If you are one of the millions of people who have decided that we as humans can have an effect on the world’s climate and environment, and feel that you have to “do your part” to save the world from it’s inevitable demise by “going green”, here are a few tips to help you through this transition without going in the poor house:
Replace those evil incandescent light bulbs with new LED and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Sure the light from these new bulbs are cold, unnatural and industrial feeling, but if you get rid of those energy consuming ancient sources of light, you might be able to save a couple of bucks in electricity costs each year… it might take you ten years to recover the cost of making the switch, but hey, you are doing your part to save the environment right? Besides, once the current stock of Thomas Edison’s wonderful invention is gone, you won’t have a choice anyway. The government has outlawed incandescent bulbs as of January 2014. Oh, and don’t worry about the mercury that is in the new bulbs, it’s just a potent neurotoxin, which is especially dangerous to children and pregnant women. And then there is the potential of the landfills contaminating the environment with mercury do to the disposal of all of the used CFLs… but I sure we’ll figure out how to deal with that later.
Remember when we made the big switch to plastic bags from paper? We needed to use those plastic bags because if we continued to use paper bags, all of the trees in the world we be gone… so instead of using the stronger, bigger, reusable and biodegradable paper bags, we made the switch to plastic to save the environment. Now, Americans use 100 billion plastic bags every year and those world-saving plastic bags are nowadays a bad thing that we should stop using.
So now the “green” way to shop is to use reusable shopping bags. Don’t pay attention to a recent study by Loma Linda University and the University of Arizona that found that reusable bags tested positive for E. coli, salmonella and coliform bacteria. The study found that the bacteria proliferated wildly when the bag was left in a hot car. A whole car-load of groceries could be infected by contaminated bags. Rosemary Anthony, a health educator says that “When you have raw meat or unwashed fruits and vegetables, the germs on the food items themselves can cross-contaminate, can get on the bag,”
I suppose you could always put meat in plastic bags to prevent any leaks contaminating the cool, trendy, environment saving cloth bags.
Okay, here’s one where I won’t be so sarcastic… When it comes time to replace a major appliance, look for Energy Star appliances. There are real savings to be had when it comes to electricity use. For me personally, the reason for saving electricity has nothing to do with going green, it has to do with saving green. More efficient appliances mean less electricity consumption, which means a smaller electric bill.
Possibly one of the best money-saving appliance is a tank-less hot water heater. On-demand water heaters produce abundant hot water when you’re showering or washing the dishes or clothes, and is there whenever you need it… the hot water never “runs out”. And you are not using electricity to keep a big tank of water hot all of the time.
So, if you have your mind set on doing your part to save the world and “go green” there are many smart ways to use less energy or recycle the things that you would normally throw away. There is no reason why we shouldn’t recycle everything we can, but I am suspect of the save-the-environment, vegan, hemp grocery bag, following the current fad, experts.
Don’t get me wrong, I think we should be good stewards of the world we live in, and that means taking care the environment. Reducing emissions and toxic waste is a good thing… doing it under the guise of preventing global warming, sorry, it’s now “climate change”, I feel is disingenuous.
Bottom line as far as I’m concerned… spend your money “going green” with the idea of reducing your own costs… use less water to save money on your water bill… turn the A/C up (if you can stand it) to save on your electric bill… or buy a tiny car or hybrid to save money on gas.