Here are some good ways to make positive impressions on, not only the planet, but our pockets as well:
- ELECTRICITY: If you're not using it, or if it doesn't HAVE to be on, like the refrigerator or a clock, unplug all electrical items. Leaving the toaster or the microwave plugged in is bad - the combination of things unnecessarily plugged in contributes to about a third of your electricity bill. Think how much money you would save if you just took the time to connect things only when you need them!
- PAPER: Leave the ATM and gas receipts there! If we all did that, we could circle the globe at least 5 times with that which we saved! Jot the amount down in your checkbook and be done with it.
- WATER: Drink tap water. First of all, water is more strictly regulated than bottled water. The fad is over. Evian out, the planet in! Yes, I realize not drinking bottled water could affect thousands of people's jobs, but it could also save us $8 billion a year! Not to mention, all of the plastic associated with it - 60 million bottles are tossed in the trash every year.
- TEMPERATURE: If everyone were to set their air-conditioner or heater to one degree higher/lower, the savings per month would be about $100 - this is around $10 billion a year savings in the cost of energy.
- LAUNDRY: Always run a complete load. Never wash a half load or one item. Whenever possible, let your things dry naturally. Air dry all lingerie and never put a comforter or bedspread into the dryer!
- RECYCLED GOODS: Whenever you can, use recycled goods - paper, plastics, rubber items. And always recycle. Yes, it's a pain in the neck to separate your everyday waste, but eventually the effort will pay off for us all.
- FUEL: Did you know that every additional 10 pounds of luggage you check in at the airport amounts to around 350 million gallons of jet fuel a year? That much fuel could keep a 747 flying for more than 10 years! Pack light, people!
- ENTERTAINMENT: Namely, music. Can you believe that there are more than 45 million CDs and DVDs dumped in landfills each MONTH? I know most won't like this, but, download your music (and software and movies) whenever you can. A typical CD costs around $15; usually you can get the same for about $10 online. (But, be sure to PAY- don't try to pirate it or get "bootleg" media.
- Brush your teeth in the shower.
- Eat leftovers.
- Reuse newspaper for packing, wrapping, cleaning (in place of paper towels)
- Write on the back of the paper too.
- Keep things polished and dirt and dust free.
- Find uses for paper AND plastic grocery bags (wastebasket liners, lunch bags)
- Go to the doctor and the dentist regularly - you may be able to prevent something.
- Reuse medicine bottles (store lotion, bath oil, paper clips, tacks, nails, etc.)
Do you have some tips to help make our world "greener?"
Please let us all know here!