Receiving gifts is wonderful, but they also add to the clutter, the bills,
and the general stress in your life. If you've resolved to make your
home easier to live in this year or are simply feeling stressed after
Christmas and New Year's, we at The Eco Plumbers will help. Here are
seven things you can easily reduce in your home and how to do it successfully.
As plumbers, we know the value of water. We also know how easy it is to
waste it. Leaving faucets running for just a few minutes sends gallons
of water rushing down the drain. Since water is not easily renewable,
water shortages can be pretty scary, especially in drought-prone regions.
Don't waste such a precious commodity. Turn the water off when you're
not using it. This includes while you're brushing your teeth and while
cooking. Don't fill your bathtub to the top - switch to showers or
limit yourself to a few inches per bath. Conserve as much warm water as
possible by mixing it with cool water.
In our technologically-driven world, it seems like everybody is hooked
up to some electronic device twenty-four hours a day. This is not only
unhealthy for humans, but wasteful and unhealthy for the environment.
Limit yourself to a certain amount of screen time per day - 2-3 hours
for adults and even less for children. Children under four years old should
ideally not be exposed to screen time. If your job or major hobbies require
you to use a computer several hours a day, take frequent stretch breaks
and watch your posture. Turn off your devices or place them in "sleep
mode" when not in use. Leave them alone to charge at night, beginning
around nine PM, as screen time disrupts sleep.
Think about donating some old possessions. Thrift stores, and charities
are always looking for gently used toys, books, furniture, and clothing.
They also love rarer finds like used musical instruments or appliances.
Electronic readers, tablets, and cell phones have helped with this somewhat,
but we're not a paperless society yet. Exercise your memory by challenging
yourself to see how much you can remember without writing it down. Practice
on sites like lumosity.com. Recycle all used paper items.
Remember Mom and Dad telling you to eat your meals because kids were starving
around the world? Food waste is a huge problem in the U.S. It's easy
today to know where people are going hungry. Donate food in good condition
to food banks or charities that fly food overseas. If foodstuffs go bad,
use them as compost.
If you've always resolved to quit smoking or drinking, or lay off the
junk food but never done so, this is the year to get serious. Cigarette
butts and alcohol bottles take up far too much space in landfills, and
junk food is filled with preservatives. Foods like snack cakes and sugary
cereals sit on store shelves for months, taking up space where the fresh
foods should be.
If your computer has finally died, don't toss it in a landfill. Cadmium,
mercury, and other poisons can seep into the ground that way, harming
humans and animals. Take your old electronics to a recycling center. Be
sure to ask for a certificate of cleanliness once all data is destroyed.