Many people are looking for ways to be kinder to the environment but don't want to buy 15 reusable shopping bags, pay extra for organic food or buy a hybrid car. No fear! Here is a short list of free ideas to save money while going green. Remember, using fewer resources is always better and recycle all you can!
- Turn off lights and open your blinds to make use of natural light. You'll be surprised how light it feels indoors without using electricity.
- Print double sided. Use 50% less paper! Some printers can be set to automatically do so.
- Download EcoFont which uses 30% less printer/ copier toner. Tiny holes within EcoFont use less ink. Download a free version here.The newest version of MS Word already has the font included; check to see if you have it!
- Recycle cell phones, computers and printer cartridges. Many stores offer drop off locations or even exchanges. These sorts of products are consumed although not necessarily broken.
- Use vinegar and baking soda to clean your kitchen and bathroom. |These more natural cleaners are easier on septic tanks and community water treatment systems as well as deodorize and sanitize just as well (better, sometimes!) than many store bought products. Find some recipes at the Earth Easy website.
- Drive efficiently. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. While driving less than 45 mph, open windows instead of using the air conditioning.
- Adjust your thermostat. Set your heat to 68 degrees in the winter and 72 or less in the summer.
- Lower your water heater to 120 degrees. This is also a safer temperature if you have kids in the home to make sure they don't accidentally scald themselves.
- Make use of your community recycling program. You may need to haul your own but many communities in the Cleveland area are using a curbside system.
- Only run your dishwasher when it is full. | Use less soap and less water!
- Fill your fridge. As it takes more energy to run an empty refrigerator and freezer, you can save money by filling any extra room with reused water jugs.
- Don't leave your cell phone plugged in after its fully charged. Even though it says 100%, you are still using energy so don't charge it over night.
Remember: reduce, reuse recycle!