10 Easy Ways to Live Greener and Not Break the Bank

1. Sign up: The easiest way to live green is by first signing up with your local Garbage company for the recycling service. Make sure and read the rules as to what can be recycled because some non-recyclable items put in the bin could cause the whole bin to be dumped into the landfill. For helpful guidelines click here.

2. Start a Bin: Keep a bin for recyclable items that aren’t so easy to recycle. Light bulbs, beer bottle caps, caps from other products all can be recycled. Wait until you have an amount worthy of sending away or dropping off at a store. Home Depot has a CFL Recycling Program.

3. Set Your Thermostat: Turn your thermostat down at night when you are sleeping, keeping it down for approximately 8 hours. As long as the temperature in the house has time to get from 72 degrees down to 65 degrees and then stay at 65 for a period of time, you’ll save energy and money.

4. Conserve Water: If you run water while you are shaving, washing or brushing your teeth, shut it off and only run it when you need it. If you are waiting for water to get hot, run the water into a bowl or pitcher to use later for watering plants.

5. Change a Light Bulb: If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.

6. Use a Power Strip: Plug your TV, DVD player, stereo, printer and the likes into power strips and when you leave a room turn off the power strip to save energy.

7. Support your Local Farmers: Typical grocery store produce travels nearly 1,500 miles before it ends up on your plate. All this traveling burns fossil fuels and results in carbon emissions. Buying from local farmers means you’re not only getting the freshest food possible, you’re saving energy.

8. Do Full Loads: The average American family of four washes about 540 loads of laundry a year, which consumes up to 21,000 gallons of water, and more than 150 loads of dishes, which uses about 1,500 gallons. Combining half-loads, choosing short cycles, and using cold or warm rather than hot water in the clothes washer racks up savings.

9. Adjust Fridge and Freezer Temp: Refrigerators eat up the most electricity in the house. Maximize effificiency by keeping the fridge at 37 degrees F and the freezer at 0 degrees F.

10. Stop Junk Mail: More than 100 million trees’ worth of bulk mail arrive in American mail boxes each year – that’s the equivalent of deforesting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. In a recent post I wrote about how to Stop Junk Mail and Help the Environment. This post will give you websites that can help you stop your unwanted mail.

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