As a whole, our society has become very environmentally friendly, but what are you doing as an individual to help reduce your carbon footprint?

Think back one, five, and ten years ago.  Do you see how far we have come since the year 2000?   Being green 10 years ago simply meant that you separated your recyclables from your trash, and turned the water off when brushing your teeth. Did you still leave the light on when leaving a room, or were you the person that would leave the television on for the dog, when you would be out of the house all day…?

Now think back to 2005.  Feeling a little bit greener?  Most of us, at the very least, were aware of the green movement.  Did you remember making the switch to the new curly-fry LED light bulbs, or cut back on how much traveling you did in that gas guzzling SUV, or were you even one of the first to drive a new Hybrid vehicle?  Probably 2 out of the 3, but that’s a start!

Now think back to 2009.  You know you are definitely greener now than in 2005, but why?  What is it that you are doing differently today, that you weren’t doing 5 years ago?  Maybe you are doing little things like using canvas shopping bags, buying products that are made of recycled materials, or only purchasing foods from local farmers.  Or is it possible, that the brands you are using are doing the green work for you?  Are you becoming more environmentally friendly without putting in any extra effort?  If this is true, it’s okay!! But if you are going above and beyond to become a green samaritan that’s superb!! However, there are still steps that we can ALL take in our everyday lives that will reduce our carbon foot print significantly.  And I promise they will not put a big burden on your shoulders, some might even make your life easier!!

1.  If you do not already, Recycle the Basics!!  Paper, aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, all are recyclable and it’s as easy as keeping a separate bin for your recyclable products right next to your trash bin.

2.  Conserve Gasoline!!  Good for the environment, good for the wallet!!  Carpool with a coworker every other day, or at least try to walk to lunch from the office.

3.  Change your furnace filters regularly!! You would be surprised how much energy you can save by switching your filters out every 45 days. A more efficient furnace, means lower utility bills!!

4.  Do you have outdoor lighting?  Then set timers!!  Timers will shut lights off automatically at day break.  I am sure you NEVER accidentally leave a porch light on, but just in case…

5.  Help out with local and national organizations like and the National Arbor Day Foundation.  Promote preservation and growth!!

6.  Go Paperless!!  Read the news or pay your bills online!!  Paper bills sent through the mail consume millions of trees each year, and reading the news online makes tip #1 even easier for you!!

7.  Spread the Word!!  Awareness is really the most important tip of all.  Like a wildfire, going green will spread well beyond being a trend or lifestyle, we can make it an inherited way of life for everyone!!  Start by leaving your own tips in the comment section below!!

8. Build a Heartland Home!!!  Every new home built by Heartland Homes is Energy Star Certified!! We call them our Heartland Healthy Homes, and we have very high standards of the quality name brands that we use inside our houses.  Not only are there companies green, but there products are as well.  Increasing the air quality in your home and saving you money on utility bills, all while reducing your carbon footprint.

About Kevin Oakley

Kevin Oakley has been involved in real estate for over 10 years and is passionate about the important role it plays in people’s lives. He understands that a home is not just the most expensive purchase of someone’s life, but that it also is where life happens and memories are made. He also enjoys all aspects of design as well as photography. Kevin currently serves as Vice President for Heartland Homes.