Want to green your routine but don’t know where to start? These going green tips and tricks will arm you with helpful info and techniques that you can apply to your fast-paced lifestyle with ease (and they may even help give your bank account some much needed breathing room).
Green Your Driving Routine
1. Keep your tires properly inflated: Maintaining proper tire pressure in your make and model can increase your gas mileage up to 3% (a savings of up to 10 cents per gallon at the pump)
2. Get a tune up: You can increase your fuel economy by up to 10% (as much as 32 cents per gallon of gas) just by regularly installing a clean air filter
3. Slow down!: Excessive and aggressive acceleration and braking can reduce you highway fuel efficiency by as much as a third, and driving over 60 mph can cost you as much as 20 cents per gallon for every 5 mph increase in speed.
4. Skip one trip per week: If everyone in the United States skipped just one car trip per week by carpooling, using public transportation,walking, or biking per week, we could reduce carbon emissions by 149 million tons! Plus, if you take the walking or biking option, you get the added benefit of exercise without the cost of a gym membership…talk about double dipping.
Green Your Energy Routine
The next best place to let green in is in our homes. According to The Alliance to Save Energy, the average home emits twice as much CO2 as the average car,so some going green tips are definitely in order here.
1. Switch to CFL light bulbs: CFL light bulbs are affordable, last 10 times longer than traditional bulbs, and use 75% less energy. This one’s so easy your 10 year old nephew could do it.
2. Audit your energy use: It’s the easiest way to save up to 30% on your utility bills. You can either call your local utility company to schedule an audit (some offer the service for free, while others require a fee), or you can go to eere.energy.gov to learn how you can conduct a scaled back energy audit yourself. This simple tip can reduce you CO2 emissions by up to 9,515 pounds per year!
3. Seal the deal: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, reducing drafts and air leaks and fixing poor insulation around your home can save you up to 20% on your utility bills a year. Some basic supplies from your local hardware store like caulk and weather stripping can make your home’s heating and cooling systems more efficient and equate to a 2,808 pound reduction in CO2 emissions per year. Go to energystar.gov to learn more.
Green Your Household Routine
1. Switch to all natural cleaners: Water supplies are diminishing at an alarming rate, and by adding harmful chemicals contained in dish soaps, detergents, and household cleaning products to the mix, we’re not helping matters. Companies such as Meyer’s, Method, and Seventh Generation are making it easier than ever to clean your kitchen, floors, bathroom, and clothes without using harmful chemicals.
2. Kick the bottled water habit: Americans go through an estimated 1500 bottles per second! The simplest way to kick the habit? Invest in a water filter (either pitcher of tap mounted) and a reusable water canteen or Nalgene bottle. Both of these can be purchased from your local mega-mart, and will save you some substantial dough after the initial upfront cost.
3. Bring your bags: About 1,000,000 plastic bags are consumed every minute in modern day society, so anything you can do to reduce your hand in this outrageous number will help. Reusable bags can be found just about anywhere nowadays, and only cost a couple of dollars for lifetime worth of use and a much needed break for our landfills.
4. Keep it cool in the wash: About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water, which means that only 10 percent of the electricity a washing machine consumes goes to run the motor. Next time your throw a load in, keep it on cold. You might be surprised how it comes out just as clean as if you had run it on hot, and you’ll save yourself some coin in the process.
5. Buy recycled paper products: One thing we can’t live without is toilet paper, but what most don’t realize is that recycled TP is available and is comparable in price to the regular brands which require a vast amount of deforestation in order to produce. So next time you reach for the Charmin, try reaching for the recycled brand instead (and be sure to check the for a “Made from 100% recycled materials” label).