There’s no doubt about it; going “green” is no longer just for the super wealthy elite who can afford to put solar panels on their summer homes. In fact, going green is actually a great money saver. And let’s face it, in this economy, who isn’t looking to save a dollar or two?
Even as a single human being, you can decrease production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by thousands of pounds each year. And with the following tips, broken down into the five major categories, you’ll be saving the environment all while saving your bank account.
1. Pass on paper towels and use old T-shirts as re-washable rags.
2. Recycle old athletic socks and use them as dusting mitts.
3. Replace the bulb in any light that is used for four or more hours a day with a compact, energy-saving fluorescent bulb.
4. In the winter, turn your thermostat down two degrees, and in the summer, turn it up two degrees.
5. Set your water heater so the maximum temperature is 50 degress celcius (120 degrees F).
6. Use low-flow water fixtures for your bathroom and kitchen areas.
7. All new appliances purchased should come with an Energy Star label.
8. Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load. Use the dishwasher instead of washing dishes in the sink. Today’s dishwashers use much less water than hand washing.
9. Unplug any electronic device when it is not in use, as even when they are powered off, any machine that remains plugged in is still transmitting costly electricity.
10. When you leave a room, make sure to turn off the light.
11. Always shut your computer down completely when you are no longer using it. Be sure to turn off your monitor and printer.
Food & Drink:
12. Buy in bulk to avoid excess packaging and costs.
13. Skip expensive one-use paper and plastic goods at get-togethers.
14. Park your car and go inside to order to avoid idling in a drive-thru.
15. Vow to bring your lunch from home at least one extra day a week to avoid high prices and excessive packaging.
Health & Beauty:
16. Hang your clothes outside to dry when weather permits.
17. Shop vintage. Check out consignment and thrift shops over mass-producing retailers.
18. Take short showers rather than water-guzzling baths.
19. Multi-task by brushing your teeth and/or shaving in the shower.
20. Turn off the water if brushing or shaving at the sink, instead of letting it run the whole time.
21. When driving, don’t accelerate or brake suddenly or rapidly; it causes high emissions and gas usage.
22. Check your tires monthly to ensure they are properly inflated. According to the EPA, properly inflated tires improve gas mileage by 3.3 percent.
23. Turn off the car instead of idling for lengthy periods of time.
24. Have your car washed at the carwash or dealership. Washing at home can allow toxins that are poisonous to aquatic life to run into storm drains.
Whether you are looking to help the environment or just your bank statement, working some of these tips into your day-to-day routine is sure to improve your quality of life. Pretty soon, not only will your life be full of the green stuff, so will your wallet.