Whether you know it or not, you consume energy with nearly everything you do in an average day. From the shower you take in the morning to the food you eat for breakfast to the mail the comes to your box every day to the consumer goods you purchase. It all has an impact on your carbon footprint, and to your wallet.
You can make a big difference for the planet by becoming more aware of how little habits and actions contribute to your overall energy consumption and then choosing to adjust your daily life accordingly. In the end, you’ll be preventing carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, and as is true with most green actions, you’ll be saving money, too.
- Take books out from your local library rather than buying new books. You’ll pay $20 every year in taxes to support your library and could easily see a return on that investment by borrowing one or two books instead of buying brand new.
- Instead of buying take-out food for lunch, bag your own lunch in reusable containers and save between $5 and $6 daily.
- The average American receives 41 pounds of unsolicited mail every year—on paper that requires the removal of trees and the use of energy to produce. Disposing of this unwanted mail costs our country $320 million every year. Cut your aggravation and paper-related energy use by contacting the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) to have your name added to the “do not mail” list.
- Buying and trashing thousands of diapers per child adds a significant energy burden to the environment. The average baby will go through $2,000-$3,000 worth of disposable diapers, whereas a three-year supply of cloth diapers will cost anywhere between $300 and $800.
- It takes 60-70 percent less energy to make recycled paper compared to paper made from virgin pulp, so purchase the highest possible post-consumer waste content paper possible.
- Installing a green roof can help you save energy and money in three ways: green roofs protect existing roof materials, protecting them from damage for many years longer than normal. They also cut down on heating and cooling costs in your home and can be a space where you grow your own fruits and vegetables.
- Make your own green cleaning products to cut down on cleaning costs. Eco-friendly cleaning products made at home will be non-toxic and easy to make.
- Compost your organic waste to save money every year in your garden. By making your own compost, you’ll save the cost of buying new soil amendments every spring, plus you’ll cut down on the energy it takes to haul away your waste.