Happy Earth Day!
I’m a huge tree hugger, so it is a natural that I share a few tips I’ve picked up over the years (and one I have not tried yet) on (the night before) Earth Day. Here are some very easy, very practical ways to help take better care of our earth and save you some money!
#1. Recycle. I learned the importance of recycling in 7th grade (i.e. a very long time ago). Honestly, this is a no-brainer. No one has any excuse not to do it! If you do not have curbside pickup, here’s a list of recycling centers in the US: http://wecarerecycle.com/. Also, don’t forget that most large recycling centers will take things like old cell phones, computers and other electronics. Do not throw them out!
#2. Turn down the temperature of your washing machine. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to wash your clothes in hot water. You’ll instantly save energy by choosing medium, or better yet, cold. I wash my whites in medium heat and my darks in cold, which also helps maintain the clothes’ color.
#3. Do not run the water while brushing your teeth. This also seems so simple to me, but I still struggle to get my husband to turn the water off! It will save you water, which saves you money.
#4. Turn the thermostat down. This is another great energy / money saver! It was a little hard for me at first to adjust, but I have no problem throwing an extra layer of clothes on in the winter if I’m a little cold. And honestly, my home does not need to be a refrigerator in the summer. 😉 Just a couple of degrees down in the winter and up in the summer is all you need to have your heating/cooling system not work so hard.
#5. Use reusable bags. There is no excuse not to do this. Buy a few reusable bags and reuse, reuse, reuse! Fewer disposable bags will end up in landfills!
#6. Eat less meat. I constantly try to have at least one ‘meat free’ day a week. I recently went two weeks without meat and I honestly did not miss it. I know that it is generally easier to get meals with meat in them than without, but you’ll help the earth and you’ll help your body by eating less meat. When you do choose meat, try to purchase organic, free-range and most importantly, local. The less the meat has to travel to get to the grocery store, the better it is for the earth.
#7. Live closer to work. Yes, I know this is probably not something you can change overnight, but the price of gas alone might probably make you consider a shorter commute. Less gas = more money in your pocket…and a healthier earth.
#8. Buy energy efficient appliances. This, like #7, is not something most of us can do immediately, but when you do, you’ll not only save money on your energy expenses, but you’ll also get a nice tax credit!
#9. Turn off the lights! If you leave a room, turn off the lights. You know you heard this as a kid. Don’t forget to do it now.
#10. Unplug unused chargers. Did you know that plugged in chargers are still using energy, even if your iPod / iPhone / laptop / camera / etc. are not plugged in?!
Bonus / #11. Compost. I have not tried this yet, but since this will be our first full summer in our new home, I just might! Here’s a great how-to guide on making your first compost bin and the benefits of it: http://simplemom.net/how-to-make-a-compost-bin/.
Please let me know your favorite tips!