Indoor plants like the Elephant Ear Philodendron cut toxins from homes and offices. (Courtesy photo)
Indoor plants like the Elephant Ear Philodendron cut toxins from homes and offices. (Courtesy photo)

1. Skip the Elevator/Escalator: By side-stepping elevators and escalators, we save electricity and get a quick cardio workout in the process. This is a great way of getting in shape alongside the planet.

2. Limit Fuel Use: The Washington, D.C.-metropolitan region works to increase the use of bicycles and trails, limiting the use of fuel-powered vehicles is not only achievable, but is quickly becoming the wave of the future. In addition to hiring bicycles, electric mopeds, and scooters, consider using a rideshare service (Uber or Lyft) or taking public transportation.

3. Consider Natural Products: Each year, millions of people are hospitalized or perish from acute inhalation injury which occurs when chemicals found in household cleaning products — including bleach — cause inflammation in the lungs. Despite labels on most household cleaners that advise against using in closed-in spaces or inhaling directly, they contradictorily include fragrances that invite you to breathe them in. The reality is that natural, tried-and-true items like lemons, vinegar, and baking soda, to the same work without the toxins.

4. Turn Off: The digital age and all the great technology that has come with it, have also created a vacuous use of electricity. For instance, how many of us use our laptops while watching television, with the lights aglow all around us — and with our mobile phones on and at the ready? Consider turning off electronic devices not actively in use or using the energy saver setting on everyday devices. This will not only save on electricity, but will also, lower electric bills.

5. Let Go of Paper Mailings: Some of us are die-hard paper lovers — and will always prefer physical newspapers and magazines to their digitized versions; however, consider eliminating paper bills, notices, and announcements from your life. Most banks, and other businesses allow you to receive mail directly into your inbox, saving trees and limiting the amount of paper waste from mailers.

6. Go Back to Eden: Indoor plants offer a wealth of benefits by purifying the air inside homes and offices. Consider purchasing plants like English Ivy, Elephant Ear Philodendron, Lady Palm and Bamboo Palm cut traces of formaldehyde and other toxins from the air.

7. Use What You Have: Years ago, a broken heel on a shoe went to the cobbler or shoe repair shop, rather than the trash. Too often today, we throw away what could be repaired or passed along to others with a need for them. Consider giving your clothes a new life by donating to charity or consignment shops. And for the fashionistas among you, work with friends to invent new styles by raiding each others’ closets.

8. Time Showers: While many of us love a great shower, they can become taxing on water systems. Use a timer for showers to reduce the amount of water used getting fresh and clean.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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