5 Strategies for Living a GREENER LIFE!
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Today we want to share with you a special post:
5 Strategies for Living a GREENER LIFE!
Here you will discover our top 5 tips for living a greener life starting right now. Find out how you can save money and focus on a brighter tomorrow by going Green.
1- Switching To Reusable Shopping Bags
You've probably seen reusable shopping bags in just about every store you visit. That's because plastic bags have far too many side effects for us to continue using them much longer. On average, each one of us uses six plastic bags each week. That adds up to over 300 plastic bags every year, and they don't always stay in landfills.
Due to their lightweight nature, plastic bags often fly away into bodies of water, our yards, school grounds, and litter the countryside. Every year, thousands of animals die by mistaking them for food and ingesting. Some animals even find themselves caught in the plastic when swimming.
By switching to reusable shopping bags that are never thrown away, you'll be saving precious wildlife, along with our planet. Once plastic bags actually begin to break down, they release toxins into the water and soil. Those toxins can easily end up back in our bodies.
While some recycling plants will recycle plastic bags, the process is expensive and it rarely happens. The majority of plastic bags end up being either eaten by animals or decomposing, the latter of which can take anywhere from 15-1,000 years.
Some people think that paper bags are better because they're recyclable, but they still have a negative impact on our environment. Every year, the United States cuts down 14 million trees just to make paper bags. They also contribute to atmospheric waste more than plastic bags.
In addition to being a greener choice, using reusable shopping bags might save you money at the store.
Some places will give you a discount for using your own bag. For those of you who are business owners, this is a great opportunity to advertise yourself. Simply add your logo to reusable shopping bags and people will see it for years to come!
As you can see, the harmful effects of plastic bags are quite catastrophic. Even though there is an upfront cost to purchasing reusable shopping bags, remember all of the good you're doing for the environment!
2- Energy Efficient Appliances
When it comes to running a household and keeping it clean, the environment and your wallet will benefit when you use as little energy as possible. That doesn't mean sacrificing the quality of your work, though. Energy-efficient appliances are built to do just that: get the job done without compromise, while also using the absolute minimum amount of energy that's necessary.
For example, dishwashers and washing machines. Even if you choose a setting on your regular washing machine for a light load, it still uses more energy than what's necessary. Yet, when you do the same household chore with an energy-efficient machine, it uses even less energy while still cleaning. Thanks to new technology, your clothes may even come out cleaner
with the energy-efficient machine.
The less energy you use, the smaller your electric bill will be and the less impact you'll have on the environment. Whenever you run an electrical appliance, energy is created and has the potential to harm our environment. Since more and more people are looking for ways to go green, you'll also add significant value to your home. Possible homebuyers will see that your appliances are better for both the environment and their wallets.
To put your environmental impact into perspective, your greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced to about 130,000 pounds for the life of your energy-efficient appliances. Not to mention the Energy Star program has reduced emissions by 2.4 billion tons.
Even something as simple as a ceiling fan can help you go green. Many people already use them to save money on air conditioning. If you don't already have a ceiling fan in your home, consider installing one and you'll find yourself using less air conditioning. Better yet, install an energy-efficient one and really save money!
Thanks to the internet and wireless technology, appliances like thermostats can now be controlled remotely. This means that you can increase or decrease the temperature of your home, regardless of where you are. No more high energy bills because the heat was left on when nobody was home. Simply upgrade your current thermostat to a smart one.
These are just a few suggestions on the types of energy-efficient appliances you can have installed in your home. Do a quick internet search or visit your local appliance store to see other ways to go green.
3- Air Dry Your Clothes
It's not often that you see people hanging their clothes out to dry anymore. Some communities have even banned them from being an eyesore, which is sad because line-drying your clothes are great for the environment. Saving money is something that we all enjoy doing, and you could save upwards of $200 annually on your electric bill just by air-drying your clothes. If you don't have the ability to hang one up but have a deck, then consider draping your clothes off of the side of it to dry them out.
Clotheslines have long been the pinnacle when it comes to going green with your laundry. Not only does it conserve energy, but it also saves fossil fuels that will eventually run out. Right now, there are more than 90 million clothes dryers in the United States alone.
The carbon footprint from this household chore can be reduced by 2,400 pounds per year simply by air drying out our clothes! Obviously using a clothesline in the winter months isn't an option. During this time of year, you can simply use an indoor clothes rack to air dry.
