Easy Green Habits You Can Adopt Today

Nine quick changes to benefit the environment

Living a life thatldfinance_e_a002979774 is friendly to the environment doesn’t necessarily mean making sweeping changes in all areas of your life. Buying an electric car, installing solar panels on your home or living off the grid can be too costly for some and too extreme for others. A few small changes to your everyday life can reduce your carbon footprint and make a difference in the world around you.

Use fewer disposable products
Much landfill waste is created by disposable products used only for convenience. Paper plates, Styrofoam cups, plastic silverware and disposable water bottles are mostly used to save time washing dishes. Whenever possible, choose reusable items first before reaching for disposable items that will end up in the trash.

Buy products with less packaging
Many products come with a ridiculous amount of packaging, intended only to help sell the product while displayed on store shelves. When shopping for items, opt for the item with less packaging and less waste.

Drive less and exercise more
Carpooling with others, combining errands in one trip, or walking and biking to your destination will save money on gas expenses and result in less carbon emissions in the air. As an added bonus, walking or biking will also improve your overall health.

Purchase items secondhand
Buying something used often saves that item from going into a landfill and prevents less waste. Look for pre-owned items first, before buying a new item.

Give away items vs. throwing them in the trash
Even though you may not have a use for your unwanted clothing and furniture, others might. Before throwing your stuff in the trash, offer it for free to others who might have a need for it. A young mother might welcome your children’s clothes, and a college student may welcome your discarded furniture.

Choose cloth over plastic shopping bags
One trip to the grocery store can easily yield 10 or more plastic shopping bags. Keep a stash of cloth shopping bags in the trunk of your car for shopping trips and use them over and over again.

Hang clothes to dry
Whenever possible, hang your clothes to dry instead of expending energy from your dryer. Even hanging two loads of laundry a week will reduce your electric bill and help preserve your clothing.

Change your light bulbs
Although energy-efficient light bulbs can cost more than traditional bulbs when you purchase them, the energy savings over time is substantial. As your light bulbs burn out, consider replacing them with newer, energy-efficient bulbs.

Choose virtual bills
The extra paper and waste created from paper billing results in more trash. Many companies now offer email billing. Paying online can also save on the production and disposal of paper, as well as time and money on postage.

Making a few small changes to your daily habits can help you live a life that is friendlier to the environment and benefits the world around you.

Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser
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