1. Save energy at home. There are several easy changes you can make in your home to save energy and money. Set your thermostat a little lower in the winter and a little higher in the summer to reduce heating and cooling costs. Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Wash clothes in cold water when possible and use a drying rack or clothesline instead of a dryer.
2. Save water. Installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators can significantly reduce your water bills by lowering the amount of water that flows through them. You can also take shorter showers. For the garden, consider getting drought-tolerant plants native to your area, especially if you live in a warm, dry climate.
3. Use less gas. Walking or biking to work can save you money on gas and help you exercise each day. You might also consider telecommuting with your office or moving closer to reduce the length of your commute. If there aren’t sidewalks or bike lanes in your area, lobby your local government to increase spending – these improvements can help reduce traffic in a community.
4. Eat smart. If you eat meat, try to eat at least one meatless meal a week. Meat production has a considerable cost on the environment and it can be expensive. Consider buying locally raised and organic animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy to support healthy, sustainable farming.
5. Skip bottled water. Bottled water creates a considerable amount of plastic waste when it isn’t recycled properly. Consider using an aluminum reusable water bottle instead. You can also use a water filter at home to purify your tap water.
6. Buy used items. Buying secondhand products is a great way to “recycle” perfectly good items that someone doesn’t want anymore. For home items, check out websites like Craigslist and FreeSharing to find used furniture, appliances, and just about anything for sale in your local area. You can also look at garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and everyday items.
7. Borrow instead of buying. If you’re an avid reader who makes frequent trips to the bookstore, try going to the library instead to borrow books and movies. This saves resources that go into making books, and you’ll save a lot of money! You might also consider sharing items you don’t use very often like power tools with your neighbors and friends.
8. Buy smart. Purchase items that will save energy in the long run. Buying items in bulk can be cheaper and saves packaging. Try to buy clothes that don’t need to be dry cleaned. And if you can afford it, buy high-quality products that will last a long time rather than cheap alternatives that need to be replaced frequently.
9. Keep electronics out of the trash. Electronics can add toxic chemicals to the environment when sitting in landfills. Keep electronics like cell phones, computers, and TVs as long as possible. When you want to get rid of them, donate them to charity if they work or recycle them responsibly. Electronics stores like Best Buy offer e-recycling, and services might also exist in your local community.
10. Make your own cleaning supplies. Cleaning products contain lots of toxins that can contaminate our water and soil. Many cleaning product alternatives can be made with simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and natural soap. You’ll also save lots of money and reduce waste.
This article was written by Joanna Macaluso, who has been a certified accountant for over 15 years. She owns the site <a href=http://www.mastersinaccounting.net>Masters in Accounting</a> for students interested in getting an advanced accounting degree.