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Take Green Living to the Next Level With These Easy Eco-Friendly Steps

"How you imagine the world determines how you live in it," David Suzuki said. If you imagine a healthy and happy home that's free of chemicals and a comfortable way of life, it is possible. The steps to get there are easy, and they don't require you spend a fortune to live green.

You've already made an impact, perhaps in more ways than you realize. You're likely already part of the 90 percent who, according to a Gallup poll, recycle. Maybe you're one of the 85 percent of Americans who have reduced your energy usage. Seventy-six percent of Americans work to reduce water consumption and avoid environmentally harmful products, and more than ever we're conscious of what we buy and how it could impact the environment.

Other Easy Steps You Can Take

Recycle those items you can't put out on the curb. Local freecycling, bartering and other sharing groups help ensure broken and unwanted items get put to good use.

Grow your own food. It's the best way to ensure your food is grown with no pesticides or other unwanted chemicals. It's also a great way to teach your kids about the pleasures of digging in the soil and cultivating your own compost pile. Imagine what you and your kids will learn from the experience of growing even a small patch of your own food.

Build a few small solar panels. It's not difficult—with a small list of supplies, you can easily build a solar panel. You don't have to be an electrician, and you likely have friends who will be happy to help (just ask). You already know that your new solar panels will help defray your energy usage, so you don't have to feel so guilty about the energy you do use, but they will also save you money. Once you realize how easy and cost-effective it is, you'll wonder why you didn't build the panels years ago.

You Can Still Enjoy Your Life

After a hard day's work at the office and some time digging in your backyard garden, you may want to soak in your hot tub. Why not install solar panels to power your it? It's better for the environment and will reduce your monthly energy bill. Let all the day's worries soak away, and even enjoy your little piece of happy heaven at home with zero guilt.

Powering your hot tub with solar energy is a great step, but don't forget to check the filters regularly, too. Your hot tub will be more efficient, and it will also save you money on maintenance costs. You can buy filters for a hot tub at hottubworks.com or a similar online retailer.

Take these steps toward more sustainable living—you'll save money, be healthier and feel good about helping the environment, too.

Peggy Smith Peggy is a sustainability specialist from Arizona who writes about solar energy and green living.


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