Like charity, environmentalism begins at home. Here are some painless ways to join the green brigade.
- Step 1: Have your name removed from unwanted catalog lists and solicitations by contacting the Direct Marketing Association. Pay your bills online and you’ll not only save trees, but postage.
- Step 2: Recycle glass, plastic, and paper. Consider this: If you recycle just one glass bottle, you save sufficient electricity to light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours.
- FACT: Americans receive an average of more than 500 pieces of junk mail annually, which comes to 4.5 million tons nationally, according to the Native Forest Network.
- TIP: Stash a string bag inside your handbag so that when you’re picking up just a few things in the market you can pass on the plastic bags, which take a long time to decompose.
- Step 3: Buy locally-grown food and you can reduce the amount of energy required to transport it to you by 20 percent.
- Step 4: Conserve electricity by turning lights off when you leave a room and unplugging appliances when they’re not in use. And invest in long-lasting fluorescent light bulbs – compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, they save about 150 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
- Step 5: Switch to non-toxic cleaning products. Baking soda, for example, can deodorize, unclog a drain and clean an oven. Not into concocting your own cleaning potions? Eco friendly cleaning products are now widely available.
- Step 6: Cut water consumption by installing a low-flow shower head. And opt for showers over baths: A four-minute shower uses about 10 gallons of water, while a full tub wastes 15 to 25 gallons. And, while you’re at it, don’t keep the water running while you brush your teeth.