While you may not be a hardcore environmentalist like that neighbor with the solar panels on his roof, there are simple changes you can make to support the environment in your own way. Taking care of our planet is a must if we want future generations to thrive and grow. And if that’s not a big enough motivator, going green can also save you money! Here’s how:
Consume Less Energy
The less energy you use, the less you pay each month. And while watching movies and doing laundry are part of your life, there are easy ways to cut back on energy usage without upending your daily routine. Try things like turning off all lights when you leave the room, even if only for a few minutes, and unplugging appliances when you’re finished using them to prevent phantom energy use. Set your thermostat two degrees cooler in the winter and two degrees warmer in the summer, particularly while you’re away. And about 85 percent of a washing machine’s energy consumption goes toward heating water, so wash your clothes on the cold cycle (bonus: cold water also prevents colored clothes from bleeding).
Plan your meals ahead of time and make a grocery list to take to the store. As often as possible, choose locally raised/grown organic meat, dairy, eggs and produce. Not only does this keep money in the local economy, but buying unprocessed foods that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides is much healthier for consumption. Additionally, preparing at least one vegetarian meal per week reduces both your carbon footprint and grocery bill.
Recycling and Reusing
While you may already recycle glass, paper, plastics and aluminum, you can do more to reduce waste. Use washable, reusable water bottles and mugs for work rather than going through plastic water bottles or Styrofoam cups. Similarly, forgo the paper plates and plastic utensils while at home in favor of washable dishes. And when you get that next cell phone upgrade, take your old electronic devices to an e-waste recycling center to keep harmful toxins out of landfills.
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