Tips to lead an eco-friendlier life from the Chicago Tribune

In a recent article the other day in the Chicago Tribune Home and Garden section, readers learned all sorts of ways that they could green up their lifestyle.  Here are a few of those tips.

Use cold water for your laundry.  This will save a few hundred dollars per year on electricity.  We do this, and our clothes come out as clean as before.

If you have allergies to animal dander, or dust mites, however, your clothes may need some heat.  Still use cold water, just dry the clothes in a dryer afterwards to kill off any nasties.

Clean the lint trap of your dryer with every load.  In addition to preventing fires, this will save you about $35 per year in energy costs.  I don’t do this, and I think I should start.

Try to eliminate single use items from your life.  Paper napkins, disposable water bottles, disposable wipes…all have alternatives that you can use many times.  My goal is to use up our paper napkins and eventually switch to cloth.  I also use a water bottle at work and a thermos cup for my tea.  I confess that I’m less conscious about my single use items when on vacation.  Perhaps I could fill up a water bottle to go!

A microwave oven uses less energy to reheat food or cook small portions that the oven/stove.  The savings is 80%!  I had no idea.  We also have a smaller oven in our kitchen, which would still save energy over the big oven, I would think.

That’s all for today.  I’ll add a few more tips in a few days.

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3 Responses to Tips to lead an eco-friendlier life from the Chicago Tribune

  1. Nice guide to saving energy. And yes its true that the microwave oven can help to save energy by a large margin as to compare with cooking. I will recommend this article to my friends. Thanks!

  2. gregg says:

    Had to weigh in and offer a few tips that Karen and I are doing. I bought some of those reusable shopping bags for groceries ( 99 cents at Jewel, Dominick’s, etc). We keep them in the car (or try to). They work great. The other day at Trader Joe’s, I got entered into a raffle for a free shopping trip, just because I brought my own bags.

    We have also switched some of our cleaning products to eco-friendly ones. Dishsoap and dishwasher detergent from Trader Joes is excellent. A different brand of these two are avaiable at Jewel as well, although we didn”t care for the dishwasher liquid at Jewel. Trader Joes was much better. We’ll be trying more of these products as we use up our current supply.

    Last thought- We have switched over to the compact flourescent bulbs in many areas of the house. Make sure you find a place to recycle the bulbs, as they do contain a tiny amount of Mercury. I know in the city, there is a recycling center at Goose Island.

  3. lisapizzac72 says:

    Thanks for your posts, Gregg, and “Microwave Oven Guide”. Gregg, it sounds like you and Karen are doing some great things! I know what you mean about cleaning products. Some of them are definitely better than others. I’ll have to check out the products at Trader Joe’s.

    And good for you for using your own bags at the store. We have tried to do that as much as possible. Sometimes what happens though, is we’ll go into a store, thinking we’ll only get milk, and therefore don’t bring in a bag. What happens? Of course, we buy more than we can carry in our hands and need to take a plastic bag anyway! Oh well, nobody is perfect. All we can do is try. 🙂

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