There’s no denying that a crisis is brewing when it comes to planet earth. Waste is at an all-time high, and climate change is a present reality. In truth, drastic changes are needed to prevent potential disasters from occurring in just a matter of decades. Making lifestyle choices that are a little greener can seem overwhelming and even impossible to most busy adults. If you think you can’t make changes that will impact the environment, start small. From the ecoATM to energy-efficient habits, there are plenty of practical ways to reduce your carbon footprint without drastically altering your life. In fact, these simple changes can feel absolutely effortless while keeping the planet green and keeping more green in your wallet.
Switch to Reusable Household Products
Disposable items are very convenient, but they add many unnecessary wastes to landfills—Swap plastic water bottles for a simple filtration system and reusable cups. Make your morning coffee at home, or invest in a refillable travel cup or mug that your favorite coffee shop can fill instead of a disposable one. Instead of using plastic bags to store leftovers and pack lunches, purchase reusable containers to keep your food fresh. Use cloth napkins and washcloths instead of paper napkins and paper towels. Not only will you cut down on unnecessary waste, but you can save some serious cash by making the switch to reusable products.
Recycle, and Do It Responsibly
Chances are, your area provides recycle bins for residents and collects items regularly. You may have to be proactive about acquiring a bin, but it should be a quick and easy one-time process. Next, do your research to find out what the rules are for recycling in your area and whether or not you need to sort items into categories, such as paper, plastic, and glass. Set up a simple station near your kitchen trashcan, so recycling is just as convenient as tossing it into the trash. But before you recycle, make sure you clean everything thoroughly.
Dispose of Electronics Properly
About half of Americans replace their cell phone every two years or as soon as their provider covers an upgrade. Also, most laptops get swapped with a newer model every three years. That’s a lot of electronic waste that shouldn’t sit in the dump. Instead, talk to ecoATM professionals to find out the best ways to recycle your unwanted electronics so the parts can be reused and waste is disposed of safely. Many places offer cash or incentives for bringing in unwanted cell phones, tablets, and MP3 players.
Adjust Your Home’s Temperature
Most Americans live in a home with central heating and air. Everyone is different when it comes to temperature preferences, but adjusting the thermostat by only a few degrees can greatly impact saving energy. Start gradually, so you’ll be more likely to stick with it. If you don’t already have one, upgrade to a programmable thermostat to help your home heat and cool more efficiently. It will also save you from forgetting to bump it up or down on your way out the door.
Rethink How You Clean
From appliances to household products, cleaning supplies can have a major impact on the environment. Start by replacing outdated dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers with energy-efficient models. Wash on the lowest temperature possible; there are plenty of soaps and detergents out there designed to get things clean in cold water. Skip the heat dry option on your dishwasher, pull out the racks and let it air dry instead. When cleaning, use reusable sponges and rags instead of paper towels and disposable wipes.
These small changes are certainly doable for most Americans with minimal thought and effort. Not only will you help save the planet, but you’ll save money too!