Use Energy Efficient Lightbulbs Energy efficient lightbulbs are a simple way to reduce the amount of power you use. Not only will this help the planet, it will also save your bank balance too. By replacing just one lightbulb, the effect can be tremendous. If every house in the USA did this, it would reduce pollution by the same amount as removing one million cars from the road!
Turn Your Computer Off Overnight If you turn your computer off every night, again you will reduce the power you use. You will save an average of $14 a year. It’s not a huge amount, but better in your pocket than your energy supplier’s right?
Don’t Pre-Rinse the Dishes If you can’t live without your dishwasher, then at least cut the pre-rinse. With a decent detergent, your dishes will be just as clean and you can save an average of twenty gallons of water per load.
Don’t Pre-Heat Your Oven Unless it’s absolutely essential, for example if you’re making bread, you don’t need to pre-heat the oven. You can just set it away when you are ready to start cooking. Bonus tip: When checking the food, look through the door rather than opening it until the final check.
Always Recycle Glass Did you know that un recycled glass can take up to a million years to decompose? Always make sure to recycle your glass. It can reduce related water pollution by up to fifty percent and related air pollution by up to twenty percent.
Choose Your Diapers Wisely Wherever possible, choose cloth diapers – this aids the environment and is kinder to baby’s skin. If you desperately need the convenience of the disposable diaper, use an environmentally friendly brand. The average child uses between five and eight thousand diapers – which equates to 3.5 million tonnes of landfill waste. And makes a huge dent in your pocket!
Use A Clothesline Do your clothes a favour and switch off the dryer. Hang clothes outside to dry naturally. The material will last longer, it will smell and feel fresher and of course, you are saving on that power usage!
Have A Vegetarian Day You don’t have to give up meat for life, but try to commit to one meat free day a week. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. And each hamburger that comes from animals on ex-forestry ground is responsible for the destruction of fifty-five square feet of forest.
Launder Sensibly For your own pocket, and the good of the environment, don’t wash half loads. Wait until there’s enough to do a load and cut your laundry in half. Also, think about the water temperature. If every household in the USA switched from a hot to a warm cycle, it could save the equivalent of 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
Don’t Waste Napkins We’ve all done it – gone somewhere and took a napkin or two more than we needed, only to throw them away unused. If everyone in the USA used one less napkin a day, current figures show that it could save a billion pounds of space in landfills.
Use All of the Paper If you jot a note down on paper, save it and use the rest of the sheet for your notes. American business waste 21 million tonnes of paper per annum! Ideally, try to have your business as paperless as possible. When it is absolutely necessary, print on both sides of the page. And don’t forget to recycle it!
Never Throw Away Newspapers Make sure to recycle your old newspapers- 69% (or 44 million newspapers) of the newspapers printed in the USA are thrown away every day. Even if you recycle only once per week, half a million trees could be saved. Or even better, why not avoid newspapers altogether and read the online versions!
Personalise Gift Wrapping Gift wrap is a major waste of paper and resource. Re-use gift wrap, bows and tags. Or why not be really creative and make your own gift wrap – use old newspapers, maps or magazines and create your own design!
Re-Think Your Water Consumption Bottled water is handy when you’re on the go, but why not buy one bottle and then refill it from the tap or your work’s water cooler. Around 90% of water bottles end up decomposing in landfills rather than being recycled.
Opt for A Shower Switching your bath for a shower can make a huge difference. Baths use approximately double the amount of water a shower uses. This not only saves water, but it saves you money on heating the excess water too.
Turn The Tap Off When Brushing When brushing your teeth, turning the tap off while brushing can save five gallons of water per day – the equivalent of 1.5 billion gallons of water across the USA.
Share A Shower Feeling a bit amorous and want to clean off a bit for your partner? Chances are they feel exactly the same. Why not shower together – use half the amount of water, and maybe even start the fun in there!
