We all aspire to be more earth-conscious and evenironmentally friendly. Sometimes though, something as easy as shutting off the lights can be missed. These easy tips and suggestions can help you and your family can adopt a more earth-friendly lifestyle. Putting these tips into practice will help you do your part to maintain this great world we live in.
In the Kitchen
- Skip the Drive-Thru. Fast food meals contain more than 800 calories and their packaging takes up 15% of landfills.
- Stash leftovers in reusable containers to save on disposable baggies and plastic in the landfill. Glass containers work great.
- Become a Locovore. Conventional produce travels an average of 1,500 miles before reaching your home. Buying locally grown foods means you get more nutrient-dense fruits and veggies and you reduce carbon dioxide emissions because there’s less truck travel.
- Brew "certified" organic coffee. A USDA Certified Organic label means it was grown using sustainable standards.
- Not brewing at home? Take a travel cup to coffee shop; many offer discounts for reusable cups.
- BYOB. Bags, that is. Some retailers now pay you for every disposable bag you don't take.
- Plan ahead and route your errands to save gas and time. Take it one step further and carpool with a friend or neighbor to consolidate your errands.
- Pay bills online or set up automatic check paying from your bank account. This saves envelopes, not to mention postage and late fees.
- Walk a Mile. Walking a mile burns 100 calories and for each mile you don’t drive, you’ll prevent a pound of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere.
Green Your Ride (Driving isn't a green option at all, but if you must, these tips can help)
- Slow down. Driving 10mph above 60 is like adding nearly $.50 to the price of a gallon of gas, since higher speed equals more guzzling.
- Once a month, check the pressure of each of the tires; add air if needed. Doing this can improve mileage by about 3%.
- Replace air filters regularly. A new oxygen sensor can improve mileage by as much as 15%.
- Plug your TV, DVD player, computer and printer into a power strip so you can switch them all off to prevent phantom electrical draw.
- Switch bulbs. Energy Star-rated CFL bulbs generally use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than standard bulbs.
- Plant trees around the south and west sides of your house to save up to about $250 a year on cooling and heating.
- Install dimmer switches in the living and dining rooms and 3 bedrooms to dial down electricity fees about $37 a year.
- Use cold water to wash your clothes. Hot water requires more energy, so use it less often.
Clean Up Your Act
- Pocket up to $.25 for every laundry load you wash in cold water versus hot. Just 3 loads a week can save up to $40 a year.
- Choose concentrated cleaning products, which use 50-60% less packaging than traditional formulas while cleaning just as thoroughly.
- Buy refillable cleaning product bottles that can be refilled from larger jugs or concentrate. Over time, you'll buy and dispose of fewer containers.
- Using a microfiber cloth can take the place of 60 rolls of paper towels before it needs replacing.
Reuse and Recycle
- Take electronic devices to specific recycling depots. This prevents any toxic components from entering landfills.
- Donate clothing to charitable organizations to reduce the amount of clothing in landfills. Did you know the average American tosses about 70 pounds of clothing a year?
- Move beyond the “throw it out” mentality. Recycle plastic, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, cans, cardboard and other materials. Check local resources to find out where to take these items if curbside pick up is not available.
- Recycle your old holiday lights this fall. If you buy new lights, go for something more energy effecient such as LED lights.
Source: Good Housekeeping