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Green Tips for Saving Water We all know water in Cyprus is crucial – Here are some simple ways to reduce your water footprint & save money by using your water wisely!
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth or shave – This can save up to 6 liters of water per minute.
- Always use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher – This cuts out unnecessary washes in between and will avoid wasting of water.
- Fix a dripping tap – Make sure to check your plumbing for any leaks. Unknown leaks in your house or apartment can waste thousands of liters of water per year.
- Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator – While it may be faster to soak your frozen food in water, this isn’t necessary and results in wasting water. Instead, plan ahead and defrost your food overnight in the fridge.
- Shower vs bath – Skip the bath and take a shower instead! Taking a shower uses roughly one third of the amount of water used in taking a bath.
- Shower smart – Instead of letting the water run the entire time you’re showering, turn it off when you lather your body. Cutting down your shower time by just two minutes can save 37.9 liters of water.
- Use cold water instead of warm water – Because it takes water to create energy, and energy is needed to heat up your water, by choosing to wash your clothes in cold water, you’ll save water and energy! Plus, using cold water prevents stains from setting and colors from bleeding. Triple win!
- Replace your washing machine with a high-efficiency washer – By replacing your washer you can cut up to 170 liters of water per load. Not only do high-efficiency washers use less water, they also get your clothes cleaner!
- Mulch your garden – Mulch reduces evaporation and ensures that your plants get the full benefit of rainwater and your watering.
- Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket – Every time you flush small bits of trash, 18 to 26 liters of water is wasted.
- Drink more water! – Soda, juices, wine, you name it. All of these beverages take water to produce (growing the fruits & sugar, helping to power the factory where they were made). Instead of drinking that soft drink, opt for plain water! The health advantages are in your favor as well as the Earth’s.
Green Food Tips
- Eat and buy local – Did you know that it takes up to 6 liters of water to produce 3.5 liters of gasoline? If your food, clothing, or other goods had to travel a long distance to get to you, it means a lot of water was used in order to do so.
- Organizing your food – If you organize your fridge and pantry, you can draw attention to what items will be going bad first, that way you can make sure to use them before the expiry date hits.
- Planning Ahead – Try to plan out beforehand what meals you’d like to eat during the week. Make a shopping list, and buy only the ingredients you’ll need for those meals. Going to the supermarket with your list will prevent you from buying more food than you need.
- Don’t toss coffee grounds – Cyprus is a big coffee drinking country, a majority of people living in Cyprus generate a lot of coffee grounds every day. Instead of throwing these grounds away, try using them as a fertilizer for plants. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are nutrients that plants crave. Your plants will thank you!
- Look for some new recipes – There are tons of amazing recipe websites out there that allow you to search by ingredient. Check what food you already have at home and find out delicious new ways to cook those items. You’ll find some great smoothie recipes for those leftover fruits, or a delicious soup recipe you can make from your leftover vegetables.
- Get Creative – If you’re going to make something with blue cheese one night, make sure you have another recipe that week that also requires it. That way you don’t end up with half a container of blue cheese sitting in your fridge until it goes bad and eventually has to be thrown away.
- Open your fridge before you go to the store – You may have forgotten that you already have some vegetables you were planning to buy to use for dinner. Take 30 seconds to have a quick look at what you already have so you don’t end up buying the same items.
- Research what the best ways to store certain foods – Many people are unsure how to store fruits and vegetables, which can lead to premature ripening and, eventually, rotten produce. However, if you store your food properly, they will end up lasting longer. For instance, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, and onions should never be refrigerated. These items should be kept at room temperature. And your asparagus, they will last a lot longer if you keep them standing upright in a little bit of water.
- Take your food home – If you go out to eat and didn’t manage to eat all of your meal, ask your waiter to put pack it for you. If you leave your uneaten food at a restaurant, they will just end up throwing it away. You may as well take it home with you so you can eat it later.
- Donate what you don’t want – No longer interested in all those kidney beans you bought on sale two months ago? Donate them to an organization that will be able to put them to good use.
