Earth Day comes around once a year as a reminder that changing your habits everyday can make Mother Earth happy. Additionally, becoming more green-minded can help save you money. A simple mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle will start a positive path for Mother Earth and potentially your wallet.
Water is easiest area to reduce and save. Atlanta faced a serious drought a few short years ago and many panicked to conserve. That scare changed habits and may have helped the earth for the better. Start water conservation, according to ABC News, by checking for leaks, “The NRDC estimates that leaky faucets waste about 3,000 gallons of water a year. The organization recommends checking for a leaking toilet by placing food coloring in the tank and then waiting 30 minutes to see if it appears in the bowl. If it does, it’s time to fix the leak.” Other ways to save water and lower your bills:
- Reduce your time spent in the shower or install a low flow shower head.
- Collect rain water outside in rain barrels and use it to water plants.
- Don’t cut the lawn too short so it doesn’t dry out and needs less water.
When you start thinking about how to reuse things instead of just tossing, it becomes a creative pursuit. Here are some ideas:
- Crafts. I have a friend who makes crafts from reusing items and makes money to boot! She makes bags out of juice boxes and magnets from dominos.
I’ve actually seen items like these sold at local mass chain stores. Get creative and make your own stuff before buying.
- Cleaning. Creatively use household items for cleaning such as old toothbrushes for cleaning grout and hard to reach places, old socks as dusters and old towels or t-shirts for cleaning the dog or the car.
- Cups and bottles. How many paper cups do you throw away per week from buying coffee? Or how bottles of water? Bring your own coffee mug to the café to minimize the disposal of paper cups and filter tap water to minimize water bottles in landfills.
I’m amazed in my neighborhood how few people actually recycle. In case you are not convinced it is worth the small effort, here are some quick facts from cleanair.org
- Recycling one ton of mixed paper saves the energy equivalent of 185 gallons of gasoline.
- Recycling aluminum creates 97% less water pollution than making new metal from ore.
- For every 10% recycled glass used to make new glass containers, energy costs drop 2-3 percent.
- It takes about 1,100 to 2,000 times as much energy to produce and transport the average bottle of water to Los Angeles as to produce the same amount of tap water.
- If we recycled all of the cell phones retired each year, we would save enough energy to power 18,500 homes for a year.
- Recycling one million laptops saves enough energy to power 3,657 American homes in a year.
- Recycling one million cell phones allows 35,274 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium to be recovered.
The bottom line: our lives depend on our home with Mother Earth. Help keep her beautiful by reducing, reusing and recycling. You just might find that your effort also helps your bottom line.
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