---- — “Help save the planet.”
It’s a common phrase that sounds impossible to most of us. After all, what can one person really do to make an impact on the huge environmental issues facing people all over the world?
But going green doesn't have to be a daunting task that means sweeping life changes. Simple things can make a difference. If everyone pitched in, it wouldn’t take long to see real change.
Here are a few easy tips to start doing your part. They might not be new, but they bear repeating. Sometimes it takes a few reminders for things to take root.
1. CHANGE YOUR LIGHT
If every household in the United State replaced one regular lightbulb with one of those new compact fluorescent bulbs, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road.
Don't like the color of light? Use these bulbs for closets, laundry rooms and other places where it won't irk you as much.
2. GO VEGETARIAN ONCE A WEEK
One less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet. For example: It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. You will also also save some trees. For each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rainforest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed.
3. RETHINK BOTTLED WATER
Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, instead taking thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet, and possibly your health. The EPA's standards for tap water are more stringent than the FDA's standards for bottled water.
4. BAN BATHTIME
Have a no-bath week, and take showers instead. Baths require almost twice as much water. Not only will you reduce water consumption, but the energy costs associated with heating the water.
5. BUY LOCAL
Consider the amount of pollution created to get your food from the farm to your table. Whenever possible, buy from local farmers or farmers' markets, supporting your local economy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in.
6. USE YOUR CRUISE CONTROL
You paid for those extra buttons in your car, so put them to work! When using cruise control your vehicle could get up to 15% better mileage. Considering today's gasoline prices, this is a boon not only for the environment but your budget as well.
7. DON'T RINSE
Skip rinsing dishes before using your dishwasher and save up to 20 gallons of water each load. Plus, you're saving time and the energy used to heat the additional water.
8. ADJUST YOUR THERMOSTAT
Adjust your thermostat one degree higher in the summer and one degree cooler in the winter. Each degree celsius less will save about 10% on your energy use! In addition, invest in a programmable thermostat which allows you to regulate temperature based on the times you are at home or away.