10 Really Easy Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Save the Planet
1. Instead of buying dishwashing liquid, opt for the new dishwashing foams like Palmolive’s Oxy Plus Foam, or Dawn Direct Foam. Instead of having to soak your dishes in water, you can clean a sink full of dishes with just one or two pumps of foam, and a wet sponge. It can last longer than dishwashing liquid if you resist the urge to pump more product when you run out of suds, just add a bit more water to your sponge and you’ve got more bubbles.You’ll have to use water to rinse the dishes, but you’ll totally save on the hot water you were going to use to soak your dishes if you were using dishwashing liquid.
2. Just say no to paper and plastic when you’re shopping. When you’re doing your grocery shopping you can end up with twenty or thirty plastic bags especially if you double bag, even when you’re just grabbing a few snacks or a t-shirt during a day out you can wind up with a few bags that were were totally unneccessary. So carry a tote bag with you just in case you buy something that’s too inconvenient to carry by hand, or if you don’t like totes use a bookbag or messenger bag instead.
3. Change your lightbulbs. By using a compact fluorescent bulb you’ll save 2/3 the energy it would have taken the old-school incandescent bulb to light a room, because they don’t use heat to create light. They also last ten times longer, so you’ll save money on buying bulbs and on your energy bill.
4. Take a shower instead of a bath. You’re saving lots and lots of water when you do this, more points if it’s a quick shower with cool water.
5. Open your curtains and blinds during the day to let some natural light in. You’ll be able to get bright crisp light for free, a little bit of extra warmth, an incentive for turning that thermostat down a bit, and the sunshine might even boost your mood, you have to love it.
6. Don’t just turn off that TV when you’re not watching it, unplug it too. Yeah, yeah it’s takes extra effort to get off the couch to turn off the television when you have a remote control, and even more effort to actually get up to unplug it, but appliances, even when turned off can still use electricity. So unplug all your things when you aren’t using them, especially when you leave your home. Also turn off the faucets while you’re brushing your teeth and washing your face and hands.
7. Only wash full loads of laundry, in cold water (try Coldwater Tide) if you really really want to wear that cute top tonight wash it by hand. Also, only wash clothes that are actually dirty, if you just wore those jeans once wear them again. Only wore that sweater for a couple of hours today? Wear it again. If you showered today and didn’t participate in a triathalon then chances are your body didn’t get dirty enough to stank up your clothes. If I’m wrong then by all means wash that shirt, but if I’m right, just put it back into your drawer and get another wear out of it. This rule doesn’t apply to underwear.
8. Walk more or ride a bike. If you live close to your work consider walking or riding your bike there. It will not only save gas and help the environment but it will also help improve your mood and can be great exercise. If walking isn’t an option, consider public transportation.
9. Pay your bills online and sign up for online statements. You’re gonna save yourself a headache, because you can pay it as soon as you want, or even a day before the bill is due without worrying if the company received it in the mail on time. You’ll also save all that paper that you wind up keeping in shoebox and eventually throwing away, you also save money on stamps.
10. Don’t buy bottled water. Instead invest in a filter for your tap and get yourself a cup that you can re-use and carry with you throughout your day. On a hot day you’ll be able to save a few bucks on the water bottles you’d eventually buy as well as the extra plastic that would wind up in a garbage can.
11. Bonus tip: Recycle and re-use as much as you can. Happy earth day.