It’s not as complicated or challenging to find ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle as you may think. There are many ways that you can go green right in your own home. Any little thing may make a difference! Here are 16 of the simplest things you can do.
Instead of receiving bank statements or credit card statements in the mail, consider signing up for online statements. Pay all your bills online, get e-tickets for the movies, and file your taxes electronically. The more you do online, the less paper you need. And the less paper you need, the greener you become!
Turn Off the Lights
Are you leaving the room? Turn off the lights. Room sensor lighting will turn lights on and off for you. Even better, open your window coverings and let the sunshine in instead.
Change your Light Bulbs to Fluorescent or LEDs
Even swapping out one bulb makes an impact on your energy consumption. They have a longer lifespan and use less energy than traditional bulbs.
Instead of throwing it in the trash or the recycling bin, think about ways you can reuse your waste. For example, print on both sides of the paper or create scrap paper for making grocery lists or notes. Kids can color on the backside of used paper. Give items you no longer need to someone who could use them, or donate them to a thrift store or charitable organization. You might also consider having a garage sale. Remember, one person’s junk is another’s treasure!
Turn Off your Computer
Turning off your computer rather than leaving it in standby mode saves energy. Unplug unused chargers, your television, and appliances, too.
Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that you would otherwise throw away as trash. Manufacturers then turn those materials into new products. Recycling reduces waste, conserves natural resources, prevents pollution, and saves energy. The different methods for collecting recyclables include curbside collection at your home, drop-off centers, and deposit or refund programs. So, recycle when you can. Be sure to follow local community guidelines for sorting recyclable items from your trash.
Only use as much water as you need. Don’t rinse dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. Use leftover drinking water for your plants. Fix leaky faucets. Even a tiny leak can cause a good amount of waste of water. And water your lawn in the early morning for the greatest impact with the least amount of usage. Rain barrels are a fantastic way to collect rainwater to water your lawn and garden.
Green Your Commute
Car share, use public transportation, walk, or ride a bike instead of jumping in your car. You might even make a new friend in the process. Utilize work-at-home options, if available.
Bring Your Lunch to Work
Bring your lunch to work in reusable containers. It is one of the greenest ways to eat at work. Not only does buying your lunch daily create packaging waste, but it’s also more expensive than making your own.
Consider An Electric Lawnmower
Consider purchasing an electric lawnmower or weed wacker instead of a gas-powered machine. Gas engines have a significant impact on air quality. Using a gas-powered mower for one hour produces the same amount of emissions as driving your car for 64 miles. An electric mower produces zero emissions. If a new mower is not in your budget, mow less often and mulch the grass clippings.
Switch to a Reusable Water Bottle
Swap your plastic water bottle for a reusable one. Did you know that manufacturing one single-liter plastic water bottle requires at least six liters of water? The production of plastic bottles requires up to 17 million barrels of oil each year. Each bottle can take up to one thousand years to decompose. This simple change to a reusable water bottle dramatically impacts the environment in a positive way.
Start a Compost
Stop throwing food scraps into the trash. Instead, make a compost bin that breaks down food scraps into fertilizer. Watermelon rings, coffee grounds, eggshells, and other everyday leftovers will help your gardens grow.
Bring Your Own Reusable Shopping Bags
People use billions of plastic bags each year worldwide. Using reusable shopping bags at the grocery store is a simple lifestyle change that significantly impacts the environment. Plastic bags start as fossil fuels and end up as waste in the ocean and landfills. Birds and sea turtles sadly mistake shredded plastic bags for food.
Invest in Rechargeable Batteries
Invest in a complete set of rechargeable batteries for your electronics, remote controls, and smoke detectors. Buy them on sale and stock up over time. This keeps the dead batteries out of landfills and also saves money over time.
Make Some Easy Swaps
Make these simple swaps:
- Metal straws for plastic. Take them with you when you dine out.
- Cloth napkins and towels for paper.
- Cloth diapers instead of paper. Conventional diapers lay in landfills for up to 5 generations. Even if you use one cloth diaper a day, that will result in 365 fewer disposables in the landfill each year.
- Cardboard over plastic. It’s easier to recycle cardboard than plastic. Paper products break down more easily than plastic. Look for boxes of pasta instead of bags.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
You can set a programmable thermostat to turn on your air conditioner right before you get home from work or school and turn down the temperature at night. And it saves money on your energy bill. Duquesne Light Company can help with many of your home energy needs through assessments, energy savings, and education.
Yes, you really can make a difference with a few simple lifestyle changes. So go ahead and give some of these tips a try. The benefits will not disappoint!