Going Green: A Few Changes to Save Money and the Environment

Green Globe

Green Globe

By now, you have probably realized that “going green” is a hot topic. Countries, governments, businesses and individuals are rapidly adopting newer, more earth conscious habits and regulations. You may think that one green individual will never possibly make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Well, the more and more people who start going green, the better for the planet. Every little bit helps. So where do you start? Are there any ways of going green that are easier or more attainable than others? Of course! The following list describes some of the “low-hanging fruit” everyone can pick.

1) Save on energy costs and wasted energy. Keep your thermostat at 72 degrees F or higher in the summer, and at 68 degrees F or lower in the winter. If you get cold, simply put on more clothing. Turn your water heater to 120 degrees F. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. According to Energy Star, a compact fluorescent bulb uses about 75% less energy and lasts at least 6 times as long as regular incandescent bulbs. Finally, feel around drafty doors and windows for cold air coming into the house. Purchase some inexpensive caulk and seal the leaks.

2) Reduce, reuse, and recycle–in that order. It is always better to reduce your consumption of resources. Only purchase what you really need, buy in bulk, and avoid heavily packaged items. A great going green strategy is to only use reusable tote bags on your shopping trips. The EPA estimates about 380 billion plastic bags are consumed each year. Help decrease that alarming statistic by bringing reusable shopping bags with you, such as a Planet Earth Bag. Reuse as many things as you can. Re-purpose food cans as flowerpots or for your child’s art project. Use old clothing as cleaning rags. Use steel water bottles instead of plastic disposable bottles. Recycling is the last resort for an item. Find out what the recycling rules are in your town or city and abide by them. Also make sure any electronics are disposed of properly, as these items are usually not taken by local city recycling programs.

3) Walk, bicycle, or take public transportation as often as possible. Automobiles contribute massive quantities of pollutants into the air. Save money on gas and improve your health by using your body as a means of transportation. Public transit is often less expensive than gas, and is easier on the planet than everyone driving their own cars alone.

There are many different ways of going green. Some take more time and investment to adopt completely. Hopefully these few ideas will help you go green without much effort or cost.

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