PHOENIX - Earth Day is this Friday and many people are thinking of ways to improve their lives and the planet.
So what's the big secret to living green? Stop recycling. Over at the Urban Farm in Phoenix, that is what Greg Peterson is preaching.
Peterson says recycling is the lazy way to be green. He says people allow themselves to buy or use things because they think, 'I'll just recycle it.' He says that there is another way. We should first look to reducing and reusing, THEN recycling.
Peterson also believes that if we reduce and reuse enough, not only will we save money, but we won't need to recycle. So he made a list of 15 ways you can start living green. He suggests conquering one at time. When you feel comfortable add more to your lifestyle until you're completely green.
1. Turn off the lights in your house when you're not using them.
2. Turn on fans to help cool the air before you head straight for the A/C.
3. Unplug vampires. Vampires are anything that sucks electricity while you're not using it. Cell phone plugs are an example. If you're not charging your phone, unplug the cord.
4. Use stainless steel water bottles to refill your water. By doing this you won't need to buy plastic water bottles.
5. Buy a glass straw and take it with you to restaurants. Peterson says plastic straws just get left in a landfill and they are small, but add up.
6. Take your own take-out containers to a restaurant. This will also help if you're dieting. Put half your meal into your container as soon as it comes.
7. Composting. Take your kitchen scrapes and add them to your soil.
8. Get a solar oven. Peterson says it works like a crock pot. Simply put it in the sun, add your fixings in the morning and when you come home from work, you have dinner.
9. Plant a fruit tree. He says they're great because you plant them once and they make food for years or even decades.
10. Plant a garden.
11. & 12. Use rain water and grey water (Water from the sink, shower, other faucets) to water your garden.
13. Raise your own chickens. This is own of Greg's favorites because they are easy to raise and you never have to buy eggs again.
14. & 15. These will cost you upfront, but save you money in the long run. Use solar panels. Also, when buying a new car, think hybrid.
For more information you can head to Greg's website at TheUrbanFarm.org .