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Everyday Planet Saving Tips

Michelle Goes Green

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Saving the planet, conserving and using sustainable products has become more than a passing fad. It has evolved into a way of life. Being environmentally conscious often also means being financially conscious – it saves money. Let’s look at 7 things you can do every day to save the planet.

#1 Buy and use reusable shopping bags. Whenever you go shopping, whether it’s at the grocery store or clothing store, use reusable bags. You can often purchase these durable cloth bags at your local market or home store but you can also order designer reusable shopping bags online. You can even make your own. The cost of a reusable bag bought at the market costs just a few dollars and you’re saving the earth from the landfills. Plastic takes 1,000 years to decompose and paper bags use 14 million trees a year.

#2 Turn it off. Whether it’s lights or the water faucet, turn them off when you’re not using them. Every day we leave the water running while we brush our teeth, wash our face, shave and shampoo our hair. Turn it off when you’re not using it and save thousands of gallons of water each year. And if you’re in the habit of leaving the lights on when you leave the room a simple change in habit, turning them off when you leave the room will save energy and money.

That goes for your computer too. When you’re not using it, rather than putting it into sleep mode, turn it off.

#3 Adjust your thermostat. This is an easy one. Simply lower your thermostat in the winter by 5 degrees and raise your thermostat 5 degrees in the summer and you’ll save both on your electric and gas utility bills, and you’ll save resources.

#4 Walk when you can. Walking is great exercise. It allows you to get valuable fresh air and sunshine and walking conserves fuel. If walking isn’t an option, consider a bicycle. You can cover the same amount of distance in about half the time and biking is exceptional exercise. You don’t have to be Greg Lemond (my favorite cyclist) to get on a bike, and your bike doesn’t need to be fancy.

#5 Reduce, reuse, and recycle. We’re not just talking about the basics here. Yes, it’s great to reuse that bag your last birthday present came in however what about reusing the same water glass throughout the day to save washing the same dish repeatedly. You can also pour the stale water in your pet’s water dish into your plants. You can use food containers to pack your lunch instead of plastic baggies and plastic wrap. The options to reduce, reuse and recycle are endless. Take a look around your home and see where you can conserve

#6 Light Bulbs. When your light bulbs burn out, instead of replacing them with another standard light bulb, replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs. They’re energy smart and while they cost a touch more than a standard bulb, they last 10 times longer.

#7 Cleaning Products. As you run out of cleaning products in your home, replace them with natural or environmentally friendly cleaning products. Look for biodegradable products and if you’re unsure whether a product is environmentally safe, look for the health warnings. If it’s warning free, meaning nothing on the label says toxic, dangerous, warning or any other alarming notation, then you’re probably safe.

There are hundreds of small steps you can take every day to make the planet we live on a healthier and safer place to be. Start with these everyday tips, integrate them into your daily routine. Once they become a habit you can look for new eco-friendly habits to adopt.

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