Shorten Your Shower Time Probably not one to go hand-in-hand with the above point, shortening your shower time buy just two minutes can save more than ten gallons of water. If everyone saved just one gallon, it would be two times more water saved than is currently drawn daily from the Great Lakes.
Plant Your Own Tree There are multiple benefits to planting a tree in your garden. It is good for the environment both the land and the air, it can shade your home and cut back your air con usage and it can even increase the value of your property. You could make it an annual event where each family member plants a new tree.
Use Cruise Control If your car has a cruise control, then do use it! You paid for it along with the car anyway. This will help to improve your mileage at least by 15%, which will in the process save the environment, gasoline and your wallet.
Buy Second Hand A lot of things can be sourced second hand. Things that have a short usage period due to growth, for example, a child’s bicycle, can be picked up second hand in fantastic condition and also at a fraction of the price. This saves you money and helps to reduce packaging materials.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Try to cut down on what you throw away Conserve natural resources and landfill space.
Volunteer It’s best to volunteer for cleanups in your community. You can get involved in protecting your watershed, too.
Educate When you further your own education, you can help others understand the importance and value of our natural resources. Conserve water. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that eventually end up in the ocean.
Choose sustainable Learn how to make smart seafood choices at www.fishwatch.gov.
Shop wisely Buy less plastic and bring a reusable shopping bag.
Use long-lasting light bulbs Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also flip the light switch off when you leave the room!
Plant a tree Trees provide food and oxygen. They help save energy, clean the air, and help combat climate change. Don’t send chemicals into our waterways. Choose non-toxic chemicals in the home and office.
Bike more Drive less
Buy Local Products Where possible, buy local produce. This saves all the pollution incurred by transporting goods long distance.
Adjust The Temperature Adjusting the temperature in your home by just one degree can save you 10% on your energy use over the year. This is another great saving you and another great help for the planet. Where possible, set a timer so your heating/cooling doesn’t need to be on when you aren’t home.
Invest in A Travel Mug Having a travel mug keeps your coffee/tea hot for longer, meaning less waste and less re-boiling the kettle! Some coffee chains will even offer a discount for filling up your own cup rather than issuing a paper one. Certain drip coffee makers (here is a good list) also comes with free travel mugs.
Do Errand Batches Instead of doing each errand as it occurs to you, why not do them in a batch. This will save you time and will also reduce your fuel costs. You could even errand share with a friend!
Turn Off Lights When You’re Not in The Room You don’t need to light up a room no one is using. Save energy and money by getting into the habit of switching off the lights when you leave the room. For standard bulbs, do this each time you leave. For energy savers, do this if you are leaving the room for more than fifteen minutes. You will also save on your cooling costs, as lights can make your rooms hotter!
Use Non-Chemical De-Icers Most people use ice melters to clear the sidewalks after a big storm. These contain harmful chemicals and should be avoided. Similarly, salt based products can be harmful to pets and could end up contaminating drinking water. Always look for a pet-safe, non-chemical de-icer.
Use paper based cotton buds You can buy cotton buds with a paper spindle or a plastic one. If 10% of US households used paper based ones, it would save over 150,000 gallons of gasoline.
Pay Household Bills Online Paying online is not only quick and convenient, but receiving your statements online can make a huge difference to the environment. If every US household received electronic statements, then we could save 18.5 million trees, 2.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste per year.
Cancel Your Paper Bank Statements If every US household opted to receive online statements rather than paper, it would save enough money to send 17,000 college graduates to university each year. Some banks will also pay you a dollar a month to opt out of paper statements.
Use Rechargeable Batteries It’s no secret that the corrosive acid in throw away batteries is extremely damaging to soil when they end up in landfills. Although the recharging unit is initially an unexpected expense, long term, this will save you money. And you’ll never find yourself short of a battery when you need one!
Fix leaking taps This might sound like a minor measure for saving water, but, by fixing leaking taps you will save a much larger amount of water than you may think. This will have an effect on your utility bills.
Boil water only when needed Boiling water consumes a considerable amount of energy. Therefore, make sure you don’t boil water unnecessarily and, when you need it, make sure if anyone else needs it too. This will allow you to save a lot on your utility bill.
