Keeping The World Clean Starts With Seniors That Go Green

Green energy

It's no secret that our society is one of consumption. It's a natural byproduct of being a capitalist country. Barraged with advertisements everywhere we go, it's no wonder why we're so materialistic. We buy the latest technology or the trendiest clothing because it seems imperative to do so. We measure our success in terms of material possessions to "keep up with the Joneses." But, there is no one definition of success.

One person’s definition of success can be radically different from another’s. For some seniors, success is being a contributing member of society who watches their carbon footprint. Considering we are consuming the Earth’s resources at an alarming rate, this makes a world of sense. Ensuring that the Earth is still standing for future generations is a job someone has to do.

Being green isn’t as hard or expensive as you think. All it takes is some minor modifications in your everyday routine. Below you’ll find all the senior-friendly ways you can be successful at home—by going green. 

Conserve Energy

Conserve energy

Saving energy helps the environment by decreasing power plant emissions.

  • Turn the lights off. Conserve energy by remembering to turn the lights off when you leave a room. Not only are you saving energy, this will lower your electricity bill too.
  • Switch bulbs. Change your energy inefficient lightbulbs to efficient ones, like CFL bulbs. These bulbs last 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.
  • Unplug electronics. Did you know that a cell phone charger still consumes energy even when a phone isn’t connected to it? Unplug your unused electronics.
  • Don’t touch the thermostat. Minimize the amount you use your home’s air conditioning and heater. When you’re feeling chilly, put on an extra layer and some fuzzy socks. Take preventative measures for the heat. Use insulation strips on the doors and windows and don’t forget to draw the shades.

Efficiency is Key

Full dishwasher

Make sure all your household appliances are running efficiently. This is key to achieving a green home.

  • Stock and clean. Keep your freezer full of goods and clean your refrigerator coils often.
  • Do full loads. When doing laundry or the dishes, remember to always wash a full load.
  • Clean your car. Get rid of all the unnecessary junk in your car. The extra weight decreases your car’s fuel efficiency. And if possible, carpool. Better yet—walk or ride your bike.

Go Paperless

Deforestation

Fight deforestation by reducing your paper usage.

  • Pay bills online. Opt for paperless statements and pay your bills online.
  • Do your taxes online. File your taxes electronically.
  • Use e-tickets. You can download e-tickets to your phone for movies, amusement parks, air travel or concerts.
  • Use a lunch bag. Pack lunches in reusable bags rather than brown paper ones.
  • Dry your hands on cloth. Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
  • Say ‘no’ at the checkout. Refuse the supermarket’s grocery bags and bring a reusable canvas bag.
  • Read online. Cancel your newspaper subscription and read the news online.
  • Share old reading material. Have old magazines or newspapers laying around? Donate them to your local doctor's office or share them with your neighbors.

Why Waste Water?

Drought

Freshwater makes up a very small fraction of all water on the planet. Conserve the world’s water supply by being mindful of your water usage.

  • Cut it short. Take shorter showers. Just one minute in the shower uses over two gallons.
  • Turn it off. Turn the faucet off when you’re brushing your teeth or washing your hands.
  • Wait to flush. Apply the “if it’s yellow” rule and consolidate your flushes.
  • Go to the carwash. Take your car to the carwash instead of hosing it down yourself, they’re much more efficient.
  • Recycle water. Re-use the water you cook with for the garden.
  • Don’t water the lawn. Brown is the new green, so let your lawn turn brown.
  • Don’t buy bottled water. Use a reusable water bottle to reduce both plastic and water waste.

Repurpose Disposable Products

Butter

Why go out and buy something when you can repurpose something you already have? Not only will you save yourself money, you’ll be saving our Earth too.

  • Save the butter wrappers. Most people throw away the paper when they unwrap their butter. Save your butter wrappers in a bag for later. Whenever you need to grease a baking tray, you’ll be ready to go with your pre-buttered wipes.
  • Keep plastic silverware. Keep using your disposable silverware. Yes, you're supposed to throw them away after one use, but that's not the green way. You can repurpose the plastic silverware by using them as markers for your plants. Write labels or watering instructions and stick them in the soil.
  • Salvage dryer sheets. Dryer sheets are wonderful, but they’re not recyclable. Instead of adding to the landfill, repurpose your dryer sheets. Put them inside your car to freshen the air, or into your shoes to mask the stink. If you put clothes away for the season, stick a few of these bad boys in with it. When you open up your drawers for the winter, all your sweaters will smell dryer fresh.

The Successful Senior

Green Earth

If you’re feeling unsuccessful, take pride in the little achievements accomplished at home. As you make these small changes in your daily life, know that you are contributing to the bigger picture.

As author Robert Collier once said, “Success is the sum of all efforts—repeated day in and day out”. Continue making small efforts towards living a greener life and consider yourself a success.

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