It has come to my attention that not all Americans are taking care of the environment as much as they should. We have all heard of the simple ways of preserving the Earth: recycle, turn off the lights when leaving a room, do not keep the water running when not necessary, etc. However, not everyone has heard of specific ways to do all of these things and how easy it can be. Additionally, by preserving the Earth, you can also save some money. Here are some ways to do so:
Use Rechargeable Batteries
Each year, Americans throw out almost 180,000 tons of batteries, with a majority of these being the single-use variety (Earth911.com). Although more expensive at first, rechargeable batteries do offer more “bang for the buck.” Thus, rechargeable batteries turn out to save money and metal.
Unplug Chords and Appliances When not in Use
Even if you are not using a chord or appliance at the time, it still uses up electricity. The most common example is the cell phone charger. Many people keep their chargers connected to a power supply, even when not in use. This will add to your electricity bill, even though you did not use the electricity. A good way to preserve electricity is through the use of a surge protector. With a surge protector, you can turn off the electrical supply to anything plugged into it with the flip of a switch. Additionally, make an effort to turn your computer to sleep mode when it is not in use. Why keep a computer running in a high- power state if no one is using it?
Showers Are Meant to Clean, Not for Relaxation!
Sure, once or twice a week it is okay to take a nice, long shower or bath and just relax. But on working days, it is smarter to get in and out within 15 minutes. This will save water and could even allow you to get some more minutes of that elusive precious sleep!
Switch to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
CFLs, like the rechargeable batteries, will be an extra initial expense, but will save money over time. CFLs give the same amount of light as incandescent light bulbs, but use less energy. Additionally, CFLs do not produce as much heat at incandescent light bulbs, which can keep your house cooler during the spring and summer.
Let Nature Be Your Light
When it is nice and sunny outside, let the sunlight pour through your window. It is often more pleasant to have natural light than “artificial” light from a light bulb. By using natural light, the presence of the room becomes more peaceful and you also reduce the electricity bill.
Give Your Air Conditioner a Break
Sure, in the summer and winter it may be necessary to turn on the heat or a/c. However, in the fall it is not necessary to have the heat on. Just put on a sweater or wear a blanket. In the spring, open up your windows rather than turning on the air conditioner. Even when you have to turn on the heat or a/c, avoid setting the temperature too high or too low. For the winter, 68 degrees is toasty enough for most people and in the summer, try to go no lower than 76 degrees. Just think about people in other nations who must survive through brutal conditions; can’t we as Americans make more moderate adjustments?
Reuse a Bottle for Water
Instead of buying expensive packs of bottled water, just recycle a reusable bottle. It turns out that many of the water companies just filter out tap water, bottle it, and then sell it. Why pay extra money for that? You can just as easily buy a reusable bottle and a water filter, if you don’t already have one, and use your own water supply. It saves money and the environment by using less plastic.