Fill dish washer or washing machines to the max To avoid washing your dishes or clothes more than once, always opt to fill your washing machine and/or dishwasher to the maximum. This way, you will save on the amount of water needed for household chores.
Use induction based cooktops Instead of opting for cooking tools from your local homeware store, why not choose to buy sustainable cooking tools such as eco friendly cutting boards or biodegradable pots? This allows for reduction of old cooking tools being placed in landfills over time and reduced worldwide pollution.
Switch to eco-friendly coffee Hooked on coffee? Switch to energy friendly coffee that is free of chemical pesticides, that is grown in shade, fair trade and if possible home brewed, since not only does it reduce the environmental impact and waste produce based on your daily coffee consumption, it also tastes great.
Install apps that check the chemical composition of products The installation of apps that check the chemical composition of products does not only help you avoid toxic and unsafe products, it also reduce the amount of chemical pollution in the environment.
Eat less packaged foods Individually packaged foods use about 1/3 of energy inputs needed for food consumption as they are being shipped across the country to different locations. Instead opt for locally produced or grown produce as they are environmentally sustainable and require less energy.
Bring your own mug/cup/glass to work Instead of using plastic cups provided at work, bring your own from home. Doing so reduces the amount of plastic cups consumed per person in the office and reduces the amount of plastic that is thrown away.
Eco-friendly detergent and cleaning products Instead of using harsh chemical-based household products opt instead for products that are safe for the environment. Alternatively you can make your own natural cleaning products. Not only is this a great way to reduce chemical pollution in the environment; long-term health benefits are also accomplished.
Don’t throw way leftover paint: donate it By donating your left over paint, you will be reducing the amount of chemical and toxic waste that would have been found in the environment if you had simply disposed of your leftover paint.
Garden Manually Try to avoid using a hose pipe – use a watering can instead to concentrate on the areas you need watering. Try to water first thing before the sun is up to reduce water wasted to evaporation. Rake old clippings by hand, or leave them to fertilise your soil. Use vinegar on weeds instead of harsh weed killers.
Use Picnic Markers Ideally, use reusable cups/plates/cutlery. If you choose to use disposable ones, use a different colour marker pen for each person so only one of each is used, rather than getting them mixed up and having to get fresh ones.
Recycle Your Cell Phone With the average consumer replacing their cell phones every eighteen months, 130 million cell phones are being disposed of each year. If these go into landfill sites, the toxins from the cell battery leak into the soil and pollute the ground. Use a recycling programme. An added bonus to this is many of these programmes contribute to charities.
Regularly Maintain Your Vehicle If your vehicle’s engine is running correctly, the filters are clean and the tyres correctly inflated, the vehicle will be more efficient on fuel. This reduces pollution and saves you money. It’s worth cleaning out the trunk now and again too – extra weight uses extra fuel!
Recycle Unwanted Wire Hangers Although wire hangers are generally made of steel, therefore not recyclable in the typical sense, many dry cleaners will gladly take these off your hands to reuse.
Always Recycle Glass and Aluminium It is possible to make twenty recycled cans with the same amount of energy it takes to make just one new one. That’s a great saving. And the glass is another great saving. Every ton of glass that is recycled saves nine gallons of the oil used for fuel to produce new glass.
Work from Home If possible, get an arrangement in place with your employer where you can work from home some or all of the time. This saves gasoline, which will reduce air pollution and save you money. And it also means you can work in your pyjamas with no make-up and your hair scragged back if you want to! Bonus.
Keep Your Fireplace Damper Closed If you’re not using your fireplace at any given time, keep the damper closed. Having the damper open is like having a forty-eight inch window open all the time! Image the hundreds of dollars you are wasting on heating air that then gets sucked up your chimney.
Reduce Your Junk Mail The average American citizen receives forty pounds of junk mail per year – forty pounds! That’s a lot of paper being wasted. You can register for services that reduce the amount of junk mail you receive. Not only is this beneficial to the environment, but let’s face it, none of us want that junk mail anyway – the clue is in the name!
