Here are thirteen tips we can all consider in order to live a greener life without becoming fanatic. Not that fanatic is a bad thing in this case. I wish I could grow my own veggies and walk to work, but I don’t have a green thumb and logistically walking or riding my bike is impossible (1 live at least 26 miles from work). I actually do several things on this list, not only because they save the ecosystem, but they also save me money.
1. Kill Your Junk Mail
The average adult American receives 41 pounds of junk mail - catalogs, credit-card come-ons and other assorted crap - every year. It wastes your time, millions of trees, billions of gallons of water, and tons of greenhouse-gas emissions. Sign up for online non-profit 41pounds.org's junk mail killer service, it costs $41 for five years' coverage, and they'll break the bad news to retailers and financial institutions for you. They'll also donate to the charity of your choice.
2. Keep electronics out of the trash
Keep your cell phones, computers, and other electronics as long as possible. Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. E-waste contains mercury and other toxins and is a growing environmental problem.
3. Think about what you throw away
Often things that we throw away could be easily recycled which would help reduce otherwise wasted energy, water and natural resources. Start by checking with your trash removal service or your town/county to see if they offer recycling removal.
4. Less gas = more money (and better health!)
Walk or bike to work. This saves on gas and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.
5. Shorten your showers
Showers account for two-thirds of all water heating costs. Shave a few minutes off your shower time and you will reduce the amount of energy and keep bills lower.
6. Skip the bottled water
Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste.
7. Buy reusable shopping bags
Most supermarket chains offer reusable bags at the checkout counter now for a couple of bucks, and companies like Sage Green and Chico Bag offer them in several styles. Don't forget to take them with you to the supermarket!
8. Eat Smart, Eat Green
If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it's even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.
10. Wait to wash
Reduce your use of water and electricity by waiting to run your dishwasher and washing machine until you have a full load.
11. Find Cheap Gas
Comparison shop. Be a proactive consumer. Don't just pay the high prices at the closest station. Shop around to find the most competitive price in town. For a little help, visit http://gasprices.mapquest.com to compare prices in your area. You can find the best deal by zip code and street name, as well as check out prices by grade of gasoline.
12. Buy a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Consider buying a fuel-efficient vehicle, a hybrid vehicle, or an alternative-fuel vehicle. It could save you a lot at the gas pump and not to mention help the environment. FuelEconomy.gov offers tips on buying a new fuel-efficient car or truck.
13. Slow It Down
Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph, costing an additional 10 cents per gallon. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets, resulting in 7 cents to 49 cents per gallon. Don't get too emotional driving, its supposed to be a time to relax and reflect. Next time you get in your car stay calm, cool, and collected put your car on cruise control.
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