It is possible to do a few small things to help save the environment, all while still doing the things that you love.
- Consider using compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). They cost a bit more than regular bulbs, but you’ll lower your electric bill and pay less in the long run-CFLs last up to ten times longer than traditional ones.
- Spare trees by replacing paper filters in your coffeemaker with reusables (usually gold colored).
- Embrace the sun: You may not be ready for a totally sun-powered home, but you can get a taste of the technology by using solar-powered lighting in your yard or on your patio.
- Yuban coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified (that means it’s grown in a way that preserves the ecosystem). A Fair Trade Certified brand is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Even Starbucks Coffee has a few Fair Trade Certified ‘flavors’.
- Every American produces about four and a half pounds of garbage a day. So before you buy something, eyeball the amount of cardboard, plastic, and/or other materials used for the box or wrapping. Wal-Mart is one big retailer that is waking up to the problem: The chain is replacing petroleum-based plastic containers with corn-based packaging for precut fruit, herbs, strawberries, and Brussels sprouts.
- Certain greens can help remove indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene. Don’t have the gardening gene? Golden pothos, English ivy, and peace lilies are all easy-to-grow toxin fighters.
- Cell phones, digital cameras, and camcorders have made these batteries more popular than ever, but in certain states-Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Vermont-it’s illegal to throw them away. Wherever you live, you can find a nearby store that will recycle them for you; just go to rbrc.org and type in your zip code.
- Refrigerators eat up the most electricity in the household. Maximize efficiency by keeping the fridge at 37°F. and the freezer at 0°F.
- RECYCLE! It is not that difficult. In most places, it is as simple as putting recyclable materials in a different bin. If it means you have to put different bins out on different days of the week, then do it.
9 ideas taken from 50 Easy Ways to Go Green