Earth-Friendly Ways to Minimize Waste


chalkboard with the text make every day earth day

 

With spring cleaning underway and Earth Day inspiring us to develop greener habits, now is a great time to think about how the two intersect. You’ll find that a little planning can help reduce the amount of waste you bring into your home, and with a few simple changes, you won’t have as much to take out.

 

Americans can generate more than 254 million tons of trash in a single year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If that number is too big to fathom, consider this: that amount of trash weighs more than the combined weight of 1 million blue whales (the largest mammal on Earth).

 

Doing your part to make less trash can be as easy as remembering your reusable grocery bags. Read on to see our 10 suggestions of how to reduce waste in your home.

 

1. Swap disposable water bottles for a water filter and reusable bottles.

We all know we need to drink more H2O to stay healthy. Carrying a steel or glass water bottle will remind you to hydrate throughout the day and prevent you from buying a plastic water bottle out of convenience. Investing in a water filtration system — even as basic as a pitcher filter — will elevate the way your tap water tastes.

 

2. If on-the-go coffee is a must, bring a reusable mug.

If you can’t kick your addiction to a daily cup of coffee, bring your travel tumbler or mug with you and ask the barista to fill it instead of a disposable cup. Starbucks and many other cafes offer discounts for helping them reduce their cup waste.

 

3. Get to know your farmers markets and bulk bin section.

Frequenting farmers markets will not only keep you in line with your healthy-eating goals, it also supports local businesses. When you purchase whole foods there, you’re opting to reduce the amount of packaging brought into your home through processed and frozen foods. Likewise, shopping in the bulk-bin section eliminates extraneous packaging.

 

4. Keep your reusable bags at hand.

Have you ever entered the grocery store only to remember your stash of reusable bags is sitting untouched in your cabinets? If so, eliminate the need to remember by storing your reusable bags in more convenient places: a more noticeable area at home or in your car, handbag or backpack. That way you’ll always have a bag at hand, even for those quick, impromptu trips to get groceries after work.

 

Use your reusable bags for other occasions as well. Ask the waiter to place your to-go order in your bag instead of using their plastic or brown bags. Going on a shopping spree? Let the sales associates know you have your own bags for your new purchases.

 

When shopping for groceries, bring smaller cloth or netted bags to store produce, bulk-bin items and fresh flowers to avoid the thin plastic bags provided by stores.

 

5. Use glass containers to store food.

Display your farmers market and bulk goods in glass containers to keep them from going stale. Repurpose old glass containers from pasta sauce, jams and condiments for future storage.

 

Involving Daughters In A Healthy Hobby

 

6. Grow a garden.

Grow your own herb or vegetable garden, so you’ll always have the perfect amount of ingredients for your recipes. Doing so reduces food waste, which comprises nearly one-third of annual solid waste generated in the U.S., according to the EPA.

 

7. Dine at home.

Cooking and eating at home allows you to have more control — you can eat whole foods and add significantly less sugar and sodium than would typically be used in packaged and processed foods.

 

Eating fast food creates a plethora of waste, from the plastic straws and cutlery to the extraneous napkins and packaging.

 

8. Cut down on paper towels.

Instead of using paper towels, keep a stash of kitchen cloths and rags made from old T-shirts to do your chores. Eco-friendly towels made of bamboo and cotton can absorb big messes and dry dishes quickly.

 

9. Use Swedish dishcloths instead of kitchen sponges.

Your kitchen sponge can harbor as much (if not more) bacteria than a toilet. Experts suggest tossing sponges after a month of use, but that merely adds to landfills. Instead, use Swedish dishcloths, which are made of cotton and cellulose and are super absorbent when wet. The malleable form allows you to get into the nooks and crannies of dishes and silverware.

 

Invented in 1949, Swedish dishcloths come in a variety of designs to coordinate with your kitchen. Throw them in the laundry when they get dirty and reuse them again.

 

10. Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

Dryer sheets may make your clothes smell nice and keep your sheets soft, but they’re a one-time use product. Wool dryer balls can make your clothes just as soft, but can be used over and over again. Throw three of them into the dryer, and reduce the drying time of heavy fabrics, such as towels or jeans.