Choose Matches Over a Lighter As the majority of lighters these days are disposable lighters, 1.5 billion of them end up in landfills every year. They are also made of plastic and filled with butane, neither of which are environmentally friendly. Choose matches instead, ideally the paper ones. The wood ones are made from trees, but the paper ones are made from recycled paper so you are doing no harm.
Use Online Directories How many people still use paper telephone directories? Virtually none, but the telecoms companies will still send them out unless you opt out. Opt out and use an online service instead. These directories can account for up to 10% of trash in landfill sites. If you do still use a paper directory, don’t forget to recycle the old one.
Don’t Throw It Away You know the old saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Well it is often true. Don’t throw away perfectly good things just because you’re sick of them, or no longer have use for them. Instead, donate them to a local charity shop, or list them on a free collection site online.
Use A Professional Car Wash Service Car wash services are trying to reduce costs and maximise profits, therefore, they have the optimal amount of water for a thorough clean down to a fine art. Using these services ensures minimal water wastage. If everyone in the USA who washes their own cars used a car wash even once, it would save 8.7 billion gallons of water per year!
Don’t Use Plastic Carrier Bags Plastic carrier bags are not biodegradable, nor are they recyclable. They sit in landfills where they often end up polluting the ocean and infiltrating food sources. Use a stronger, reusable bag.
Use e-Tickets Not only do you save $9 per flight by using an e-ticket as opposed to a paper one, it also saves wasting all of that paper.
Download Software Again, it is often cheaper to download software than it is to buy the discs. It also reduces wasted packaging materials, and it can be beneficial when the software is upgraded, and the downloaded version is automatically included in the updates.
Don’t Use an Answering Machine For the majority of people, answering machines are obsolete, as both cell and land line phones come with integrated voice mail. Make sure you are using the voice mail feature rather than having an external answering machine, which just uses up unnecessary power.
Don’t Use Coffee Stirrers Every year, 138 billion straws and stirrers are thrown away in the USA. Don’t use these stirrers. Not only are they wasteful and bad for the environment, they are a waste of money. Use a spoon to stir your coffee, then simply wash and reuse it.
Install low-flow faucets and showerheads In addition to making a rational use of water, it’s a good idea to install low-flow faucets and showerheads. This measure will significantly reduce your water consumption and, as a consequence, your utility bills.
Set your computer to hibernate or sleep mode Most of us don’t consider setting our computer to sleep or hibernate mode when we step away from it for a few minutes, but that would save a considerable amount of energy and money on a monthly basis.
Use timers for outdoor lights Using timers to turn on and off outdoor lights would constitute a very efficient way of saving energy that is consumed for lighting purposes.
Share The Knowledge ! Often, when people are damaging the environment, it is because they don’t have the facts, or haven’t considered a particular course of action. Share this list with your friends – if each of them takes on board just one point, the effect could be immense. And if they share it on too, think of the mass chain reaction.Let’s work together to make the world a better place.
Use biomass boiler instead of gas boiler To cut down the amount of CO2 you emit into the atmosphere switch to a biomass boiler instead of a gas boiler as the process is carbon neutral – the amount of carbon you consume is the same amount released back into the atmosphere.
Install solar panels Solar panels are a great investment. They not only add value to your home, they also benefit the environment considerably, as you cut back on the amount of fossil fuels needed as an energy source. The amount of energy generated by solar panels can be sold back to the grid.
Install solar thermal panels for water heating Solar thermal water heating systems reduce the amount of carbon derived greenhouse gases that homes and businesses emit into the atmosphere by reducing their consumption of fossil fuels. By using solar energy you are able to reduce your utility bills by up to 70%.
Choose renewable energy suppliers By choosing a renewable energy supplier, not only are you reducing the amount of fossil fuels you consume per year. You are also creating awareness to the need for increased development for renewable energy sources. This also helps to improve continued national energy security.
