By Arden Spearman
It’s Earth Day, so it’s natural that we’re thinking about our beautiful planet and how to take care of it. But with so many ways to go green, where is the best place to start? Thankfully, there are easy ways to make a positive impact on the environment at home and in your everyday routines. We’ve rounded up a few, and there’s no better way to celebrate the Earth than starting one of these eco-friendly habits ASAP.
1. Cut down on food waste. In the United States, about one pound of food per person is thrown away every day That’s a lot of food. Not only could that food be used to feed people in need, but food waste also has numerous negative impacts on the environment. Try to donate extra non-perishable food items to your local food bank rather than throwing them out. Extra food scraps can also be used to make compost, a sustainable alternative to throwing them away. Learn more about composting here.
2. Recycle. Paper, plastic, aluminum – recycle it all. You’ve heard it a million times before, but recycling is a simple, effective way to help the environment.
3. Shop local. Visit local farmers markets for produce instead of buying at big-box stores, if possible. This helps because processed foods and imported items use more energy to make and distribute. Plus, you’ll end up eating fresher, healthier foods.
4. Buy reuseable products. Use a refillable cup, mug or bottle for your drinks throughout the day instead of disposable ones. Many everyday products are now made to be reuseable, even drinking straws. Every time you use something reusable, you’ll help reduce the amount of waste going into landfills or the ocean.
5. Watch your thermostat. Keep your thermostat comfortably close to the outdoor temperature if at all possible. This will help you save both energy and money.
6. Cruise. Using cruise control in your car has been shown to improve gas mileage by up to 15 percent, in turn helping the environment.
7. Go paperless. Pay household bills online to save paper.
8. Keep a clean lint filter. Clean the lint filter in your dryer regularly. You know when you end up drying the same load of clothes twice to get them dry? That’s because dirty lint filters make your dryer less effective and can cause a nearly 30 percent increase in energy use.