How to live a sustainable life
The benefits of living a greener lifestyle are plentiful. Imagine if everyone in Hot Springs made a conscious effort to live a more efficient and sustainable life.
While it’s not realistic to expect everyone to do their part in making Hot Springs a green, low impact community, the following tips and tricks can be helpful in your own journey to greener living.
Set your thermostat low in the winter and high in the summer. Wear layers of clothing to keep you warm and throw another blanket on the bed while you sleep during the winter.
Unplug electrical items (coffee makers, computers, toasters, lamps, etc.) that aren’t being used.
Recycle everything, including aluminum cans and bottles, plastic, newspapers, cardboard and paper.
Use cold water when washing clothing and dishes.
Air dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher.
Don’t leave fireplace hampers open.
Check the insulation levels in your attic and basement walls, ceilings, floors
and crawl spaces.
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to reduce and save energy. An ordinary light bulb uses 10-12 percent of the input energy to generate light. In comparison, a CFL is about four times as efficient.
Replace disposable products with reusable ones (air filters, ink cartridges, batteries, coffee filters) and buy used products whenever possible.
Try to create a “tree-free” home, where possible replace paper towels and napkins with cloth towels and wash and reuse them.
When cooking or baking in the oven, try to cook/bake several items at once.
Take shorter showers.
Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth.
Save gift boxes and bags, bows and ribbons to use later.
Learn to can, freeze and dry food.
Instead of throwing out your vegetable scraps, save them for a compost pile and use it on your garden.
Plant trees on the south side of your house to keep the house cooler during the summer.
Hang your clothes on a line outside instead of using the dryer.
Invest in a mulching mower, will which convert cut grass into a natural fertilizer.
Paint your home a light color if you live in a warm climate and a dark color if you live in a cold climate.
Install a drip irrigation system to water your plants more efficiently. Water plants at night to minimize evaporation.
While out hiking, pick up trash.
Don’t release balloons outdoors.
Hunt and eat wild game instead of purchasing meat from the grocery store.
Buy items in bulk to avoid waste.
Purchase milk in glass bottles and reuse the bottles.
Shop for food at a farmers market instead of a grocery store.
Turn off computers and laptops at the end of the day.
Check to see if paper can be used as scratch paper before throwing it away.
Where possible, provide people the opportunity to work from home to help save on commuting time and costs.
Purchase recycled paper for the printer.
Implement an office recycling program for paper, cardboard and ink cartridges.
Encourage employees to use their own coffee cups rather than disposable cups.
Ride your bike to work instead of drive.
Switch the printer to double side printing to save on paper.