So you made a resolution around green living in 2022 but have yet to make any changes that contribute to a more eco-friendly way of life? This article is intended to give you a jump start to making 10 very quick and easy adjustments that are good for the environment without spending a lot of money.
1. Inflate your tires to the proper PSI for your vehicle. You’ve heard it before… now make the commitment to stop TODAY at a station with an air pump. You can get a tire pressure gauge for only a couple of bucks if you don’t already have one (probably from that gas station). Refer to your manual or the driver-side door jam for the target PSI. Pressure is lost over time – do this every 3-4 months.
2. Put a lid on the pot. You can reduce the time and energy required to boil water or cook food by using a lid with your pots and pans.
3. Cover the foods you store in the refrigerator. Open food items introduce moisture to your fridge which will cause the compressor to work harder to keep it cool. Always use a tight-fitting lid or secure wrap over items to minimize the energy required to run the appliance.
4. Unplug appliances or chargers you’re not using or use power strips that can be easily switched off. Many household items suck small amounts of electricity even when they’re not being used. Your efforts to stop that from happening not only are good for the environment but may also save you $… up to 5% on your electric bill according to a new report on CNN.
5. Change the bulb. Of course, it’s better to turn off all lights when not in use AND to exclusively use eco-friendly lighting options such as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs). However, most of us aren’t there yet. If you’ve not switched all of your lightings over to either CFLs or LEDs, target the lights that are used most often or tend to get left on as the best place to try them.
6. Convert your toilet to “low flow”. If your toilet isn’t already low flow, you can do it yourself by adding a slim bottle or milk jug to the tank to displace some of the water that is used for each flush. It’s a simple adjustment and takes very little time… just do it.
7. Print double-sided. If your printer does this for you – great! If not, keep a stash of paper handy that can be reused when you need to print something out. Make the “to be recycled” paper the default supply in your printer and switch to clean copy only when you need it.
8. Speaking of printing – get your office into the act. Even though many workplaces already collect paper for recycling, chances are, most of the paper that goes in there could be used again first. Placing a collection tray that can keep cover sheets or 1 sided documents suitable for re-use by the printer could get things started. If your colleagues aren’t into using it, perhaps you can take it home.
9. BYOB – A water bottle that is! Plastic bottles contribute tremendously to landfills and still so few are actually recycled. Get a bottle that can be refilled for everyone in the family.
10. Bring your own bag. Chances are, you have a collection of bags (grocery, shopping, or even an eco-minded environmentally friendly bag) to reuse whenever needed. The problem for most is that the collection is at home and not on hand when needed. Take 2 minutes to grab a bunch and put them in your car and try not to forget they’re there.
Perhaps these tips are all ideas you’ve heard before – but have you done them?