Use a water source heat pump for heating purposes If there’s a body of water on your property, you can use it as a source of heating by installing a water source heat pump. This will benefit the environment because this technology doesn’t release any gas into the atmosphere. Ground source heat pumps would also be a good alternative.
Use rechargeable batteries To cut back on the amount of batteries you buy and throw away, why not use rechargeable batteries instead.
Turn your phone to flight mode to conserve battery If you are running low on battery on your smartphone and do not have a charger, instead of scrambling to find one, switch your phone to flight mode in order so save more battery as it cuts down on the amount of energy your phone consumes.
Install wind turbines Installing a domestic wind turbine can allow you to reduce your energy dependance on the electric grid, although it has some limitations: its small scale doesn’t allow it to harvest a lot of energy and it doesn’t supply electricity constantly.
Avoid using portable heaters Portable heaters are an alternative technology to central heating systems for space heating purposes. Unlike central heating, they provide “spot” heating, and require a larger energy consumption per unit of supplied heat. They are, therefore, a less efficient and less eco-friendly option.
Install double glazing Double glazed windows and uPVC windows reduce the amount of heat that your home loses by up to 50%. It is actually the technology employed for window’s insulation. It will enable you to cut your heating bill considerably.
Install an automatic thermostat Automatic thermostats help reduce your temperature bills (heating and cooling) considerably as you can set the desired temperatures you would like to have in your home while you are asleep, at work, or while away from home.
Insulate your house By insulating your home you save a considerable amount on your utility bills as you would be able to live comfortably with uniformly distributed temperature in your home throughout the seasons.
Don’t change the temperature constantly By constantly changing the temperature on your thermostat, you end up using more energy than necessary, and can cause your air conditioning system or furnace to run inefficiently. It is better to leave the temperature setting alone for long periods of time.
Install an efficient central heating system Energy efficient central heating systems guarantee increased effectiveness in the amount of heat being dispersed into your home. With modern energy efficient central heating systems, you save a lot more on your utility bills compared to old central heating systems.
Don’t throw away your old clothes If you have some old clothes, don’t throw them out. Instead, you could either swisch them – throw a party and exchange clothes with your friends – or donate them to charity. You can also style brand new outfits out of them to reduce your textile waste.
Recycle old appliances Recycling is a way to reduce landfill waste that not only applies to plastic, paper or glass. Appliances and electronic devices contain plastic, metal and other non biodegradable materials. It’s therefore very important to recycle them once they’re no longer of use, so their impact on the environment is minimal.
Reuse your plastic bags While grocery shopping, instead of buying a bag, take your own bag or reuse an old plastic bag you have lying around in your home. Not only do you save money on bag purchases in store, you are reducing environmental pollution.
Use biodegradeable utensils Instead of using plastic cutlery when eating out why not switch to biodegradable cutlery? This helps to reduce the amount of plastic waste we have in the environment and increases the need to switch to eco-friendly alternatives.
Reuse your water bottle Bringing your water bottle with you not only saves you money but also reduces the amount of bottles wasted each year on Earth. Always choose to refill your water bottle with tap water – it takes about 1.5 gallons of water to manufacture just 1 plastic bottle of water!
Buy Organic Produce By purchasing organic food, you can help support a type of farming based on the use of natural substances, and more sustainable agricultural techniques than those developed by industrial farming.
Buy second hand products Buying second hand products is not only affordable and helps to promote local business and charities, it also helps to reduce the demand for clothes manufacturing and reduces the amount of clothes thrown out that are usually found in landfills.
Recycle waste (organic, paper, plastic, glass, metal) Even though awareness among the general public has raised considerably during recent years, when it comes to recycling, further efforts are necessary to make sure household waste does not end up contaminating nature.
Switch to online bills (instead of paper bills) Paper bills not only require cutting trees and using toxic chemical products, but also burning fuels during their distribution. By deciding to receive your bills electronically, you are prevent many harmful process from taking place.