 

Use three to four drops of your favorite essential oil to each dryer ball to keep your fabrics fragrant.

5 Easy Ways to a Greener Home


 

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In celebration of Earth Day, we’re taking a look at the many ways you can go green at home. Below are five that will make a difference for our environment and lower your bills.

 

* Upgrade outdated appliances: 18% of a typical home’s energy bill can be attributed to appliances. Replace older models with Energy Star appliances and you’ll use 10 to 15% less energy and water.

 

* Monitor your temperature: Nearly half of a home’s energy usage goes toward heating and cooling. To cut consumption, keep filters clean, consider a new/more efficient furnace, use ceiling fans, and adjust thermostats while you’re away.

 

* Save Water: Put an aerator on faucets and install low-flow toilets to cut water consumption by half.

 

* Buy greener cleaners: There’s an abundance of green cleaning products these days, so there’s no need to clean with products that are toxic to the environment.

 

* Switch out bulbs: The upfront cost is higher, but replacing light bulbs with more efficient models will save you money. CFL bulbs use 66% less energy and last 10 times longer than standard bulbs.

 

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Exquisite Earth-Friendly Homes


Happy Earth Day! There are countless ways to “go green” in support of this worldwide holiday, but some of the most effective ways to support Mother Earth result from making changes at home. We recently outlined a variety of things you can do in your home to go green, from changing lightbulbs to upgrading appliances, all of which you can find by clicking here.

 

Today, we wanted to bring you a little bit of a different spin on things. If you want to go green and you’re in the market for a new home, we’ve go the perfect solution for you. Below are seven homes, currently for sale, that are all Energy Star Certified!

 

When you buy one of these homes, you can be sure that you’ll feel good about your decision knowing that your home is one of the most earth-friendly on the block. They have a range of energy efficient and green features, like solar panels, energy efficient windows, low flow toilets, and more. And who knew being green could look so fabulous?

Exquisite Earth-Friendly HomesExquisite Earth-Friendly Homes^301 Creekside Drive, McKinney

Exquisite Earth-Friendly HomesExquisite Earth-Friendly Homes^905 Tranquility Drive, Fairview

Exquisite Earth-Friendly HomesExquisite Earth-Friendly Homes^6675 Mediterranean Drive #3406, McKinney

Exquisite Earth-Friendly HomesExquisite Earth-Friendly Homes^6910 La Vista, Dallas

Exquisite Earth-Friendly HomesExquisite Earth-Friendly Homes^3691 San Gabriel, Frisco

Exquisite Earth-Friendly HomesExquisite Earth-Friendly Homes^4915 Mill Run Road, Dallas

Exquisite Earth-Friendly HomesExquisite Earth-Friendly Homes^ 7041 Bealteau Lane, Dallas

 To see all the homes on the market that are Energy Star Certified, click here!

Happy Earth Day!


Earth Day USE

 

Ask most any North Texan who the First Lady of Real Estate is and you’re sure to get a quick reply: Ebby Halliday. But ask the same person who the “Anti-Litter Queen” is and you may get a puzzled look. The answer: Ebby Halliday.

 

As we celebrate Earth Day, pause to consider that while Ebby was busy growing one of America’s premier residential real estate firms – she and her late husband, Maurice Acers, were also very actively involved in the beautification of Dallas and the Lone Star State.

 

To honor Ebby and Maurice’s significant contribution to beautification efforts, the Ebby Halliday & Maurice Acers Business/Industry Award was created by Keep Texas Beautiful to recognize businesses that seek to protect our environment with sound environmental principles and support the organization’s mission to make Texas the cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation.

 

Keep Texas Beautiful educates and engages Texans to take responsibility for improving their community environment through programming addressing three focus areas: litter prevention, beautification and waste reduction.

 

This year’s Ebby Halliday & Maurice Acers Business/Industry Award winners will be recognized at KTB’s 47th Annual Conference, slated for June 23-25 in Austin. For a full list of winners, as well as information about the conference, visit ktb.org.

 

Happy Earth Day everyone!

 

PHOTO: In this 1970 Dallas Morning News photo Ebby Halliday and Don Wright, chairman of A Beautiful, Clean Dallas, take a hands-on approach to beautifying the city.