Be sure to put down a towel underneath to absorb any water that might fall off of your wet clothes. Yet even if all of us air dried our clothes just six months out of the year, the residential output f carbon dioxide would decrease by about 3.3%. In addition to saving money and the planet, there are other benefits to airy drying.
If you or one of your household. Members are sensitive to laundry detergent and dryer sheets, then simply wash your clothes with a gentle detergent and then air dry. Air drying also saves you money by reducing the wear and tear on your clothes. All of that tumbling around in a hot dryer can really stretch your fabrics out, but air drying is virtually harmless.
While it may not seem like much, 15 minutes of hanging and bring in laundry burns around 70 calories too! See if using a clothesline is permitted where you live. If it's not, then consider speaking with your local officials to discuss the environmental benefits of it. If that still doesn't work, then an indoor drying rack is still a green option to consider.
4- Put An End To Junk Mail
If you're sick and tired of receiving so much junk mail, then you are not alone. Every year, people receive the weight of a 10-year-old child in the form of junk mail. Most of this mail doesn't even get recycled! Take just a few minutes out of your day, however, and you can put an end to this garbage.
Households across the world get about 69 pounds worth of junk mail every year, and that's really all it is because very few-business, actually stems from junk mail. In fact, the direct mail response rate is only about 2%. That means that only 2% of people who receive unwanted junk mail actually end up buying something.
Most of the rest goes right into the trash, not the recycling bin. To put that amount of junk mail into perspective, the 98% that goes to waste, it's between 9.8-23.5 billion gallons of water and 23 1/2 trees. It's also the energy equivalent of powering
245,000 homes annually.
You probably know that requesting it to be canceled doesn't always work. A telemarketer will sometimes promise it'll stop, but that doesn't always happen. A quick visit to the Direct Marketing Association may be able to help, though. At DMAChoice.org, you have the ability to put in your information and not be sent any junk mail.
It's their job to cater to your preferences, so you'll soon stop receiving almost all of the mailers that currently end up in your mailbox. If you're receiving a lot of credit card offers, then head on over to OptOutPrescreen.com. They work with Experian,
TransUnion and Equifax to make sure that you don't receive anymore, credit card offers.
Unwanted catalogs are another huge source of junk mail. Sometimes all you have to do is visit a website and within a few days, there's a catalog or flyer from them in your m mailbox. To be removed from catalog mailings, Epsilon's Abacus Cooperative is where you want to go.
Their website acknowledges that information is shared between companies, but you have the right to request that it not be. Simply send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org along with your full name, current and past addresses up to six months. You can also call them at 1-888-780-3869.
For everything else, your best bet is to call companies directly whenever you receive their mailings. Make it clear why you want to stop and that you're just not interested.
5- Give Up Plastic Water Bottles
Even though plastic water bottles are recyclable, that doesn't mean they actually end up being recycled. Not only do less than 20% of them actually end up being recycled and reused, but all of that energy used to do so is more often than not just wasted.
Many water companies who sell plastic bottles of water use municipal water, which is the exact same stuff that you can get directly out of your tap. If you frequently buy this type of bottled water, then consider investing in a reusable water bottle.
There are so many on the market now, thanks to such high demand by people wanting to go green. Simply fill it up before you leave everyday! In the long run, you'll save money and do your part to help save the planet. It takes a tremendous amount of time, energy, and oil just to get you a plastic bottle full of municipal water.
If you have a rainwater collection system in place, as we discussed in our special report on ways to go green, then even better! Fresh rainwater has absolutely no chemicals in it and isn't hard, so it tastes great. No need to purchase disposable water bottles.
There's also the added benefit of not needing all of that manpower to simply bottle water. Think about all of the energy that goes into pumping municipal water into plastic bottles that will probably just end up in a landfill. Plastic bottles that don't end up being recycled often end up in the water, which drastically affects marine life. They can be consumed by whales, turtles, and other marine animals that can easily die from trying to consume them.
The caps on these bottles are incredibly harmful to wildlife, too. Since they're so small, animals can easily swallow them without realizing it. Be sure to thoroughly wash out your reusable water bottle at the end of each day too, to prevent bacteria from building up. You can even buy reusable water bottles that have markings on them to encourage you to drink more, which is beneficial to your health!
We hope that you've enjoyed these tips on easy ways to go green and that you'll make some of these changes. Your wallet, health, and the environment will thank you!
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