Stop consuming things you don’t need Alternatively, instead of recycling, why not reduce the amount of goods you consume? This not only saves you money but in the long run prevents you from having to throw away a large number of items that you no longer need.
Use recycled paper For your writing and printing purposes, why not using recycled paper instead of regular paper? It not only reduces deforestation and the use of toxic chemical products, but also the amount of paper present in landfills. Also, recycled paper is cheaper than regular paper but still the same quality.
Use both sides of the paper Use paper more efficiently by printing or writing on both sides of it. You will save on the amount of packs of paper you buy, reducing the amount of deforestation that goes on during paper production. This saves up to 50% of the costs associated with paper!
Buy local products Buying products locally reduces the amount of environmental pollutants we are exposed to, since products won’t need to travel as far. This also helps to preserve farmland by using locally grown products.
Purchase handcrafted goods The process of making a handcrafted product requires much less material and energy than its industrial equivalent. By purchasing handcrafted products you will also help to preserve local businesses threatened by multinational corporations.
Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables Avoid buying fruits and vegetables that aren’t seasonal. They are either transported from longer distances or grown in unnatural conditions.
Use organic soap Opting for your own organic soap promotes health benefits as the soap is made from products that have not come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers which often contribute to pollution and global warming.
Eat less meat By eating less meat, not only are you benefiting from increased health overall, you are also reducing the amount of greenhouses gasses emitted in the livestock sector to raise cows, pigs and chickens. Be “meat conscious” and reduce the amount of meat you consume!
Use Eco-Friendly Stationary Using eco-friendly stationery allows a reduction in the amount of wasted stationary found in landfills, and also reduces the amount of trees cut in order to produce it. You also reduce the amount of fossil fuel based inks being used to make pens by opting for vegetable based inks instead.
Choose Organic Beverages Organic beverages are made with natural ingredients and have no synthetical elements added. They are therefore a healthier alternative to regular beverages both for you and the environment. The avoidance of artificial chemicals will be especially beneficial to your body’s organisms.
Take your bike instead of your car Not only is biking a great way to exercise, it also helps the environment by reducing the amount of fuel burnt into the atmosphere. Bikes need less energy than cars in the production process and do not need any motor oil or toxic batteries.
Purchase a hybrid car Buying a hybrid car guarantees it will not produce as much CO2 as a regular car by itself. But the electricity used to power it is very often produced by burning fossil fuels. Therefore, it’s important that electricity comes from renewable energies.
Purchase an electric car Buying an electric car guarantees it will not produce as much CO2 as a regular car by itself. But the electricity used to power it is very often produced by burning fossil fuels. Therefore, it’s important that electricity comes from renewable energies.
Buy a public transport card Use public transport to reduce the amount of CO2 you produce with private transportation. By commuting in a more efficient way, public transport can move more people the same amount of fuel burned and this type of transport uses green energy more often than private cars.
Use the train instead of the plane for medium distances By opting to travel by train instead of planes for medium distance you cut back on the amount of CO2 emitted into the environment by up to 90%.
Walk in your local area Running an errand or going to the grocery store? Walk instead of taking your car. Not only are you getting fresh air and moderate exercise, you are actually cutting back on the amount of CO2 you emit into the environment and reduce the traffic in your town.
Carpool to work Not only does carpooling save you money, it helps to protect the environment by cutting down on the number of cars and vehicles on the road. This helps to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutants that are emitted into the environment.
Use an E-ticket when flying E-tickets are increasingly popular among travellers due to its convenience. They’re also good for the environment, since they save a lot of paper.
Unplug your electronics at night Certain electrical appliances need to be turned off at night instead of being left on “phantom power” – standby mode. An average home has about 40 products that drain power constantly. These products are unnecessarily leaking electricity, especially your TV, gaming devices, etc.
Turn off all your lights when you are not in the room Depending on the kind of light bulb you use, it’s advisable to always turn them off when you don’t need them. The next time you buy a light bulb make sure you buy either a halogen bulb or LED lights as they have the highest efficiency compared to incandescent lights.
