Green isn’t just for St. Patrick’s Day

            You can do more than wear green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. You can “go” green—all through your home.

            The best way to start is simply to waste less. Here are four ways to do that:

            Save energy. Use the energy you need—wisely, so you don’t waste any. It’s simple to conserve energy at home. Some examples: Turn off lights and electronics when they’re not in use; lower the heat at night during the winter or raise it during the summer. Replace old, incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency LEDs.

            Conserve water. A few conservation strategies: Take shorter showers. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full. Invest in water-efficient toilets and low-flow faucets and showerheads. Fix leaks immediately.

            Recycle electronics. When you replace your computer, printer or other electronics, don’t throw the old ones in the trash; they’ll wind up in a landfill. Instead, donate or recycle them. Manufacturers and retailers often have recycling programs, and some charities accept used electronics. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that recycling 1 million laptops saves enough energy to power 3,500 U.S. homes for a year.

            Shop locally. Like your electric utility, many nearby markets and shops are locally owned and operated. Local merchants often rely on local farmers, craftspeople and labor to supply them with what they sell to you. That means their goods require less long-distance transportation, which has a positive impact on the environment.