EM­BRACE A GREEN LIFE­STYLE

The Garden Island - - Pau Hana Time -

Go­ing green: It’s more than an idea - it’s a fun­da­men­tal change you make to sup­port the en­vi­ron­ment and re­duce your car­bon foot­print. In mak­ing this change, you prob­a­bly started with the small stuff. You turn the lights off when you’re not in the room, un­plug de­vices that aren’t in use and ad­just your ther­mo­stat reg­u­larly, but you can do so much more.

Im­ple­ment­ing a green ap­proach can seem like a lot of work. The trick is to look at your green ini­tia­tives not as a to-do list but as a new life­style. Once you do that, your green ef­forts will be­come habits, and you’ll for­get how you went about your day with­out them.

To sup­port your new green life­style, add th­ese five pos­i­tive habit-form­ing strate­gies from Ren­tal HQ.

Re­move waste­ful water use. The av­er­age Amer­i­can uses between 80 and 100 gal­lons of water each day, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey. For­tu­nately, there are water-sav­ing habits to em­brace that will re­duce your us­age as well as your bill. Avoid run­ning the dish­washer or wash­ing ma­chine un­til you have a full load. Turn the faucet off while brush­ing your teeth, and take a shower in­stead of a bath. Out­side, you should avoid wa­ter­ing your lawn as much as pos­si­ble and if you do, try to do so in the evening when the water can soak into the soil in­stead of evap­o­rat­ing in the af­ter­noon heat.

Rent in­stead of buy. Whether you’re spruc­ing up your yard or div­ing into a home im­prove­ment project, there are al­ways ma­chines and tools that you need but sim­ply don’t have. Too of­ten that means buy­ing th­ese items, us­ing them once and then stash­ing them in the garage or base­ment. Rent­ing helps re­duce the en­ergy, pol­lu­tion and waste that goes into mak­ing, stor­ing and main­tain­ing ma­chines and tools. Rent­ing is an easy and cost-ef­fec­tive way to lo­cate just the right equip­ment - think aer­a­tors, chain saws, pres­sure wash­ers and paint sprayers - while help­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

Start the car­pool. You and your co-work­ers have talked about this for years, but noth­ing ever comes of it be­cause no one wants to take the ini­tia­tive. Now’s the time. An­nounce that you are start­ing a car­pool - vol­un­teer to drive the first week - and in­vite your friends to join you. This habit is more likely to stick if you all con­sis­tently rely on each other.

Adopt green, chem­i­cal-free lawn care prac­tices. Ev­ery­one wants a lush, green lawn, and too many peo­ple use chem­i­cals, fer­til­iz­ers and un­healthy prod­ucts to achieve their dream. Re­solve to elim­i­nate lawn care habits that harm Mother Na­ture, such as chem­i­cal de­thatch­ers, fer­til­iz­ers and weed killers. In­stead, rent a de­thatch­ing ma­chine and aer­a­tor to im­prove your lawn’s health nat­u­rally. You can even rent a chip­per or grinder to turn yard de­bris like twigs, branches, fallen leaves and grass clip­pings into mulch for plant­ing beds.

Make your own clean­ing chem­i­cals. Clean­ing chem­i­cals are a sta­ple in ev­ery home; they’re also rarely en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly. How­ever, you can get the same clean­ing ben­e­fits with­out the neg­a­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact by mak­ing your own clean­ing chem­i­cals from nat­u­ral sources. Min­eral oil and lemon juice com­bine to make a great fur­ni­ture pol­ish, just as vine­gar and salt can be used to clean cop­per or brass. For an all-pur­pose clean­ing so­lu­tion, try liq­uid soap, bak­ing soda and tap water. Recipes for th­ese so­lu­tions and more are found eas­ily on­line, so browse around and you’ll dis­cover the per­fect nat­u­ral so­lu­tion for your needs.

A green life­style doesn’t hap­pen overnight. Adding a few of th­ese green habits will help. Ap­ply the tips of­fered above and your new green life­style will be ef­fec­tive and en­joy­able be­fore you know it.

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