Simple ways to go green at home, at work | Fall Home and Garden

Reduce, reuse, recycle – it’s the mantra we’ve heard for decades, and it appears Americans are taking the message to heart and making efforts to go green in all aspects of their lives. Whether it’s in their own home or at their place of work, being earth-friendly isn’t just a trend; it’s the new modern way of life

  • Tuesday, September 17, 2013 6:37pm
  • Life

Reduce, reuse, recycle – it’s the mantra we’ve heard for decades, and it appears Americans are taking the message to heart and making efforts to go green in all aspects of their lives. Whether it’s in their own home or at their place of work, being earth-friendly isn’t just a trend; it’s the new modern way of life.

If you’re looking to make your life a little greener – whether during the 9-to-5 or the 5-to-9 – consider a few simple ways you can save Mother Earth and feel pretty good about yourself too:

• Watch your water footprint and conserve H2O

Water is an important part of daily life and Americans are lucky to have a reliable supply on hand at the simple flip of the faucet handle. The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home, according to the EPA. We use even more at work or school. It’s time we take a closer look at our water footprint.

You can reduce your water usage in numerous ways. At home and work, you should use WaterSense-labeled toilets, sinks and showerheads. Because both businesses and homeowners like to save, check out epa.gov to find rebates for water-wise improvements. Additionally, remember to turn off water when appropriate – such as when you brush your teeth or are rubbing your hands together to generate soap bubbles. Keep showers to 10 minutes or less.

• Look for products that use reclaimed materials

Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash, and recycled and composted almost 87 million tons of this material in 2011, which is equivalent to a 34.7 percent recycling rate, the EPA reports. This rate is pretty impressive, and with waste now being employed as the primary ingredient for things we use every day, this number is likely to rise.

Reclaimed rubber is one such example. Ecore, a rubber flooring company, uses reclaimed rubber tires to make commercial flooring, and has been doing so for more than 25 years. Old, exhausted treads of tractor-trailer tires are ground, screened and separated to remove contaminants – creating a durable flooring option for businesses.

• Go green with your greenery

Being strategic about what plants you use for landscaping at home and work can help you conserve water and reduce maintenance requirements. Use natural vegetation appropriate for the region where you live. Ask your nursery or state’s extension service about shrubs, trees and ground covers that are good alternatives to grass. Native plants quickly adapt to changing climate conditions, so you’ll spend less time trimming and watering.

While you have your green thumb out, consider placing a few houseplants in your office and throughout your home. As part of plants’ natural photosynthesis process, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which helps to naturally clean the air around us. Some houseplants have even been shown to remove formaldehyde and benzene pollutants from the air. Increase your indoor air quality with a few good greens. Try houseplant varieties like philodendron, spider plants, (chlorophytum comosum) or peace lilies (spathiphyllum).

These are just a few simple ways to green your life at home and at work – so you can make a difference for our earth all day long. Adopting an eco-friendly mindset for you and your family helps ensure the future is bright (and green) for everyone.

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