Everyone knows that going green is a good idea. We should all try to do our part to preserve our planet for future generations. However, many of us aren’t sure where to start. Often green ventures like installing solar panels can be costly and recycling centers may not be available in some rural areas. While some projects might seem a bit daunting, there are several tips that almost anyone can use to be more eco-friendly. In addition, these tricks will help you cut costs as you preserve the environment. You’ll be going green while saving green! Here are five simple ways to go a little greener in your home:
- Use a nylon shred bag to collect old documents. For our smaller commercial and residential clients, we offer (walk-in) retail shredding services and free nylon shredding bags. Once shredding is completed, everything is collected and transported to the Anchorage Recycling Center.
- Use cloth kitchen towels and napkins. If your household typically uses paper towels in your kitchen, you probably go through more than you realize. Many people use a roll or more a week without even thinking about it. Consider switching to a washable cloth for cleaning up cooking messes and drying your hands. Using cloth napkins at meals also cuts down on waste, especially if you have messy kids! You can still keep paper-based products on hand just in case, but using cloth when you can will minimize your carbon footprint and save you a little money as a nice bonus.
- Refill a reusable bottle for beverages. Plastic water bottles, juice boxes, aluminum soda cans, those trendy coffeehouse cups… All that waste adds up! Instead of buying individual containers of beverages, pick up larger jugs of water, juice, and soda. Purchase a tumbler that you can replenish throughout the day. You might also consider making your own coffee at home and refilling a thermos to cut down on the amount of paper cups you throw away. Again, this tip has the added advantage of keeping cash in your wallet.
- Buy snack foods in bulk. Individual beverage containers aren’t the only culprit of excessive waste in your trash can. Think about all the plastic wrappers and paper boxes that you toss out. One reason for this is the recent trend of products that are individually packaged for convenience and portion control. However, it’s just as easy to create your own on-the-go single servings. Instead of buying a package with several small bags of chips or cookies, buy larger bags and cases. Place the appropriate serving size in a small reusable container, such as Tupperware, and your snack can go with you anywhere. This is an easy step that only takes a few extra seconds but yields big benefits. Bulk-sized items are a better value and will really cut down on unnecessary garbage. This means you’ll take your trash out less often and therefore contribute to a better environment!
- Take advantage of natural light. On sunny days, try turning off most of the lights in your home. Just open the blinds and let the sun’s rays shine in! You’ll use less energy and save on your utility bill. Plus, studies show that limiting your exposure to artificial light will help you sleep better and can help improve your mood. So turn off those lamps and overhead lights whenever you can!
- Unplug electronics and small appliances when not in use. People often don’t realize that things like phone chargers and DVD or Blu-Ray players still consume energy, just by being plugged in. The same goes for kitchen items like toasters or blenders, which many of us leave plugged in day and night on our countertops. Get into the habit of unplugging your electronic devices and small appliances as soon as you’re through using them. This routine will conserve energy and cut electricity costs for your household.
Being eco-friendly is a goal that many people strive to achieve in their homes. However, it can be tough to know where to begin. These simple tips are quick and easy ways that allow nearly anyone to take a step in the right direction. If you save a little money in the process, then helping the environment will be even more satisfying. So go green and save some green! Get started today!