Here are some simple “green tips” for every day living. When done regularly, they just become a way of life.
1. Skip the bottled water
- Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of plastic container waste.
- Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminium rather than plastic, with you when travelling or at work. This also applies to buying coffee.
2. Borrow instead of buying
- Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books. Download from bit torrent. Go paperless and wireless.
3. Less petrol means more money
- Shake those legs! Walk or bike to work. This saves on petrol, ERP and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.
- Consider telecommuting if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term.
4. Make your own cleaning supplies
- The big secret: you can make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products whenever you need them. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.
- Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention your indoor air quality. It’s fun!
5. Eat smart
- If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it’s even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.
- Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy.
6. Think before you buy
- Go online to find new or gently used second-hand products. Discover vintage. Whether you’ve just moved or are looking to redecorate, consider a service like yahoo classifieds or ebay to track down furniture, appliances, and other items cheaply or for free. This is especially true for baby’s toys and accessories.
- Check out garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday items.
7. Save energy to save money
- Use fans whenever possible; air conditioning units are huge energy eaters.
- Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
- Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Or, use a “smart” power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts “phantom” or “vampire” energy use.
- Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
- Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.
8. Buy smart
- Buy in bulk. Purchasing food from bulk bins can save money and packaging.
- Wear clothes that don’t need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.
- Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. You might pay more now, but you’ll be happy when you don’t have to replace items as frequently.
9. Save water to save money
- Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too. Take cold showers whenever possible; avoid baths.
- Install a low-flow showerhead. They don’t cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.
- Avoid using a dishwasher; soap plates without using the tap and then rinse sparingly.
- Wash your car as sparingly as possible; commercial carwashes have a tendency to waste large amounts of water though some do use recycled water.
10. Keep electronics out of the trash
- Keep your cell phones, computers, and other electronics as long as possible.
- Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. E-waste contains mercury and other toxics and is a growing environmental problem.
- Recycle your cell phone.
- What items can and can’t be recycled; lobby to have a recycling bin in your area.
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