Going Green

It's more than just remembering the words reduce-reuse-recycle; it's about making a conscious effort to change our habits in an effort to preserve the Earth's natural resources.

Woman with canvas shopping bags

Going green doesn't mean you have to join your local treehuggers club and wear clothes made of hemp, there are quick, easy ways that you too can go green – no matter how busy!

Turn off the water

Water is integral to our basic hygiene routine which is why this is where there is the most room for improvement. Consider turning off the water as you brush your teeth. Take it a step further and consider doing what people in Europe are already doing – turning off the water in the shower while you lather up! If turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth saves 3 gallons of water, think about how many gallons you could save by soaping and shampooing sans the water!

BYOB

Bring your own bags, that is. The amount of plastic bags consumed by Americans each year is mind-blowing. According to reusablebags.com, we have already used over 110 billion plastic bags this year alone, and all of them will eventually end up in landfills. Purchase or make your own recyclable totes and bring them with you the next time you are at the market.

Flip the switch

Don't leave the room with the lights left on and remember to turn off the computer when you go for a break or switch off the TV completely when you want to take a short nap. Completely unplug the "secret" power drainers like the toaster and cell phone chargers that use electricity even when not attached or charging anything.

Wash in cold

90 percent of the total amount of energy used by a typical washing machine is to heat the water; only 10 percent is used to power the motor. Unless your clothes are stained, there really is no need or benefit to washing in warm and hot water. Wash them in cold instead and extend the life of your garments and bedding.

Drive less or carpool

One of the biggest impacts we have on the planet is a direct result of the way we get from point A to point B. You might consider walking, biking or using mass transit, at least a few days a week. Maybe you can convince your boss to let you work from home? Maybe you can carpool with a friend? If it's impossible for you to drive less for work, try to limit driving on the weekends and holidays.

Going green doesn't have to mean a complete overhaul on your life. Try incorporating these easy ways to go green that fit into anyone's busy schedule.

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