Guest Post Author Bio: Miss T blogs at Prairie EcoThrifter. She grew up in the Canadian prairies and still lives there today. She is passionate about saving money, being healthy, looking out for our environment, and most of all having fun. Her blog shares tips on how you too can live a green, debt free, and fun life.

This week I am participating in a sub-Yakezie blog swap where I am to answer the question ” 5 Ways To Live Greener.” I had to seriously think about this for a minute because my hubby and I have been living green for quite some time now, or at least I thought…

Last year I decided along with my husband to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. When we first started we focused on controlling our house temperature with a programmable thermostat and composting our kitchen scraps. Then we branched off into reusable shopping bags, making our own cleaning products, and making our own personal care products. I even stopped driving my car to work and started walking to limit my carbon footprint.

Despite this, when I thought long and hard about this question I was able to come up with five more ways that we can live greener.

  1. Buy more local and organic produce. We usually try to buy local when we can but we often end up buying produce that has been imported. The reason for this is that there is very limited produce options where we live, especially in the winter months. Not much grows in the prairies during the winter when temperatures can reach -30 degrees Celsius. Plus not all of the food that is grown here is organic. We do try to buy the items listed on the dirty dozen organic but even this is a challenge sometimes due to the supply that we get where we live. This year I am going to make a concerted effort to find more local and organic suppliers of produce, especially for the winter months.
  2. Wash linens in cold water. I have been doing our laundry in cold water for years now with the exception of linens. The reason for this is I have dust allergies and I have read that the only way to kill dust mites is to use hot or steaming water. Since I have always washed our sheets in hot water I have never had a problem so as far as I know this is working. However, in an effort to be more green, I am going to try washing our linens in cold water to see what happens. Will I start getting itchy and really stuffed up? We will have to see.
  3. Drink tap water. I grew up on bottled spring water that my parents had delivered to the house on a biweekly basis. When I first moved out I also bought spring water bottles for my cooler at home. When I met my husband he too had a cooler and home that he bought bottled water for. In our house now, we have a cooler where we buy filtered city water from a distributor. The fact that we are still drinking city water is an improvement from the imported spring water I grew up on as a kid but there is still room for improvement. We have been talking about getting a Brita filter for our fridge but we drink so much water that I am afraid we will not get cold water to drink very often since the jug doesn’t hold much. I am not quite sure what we will decide on but it something we are looking at to improve.
  4. Use green lodging when we travel. We love to travel and usually go on one large trip a year; a month away or so. We try to walk places when we travel and use eco-friendly personal care products but we haven’t been staying in green lodging. In some of the places we go there aren’t any and we are stuck but in other larger centres, green options do exist but are more highly priced. Despite this, I would like to make more of an effort to stay in eco-friendly accommodations on our future trips.
  5. Use energy star appliances. In the last year we bought a new freezer for our summer produce that is rated energy star. However, our stove, microwave, second freezer, fridge, and laundry equipment are not energy star. I would love to replace these however it comes at a cost. You would think consumers would get a deal on equipment that is better for the environment but they don’t. I would like to look at our budget and come up with some money where we could replace some of our existing appliances.

I am sure if I continue to look around I can find more ways live green but this is start for 2011 anyway.

So, what are some ways you can live greener? Please share.