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Greener Living: Common Complaints and Easy Solutions

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Everyone has felt that pang of guilt when a Greenpeace commercial comes on. You feel powerless and ultimately unhelpful whenever you are reminded of the negative effects of climate change and wonder what the realistic thing to feel helpful would be. Is going green really all that doable, or is it just an expensive trend? Here are some common concerns and simple solutions to all of your worries about making your home — and ultimately your life — more sustainable:

1: Solar Panels Are Too Expensive

Solar panels are definitely an expensive energy source when you’re getting started. However, this does not mean that the long-term effects and personal benefits don’t outweigh the cost of getting solar panels. If you can afford the initial investment, you and your family will save money in the long run on your monthly electric bills and lower your household carbon emissions. It is also a great way to avoid outages or other problems energy service providers in your area may experience. And as a bonus, you might even financially benefit from them in the long run. If you overproduce power each month and wind up putting energy back into the grid, some power companies will compensate you for the overage. Additionally, solar panels are an incredible option for homeowners because they tend to increase the resale value of a home.

2: Energy Saving Light Bulbs Are Too Dim

It is a common complaint that compact fluorescent light bulbs are a strange color that may be perceived to be too depressingly dark. However, not all bulbs are the same and some very closely match the color of traditional lighting fixtures. If the color of the light is too troublesome, it is even possible just to replace normal bulbs in lesser-used parts of the house (closets, etc.) with energy saving ones. You can also opt for slightly more expensive LED lights, which often come in brighter hues. The major benefit to using these bulbs is that they use less energy and last much longer: Some LEDs bulbs can last more than 20 years.

3: I Need My Large Coffee and a Long, Hot Shower in the Morning

There are so many ways to make your house greener and more energy efficient while still enjoying all the things you love. For instance, you may switch to a low flow showerhead without much difference in water pressure, and take your long shower while using less water. You can also pretty painlessly keep your empty coffee jars for reuse as storage containers, or at the very least, opt for packaging that is recyclable.

You may also choose to go further with your green journey and use a glass or metal reusable water bottle instead of disposable plastic ones. If you still want to drink bottled water, opt for 1- or 5-gallon containers instead of individual bottles, and use them to refill your reusable bottle. But an even better idea is to invest in a water filter, so you cand drink straight from the tap and avoid bottled water altogether, much of which is really tap water anyway.

Another simple tip: Many people can’t imagine how they would live without paper towels in their kitchen. This can easily be remedied by buying cheap dishtowels in bulk or even cutting up old t-shirts or towels. Keep them close at hand in the kitchen and use them when needed. The more you have, the better. It is all about efficiency here. For hand cleaning, invest in a few sets of cloth napkins to use for meals instead.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways in which you can create a beautiful and functional home that is also more sustainable. It can even be achieved without having to significantly reduce any of your well-known comforts. By taking care of the environment, you are contributing to the overall health of everyone on the planet, and that alone is enough encouragement to finally ditch the guilt and create a green haven for yourself.

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