The catchphrase “Going Green” is everywhere these days and with good reason. With over 7 billion people on Earth, we need to start focusing on what we can do to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy a healthy, thriving planet.
In addition to simply trying to do the right thing, there are many ways to save money by being more environmentally conscious. The Worldwide Institute published a list of simple things you can do today to help reduce your environmental impact, save money, and live a happier, healthier life a few years ago that we believe are still relevant today.
- There is little excuse these days. Most local municipalities offer some type of pick-up or drop off service.
- Check for specific items including plastics, paper, glass, aluminum at the minimum.
- Keep electronics out of the trash as well, such as cell phones, computers, and other E-waste. These products contain mercury and other toxins which are a growing environmental danger. Donate them or find a recycling center.
Eat and drink smarter
- Buy local, organic meat, eggs, dairy and produce. Visit your local farmers’ markets.
- Eat “low” on the food chain so as to not deplete resources. Seafood, for example, has become highly overfished leading to a dangerously low supply of certain species.
- Don’t buy bottled water when there are so many water filtration alternatives that allow you to save money and reduce container waste. Visit Filtersfast.com for a variety of choices from filtered pitchers and water bottles, refrigerator water filters, faucet mount filters to whole house filtration systems.
Make your own cleaning supplies
- By using a few simple sustainable ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and olive oil, to name a few, you can make your own non-toxic cleaning supplies. There are recipes available online.
- By making your own, you will reduce environmental pollution created by the manufacturing and disposal of chemically, mass-produced cleaning supplies.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat.
- Switch to CFL light bulbs.
- Wash laundry in cold water (heating water uses 85% more energy). Air dry clothes instead of using the dryer.
- Unplug appliances when not using them or use a smart power strip. Appliances can drain energy even when turned off!
- Take shorter showers and use a low-flow showerhead.
- Use a faucet aerator on each faucet. This will keep pressure high while conserving heat and water.
- Consider landscaping with drought-tolerant plants – reducing the amount of water needed.
- Enjoy the health benefits of walking or biking – this reduces the cost of gas and parking
- Telecommute if possible
Going Green is a great way to help the environment and to save money! And there are so many small things we can do that will have a positive impact. Each time you make a choice to do one of the tips listed above, remind yourself that you are not only bettering yourself, but also bettering the world we live in.