Simple, small changes in our everyday lives can make large impacts on the environment. With the approach of cold winter weather, some of these changes can also make a big impact on your economic savings! Here are a few conservation and energy saving tips for this winter:
Properly plug drafty leaks Conserve energy and money by weather-stripping and caulking air leaks in windows and around doors. Reducing drafts in a home greatly reduces energy use and cost which is good for your wallet and the environment!
Choose a safe De-Icer Shoveling your snow into areas that are level and able to absorb the water once the snow has melted decreases ice build up, and allows potential pollutants from roadways and driveways to be filtered out by plants before reaching our streams. If salting is necessary for safety, remember that chemical de-icing salts that wash off of impermeable surfaces run into our local streams where is it harmful to the fish and other aquatic life. Sweep up excess salt and dispose of properly. An alternative to conventional de-icing salt is to purchase de-icer made from calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), potassium chloride (KCl), or calcium chloride (CaCl2). These are non-toxic de-icing products that do not have the same negative impact on the environment.
Recycle Your Old Christmas Lights As we decorate our homes, some of us may have found we have a few strands of lights that no longer twinkle. Instead of trashing them, recycle them. Find a drop off location here.
Zero Waste Gifts Instead of giving items that also come with lots of packaging for all of your gifts, consider giving the gift of amazing experiences! These gifts create memories that last a lifetime in our hearts, and not a lifetime in the landfill.
Reusable Bags For your holiday gifts that do require wrapping, use reusable bags and cloth packaging. This includes buying those yummy holiday foods. When you hit the grocery, remember to bring along your reusable bags! During our stream cleanups we always find plastic bags caught up in the stream or wrapped around trees. By using reusable bags, you are reducing the number of plastic bags in our landfills and in our environment.
Buy Local, Seasonal Produce Season-appropriate produce requires less energy for transport, is less expensive and often tastes better than out of season produce which must be shipped long distances. According to the Ohio Farm Bureau, late autumn produce includes apples, beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cilantro, corn, grapes (table), kale, onions, parsnips, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, squash, tomatoes, turnips, and watermelons. There is a little something for everyone!
So stay savvy and sustainable this winter season!
Warren County SWCD Staff Blog
A blog to keep you informed on all the latest news at Warren County SWCD and in the conservation world.