These tips have been provided by members of the Dominican Sisters of Peace Eco-Justice Committee.
It’s that time of year again -Spring. We welcome the sunny skies, blossoming flowers and trees turning green again. It’s also time for Spring Cleaning! As we begin our task, let’s consider how this affects the environment.
- Cleaning: Look for environmentally friendly cleaning products without chemicals that negatively affect our environment.
- Clothes: Are you relocating your winter clothes and bringing out your summer garments? If you have not worn something in the last year, it is time to discard it. Don’t throw it away but donate to someone or a charitable organization to reuse.
- Do you wash your summer clothes before wearing them again? Only wash a full load on the lowest temperature with cold water detergent that doesn’t have chemicals that would go back into the environment. If you no longer have a clothes line, use your full dryer on air dry or a setting for delicate.
- Windows: Pour white vinegar into a reusable spray bottle. Apply to windows and use newspaper to clean off. Not only is this better for the environment, it’s easy, economical and does a great job!
- Each time you use water, remember what a sacred gift it is–and how millions throughout the world have no access to clean water. Be grateful and careful.
- Instead of running water from the tap until it is cold enough to drink, keep a jug of water in your refrigerator.
- Instead of buying bottled water, buy a metal or plastic water bottle, fill it from the tap and keep it in the refrigerator to use for outings.
- Save water that you run—eg. While waiting for it to warm up—in a bucket and water plants or use for something else later.
- Install a low-flow faucet aerator, which can cut water use in half.
- Be conscious of water use in spring cleaning.
- Setting cooling systems and water softeners for a minimum number of refills saves both water and chemicals, plus more on utility bills.
- Look for products bearing the EPA WaterSense Label for items that been certified to save 20% or more without sacrificing performance.
- Report (or fix if you can) broken pipes, open hydrants and errant sprinklers to the property owner or your water provider.
- Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. This could save water and prevent damage to your home.
- Take shorter showers.
- Use disposal sparingly.
- Only do full loads of laundry and dirty dishes.
- Eat less water intensive foods: ie beef and animal products, foods with lots of packaging, foods that have traveled a long distance to your table.
- Water the garden only when necessary.