Earth Day 2017 - 5 Steps to a Greener Home
Going green isn’t just something we can do for the environment, the planet, and the future we leave for our children and grandchildren. It can also save us money, time, and stress. Many people want to do more for the environment, but they don’t always think they make a difference or know where to start.
This Earth Day commit to a greener home and a greener life in a few easy steps that won’t just help the planet - it will help you, too.
Get Less Paper Mail
Email has become the standard for many of us, making physical mail a rarity. Except for junk mail, which will probably get mailed out forever. You can save the environment and have less junk mail on your kitchen counter at the same time. Go to DMAchoice.org to reduce the junk you receive.
And if you want to take it another step, go paperless for as much of your legitimate mail as you can. Credit cards, insurance companies, and banks will email your statement to you, and you can usually read your magazine subscription on an app.
Use Less Plastic
Plastic is everywhere and in everything, but we don’t recycle it as much as we should. Three hundred tons of plastic are made each year, but we only recycle 10 percent of it. Instead of feeling bad about how much you’re not recycling, just use less plastic.
- Swap plastic grocery store bags for the reusable kind. They cost about $1 each, and they hold a lot more groceries.
- Ditch the plastic utensils and paper plates for the real thing.
- Replace your plastic cups with glass when you can. Toddlers and little kids need plastic but you don’t.
Eat Less Meat
The popular option is “meatless Monday” but any day of the week will do. Replace one meal a week with a vegetarian option, and you’ll not only eat healthier, you’ll help the environment. The meat industry - from shipping to processing - accounts for 20 percent of greenhouse emissions. If you don’t eat meat once a week for a year, it’s like you drove 320 miles fewer in that same year.
Lower Your Grocery Bill
Simply buying a little less food will save your grocery bill and benefit the environment. We waste a lot of food every year, estimates put it between 25 and 40 percent. We let it go bad in the refrigerator or just throw out the leftovers instead of saving them. You can lower your grocery bill and your impact on the world in a few easy steps.
- Make grocery lists for exactly what you need.
- Don’t buy in bulk unless you know you’ll use all of it.
- Eat leftovers.
Another option is to drink tap water instead of bottled. Most bottled water is filtered tap water anyway. Since we’re not recycling as much as we should and producing so much plastic a year, you’ll not only save on groceries but you’ll reduce plastic consumption. If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, you can buy a filter for it.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Everything
You don’t have to do this all at once, but as light bulbs stop working and appliances need to be replaced, choose energy-efficient options. LED light bulbs are more expensive to buy than standard but they last longer and use less energy. You’ll save money over time by buying fewer bulbs and lowering your electric bill. Newer appliances will have the same results - slightly more expensive to buy up front but the cost-savings will be immediate.
You can go green because you care about the environment - that’s a worthy reason. But you can also do it because it saves you time, money, headaches, and hassles. That alone makes these small changes worth the effort.
Now that you’re saving money at home because you’ve gone green, make sure you’re not paying too much for your home insurance. Contact us at Ross today for an estimate to see if you can find a policy that’s just as good but costs less.