Happy Earth Day! Today, and for the rest of the week, consider trading your usual habits for these green ones - but first - when was Earth Day created? Originating in 1970 following the devastating Santa Barbara oil spill, founder Gaylord Nelson was inspired to educate the public and build an environmentally conscious community. Nearly 5 decades later, Earth Day is a globally recognized day of support for environmental protection. While Earth Day only occurs once a year, committing to leading a “greener” lifestyle year-round is easier than it seems.
Ditch the plastic – go aluminum
This will not only save the environment, but save your budget. A 24 pack of water costs around $6. Buying a new pack every week cost you a hefty $312 every year. A reusable aluminum bottle is $5. You won’t need to say goodbye to filtered water either. An average water filter (which filters tap water) will run you around $25 with $8 refills suggested every 3 months. You’re still saving $250 on water annually.
Use a travel cup for coffee
Are you a coffee addict? Don’t worry, so is half of America. Unfortunately, this popular “addiction” is typically served in environmentally hazardous Styrofoam cups. Retailers favor Styrofoam for its low cost, but because it’s made of 98% air, recycling this material requires a very special and expensive machine. This is the reason most city recycling services won’t accept Styrofoam. However, you can feed your addiction without harming the environment. Consider purchasing a reusable coffee cup (around $10) as a substitute. Some coffee shops may even discount your coffee for your environmentally conscious effort.
Turn off devices before you go to work
Just because your TV is turned off doesn’t mean it isn’t using electricity. Electronics that remain plugged in – even when turned off and not in use – will continue using energy. What a waste! Form the habit of unplugging electronics – like your TV or cell phone charger – when they aren’t being used. Utilizing a power strip to power multiple devices will make the task of remembering to unplug much easier.
We’re not talking about wine bottles… Bring your own bags! Not only are reusable grocery bags inexpensive, they hold considerably more groceries than their plastic and paper counterparts. Wouldn’t reducing your car-to-kitchen grocery transfer to one trip be awesome? Major retailers like Whole Foods, Target, Kroger, and Foodland offer discount incentives for every reusable bag used per purchase. Plus, reusable bags can be used in areas outside of the grocery store. The next time you embark on a (well deserved) shopping spree, bring your own bags!
More than ever before, we’re constantly looking for ways to optimize gas mileage. Gas prices have even become large portions of many monthly budgets. Did you know going 10 mph over 60 adds 50 cents to the price of a gallon of gas? Slowing down will burn less gas leaving more money in your pocket and reducing your carbon imprint.
Lead the example
Saving the earth starts with you! By adopting these green practices, you’re setting a great example for generations to come. Through education and awareness, we can save the planet!