Happy New Year to my followers!
A new year has arrived and it is time for fresh new habits. How many bad habits have you kicked to the curb and replaced with healthy ones? Did you make a resolution to be greener this year? In case you have, but are unsure where to start, here are a few ideas that won’t burn a hole in your pockets
1. Recycle: The amount of waste reduced by recycling is not something to laugh at. Plastic, cans, aluminum, paper, cardboard… the list goes on and on. Designate a bin in your kitchen just for recycling to make it easier when it’s time to throw it out. Here’s a great, inexpensive system I found on the Ikea website: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30167932/
2. Reusable Bags: Still using plastic and paper bags when shopping? Most stores and supermarkets now offer reusable bags at a very low price and some even offer incentives to customers using them. Pay attention next time you shop and you’ll be amazed at how much you can save.
4. Do Not Mail: Add your name to a “Do Not Mail” list in order to stop receiving unwanted catalogs and magazines. They all end up in the garbage anyway. You can do so at CatalogChoice.org. Instead subscribe to your favorite catalogs online.
5. Cold Water: Nowadays detergents have been improved to clean your clothes just as effectively in cold water. You will save a bundle by no longer washing clothes with hot water. Read the labels on the detergents. Most likely even your favorite brand offers an alternative.
6. Lower the Temperature: Adjusting your programmable thermostat to a few degrees lower will save you a significant amount of money and you won’t really feel the difference. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat yet, it is time to step into the new century Con Edison may even install one for you at no charge, just check the green portion of their website.
7. Buy Local: Check your community board for local farmers’ markets. The produce is much fresher and possibly even cheaper than the price tag at the supermarket. In addition you will encourage local small business growth!
8. Paper Towels: Cut back on paper towels by using kitchen towels and reusable napkins the next time you host a fancy dinner. Your guests will feel more special and you will have eliminated lots of paper waste.
9. Replace your Light Bulbs: Although a small investment, look for light bulbs with the energy efficiency logo on the box. They will last longer and save you money on your electric bill.
10. Educate: Last but not least, share your green resolutions for the new year with family and friends. Get them involved. They may feel inspired and decide to implement your advice in their lives as well.