These days it always seems like going green is something that you have to do. And because companies know that you feel this way, they are always coming out with expensive gadgets and plans to help lighten your wallet. However, here are some ways to help the environment while keeping your wallet closed.
- Wash clothes in cold water. Most of the energy used by a washing machine goes into heating the water.
- Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
- Keep your fridge and freezer away from hot appliances
- Choose appliances with the Energy Star label
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Use a smart power strip that will cut off “vampire” energy when the appliances are off
- Use a clothesline instead of a drying machine
- Cover pots when cooking, or use a pressure cooker. These can save up to 70% of the energy used in open pot cooking
- Use sunlight for lighting when the weather permits
- Turn off lights when you are not in the room
- Bike to work. It's good for the enviornment and your waistline.
- Take the roof rack off the car, this will improve your mileage
- Keep your car well maintained. Keeping your car in tune can improve efficiency by 9%
- Drive carefully; accelerating or braking excessively uses more gas, which costs both you and the planet.
- Keep tires inflated, properly inflated tires can increase your mileage by 2mpg
- Telecommute when possible, ask your boss about telecommuting once a week.
- Fly less, use websites or computer programs to meet with clients over the internet instead of traveling.
- Encourage friends or those in your office to reduce their carbon footprint
- Support your local farmers market, the food is not only fresher, it has less preservatives and support local business.
- Buy from local sellers to reduce the travel distance of your food (this and the farmers market are both cheaper than alternatives)
- Eat less meat, meat is more expensive than most food, and cows produce a lot more methane than corn or wheat.
- Take shorter showers, time your showers to see how much they are costing you. Cutting down on shower time by 5 minutes every day will save you a lot of water over the course of a month.
- Plant native plants in your garden. These often take less water to grow
- Never start a washing machine when it is only half full, do full loads.
- Bottled water is expensive, and also produces a lot of waste. Water filters will cost you much less then bottled water, with much less waste.
- Buy a reusable water bottle for the office or traveling to reduce the amoun of single use bottles going into landfills.
- Instead of buying book, borrow them from the library. You can save some green as well as some trees
- Find out what power tools your neighbors have, and use theirs instead of buying your own, and return the favor!
Don't throw electronics out
- Almost all electronics are recyclable in one way or another; all you have to do is find out where to send them. Check out our recycling guide for more information.
- Keep them as long as possible. It's true the new generation of computers seem to come out every two years or so, but that's no reason to buy a new one if your current one can do what you need.
- Keep your electronic waste to a minimum. E-waste may contain mercury or other toxins, as well as metals that will not decompose.