In the last year we have made a conscious effort to be 'greener' in our daily living. We actively participate in recycling, we compost, we grow some of our own vegetables, we've converted all of our lights - indoors and out to the compact fluorescent lighting, we use canvas bags when shopping, and we've eliminated unnecessary use of our cars. We've raised the 'acceptable' room temperature in our home during the summer, and decreased the temperature in the winter. We maintain a strict maintenance schedule on our furnace and air conditioning to make sure it operates efficiently and we harvest rain water to eliminate unnecessary use of water to maintain the gardens. Once a week we vacuum the coils behind the fridge. We only use eco-friendly cleaners and even the cats get into it with natural, eco-friendly cat litter.
I think sometimes it's hard to realize what impact 'green living' has on the environment. It's not something you can readily 'see' or 'realize.' You just know you're doing the right thing.
We converted all of our light bulbs (with the exception of the dining room) to CFL lighting one year ago and we started the strict maintenance program on all the major appliances in our home. To 'see' the impact of the change, I kept a spreadsheet of our electric bills from a year prior and this year. The difference was amazing. Over the course of a year, we've saved 43% in electric costs! That is a significant savings!!
If a 43% savings can be realized, it motivates you to want to do more. What do you do to promote a greener way of life? Share your hints and tips!