May is designated Earth Month, so use the following tips help save the environment and go green for earth month.

Merely changing a few old habits can help you to go green for earth month.  It doesn’t take much to make sure the earth stays healthy for years to come.  Celebrate earth month by doing a few simple things to keep it safe.

  1. Instead of driving to the coffee shop before work every day and getting a disposable cup full of coffee, bring your own re-fillable cup. Most coffee shops have no problem filling one. Go one step better and brew your own coffee. USDA “certified” coffee is the best to get because it was grown under sustainable standards.This means that resources are renewed at the same level they are taken or more.  There is no waste and the growers make sure that they provide for future crops so that future generations will continue to enjoy the coffee.
  2. Trees are cut down and used to make paper, so it is a good idea to reduce paper usage in order to save our earth’s trees.  Printing certain documents is unavoidable, but what do you do with the paper once you are done with it?  Instead of throwing it away, cut it into small squares, staple it together and use it to make grocery lists or use as scrap paper to take down messages.  Give it to the kids to draw on the back of used printed paper. Another way to save paper in a business is to use email to correspond rather than a paper letter. Not only does it save trees but it saves you money because you don’t have to buy paper, envelopes and stamps. If your business sends out invoices, send them on line instead of in paper. Save paper at home by registering with DMAchoice.org to stop junk mail. Many trees are sacrificed to send junk mail. Should you get some mail you do not need, place it in a bin to be recycled.
  3. Save energy by setting the computer to sleep after 20 minutes of non-use. This saves a great deal of energy. Unplug unnecessary electronics when you are not using them. A prime example is any recharger.  Many people leave them plugged into the wall even when they are not recharging anything. Because they are still plugged in, they still draw energy. Other items that are energy vampires are Television sets, radios, and video games. You can plug all of these devices into a UL-certified power strip and turn it on and off.  Save energy by turning the thermostat a little lower in winter and higher in the summer. Also use florescent light bulbs instead of the incandescent type that pull more energy.
  4. Conserve water by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth. You can waste 5 gallons a week leaving it on while you scrub. Time your showers and get in and out quickly. Also install a low flow shower head. It will still allow for good water pressure but will not spew as much water. Install an aerator on all the faucets.  This device mixes air with water so that water pressure is still good but not as much is being released. If you have an older toilet, replace it with a low flow toilet that uses much less water. Plant native plants or drought resistant plants outside to beautify the landscape.  These plants are used to the conditions in your area and won’t need to be watered as much.  If you do need to water your plants, place a rain barrel under a downspout and collect the water from the gutters.  Use this water to give the garden a drink.
  5. Driving your vehicle just 10 mph above 60 wastes about 50 cents per gallon of gas.  Slow down and save money and fuel.  check your tires frequently to be sure they are inflated correctly. Mileage drops as the tire air pressure drops.  Make sure to tune up your car at least once a year so that it doesn’t use as much gas to run.
  6. Instead of buying commercial cleaning products, make your own. If that is not possible be sure to purchase seventh generation environmentally safe products.  To make your own cleaning solutions you need just a few common items including baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.  With these things you can clean floors, windows, counter tops, sinks and more. Purchase empty refillable spray bottles and keep using them. If you must use commercial cleaners always buy the “ultra” cleaners as they are more concentrated and work better with less.

Just the six tips will save you money and save the earth too.  They will help you go green for earth month and you will find they are so easy to do, you will wonder why you didn’t start doing them before.

 

Listen In:

This post is adapted from the April 26, 2014 episode of Home Wizards that was released on iTunes April 27, 2014. You can find this segment during Hour One of the podcast.

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