10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth
Making your daily life more eco-friendly does not have to be complicated. Here are ten simple things you can do, right now, to go green.
1. Take Care Of Your Cooling and Heating System
About half of your energy costs go toward heating and cooling. It’s simple to reduce your energy footprint and improve air quality, which is good for your health.
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Change your filter every three months (if needed, more often)
- Have your HVAC system tuned up yearly (Heat in the Fall and A/C in the Spring)
- Seal your heating and cooling ducts and check your roof insulation
2. Replace Old Toilets
Toilets manufactured before 1994 use up to five gallons per flush compared to 1.6 gallons for newer toilets. According to Savingwater.org, replacing an old toilet can save up to 10,500 gallons of water each year, depending on utility rates and usage habits.
Have your toilets checked for leakage. Most homeowners don’t realize that their toilets are leaking through from the tank into the bowl which can result in the waste of 1,000’s of gallons of water before they become informed. This usually happens after they receive higher than normal water bills. In most Municipalities water usage is tied directly to the sewer bill and can result in additional fees for this as well.
3. Keep Your Old Car Running Properly
As long as you are going to hang onto that old heap for a while longer, green it by scheduling regular tune-ups and maintenance. Staying on top of car care means your vehicle will operate cleaner and more efficiently.
4. Shop Organic
Organic means that products have been raised or cultivated without chemical pesticides, hormones or synthetic fertilizers; they are better for you and for the planet. The best organic foods to buy are those that you eat whole, including the skin; for example, potatoes, carrots, apples, pears, grapes, etc. It is also wise to go for organic meats, eggs and dairy products, too. The animals will have been raised naturally, without growth hormones or feed additives.
Many towns have implemented mandatory recycling programs, but you can recycle on your own if your city does not have a program in place. Compost food waste for your backyard garden, reuse plastic grocery bags to line waste baskets and use available recycling containers when you are out and about.
6. Adjust the Thermostat
Turning your home’s thermostat just one or two degrees in one direction or another, up in the summer, down in the winter, not only conserves energy, but saves you money on utilities too.
7. Rethink Lighting
Though compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are still a great choice for energy efficiency, LED lights are making their mark too. LEDs are even more energy efficient than CFLs, are mercury-free and last longer.
8. Stop Leaky Faucets
A dripping faucet may seem harmless, but you’d be surprised at how much water is lost. According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Science School, one faucet that drips 4 drips per minute wastes 138 gallons of water a year.
9. Forget Chemical Cleaners
There are loads of quality green cleaning products on the market that work just as well or better than typical chemical cleaners containing harmful substances like bleach and ammonia. You can also make your own eco-friendly cleaning solutions for a fraction of the cost of commercial cleaners.
10. Take A Walk Or Enjoy A Run Outside
Going for a walk or run outside is one of the simplest ways to go green. Instead of burning gas and greenhouse emissions to drive yourself to the gym, which requires tons of energy to run lighting, stereo equipment, heat or air-conditioning and exercise machines, why not just step outside and explore your neighborhood or local park? You will reduce your carbon footprint while you stay in shape.