Granted, adopting eco-friendly practices is rising in popularity by millions of people around the United States, but we can all do more to better our decaying environment.
Contrary to what many may believe, incorporating green savvy practices into your lifestyle does not have to be complicated or expensive, as there are a variety of simple ways to increase your efforts.
Going Green At Home
- Turn off and unplug appliances and electronic equipment when they are not being used. An easy solution to turn off everything at once is to plug all nearby equipment into a power strip.
- Switch all of the light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs).
- Use alternative sources of power such as solar energy.
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or in between rinsing dishes.
- Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot, and line dry clothes.
- Collect rainwater to use for watering plants.
- Set up a recycling area with separate bins for paper, plastic, metal, and food items to use as compost in your garden.
- Eat one meatless meal every week.
- Pay bills online to eliminate so much paper waste.
- Repurpose items, such as reusing egg cartons for painting, or turning worn t-shirts into play pants for your children.
- Use cloth rags for cleaning instead of paper towels.
- Turn down the thermostats just a few degrees lower in the winter and turn it up a few degrees higher in the summer to save energy and cost.
- Limit showers to 5 minutes.
- Donate and recycle unused items.
- Buy rechargeable batteries. (Only leave rechargeables plugged in until they are fully charged, and you will also increase their effective life span. The same is true with cell phone batteries.)
- Be creative when wrapping presents such as using newspaper, old maps, and household materials to decorate it.
- Buy used and recycled items.
- Buy food in bulk to save money and decrease the amount of packaging.
Going Green At the Office
- Put your computer into the sleep mode when you will be away from it for at least 20 minutes.
- Shut down and unplug electronics during off hours.
- Print on both sides of the paper by using your printer’s double-side print option.
- Switch to digital documents and only print when necessary.
- Buy recycled office supplies when you can. Some examples of recyclable office supplies include paper, fax toners, and plastic cups for the water cooler.
- Place a recycling box under your desk for paper and other items.
- Carpool with co-workers who live in close proximity to you.
- Try to telecommute if you live far from the office.
Going Green While on the Go
- Walk or bike to work or to run errands to save on gas and parking costs. This also improves your health.
- Take your own travel cup when getting your morning coffee. (Some places also give you a discount for bringing your own cup.)
- Bring your own reusable bags when shopping. (Some retailers offer a discount for every disposable bag you do not use.)
- Combine errands into fewer trips to save on gas and reduce the amount of car pollution.
- Do not drive over 60 miles per hour, as driving 10 miles per hour above 60 adds almost 50 cents to the price of gas.
- Inflate your tires to help your car use less gas.
- Support your local economy and buy items from local retailers.
- Go to library to check out books and movies instead of buying them.
By following this green checklist, you can easily assimilate eco-friendly practices into your daily routines, and help to reduce your carbon footprint.
Change begins and ends with a single decision to take something seriously, dedication to the decision will keep you on the right path, and habits will form as a result. So switch off that light you’re not using, combine those errands, and buy in bulk when shopping for supplies!
Our guest contributor, Joel Arnold, writes for Inkpal.com while traveling around the world studying culture, economics, and most anything that helps paint a better picture of the world we live in. His passions in writing include global economics, green technology, writing to raise awareness, and sharing his personal experiences while traveling.