There are many ways for each of us to reduce our impact on the environment—and the majority are remarkably easy. Here, we highlight seven ways to go green. Your planet (and wallet) will thank you.
DESERT LANDSCAPING - A Desertscape (or xeriscape) uses efficient irrigation and low-water-use plants, which translates to less maintenance, lower water bills and a boost for property value. In Palm Springs, residents can cut outdoor water use by as much as 50% by opting to desertscape. Plus, succulents and cacti are totally on-trend.
GET SERIOUS ABOUT SAVING WATER - There are easy ways to reduce your water usage. Don’t run the tap when you brush your teeth or shave. Install a low-flow shower-head—per legislation passed back in 1992, all new showerheads must have a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute or lower; not only is this a water-saving method, it also cuts down on water bills and could save your family up to $45 a month. Fix leaky faucets—one drip every second adds up to five gallons of wasted water per day.
INSTALL SOLAR PANELS - It’s not just good housekeeping, it’s the law. Starting in 2020, solar panels will be a required feature on new houses in California. The new standard includes an exemption for houses that are often shaded from the sun, and also includes incentives for people to add a high-capacity battery to their home's electrical system, to store the sun's energy. And, fun fact—if your panels produce enough clean electricity, you can sell some back to the grid.
WALK, BIKE, CARPOOL OR TAKE TRANSIT - Reducing your car use could save you money on gas and maintenance and help reduce environmental impacts of all vehicles, from fuel consumption to greenhouse gas emissions.
COMMIT TO REUSABLE CONTAINERS - This means foregoing bottled water, bringing your coffee mug to your local cafe and bringing your own food containers when you’re getting takeout or think you’ll have restaurant leftovers.
SWAP DETERGENT FOR SOAP BERRIES - All-natural soap nuts are an affordable, sustainable cleaning product that can be used in place of chemical-rich detergent. In addition to side-stepping the packaging and processing detergent typically undergoes before it gets to the store shelf, the nuts (whose proper name is Sapindus mukorossi) can be reused up to six times before it's spent. They are naturally odorless, hypoallergenic and non-toxic.Throw them in your next laundry load or boil them down to make a liquid detergent.
START USING ESSENTIAL OILS - Make a shift away from more toxic chemical cleaners and sub in homemade essential oil mixtures. Use natural antibacterial oils like tea tree, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, orange, and patchouli. Just add a few drops to water and start cleaning.