This goes out to all our friends as a reminder that we CAN make a difference in the world we live in. If not for us, for our children and the generations to come! Let’s set the example! After all, these Earth Day tips are simple and you can practice them year around. Here are a few really simple reminders about easy ways to cut down on your refuse and the energy your use! Happy Earth Day!
Cut down on the amount of trash you produce – RECYCLE!
For each trash bag (which should be made of recycled materials) of waste you put to the curb or toss away, nearly 70 trash bags of waste are used in order to generate that trash. You can seriously reduce this number if you start to buy more products in eco-friendly and recyclable packaging. Before you get discouraged thinking your efforts won’t make a difference consider this - the energy you save from recycling just 1 aluminum can will run a TV for nearly 3 hours. If there isn’t recycling in your community, request it. Use your own bins and recycle on your own. So many people we know hesitate to do this. You would be surprised at all the locations to drop off recyclables in your neighborhood or area. This is one Earth Day tip that is good to do every day!
Stop using paper and plastic grocery bags
Last year in the US, a staggering 12 million barrels of oil were used to make the nearly 89 billion plastic bags used by consumers. We are not just talking about the grocery store either here. Many merchants use plastic bags. It gets worse; we use 4 times more energy to make paper bags. Ugh! Now, when you do buy reusable shopping bags, go with those made as simply as possible. Don’t fall prey to a cute bag at the register just because it is there. It is not great to buy reusable shopping bags that use chemicals to write unneeded logos all over the non-eco-friendly materials they may be made out of. Even if the logo is about Earth Day! Go simple. Keep these bags right in your trunk where they will be easily stored for your next outing.
Stop using paper and plastic grocery bags
If you can buy reusable shopping bags, you can buy a reusable water bottle. Need some cajoling? Well, it takes 26 bottles of water to make the plastic container needed for a liter sized bottle of water. Making the plastic here in this example would contaminate 25 liters of ground water. Wow. What a vicious cycle. Buy reusable water bottles made from stainless steel or aluminum. They last a long time. If you must buy a plastic water bottle, check the number on the bottom of the bottle. Look for plastics numbered 1, 2, 4 or 5. Other numbers can be hazardous if used long term.
Use cold water when washing clothes
Only 10% of the energy used by most washing machines powers the actual motor. That means a staggering 90% of the energy that is used goes to heating the water. Unless you have really bad stains, clothes are cleaned just as well in clod water as heated water. If you do have major stains, change the setting to warm instead of hot. Even then be sure to rinse in cold water. Keep in mind, if you think using hot water kills all the germs you are so afraid of, it doesn’t. Actually, cold water kills as many germs as they do not survive cold either. Also, use clothing detergents and other laundry aids that are plant based, concentrated and biodegradable.
Don't ignore a leaky toilet
This Earth Day tip can save you more money than you might think.20% of the toilets in operation today have some sort of leak. You may or may not even hear the leak. A leaking toilet can waste anywhere between 30-500 gallons of water every day! No matter how small you think the leak is – fix it! It is simple to check for leaks in your toilet. No need to hire anyone. A leaky toilet is frequently caused by an old or poorly fitting flapper valve, which can easy be replace by you at little cost.
Switch to recycled paper products
Making the switch to recycled toilet paper can make a huge change in our challenged environment. If every household in the US bought just one four-pack of 260-sheet recycled bath tissue, it would get rid of 60,600 pounds of chlorine toxic waste, conserve 356 million gallons of fresh water and save nearly a million trees. This is An Earth Day tip to take to heart. Even if this is the one tip you take to heart, it will make a difference. By the way, recycled toilet tissue and paper towels are now basically the same price as the expensive brands out there!
A few other quick Earth day tips are to stop wasting gas. No need to run around town in the car needlessly. Plan your day better and get all your errands done in one trip. Give up 2 degrees on the thermostat at home. This will save you so much money and you won’t feel the difference in tempurature. Stop dry cleaning your clothes unless the cleaner is eco-friendly. Most business casual clothes are wash and wear anyway. Stop the madness of junk mail. Do you really need that cool looking catalog you never buy from? No.
We are not saying that a total change will happen over night, but please consider these simple Earth Day tips. Do your part and a difference will be made every time. Use common sense. We are paying record high oil prices right now. You feel it. We all do. Did it shock you about how much oil we use to make plastic shopping bags? It should!
Our last Earth Day tip to for you to check into your local community’s efforts to celebrate Earth Day. Most cities around the US will celebrate with expos and festivals where you can learn so many more Earth Day tips and meet awesome people! Please have a wonderful Earth Day. Respect our environment. As we say here at Save With Green - Save Money, Save The Earth, Save Yourself.
Author: Amy Wermuth