With Arbor Day and Earth Day approaching, is going green on your mind? Making conscientious environmental choices doesn’t have to be a chore – in fact, many ways of going green offer the side benefit of saving money and reducing clutter, as well as benefiting the Earth’s future, and protecting scarce resources. Try making these changes, which range from the small (fix that leaking faucet) to the large (ditch your car).
In the first world, access to water is so very simple – a twist of the faucet; a flush of the toile – that it’s easy to forget that water is actually a scarce resource. New restrictions on water use in California, as the state’s drought extends to a fourth year, makes the scarcity of water, and its importance, harder to ignore.
Here are a few ideas for how to reduce water usage, many of which may even save you some money:
- Check for leaks: Do a quick tour of your home, looking for leaking faucets, running toilets, and any unintended drips. Fix anything you find.
- Shower: Love a relaxing bath? Consider taking just one less. Or, take a shorter shower.
- Wash right: Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth; clean dishes without the faucet running the entire time.
- Full loads: Only run the washing machine and dishwasher with full loads.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Instead of throwing things away, look for ways to use them again: from using an old tomato sauce jar to store leftovers to dropping off last year’s trendy dress at a thrift store or consignment shop, look for ways to make your garbage bags lighter. And don’t forget the first “R”: reduce the amount of items you purchase. If you do need a new item (from clothing to furniture), consider buying used.
Switch Your Bulb
A CFL light bulb uses 70 percent less energy than an incandescent one. That’s a huge difference! If you haven’t already, switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. Add a splash of color with our Mood-Lites, which are designed to engage your mood. CFL bulbs are available in Happiness, Passion, Sassy, Energy, Tranquility, Creativity, Renewal, and a Black-lite.
Give Up Bottled Water
While most bottled water nowadays comes in a bottle that can be recycled, why not just eliminate the bottles from your life entirely? Get a reusable water bottle, and carry it with you everywhere – you’ll always be hydrated, and won’t be drinking water that was shipped from far away. You could also consider installing a water filter if the water in your home isn’t potable.
Similarly, consider bringing a reusable mug (or, just a regular old mug) to the coffee shop and into your office to cut down on your use of paper cups. (Bonus: some coffee shops give a discount to people who bring in their own mugs.)
Try Green Beauty Products
From their packaging to the ingredients within, products such as soap, shampoo, makeup and deodorant can be environmentally problematic. Fortunately, organic products are good to the Earth. Try our Mood-butters and Mood-deoderants, which are made with USDA-certified organic ingredients, and don’t include harsh chemicals.
Green Your Ride
Having a car can feel inevitable: the convenience is hard to beat. But do you really need to use it as much as you do? Consider looking into public transportation, car-pooling, or using a bike or walking during nicer weather. If a car is necessary where you live, group errands together to reduce mileage.
A few more simple tips:
Here are just a few more simple changes you can make this Earth day; remember to keep up these new habits all year round.
- Use the back of paper to jot down notes.
- Turn computers off, instead of putting them to sleep, at the end of the night.
- Pay bills online (and consider subscribing to magazines and newspapers digitally, instead of getting the paper in the mail).
- Do laundry on cold or warm, instead of hot.
- Eliminate unwanted credit card and insurance offers; the FTC has details on how to ditch this junk mail.
Tell us your favorite tips for greening your life!