- Buy only what you need & don’t go shopping on an empty stomach – Shopping on an empty stomach can lead to a lot of unnecessary impulse buying, which ends up leaving you with more food than you need.
- Make sure that the temperature of your fridge is set correctly – This doesn’t mean make sure that your fridge is cold. Even a fridge that’s too cold can cause certain foods to go bad faster than they should. This includes milk, cooked meat, and greens.
- Storing your food – If you know you won’t use something in the next few days, and it can be frozen, put it in the freezer until your ready to cook with it. Also, make sure you have a good set of reusable, air-tight containers to store your leftovers in so they stay nice and fresh.
- Bring your own lunch – This has a few benefits, when you take your own lunch to school or work, you not only save money and use your leftover food from the previous day, but it also can be a lot healthier than the food you would end up ordering outside.
- Be generous – If you leave town but still have good food in your kitchen, check with your neighbors if they need anything. Most likely they’ll be more than happy to take a couple of ripe tomatoes or those fresh herbs off your hands.
- Create an at-home spa – You can save money and avoid harmful chemicals found in skincare products by creating your own scrub or mask at home using your extra produce. This can be done using all sorts of different types of food – Such as honey, avocado, olive oil, sugar, cucumber, used tea bags, tomatoes, coffee grounds, apple cider vinegar, and oatmeal, just to name a few.
- Invite some friends or family over – Even though we try, sometimes we do end up buying more food than we think we need. If that happens and you think that the food will end up going bad before you’re able to enjoy it, call your friends or family over for a nice home-cooked meal.
- Preserve it and enjoy later – There are many ways you can preserve your food. You can pickle, can, smoke, salt, vacuum-pack, jam, or dry out your fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats.
- Learn how to compost – Composting is the ultimate way to reuse and recycle. Read about how to properly compost your scraps – Your flower beds and vegetable garden will thank you!
Green Beach Tips:
- Lave the shells on the beach – Everyone loves to stroll along the beach, collecting pretty seashells as mementos of a wonderful trip. But did you know that seashells are an important part of coastal ecosystems? Researchers have discovered that the removal of shells from beaches could damage ecosystems and endanger organisms that rely on shells for their survival. So the next time you crave to take a shell home with you from the beach, you may want to think twice as you can be altering the seaside environment.
- Bring a stainless steel bottle with you for your water – Not only is it better for your health, but by purchasing a reusable stainless steel water bottle, you can drastically cut your plastic usage.
- Bring a stainless steel straw – Plastic straws are actually one of the top 10 items picked up at beach clean-ups. As a matter of fact, over 500,000,000 plastic straws are produced every day, and unfortunately, a vast majority of these straws end up in our waters, contributing to millions of tons of trash. Think about it, we use straws for around 20 minutes before we toss them away, 20 minutes is an astonishingly quick lifespan for an item that will be on the planet forever (as plastic will never completely biodegrade).
Click here to buy your own set of reusable stainless steel straws.
- Take what you came with as well as anything you may have purchased while at the beach – Beach toys, food wrappers, flip flops, everything! When one person after another forgets to take something home with them, this eventually adds up to a lot of unnecessary litter.
- Dispose of your rubbish properly – If there is no trash or recycling bin in sight, take your trash home with you so you can properly dispose of the item.
- Don’t throw your trash in an overflowing trash bin – Going green is all about setting positive examples. If one person throws there trash in an overflowing bin, another person is more likely to do the same. This trash will eventually make its way into our waters and serious effects on ecosystems.
- Cigarette butts don’t belong in the sand – If you smoke, don’t throw your cigarette butts in the sand. Ingestion of cigarette filters is a threat to wildlife. Cigarette butts are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, which can take up to 10 years to decompose. These harmful plastic pieces mixed with toxic chemicals have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, and many other marine creatures that mistake them as food. And let’s not forget about the children! Children are curious, they find cigarette butts in the sand and put them in their mouths. Set a good example by not smoking at all, or at least throw your toxic butts away accordingly.