Simple Stuff

"Going green" is all the rage these days -- but not only is it fashionable, it's also good for the environment. If you think being eco-friendly is too much of a hassle, we're here to show you that it's not.

You don't have to change your whole lifestyle or become a "tree hugger" -- just make a few minor adjustments, and you'll be on your way to helping preserve our planet... and saving money at the same time.Here are 10 simple ways to get started!

1. BYOB: BRING YOUR OWN BAG
When you go grocery, or any kind of shopping, bring your own bags with you. Whether it be a cloth bag you can use over and over again, or old plastic bags you're recycling from your last trip to the store, you'll be doing the world a favor by not having to make the choice between paper and plastic.2. SUPPORT LOCAL FARMERS
Buying local produce, meat, eggs, etc. will help cut down on oil and gas emissions it requires to transport food nationwide. You will also be more likely to receive a higher quality product.3. WHAT'S ON THE OUTSIDE COUNTS
Avoid purchasing items that use unnecessarily excessive packaging. Also, look for products that are contained in alternative, more earth friendly materials instead of plastic and cardboard.4. NO MORE JUNK MAIL
You don't like getting all that extra throw-away mail anyway. Go to Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service (dmaconsumers.org) to put a stop to unnecessary mailers and you'll not only save a few trees, but will also free up some mailbox space. Recycle what paper junk mail you still do get.5. EAT MORE VEGGIES
Make an all veggie dish for dinner once a week. Veggie production is far more energy efficient than meat production and it saves on noxious waste problems. 6. LEAVE THE CAR AT HOME
If possible, bike or walk to work. If you live too far away, look into telecommuting from home at least once a week or car pooling with your co-workers.7. BANISH BOTTLED WATER
Instead of purchasing a new bottle of water every time you're thirsty, buy a filter for your tap or a filtered pitcher and drink from that. This will not only save on container waste, but it will also save you money.8. SEE YOURSELF IN A NEW LIGHT (BULB)
Replace the light bulbs you have in your home with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL). As they convert most of the energy they use into light rather than heat, these light bulbs consume roughly 75 percent less electricity and last up to ten times longer. 9. RECYCLE YOUR ELECTRONICS
Don't just carelessly toss them in the dumpster. TVs, cell phones, computers, etc. can be easily recycled, thereby preventing chemicals and heavy metals from ending up in the ground. Go to mygreenelectronics.org to find recycling centers in your area.10. BUNDLE UP/STRIP DOWN
Since heating and air-conditioning make up almost half the energy used in homes, turning down the thermostat during the winter and turning it up during the summer just one or two degrees will produce less energy, as well as save on your heating and cooling costs. So adjust your thermostat and throw on some extra clothing or take some off if need be.

DO YOUR PART & SAVE MORE THAN MONEY
It doesn't have to be time consuming or complicated, but there are simple things you can do everyday to be a more environmentally friendly individual. If you do just one or two things on this list, you too can join the trendy "green"club.

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