Happy Earth Day! Earth Day is one of my favorite days because I am able to witness more being done for the earth than any other day. But wouldn’t it be great if everyone treated every day like Earth Day? Today is a great day to set some new goals for being more environmentally friendly.
Here are 10 ways you can start living greener today.
- Ditch the paper towels. Every day in the United States, we use over 3,000 tons of paper towels! Replacing your paper towels with rags will save a lot of waste and is a very simple change.
- Use a reusable water bottle. The average American uses over 150 disposable water bottles in a year and recycles less than 40. Plastic water bottles can also leach harmful chemicals. Choose glass or stainless steel bottles instead. My favorites are Klean Kanteen and Lifefactory.
- Use reusable shopping bags. About 1 million plastic bags are used every minute! Reusable bags not only save the environment, they save you from ripped bags and groceries going everywhere. They can also save you some money! Many grocery stores now offer discounts for bringing your own bags.
- Be a smart grocery shopper. Food waste is a big problem. Every year, Americans waste 33 million tons of food. This not only causes issues in our landfills but means more food needs to be produced. It’s also just like throwing your money away. Planning your shopping trips, sticking to your list, and meal planning are a few ways to prevent food waste. Check back soon for a blog post all about preventing food waste.
- Drive less. Plan your trips, bike, walk, or use public transportation. Even hybrids and electric cars have an impact on our planet, so we all need to drive less. The weather is finally becoming more favorable for walking and biking, so dig out your walking shoes or dust off your bike.
- Choose recycled paper products. When buying paper products look for recycled options. Buying recycled not only saves trees, it also helps encourage companies to continue producing recycled products.
- Eat local. Food at your grocery store traveled 1,300 miles on average. A lot of energy is used to transport food. Check out your local farmer’s markets, coops and even your grocery stores may carry some local products. Even better, grow your own!
- Use energy efficient light bulbs. When your light bulbs burn out replace them with CFLs or LEDs. Both use far less energy and last longer. Just remember to properly dispose of your CFLs as they contain a small amount of mercury. If you are worried about the mercury (only accessible if the bulb breaks) use LEDs. The bulbs cost more initially but you will save on your energy bill and because of how long they last.
- Stop vampire energy. Vampire energy is the energy your electronics use while they are turned off. Turn off your lights, anything that is turned off but still lights up is using energy. Plugging these items into power strips and turning them off when not in use will stop the vampire energy. This tip will save you money on your electric bill!
- Buy less stuff! Some purchases, like a reusable bottle and reusable shopping bags, can help reduce waste but don’t get carried away. The very best thing you can do for the environment is to not buy new products. Ask yourself if you really need something before you buy it and when you can buy used.
Share your favorite tips in the comments below or join the conversation on the Retro Housewife Goes Green Facebook page.
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