Going green is easier than you might think. No one's telling you to buy a hybrid or cover your roof in solar panels, but by taking some of these easy steps, you can help protect the environment for yourself and future generations.
1. Turn Off Electronics At Night
Photo Credit: cleantechnica.com
This one is literally as easy as pushing a button. The U.S. is notorious for wasting electricity, but you might not realize over half of the energy used by Americans is wasted. According to a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, energy efficiency is the cheapest method of providing Americans with electricity.
Studies have shown that Americans only use 39% of their energy efficiently
By simply switching off the computer, television, or lights around the house before you go to bed, you can help preserve natural resources and cut back on your own electric bill.
2. Drink Tap Water
Somewhere along the way Americans forgot that there's free flowing water in their own home. The obsession with disposable water bottles has gotten a little out of hand in recent years, with Americans using 167 on an annual average (and recycling only 38).1
The production of the bottles themselves hogs more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel over one million cars for a whole year!2
Why waste money on something that can be tapped into from your sink? For those concerned with tap water quality, investing in a water filter is an easy and helpful option.
3. Farmers Market
Visiting a farmers market every now and again is a great way to help protect the environment while supporting your local economy. Family farmers are in need of support, as most food in the U.S. travels 1,500 miles to get to your refrigerator.3
All those trucks driving food around pumps a ton of harmful emissions into the air, and that does the environment no favors at all. Your local grocery store is full of prepackaged food with mysterious origins, while the farmers market offers direct contact with the grower who can provide in depth knowledge of how the food was grown (and perhaps some fun recipes to try)!
Knowing there's an environmentally harmful industry behind what's on your dinner plate can really kill the appetite. Farmers markets take that bad taste out of your mouth with a green, fresh meal.
4. Green Products
Being careful with what you buy is a great way to stay green. Environmentally friendly products that cut down on unnecessary waste are a perfect way to support the green movement.
Products like Scott Tissue's Tube-Free Bath Tissue, which gets the green grade for removing the cardboard center of the roll, cut down on the resources they use on the production line. By purchasing more products like this one, you will not only help the environment today, but show other businesses that customers are environmentally conscious and it pays to make greener products.
5. Cut Down On Shower Time
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A nice hot shower can be the best part of the day sometimes, but hopping out just a few minutes earlier can do wonders for the environment. Waste like this, which comes out of typical human habits, is known as "behavioral waste" and can only be changed by individuals taking on responsibility and monitoring their actions.
Each extra minute in the shower uses 2.5 gallons of water that literally goes down the drain. Water heating accounts for nearly 17% of the house's energy use, so spending less time in the shower can do wonders for your bank account.
If timing out your shower allowance doesn't sound like a viable option, then attaching an EPA approved shower head saves water and therefore energy, making a long hot shower less of a guilty pleasure.