Simple Tips for Living Green in 2011You’ve probably heard about “going green” at some point in your life.  That can mean everything from recycling to where you purchase your food.  However, you don’t have to shower every other day or install solar panels that cost a hefty sum up front (although, they do save money over the long run).  Here are five simple tips for living green in 2011:

1. Recycle – Many cities provide recycling programs, including the City of Hendersonville.  Contact them via pone at 828-697-3084 or email at to find out how you can get your own recycling bin.  Articles that can be recycled are metal cans, plastic, glass, newspaper, cardboard and mixed paper (paper grocery bags, catalogs, cereal boxes, junk mail, magazines, etc.).

In Hendersonville, yard clippings can be placed in residents’ regular trash bins.  Just make sure they are not bagged, but placed loosely in the bin.  Dried paint and tires that are not on rims can also be put out with the regular weekly trash collection.  Used motor oil and antifreeze as well as used car batteries must be turned in at appointed facilities, such as the Henderson County Transfer Facility (802 Stoney Mtn Rd) for motor oil, antifreeze, used batteries and electronics (fax machines, VCRs, steros, telephones, computers, TVs, etc).  Anywhere you buy a new car battery will also recycle the old one for you, usually for a small fee.

2. Check Your Home for Air Leaks – Check that the insulation in your home, window and door frames and window seals are all up to standard.  Any cracks around doors and windows will increase your energy consumption.

3. Change to “Green” Cleaning Supplies – “Green cleaners” use much less harsh chemicals to do the same job.  Clorox has a line of great “green” products for windows, bathrooms and toilets.  If you want to save money AND the environment, you can even make your own chemicals to clean using everyday household items, such as baking soda, cornstarch, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and more.  To find out how, click here.

4. Share a Ride – Using mass transit or even carpooling with other workers in your office or area can help reduce the amount of emissions and save you money.  If you live close enough, consider walking or biking to work.  It’s great exercise and reduces your carbon footprint.

5. Set the Thermostat – By lowering the thermostat by 1 degree, you will not only lower your energy costs, but you will hardly notice a difference in the household temperature.  Lowering it by 3 degrees can save approximately $74 every winter.  If you get cold, put a sweater on.  Consider lowering it even more at night.  Your body regulates its temperature during sleep, so you won’t even notice it.  Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat to help regulate when you want it higher (when you’re at home) and when you want it lower (when you’re asleep or at work/school).

Reducing your carbon footprint here in Hendersonville doesn’t necessarily mean drastically changing your life.  These five simple tips for living green in 2011 are easy enough to do and can make a huge difference in the amount of energy you consume.

Rich Cooke, your Hendersonville real estate specialist