Don’t run more tap water than you need Don’t run more tap water than you need. Simply turn the faucet off! This will save you money on your next water bill. You can save water by using a dishwasher, keeping a bottle or pitcher of water in the fridge or placing a cistern displacement device in your toilet.
Use natural cosmetic/beauty products Using natural or organic beauty products ensure that you are reducing your environmental impact by not using products that are made of heavy chemicals. You also avoid irritation to your skin and unwanted side effects that could be damaging to your health.
Have quick showers Taking shorter showers might seem hard or impossible but this can be done efficiently with a timer. Shorter showers reduce the consumption of hot water. Compared to a typical shower that can waste up to 20 liters of water per minute.
Compost your waste Instead of having your food scraps sent to a local trash facility, compost them. Households usually throw away 474 pounds of food per year. By composting, the amount of food that is wasted is reduced and that compost can even be reused as manure in your garden.
Compost your waste Instead of having your food scraps sent to a local trash facility, compost them. Households usually throw away 474 pounds of food per year. By composting, the amount of food that is wasted is reduced and that compost can even be reused as manure in your garden.
Use full load and cold water on your washing machine Usingthe full load setting for washing your clothes is an efficiency measure. Also, using cold water and cold water detergent in your washing machine is more eco-friendly. Why not combine the two techniques to get clean clothes in an extra efficient way?
Use a laptop instead of a desktop Laptops are more energy efficient than desktops because of their extended battery life. Laptops can be up to 80% more efficient than desktop computers. Also, if you use a laptop, then consider investing a little bit more to get one with an LCD screen.
Use organic hygiene products Most hygiene products contain toxic ingredients. By switching to natural or organic products not only are you protecting your skin. Choosing organic hygiene products prevents unsafe toxins from entering your body and improves your overall health.
Stop receiving junk mail By reducing the amount of unnecessary mail that is sent to your mailbox, the need for cutting down trees is diminished and the amount of paper that is wasted is reduced. This allows for increased environmental sustainability without the need for increased paper production and consumption.
Pick books from the library Reading books from the library guarantees a reduction of paper used to produce them when compared to purchasing them. Moreover, it’s very likely that, overtime, they accumulate in a pile. So the next time you need a book, grab your library card and head to the library.
Use energy efficient light bulbs By using energy efficient light bulbs such as halogen or LED light bulbs you end up saving on the amount of electricity you have to pay for on your utility bills by up to £40 per year.
Don’t leave appliances on stand by mode Always turn off your appliances instead of leaving them on standby mode, although it may seem like they are not in use they are actually still consuming a large amount of energy. By switching them off you are actually saving a considerable amount on your energy bills throughout the year.
Shower instead of taking baths By opting to shower instead of taking a bath, you end up reducing the amount of water used (by 30%). This helps you save on your utility bills. Even more so if you install a combination boiler or a solar thermal system with a water flow control valve.
Recycle old wood By using old wood to make furniture not only are you preventing useful things from being sent to landfills and saving trees, you can use the wood for cooking, heating, toys, tools and furniture.
Don’t tumble dry Instead of tumble drying your clothes during the warmer months of the year, why not opt to hang your clothes outside to dry or put them in a drying cupboard? It’s a green and free option.
Live Energy Wise Make your home more energy efficient (and save money). Your home’s windows are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of residential heat gain and heat loss. If they’re old and inefficient, consider replacing them. Also be sure your home has proper insulation. Insulation is measured in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value — the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. The amount of insulation your home needs depends on the climate, type of HVAC system, and where you’re adding the insulation. Smaller things you can do right away include replacing your air filter regularly so your HVAC system doesn’t have to work overtime. Keep your window treatments closed when it’s extremely hot and cold outside. You can also consider installing a programmable thermostat like Nest so your system isn’t running (and wasting energy) when you’re not home.
