Opting for a greener lifestyle is all the rage these days and for good reason. Not only does going green help the environment and reduce your footprint, but it can even save you money and increase how often you exercise.
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Check out these 20 easy tips for going green to change your lifestyle today.
1. Lose The Car For One Trip Each Week
Take some alternative method of transport that doesn't involve gas at least once a week. You can walk or bike to work or the store. You're saving money in gas, exercising and helping to protect the Earth all in one fell swoop.
2. Watch Your Water Use
Water costs money and it's also a natural resource that should be conserved. Look for easy ways to limit your water waste. If you make a pot of coffee at a time and dump half of it out, start making half a pot instead.
You can always make more if you need more later, and this will help you cut down on waste. When you brush your teeth, don't run the water while you're in the act of brushing. Simply wet the brush, turn the water off, and don't turn it back on until you need to rinse.
The same saving technique applies to dishes: soap them all at once with the water off, and then rinse them all off together.
3. Share With Your Neighbors
Start sharing your DIY things and tools with the people in your neighborhood. Chances are that not everyone on your street needs a steam cleaner, lawnmower or other tool or appliance you spend hundreds of dollars on to use only occasionally.
4. Do A Financial Check
Check to see if your money is better off elsewhere than your current bank for financial and ethical reasons. You may be able to bank with an ethical institution and still get the same or better when it comes to rates and features.
5. Be Creative With Presents
Rather than looking for a present that may just end up on someone else's shelf, consider alternative gifts of your time. Offer to help with a big cleaning job, yard work or decorating in lieu of a present for people who would really appreciate the assistance over yet another item.
6. Stick To The Speed Limits
It's common to see people speeding on highways, but that is illegal, unsafe and a waste of gas. According to Edmunds, most cars will get their best mileage on fuel at speeds between 40 and 60 mph.
It's the increase in air resistance at higher speeds that causes the fuel drain, and it's even more pronounced with larger vehicles such as SUVs.
7. Use Lids When You Cook
If you're guilty of leaving the lids off your cookware while it's on the stove, you're certainly not alone. But this habit can waste energy, and that translates to higher utility bills for you. Letting excess heat out during hot times can bump up your air conditioning bills too, says Green Living Ideas.
8. Make Your Compost
There's no reason to buy compost for your gardening needs when you can make it yourself. Things you would normally toss, such as banana peels, spoiled fruits and veggies and even used coffee grounds can be combined in a sealed container for DIY compost.
9. Walk Your Child To School
If you have the time, you can start walking your child to school to avoid last-minute car trips because you're running late. Speak to the school about starting a walking bus group in which kids who normally take a bus walk together instead, accompanied by an adult. With different adults taking turns, you can work this into your schedule even if you tend to be busy.
10. Try Urban Diving
Instead of spending money shopping all the time, check out what's available in local garbage cans and dumpsters. People do throw good things away every day, and what you're looking for may be out there for free.
If the thought of going through garbage turns your stomach, you can also hit up neighborhoods on their big trash day, the time when they're allowed to place larger items or bigger piles by the curb.
11. Cut Your Cleaning Cost
With low-cost ingredients like vinegar and baking soda, you can clean and disinfect just about any surface. Peroxide is another natural fighter of bacteria, and it can brighten surfaces almost as well as bleach.
12. Get Your Kids Gardening
Give your children a little space to grow their own simple vegetable garden. Their work will provide you with free veggies, and they will enjoy the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from growing your own food.
13. Use Your Local Library
Libraries these days loan out music, movies and more. Use this service to save you money on your entertainment.
14. Try Energy-Saving Light Bulbs
Some energy efficient bulbs cut your energy and light replacement bills. The LED, according to Energy.gov, can last up to 25 times longer than and uses only 25 to 35 percent of the energy of a traditional bulb.
15. Go With Reusable Diapers
Reusable diapers can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Unlike disposables, you can wash and reuse these diapers until they fall apart.
16. Use Hedges For Your Fence
Fencing panels can be expensive, but you can get privacy and save money by planting higher hedges instead. Make sure you get a hedge type that does well in your area and is easy to prune.
17. Make Your Own Baby Food
Baby food is expensive, and you don't have any control over what it's in it. Get a handheld blender and make your own baby food by pureeing organic staples, such as pear and cauliflower.
Check out baby food recipes online to ensure your baby is receiving a balanced, nutritious diet if you decide to make all the baby's food.
18. Check Your Hot Water Tank
Regular maintenance and proper insulation are needed for your hot water tank to work at its best. Read over the recommended maintenance schedule from the manufacturer, and make sure yours is taken care of.
19. Inspect Your Insulation
Missing or insufficient insulation could be upping your heating bill, particularly if you have an attic. Have your insulation checked out by a professional if you suspect heat loss or have drafts.
20. Monitor Your Utility Use
There may be other utilities you can save on by just paying attention to how you use things in your home. If you have a habit of turning multiple lights on, for example, get into the habit of turning them off.
Consider investing in remotes for your outlets to control devices you frequently forget to shut off when you've finished using them.
Going green in your daily life will help protect the planet and your wallet. Try the tips above to get yourself started on your road to a greener life.