In the past 10 years or so, there has been a great awakening as Generation X has begun to age and mature. There has been a dramatic realization that if we do not change the way we live, Planet Earth is doomed. The need to fix some of the mistakes that the earlier generations have produced is definite and we need to bring back our Clean Green Earth. The population is exponentially growing and there are questions as to how long we can sustain on this Earth without renewable resources like oil and clean water. The Earth is warming, the polar ice caps are melting and drought has become a common word. There is no doubt we have big problems right now, but there is also no doubt that the Generation that expanded the internet into the most common information resource has the ability to change and repair. Some people only get involved in the environment on Earth Day. Don't get me wrong ... every little bit helps. But you can make Earth Day every day by just making a few changes in your daily routine. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you will probably save some money in the long run and live a much happier, healthier life. Here are ten ways that you can go green. 1. Save energy to save money.
* Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs. * Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out. * Unplug appliances when you're not using them. Or, use a "smart" power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts "phantom" or "vampire" energy use. * Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water. * Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying. Save water to save money.
* Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too. * Install a low-flow showerhead. They don't cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment. * Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high. * Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out which occur naturally in your area.
2. Less gas = more money (and better health!).
* Walk or bike to work. This saves on gas and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity. * Consider telecommuting if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term. * Lobby your local government to increase spending on sidewalks and bike lanes. With little cost, these improvements can pay huge dividends in bettering your health and reducing traffic. Eat smart.
* If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it's even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs. * Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy. * Watch videos about why local food and sustainable seafood are so great. * Whatever your diet, eat low on the food chain. This is especially true for seafood. Skip the bottled water.
* Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste. * Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminum rather than plastic, with you when traveling or at work.
3. Think before you buy.
* Go online to find new or gently used secondhand products. Whether you've just moved or are looking to redecorate, consider a service...
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