1. Do Not Buy Small Trash Bags:
If you get plastic bags when you go grocery shopping don’t throw them away when you get home. Store them somewhere and reuse them as small trash bags around your home. Another alternative to using trash bags around your home would be to simply go without trash can linings and clean the trash cans out after you empty them. This would not require trash bags. Then, when you go to the grocery store use reusable tote bags.
2. Avoid Styrofoam:
Styrofoam takes a long time to biodegrade and has been fading out in the restaurant industry because it is so bad for the environment.
For some reason Styrofoam still persists in some places and is actually used for coffee cups and other food containers. Just say no. Ban places that use Styrofoam.
3. Think Reusable:
Using something once and throwing it away on a daily basis can add up quickly in a landfill. If you drink coffee everyday invest in a reusable coffee mug and use it. When you go to your favorite coffee shop you can just ask the barista to put your coffee in your reusable mug instead of a paper cup. If you use bottled water consider buying a reusable water bottle or two for your home and the gym instead of throwing plastic bottles away every time you have some water.
4. Use Less Paper:
We often use paper without even thinking about it even though our computers can store lots of information without the use of paper. Save your emails. Sign up for email billing instead of paper billing. Read the newspaper and your favorite magazines online. When you need to print something out change the settings so you have printed on both sides of paper. When you do use paper use only recycled paper.
5. Replace Your Light Bulbs:
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs. You can even save money by doing this! Buy a duller bulb brightness such as 40 watt or less to save even more energy and money.
6. Donate, Donate, Donate!
Nearly everything you throw away can be donated: furniture, clothing, baby items, televisions, digital products, and more. Salvation Army, Goodwill and freecycle.org can take your unwanted items for you instead of letting them fill up landfills.
7. Programmable Lights and Heat:
Save energy and money by using programmable lighting and heat. Programmable lights use a motion sensor. You might have experienced these in public restrooms. The lights come on when you enter and turn off when you leave. Programmable heat is pretty convenient, too. You can program it to your schedule and liking. When you are not home you can set it low and set it to come on and heat up your home for you about an hour before you arrive. You can also set it lower as you sleep and have it start heating up about an hour before you get up.
8. Unplug Your Appliances:
There is no need to have anything plugged in when you are not using it. Anything that uses electricity (such as a coffee maker with a clock) uses up energy all day and night, even if you only use it once a day. Unplug everything until you need to use it. Let others know that you will be doing this and ask them to unplug the appliance after using it.
9. Dishwasher and Laundry Sense:
Only turn on the dishwasher when it is full. Same with your laundry – wait until you have a full load to do and use colder temperatures.
10. Water Fixes:
Showers use less water than baths do, so shower more and bathe less. If you have any leaking faucets get them fixed. Use water only when you absolutely need to.
As you can see, these easy everyday fixes to being more environmentally friendly will help you save money as well! It’s a win-win for your wallet and the planet