Sustainable living is a huge part of my life and one of the main reasons I love living in Nevada City. Reusing, recycling, and refurbishing are huge in our area – all around you can see that local businesses are paying attention to the impact that they have on the environment.
For instance, local bistro Matteo’s Public builds their menu from local, organic ingredients whenever possible and takes an active approach to recycling and using recycled products. I love that! Locals leading the way and taking a hands-on approach to “going green” is what makes Nevada City so special.
I know that the idea of living sustainably can be really daunting. There are certainly extremists who are more than doing their part (check out this amazing woman who literally has almost no trash, ever)! However, I believe that we can all make small changes to our lifestyles that contribute to the greater change. It’s no secret that every little bit helps.
If you’re interested in some small ways to “green-up” your home and potentially save you some cash, check out the list below. I’m always up for other suggestions as well and these are definitely just the tip of the iceberg!
If all Californians replaced five light bulbs with compact florescent lights, it would be the equivalent of taking 275,000 cars off the road. Turn off unnecessary lighting and use compact florescent lights instead of overhead lights. Use sunlight when possible to light up your home – sunlight is the best kind of light for our mood and general well-being!
We should all probably take a small step away from our electronics anyway. By doing so we have a positive effect on our environment. Use surge protector power strips to switch off televisions, radios, monitors, printers, etc. when you leave the house. Use sleep mode for your computer (it really does make a difference). The plus side could be a lower energy bill!
Heating and Air
Lowering the temperature by 5 or 10 degrees can save you up to 20 percent in heating costs – that’s huge! Replace or clean furnace filters regularly and get a furnace tune-up to help heating efficiency. During the summer, adjust and set your air conditioner to 78% or warmer, health permitting.
Purchase organic and local products. Local produce isn’t shipped in, eliminating the pollution from long haul deliveries. When you’re finished with an item, don’t throw it away. Post it for free (www.Freecycle.org). Remember, “away” actually means “landfill”.
We are still in a drought, California. Some simple ways to conserve water include using a bucket to collect shower water that can later be used to water plants or to clean. Turn off the shower while soaping up for just 6 minutes to eliminate an incredible 342 pounds of CO2 from your annual total. Just a reminder – as much as 19 percent of California’s electricity is used to pump, transport and treat water.
Simple, yet so effective! Let me know if you make any of these lifestyle changes and how it works out for you. For more information on the sustainable side of Nevada City, give me a call!