Five Easy Ways to Live Greener in the Desert
Earth Day is right around the corner (April 22nd). Rather than celebrate just one day, try going a little greener all year round. Going green does not mean that you have to sacrifice your A/C in the hot Vegas summers. It’s easy to make small changes that will have a big impact on the environment for generations to come.
1. Get reusable bags for your shopping.
Every year, Americans throw away billions of plastic bags. Since the bags are not biodegradable, they hang around for the foreseeable future. Instead of using these petroleum-based bags, switch to reusable shopping bags. Leave them in your trunk and grab them when you are at the store. You can also get folding bags that you can throw into your purse for quick trips.
My favorite reusable bags are at Whole Foods. They are made from recycled water bottles, which makes the material very easy to clean. They are very sturdy and hold a ton of food. At only $.99 each, I think these bags are a bargain.
Financial bonus: Even though you have to pay for the bags, many stores will give you a bonus ($.05 cents back or extra shopper points), so the bags will pay for themselves quickly.
2. Get away from bottled water.
Billions of plastic water bottles end up in landfills each year. Like plastic bags, they don’t biodegrade.
In Las Vegas, we all know the importance of hydration and keeping water on hand in case of an emergency. Bottled water certainly makes sense in some of these cases. But, for everyday use, try cutting back on the bottles. Get a water filter for your tap. Or a pitcher with a filter.
Financial bonus: after the initial investment in a filtering device, you won’t have to spend as much on bottled water. The savings can be huge. (Not to mention how much more space you will have!)
Recycling in Clark County is easy. Curbside recycling takes certain types of plastic, aluminum, paper, cardboard and glass. If you aren’t ready to give up bottled water yet, make sure you are recycling the bottles. Once you get into the habit, recycling becomes second nature.
4. Make your own household cleaners.
Many household cleaners contain toxic chemicals that are bad for the environment. Instead of these harsh cleaners, consider making your own. They are extremely effective and great for your home and the earth. Best of all, they are often much cheaper than traditional cleaners. This website offers great tips on green cleaning and how to create your own.
5. Cut back or eliminate paper towel usage.
Before we went green, my family went through a few packages of paper towels each week. We used them for everything. After we went green, my goal was to eliminate as much paper towel usage as possible. That meant switching to cloth. The biggest thing that I found (in addition to the huge cost savings) was that my house seemed a lot cleaner when I used cloth rather than paper towels. It also took a lot less effort to get stains from surfaces.
For cleaning, I use rags and microfiber cloths. Microfiber cloths can be used with water only and they do remove bacteria! They pay for themselves quickly with the savings that you have on cleaners and paper towels.
Each of these steps is easy and requires little to no financial investment. Many will end up saving you money.
Danielle Liss is the Chief Marketing Officer and In-House Counsel of FitFluential LLC. She has been blogging for 9 years at Kitten a Go-Go. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and two hairless cats.