Making Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
If you aren't already recycling, start. It's easy to get started and simple to maintain.
If you don't have a recycle container, all you have to do is call and one will be delivered to you. Most cities have a website that gives you a phone number to call and also lists the items acceptable for recycling to help make developing the habit a bit easier.
2. Fold your clean clothes immediately
Folding may not be a chore people rush to do, but try to fold your laundry while it is still warm from the dryer. This will help you avoid wrinkles, which will help you avoid using electricity, time and energy with an iron later.
3. Use cold water for laundry
When doing laundry, switch to cold water. Almost 90% of the energy used in the washing cycle goes to heating up the water. By switching to cold, you can save some energy. It might not make a huge difference on your wallet, especially if you're doing excessive laundry, but the savings will eventually come out in the wash.
4. Turn off water when brushing teeth
Why let the water run while brushing your teeth? A standard bathroom faucet uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. The American Dental Association claims that the average time spent brushing teeth is 46 seconds per day, which is an issue in itself. After the math is calculated in, by leaving the water on while you brush your teeth can waste around 1.8 gallons of water each time you brush.
5. Put on a sweater
When you find yourself feeling cold, grab a sweater and make some tea instead of turning up the heat. Also, try lowering your furnace a few degrees at night and get cozy under the comforters instead.
The reverse can be said for when it's warm inside your house. Shed some layers instead of cranking up the A/C, and you'll find you will help not only the environment but you'll help decrease your electric bill, as well.
6. Switch to low energy light bulbs
Invest in low energy light bulbs.
You can also install dimmer switches to control the intensity of the bulb and how much energy you use.
7. Plant a tree
If you live in a hotter climate, try planting a tree or shrub that shades your central air conditioner. This will help improve its efficiency by up to 10%.
8. Avoid the bags
While shopping, avoid excessive plastic bags by bringing your own reusable bags.
The same can be said for batteries, as well. Invest in rechargeable ones to decrease your carbon footprint.
9. Car pool
If you're going somewhere with friends or family, take one car to save on gas. If you live near coworkers, carpool to work. Not only will this help the environment, but it will also help decrease the money you spend on gas each month.
If you live really close to work or local hangouts, try walking instead of driving. You won't have to deal with parking or traffic, if you do. Plus, it's a great way to get in a little exercise in the day.
10. Reevaluate your lighting
At night, turn off lights you aren't using.
When you leave your house, turn off computers, radios, TVs, and any other electronic device.
While at home, consider not using as many lights. Turning off one or two lights you normally use can help decrease your energy use.
Also know that there are certain times of the day when energy use is more expensive due to demand. Typically "peak hours" are Monday thru Friday, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. By simply changing your routine to avoid using electricity during more expensive, high-demand times of the day, you'll help the environment as well as cut down your electric bill. It's a win, win.
This month, in honor of Mother Earth, make an effort to help our environment. The result just might help your pocket book, too. You also might find it's not that hard to help out the environment throughout the whole year.