Easy ways to live green

Going "green" does not necessarily mean growing all your own food organically or using only solar power.

"There are plenty of inexpensive ways for ordinary families living in ordinary homes to help take care of the planet - and their own health," says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says some simple ideas include the following:

* Save water. Put aerators on all household taps and you'll cut your annual water consumption considerably. Don't wash the car or clean the driveway with a hose. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.

* Clean green. Stop using cleaning products with ingredients that are toxic to the environment and make your own from plain soap, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), vinegar, washing soda (sodium carbonate), lemon juice and borax.

* Recycle as much as you can. Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 100W bulb for four hours. And re-using plastic bags cuts down on global warming through the processing and burning of petroleum. Better still, use cloth bags to carry your groceries.

* Use less paper and save trees. Look out for paper products with a high percentage of recycled pulp. Remove your name from junk mail address lists.

* Garden green. Use compost instead of synthetic fertilizers. Use indigenous plants as much as possible. Stop using chemical pesticides and switch to organic or physical pest control methods. Use a push mower instead of an electric or petrol one (and save on gym fees!)
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