I’ve found as of late the best way to green my life and home is through research. I relate it to going to the doctors and getting a bad prognosis. If you don’t like what you hear do you just accept it or do you get a second opinion or see a specialist?

I have read about and used several different “green” products and ideas until I found what was the best and greenest fit for me. I talked to people that were educated in the field of “green” and who I would consider specialist. I continue to do that in my everyday life. Education is the key to knowledge and that applies to greening your life.

The latest problem at home was that our 1 year old washer was leaving grease stains on our clothes and our dryer was melting them. We called a repair man, the store where we purchased it, and researched the problem on line. All of the above said that the washer had a build up of fabric softener, which we don’t use, or our transmission was leaking. The dryer either had a build up of lint or the thermostat was broke. Well it wasn’t build up of fabric softener or lint. Not only did I not want to spend the extra money on new appliances I was mad at what a waste it was. The machines were practically new, should they last longer? If I had to throw my appliances out so quickly what was the rest of the world doing?

I went to our local appliance store to talk to someone about potentially purchasing new appliances. The man was very knowledgeable and even gave us his credentials so we didn’t think he was duping us. After showing us some of the energy efficient appliances we could purchase I began to discuss our current problem. Instead of being a typical salesman he wanted to hear more about the problem and began asking questions. I told the gentleman about our problems with the appliances and he had quick and easy solutions to both.

He informed me that even though I am using eco friendly laundry detergent that the majority of detergent doesn’t clean properly unless it is used in 65 degree water or warmer. Because I am doing my clothes in cold water the detergent can begin to build up in my agitator like fabric softener would. He suggested I go home, take off the agitator, if possible (wasn’t possible) and poor boiling water down the agitator several times to clean it out. Well, that in fact was the problem. I saved money and didn’t have to toss my perfectly usable machine in the landfill or recycle center.

The dryer was another thing. He asked me if we were natural gas or propane. Propane I informed him, he said he think he knows the problem. He asked if I had purchased a conversion kit to transition my dryer from natural gas to propane. All gas dryers are meant to be used with natural gas. Call me crazy but I didn’t know that and the salesman never told me. I am the handyman around the house so my husband had no idea either. Well once again, problem solved.

Moral of the story: research, research and research. Always ask question and ask them from people who know what they are talking about!  It may take you days, or even weeks to get the right answer but in the long run you will be saving the environment and your pocket book.

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Haley is an avid fitness guru, mother, police officer and officer of the court. Haley and her family are working to go green with the help of her sister, Green and Clean Mom.