- Written by Doug Roy
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Easy Green Living Tips:
1) Take Shorter Showers
Cutting shower time can save a surprising amount of water. Using an average number of 2.5 gallons per minute from the typical shower head, reducing your shower length by 4 minutes per day would save (assuming you shower every day, ahem) 3650 gallons per year. In addition to saving water, you also save the energy required to heat that water to shower temperature. This green tip will save you some green, and give you 4 more minutes per day (a little over 24 hours per year) to do something else.
2) Turn Off Your Computer and Other Electronics at Night
Even when “sleeping” your computer draws a bit of electricity. Turning your computer off at night will save energy and money–an estimated $90 per year according to the Department of Energy. It may take you an extra 30 seconds or so to get your computer started each morning, but it is worth it.
3) Eliminate Junk Mail
One of easiest ways to reduce paper usage is to opt out of junk mail. To get off these unsolicited lists you have two good options.
a) Precycle: They will stop your postal junk and give you a few green gifts for about $0.10 per day.
b) Take matters into your own hands and opt out by contacting 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
If you hate junk mail as I do, reducing junk mail will make your life greener and more enjoyable at the same time.
4) Conserve Drinking Water
Fresh water for drinking and home use is becoming a scarcer commodity, and it will continue to go up in cost. There are some easy green living things you can do to save on drinking water.
a) Drink water from the tap unless you cannot stand the taste. The plastic bottles for bottled water are one of the least green things around. Most plastic bottles are petroleum-derived, and it costs energy to produce, store, and ship these bottles. Further, I’m sorry to say, about 80% are not recycled.
b) As an alternative to improve the taste of tap water, install a water filter or home purification system. Refill and reuse plastic bottles to take water with you.
5) Replace Incandescent Bulbs with CFLs
As your incandescent bulbs burn out, you can realize substantial energy savings by replacing them with CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs). CFLs use about 75% less electricity and last 10 times longer than standard incandescents. Dispose of them properly–CFLs contain small amounts of mercury–but the operative word is small. By comparison, the old mercury thermometers each contained an amount of mercury equivalent to about 125 CFLs. And the EPA is working with retailers and manufacturers on a broad CFL recycling program-recycling should be an option soon.
6) Turn Off the Lights
Using less energy is essential to green living, and the easiest energy savings come from the energy you never use. Electric lights left on needlessly waste energy. A simple way to reduce your energy use is by just turning off the lights when you are leaving a room for more than a few minutes. Also, think about whether you need the lights on in the first place. I realized that by opening the blinds in my office I can work perfectly well with the lights off. Turning off the lights is easy and saves you money on electricity and light bulbs, regardless of what type of bulb you are using.
7) Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a simple way to contribute to a greener lifestyle and also save some money.
The large economy sizes are nearly always less expensive per pound or liter, and less packaging material is required per unit of the product, reducing waste.
But not everything should be purchased in bulk. If not used soon enough, the product could spoil and be wasted.
Here are 5 items that can normally be bought in larger, more economic sizes.
1. Cooking Oil
3. Breakfast cereal
4. Soft drinks and beer
5. Canned tuna
Not only are these ideas simple, they can also save you some money.