When you think of going green at home, you probably think of recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans and installing solar panels. If you are like most people, you then probably think of the price tag attached to those solar panels and quickly become discouraged. If this sounds like you, you will be happy to learn that there are several small, affordable ways that you and your family can become greener without breaking the bank. Implement these budget-friendly tips to go green without overspending.
#1 Tip to Go Green: Reuse Shopping Bags
Cutting back on plastic bags can go a long way towards reducing waste. Keep a collection of reusable bags in your car so that you will not risk forgetting them at home on grocery day. This collection of bags should include canvas reusable shopping bags for your groceries as well as reusable nylon bags for produce. If you are only buying a couple of items and you did not bring a reusable bag into the store with you, go bagless until you get out to your car.
#2 Tip to Go Green: Reuse Containers
Another way to reduce plastic waste is by skipping disposable water bottles. Invest in a reusable bottle that will keep your water cold all day. If you drink a lot of soda, try buying larger containers that can be poured into reusable cups instead of spending more for pre packaged individual servings.
You can also bring your own reusable mug to your local coffee shop instead of using their disposable cups. Cutting back on to go boxes and take-out containers can be more difficult, but most restaurants are happy to let you take your leftovers to go in a container you brought from home. While it is definitely more convenient to use the restaurant’s to go cups and containers, the environment will thank you for bringing your own.
#3 Tip to Go Green: Turn Down Freebies
Are you often being handed flyers, pens, or other promotional items that you never use? Many people accept these items and then throw them away a few days or weeks later. Reduce waste by saying no to promotional items that you are not interested in owning.
#4 Tip to Go Green: Conserve Electricity
When you think about conserving electricity, many people think about turning off the lights when you leave the room or keeping the temperature higher in the summer and colder in the winter. While this can make a huge impact on your electric bill, these are not the only things you could be doing.
Many objects consume electricity even when they are not actively being used. This phenomenon is called phantom energy and can represent up to 10% of your electric bill. Common culprits of this are small kitchen appliances that are only used a few times each day but stay plugged in all the time. Unplug electronics when you are not using them to save money and energy.
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