The annual day of support has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 43 years, with events now held around the world to promote and support the idea that we as humans should protect the environment.
But the truth is that we shouldn’t wait for Earth Day, April 22, to practice environmental awareness and responsibility.
“Going green” is a lot easier than you might think, and taking simple steps such as the 40 Earth Day tips we’ve listed below will not only help save the environment, but it’ll also help save you money!
TIPS FOR SAVING GAS
• For every three pounds that your tires are below their recommended pressure, your fuel economy drops 1%. Check the inside of your driver’s side door for the manufacturer’s label indicating the proper PSI (pounds per square inch) needed to properly inflate tires for your car.
• Save gas by driving sensibly (aggressive driving lowers gas mileage by 33%) and maintain a steady speed via cruise control.
• Remove any excess weight (an extra 100 pounds in your trunk reduces your mpg by 2%).
• If you’re idling for more than a minute, turn off the car until you’re ready to move again. Idling uses 1/4 to 1/2 a gallon of gas in an hour, costing a couple of cents per minute.
• Don’t warm your car up in the mornings. Use a
to stay warm and a pitcher of hot water to defrost the windows.
• Choose native plants with brightly colored red, purple and yellow flowers to
and provide shelter.
• Provide water, whether via natural springs, birdbaths or ponds to attract birds and other wildlife.
DIY Rainwater Harvesting
System that collects rainwater for use on lawns and gardens. All you really need is a 50-gallon barrel, a screen for filtering and a spigot!
• Recycled containers such as yogurt cups and egg cartons are great for starting seeds. Use a nail to poke drainage holes in the bottom, and ensure the containers are thoroughly cleaned before planting.
grounds and dried, crushed up eggshells make great fertilizer! Spread some over plants and flowers, or mix some in planting soil before planting.
• Let your
truly go green, reducing chemical use and turf grass while letting the birds be your pest control for ants, spiders, and other insects.
by collecting food waste and plant debris outside in a bin. Moisture, heat and aeration will help to speed up the process.
• A full bath can take up to 70 gallons to fill, while a 5-minute shower uses just 10-25 gallons. Better yet, shower with your partner and together you’ll save nearly 100 gallons of water!
Installing a low-flow shower head costs just $20, but this simple screw-on attachment can reduce water usage by 50-70%! Better still, a DIY shower shutoff valve will allow you to cut the water off while you get soapy without having to re-tweak your temperature.
• Any toilet manufactured before 1992 uses at least 3.5 gallons per flush. Modern low-flow toilets use less than 1.28 gallons, saving 60% of the water. A new toilet may cost a few hundred bucks, but it will save you several thousand dollars in water consumption over its lifetime. (Note: adding a brick to the toilet tank will help save even more!)
• According to the EPA, a typical single-family home uses 30% of their water on irrigation to water their lawn. In many cases, more than half of that water is being wasted due to evaporation and runoff caused by overwatering. Instead of high-maintenance lush green lawns, consider using the natural landscaping of your region, or at least creating an edible garden to offset your water usage.
• A big part of our water problem isn’t just that we over-use, but that we don’t make the most use of the water we have. Put a bucket in the shower to catch the grey water, then use that to flush your toilet. My grandmother used to wash her dishes in a plastic bin, then pour the nutrient-rich water over her plants.
• Visit the
website to learn ways to dispose of unusual household products ranging from paint thinner and used batteries to broken computers and cell phones.
• Ceiling fans can create a killer breeze, or simply circulate the air from your AC more efficiently. Make sure you buy Energy Star fans, which use 50% less energy than comparable models.
• Incandescent light bulbs create as much heat as they do light, and home electronics stay hot even when they’re on standby. Shut ‘em off to save energy and cool things down a notch, and consider replacing old bulbs with Energy Star bulbs, which produce 75% less heat.
• Opt-out of any catalogs or subscriptions you don’t read or could read electronically instead.
• Power strip your small appliances and turn them off when not in use.
• Replace traditional appliances with ENERGY STAR qualified appliances (refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines, dishwashers, etc.).
• Add insulation to your attic and seal all windows and doors with caulk. Swap out older windows with more energy efficient models.
• Change air filters regularly and upgrade your water heater.
• Install a programmable thermostat to regulate temperature.
GREEN CLEANING TIPS
Just by covering a pot on the stove top, you can reduce energy use by up to two thirds and heat food faster, saving you both time and effort.
• Simultaneously preparing more than one food in the same pot saves both time and energy. For example, while boiling pasta you can easily steam fresh vegetables over the top of the pan.
Paper products account for a third of the total waste in landfills. Sponges and cloth towels are cheaper, reusable, and take up less space than a roll of paper towels, and are easily disinfected by boiling them in hot water.
Newspaper is great for cleaning mirrors and glass, and won’t leave behind a trail of lint like paper towels.
Lemons have antibacterial qualities and will leave your kitchen smelling fresh. Tough stains on countertops can be removed by simply leaving lemon juice on the stain for a few minutes, and then wiping it away with a wet cloth.
• To maintain a sparkling clean toilet, use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar rather than harmful bleach.
•To clear a clogged sink drain, try using a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Let the vinegar mixture sit for 15-30 minutes, and then run some hot water down the drain.
• Coffee grounds are an easy, greener alternative to pest repellents. Sprinkle some around any areas of the home that are prone to ants and get rid of a pesky problem.
• Use coffee grounds to help remove grease and stuck-on food from pots and pans. Just mix them with a little water and the abrasive, acidic properties of the grounds will making cleaning quick and painless.
• When you leave your hotel room, turn off the lights, heat/AC and TV.
• Leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door so housekeeping staff won’t clean your room every day, which will save on cleaning supplies and the electricity of vacuuming and washing bed linens.
• Take a BPA-free water bottle you can refill.
• Use just one bar of soap for both sink and shower.
• Return brochures and maps once you’re finished using them.
• NEVER use the hotel laundry, as they typically wash each guest’s
separately, even if there are only a few items.
• Stick to marked trails to avoid harming native flora, and consider taking a bag to pick up trash along your journey.
• Shop smarter. Read labels, and ask questions like “What is this item made from?” All over the planet people sell items made from non-sustainable hardwoods, endangered species, and ancient artifacts.
• Buy local, seeking out indigenous artisans and learning about their craft.
• Choose a
that uses alternative energy sources, employs locals, and has a recycling program.
• Hang your towels up and re-use them for several days, just as you would at home.
–includes contributions by Bret Love, Carisa Turner, Emma Jane Higgins, Holly Young & Jenni Williams
If you enjoyed reading our 40 Earth Day Tips for Going Green, you might also like:
GO GREEN TIP #71:
The Eco-friendly Way to Clean Bathrooms
GO GREEN TIP #91:
Attract Birds To Your Garden
GO GREEN TIP #95:
Recycling Tips for America Recycles Day
GO GREEN TIP #96:
Green Travel Tips For Choosing Hotels
This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at greenglobaltravel.com