You’ve heard it before—limiting waste and reducing your carbon footprint is great for the planet. But did you know that it’s also great for your wallet? Much of what you can do to recycle, reduce and reuse costs significantly less than traditional norms. So you can live comfortably, save money and conserve resources for future generations all at once! Here are some tips to get you started.
Lights and Appliances
While it’s important that you’re able to cook, do the laundry and relax in front of a good movie, there are still ways to cut down on your energy consumption. Start with something simple like replacing your light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs and turning them off each time you leave a room. Next, try switching to cold water washes, which reduces your washing machine’s energy usage by up to 85 percent; plus, cold water also helps prevent color bleeding.
As you see you energy bill drop, you may be willing to try more ways to live greener and save money. A good way to do this is to set your thermostat two degrees cooler in the winter and two degrees warmer in the summer. If that’s too much, try setting it in such a way when you’ll be away from home for a few hours. Heating and cooling is a big source of energy usage; not to mention, those energy bills can be surprisingly pricey.
Making a conscious decision to eat at least one vegetarian meal per week goes a long way toward reducing your carbon footprint. Buying fresh produce and whole grains is often cheaper than buying meat as well. Plus, this dietary change is good for your health.
Paper plates and plastic utensils are great for parties, but using washable items on a regular basis cuts down on waste and the cost of purchasing paper goods. Similarly, carry a washable, reusable water bottle and/or mug to work rather than using Styrofoam cups from the break room.
Many neighborhoods have a recycling program for glass, plastic, paper and aluminum, making it easy to do your part to help the environment. If there’s no program, look up the nearest recycling center or drop-off that you can drive to and deposit bags of recycling. In addition, there are e-waste recycling centers for old electronics that will often pay you for the devices to keep harmful toxins out of landfills.
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