With all the talk of “going green” these days, people can get very confused, very quickly. Becoming more eco-friendly is a trend that has been growing each year, and it seems to have hit a peak in 2008. With television shows on HGTV and specials at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, it’s apparent that this trend is finally becoming important in the public’s eye.

Ever since I heard the concept of “going green” I knew that it was going to be very important to our society as a whole. With the threats of global warming and a loss of natural resources, everyone is becoming more conscious of the environment and energy usage. The initial goal of “going green” was to conserve energy. There are things all of us can do in our own bathrooms and kitchens. It’s all about saving water. There are many tips and tricks we can use to save water and save money.

Recently I moved back into the northern Boston area and when I got my water bill, I realized I was spending too much money and wasting water. So I started researching the best ways to save water and be more energy efficient. Luckily, at the same time my employer was putting together a presentation on “going green” for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and I took it upon myself to get involved in this project as much as possible. I discovered some interesting ideas and efficient ways to save water.

The first tip I found seemed to be almost a no-brainer: A low-flow aerator for the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom. This device is easy to install, inexpensive, and it cuts down on water usage very quickly. Also, there is no real loss in water pressure. I’ve found that I actually enjoy using faucets with the low-flow aerator more so than the standard ones. The aerator provides a clear stream of water that isn’t loaded with bubbles and is very efficient. You can get one for about $3 and install it yourself very easily.

There are also a lot of “going green” tips for around the house. Among the more obvious ones are: Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth; fill the sink with water instead of running the water the whole time you’re doing dishes; and if you have a dishwasher, only use it for full loads. One tip I was doing without even realizing it: Instead of using your faucet to get drinking water, fill a pitcher with water and keep it in the refrigerator. That way you won’t waste water by running it until it gets cold. These are small things that we can do every day. They will very quickly become second nature. You can feel better about yourself for taking care of the environment, and your wallet will feel a little better, too.

I found some other very interesting tips that I had never imagined. When taking a shower, place a bucket in there with you to gather up the excess water. Use that bucket when it’s time to water your plants. Of course, not everyone will want to bring a bucket into the shower - but if you really want to save money and take care of the environment, just try it a few times.

These are easy things that all of us can do to help the environment and they will save us money, too. I’ve started adopting all of these techniques - aside from the bucket in the shower - and have noticed a reduction in my water bill. Now whenever I hear about “going green” I know that I’m doing my part, and I’m glad that I’ve started the process of creating a “green” home.