinnerware. Forget the disposable paper products for everyday use. No need to destroy trees to save a few minutes of dishwashing. Bring your travel mug and water bottle with you daily. Less paper, plastic and cardboard to manufacture and recycle is an earth savings.

Reuse, refinished, repurpose household items when possible. Purchase certified sustainable wood furniture.

Recycle more. Find a recycling center close to you, or sign up for service. Most household paper, plastics, aluminum, and glass is salvageable. Set up a spot in your home, and it will become a habit in no time. Chances are you can reduce trash pick up to once a week as another perk.

Talk to your family about being responsible earth stewards. The extended heat wave many of us are experiencing should be a reminder of the need to conserve. If every member shares a task, the team spirit will produce greater results. Let kids pick their favorite tip to manage. And don’t forget to set a good example. You’ll teach them the value of being part of the solution, not the problem. And that is well with this world.