Conserve Water The little things can make a big difference. Every time you turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth, you’re doing something good. Got a leaky faucet? You might be dripping as much as 90 gallons (340 liters) of water down the drain every day [source: EPA]. So fix it! It’s easy and cheap. And stop drinking bottled water. Switch to filtered tap water. You’ll save a ton of cash and help reduce a ton of plastic waste in the process.
Eat Sustainable Foods Today, large-scale food production accounts for as much as 25 percent of the greenhouse emissions. So how do you eat sustainably? Choosing food from farmers that aim to conserve the natural resources and have as little impact on the land as possible. But even buying as much as you can from local farmers makes a different. Eating more whole grains, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and less red meats and processed foods does too. Grow your own fruits and vegetables. You can grow a garden!
Plant a Tree (or Two) In 2018 the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the U.N. suggests an additional 2.5 billion acres (1 billion hectares) of forest in the world could limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) by 2050. That’s a lot of trees, but you could plant one or two, right? One young tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 13 pounds (5 kilograms) per tree. Every. Single. Year. And that’s just an itty bitty baby tree. Once that tree reaches about 10 years old, it’s at its most productive stage of carbon storage. Then it can absorb 48 pounds (21 kilograms) of CO2 per year. Trees also remove all other kinds of junk from the air, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and small particles. So go ahead, plant a tree. It’s good for everybody.
Give Up Plastics The statistics are shocking: People around the world buy 1 million plastic drinking bottles every minute, and use up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags every year. Humans are addicted to plastic, and hardly any of it — about 9 percent — gets recycled. A staggering 8 million tons (7.25 metric tons) ends up in the ocean every year. Break the cycle. Stop buying bottled water. Say no to plastic shopping bags and use cloth bags instead. Don’t use plastic straws. Drink from a reuseable cup instead of a plastic one. Avoiding plastic can divert a ton of waste from the oceans and landfill.
Be Car-conscious If you can, stay off the road two days a week or more. You’ll reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,590 pounds (721 kilograms) per year [source: EPA]. It’s easier than you think. You can combine your errands — hit the school, grocery store and dog daycare in one trip. And talk to your boss about teleworking. It’s a boon for you and your company. But being car conscious also means maintaining your car on a regular basis. You can improve your gas mileage by 0.6 percent to 3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, and be sure to make necessary repairs if your car fails emission [source: EPA].
Walk, Bike or Take Public Transit Walking and biking are obvious ways to reduce greenhouse gases. Plus you’ll get some good cardio and burn some calories while you do it. If you live in an area that’s not walkable, take advantage of your local mass transit if you can. Or carpool. Even one car off on the road makes a difference.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle You can help reduce pollution just by putting that soda can in the recycling bin. It really does make a difference. Paper, too. Case in point: If an office building of 7,000 workers recycled all of its office paper waste for a year, it would be the equivalent of taking almost 400 cars off the road [source: EPA]. But you can also take reusable bags to the grocery, and avoid using disposable plates, spoons, glass, cups and napkins. They create huge amounts of waste. And buy products that are made of recycled materials. It all makes a difference.
Give Composting a Try In 2015, (the last year figures were available) Americans generated 262.4 million tons (238 metric tons) of trash. Only 23.4 million tons (21.2 metric tons) of that was composted. Some was recycled and some was combusted for energy, but almost half of it — 137.7 million tons (124.9 metric tons) — ended up in the landfill. Imagine if you could divert more of that to your own compost? It would help reduce the amount of solid waste you produce, and what eventually winds up in your local landfill. Plus, compost makes a great natural fertilizer.
Switch to LEDs Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are great. They can last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and they use at least two-thirds less energy, but even CFLS have issues. They’re hard to dispose of because they contain mercury. Enter light-emitting diode, or LED bulbs. They emit light in a very narrow band wavelength so they’re super energy-efficient. Start replacing your old incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs now (if you haven’t already). They do cost more than CFLs and incandescents, but equivalent LED bulbs can last around 25,000 hours compared to the 1,000 hours that incandescent bulb might have lasted.