National Earth Day may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue the celebration by taking steps to live a little greener every day. “Going green” doesn’t have to be a major event or even cost a lot of money. In fact, most earth-friendly habits can actually save you money. Here are five things you can do right now to live greener.
Ween yourself off the bottle – bottled water, that is. Did you know that it takes more than 17 million gallons of oil each year just to produce bottled water – enough to fuel one million cars for an entire year. Instead, invest in a water filter for your kitchen tap and a reusable/refillable water bottle for work, school and the gym.
Go paper…less. Reduce the amount of paper you send and receive by enrolling in e-billing and e-payment plans. Most services – from credit cards to utilities – offer an electronic or email billing option, and most banks offer their customers free electronic bill pay service.
Become a locavore. Buying locally-grown meats and produce and eating at restaurants that source locally not only helps support the regional economy but also consumes 17 times less fossil fuels than a diet consisting of foods shipped across the country.
Power down and unplug your devices when not in use. In age when the average household has 25 or more devices that use standby power – devices that use continual electricity – controlling that power output is critical. In fact, as much as 10 percent of your electric bill can be the result of this phantom power. Unplugging and plugging in laptops, computers, televisions and mobile devices can save money – and keep you from using unnecessary power.
Reduce. Reuse. Upcycle! Most objects used in everyday living can have a second life through upcycling. Vegetable cans and pasta containers double as pencil and office supply holders. Pill bottles make great dried spice containers, and worn car or bicycle tires can find new life as backyard flower planters.