How eco friendly are you?
If you are out trying to do your part to save the planet and live a sustainable life.
That is great!
But are you sure you are doing all you can to be eco-friendly?
Take this self-evaluation to determine just how eco friendly you are.
Do You Monitor Your Electricity Use?
In this section, I will talk about some of the common things you can do to become more eco-friendly.
Every small step you can do to change these items with grant you the ability to be more eco-friendly.
Do you still use incandescent light bulbs in your home?
Although these types of light bulbs are still being used by millions of people to this day it is not the best option for your pocket book or the environment.
You can switch to LED light bulbs which last longer than incandescent light bulbs and also save money by using less electricity!
Here is a break down of the LED light bulb vs CFL bulbs and incandescent bulbs.
|LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Cost||Incandescent||CFL||LED (Viribright)|
|Average cost per bulb||$1||$2||$4 or less|
|Average lifespan||1,200 hours||8,000 hours||25,000 hours|
|Bulbs needed for 25,000 hours||21||3||1|
|Total purchase price of bulbs over 20 years||$21||$6||$4|
|Cost of electricity (25,000 hours at $0.15 per kWh)||$169||$52||$30|
|Total estimated cost over 20 years||$211||$54||$34|
You can make the switch to using LED bulbs at a reasonable price today.
Here is one by Philips that we recommend.
Turn off electronics at night (TV, computers, radios, etc.).
Any use of electricity at night when you are sleeping is obviously a waste.
I do realize a lot of people need sound to help them get to sleep at night.
If it can be avoided do so to save electricity.
If you can not bear it opt to go with something that as a timer on it. Most TVs have had this feature for many years.
Make a habit of using it to turn off you electronics automatically at a certain time.
If you do not have a timer on the device you like to use I recommend getting a smart plug. These use wifi connection with an app on your phone to turn things on or off at specific times.
Turn off lights when you leave a room.
I think this mostly is geared towards kids if your house is anything like mine.
The kids normally turn a light on play for a minute then run to a different room or outside.
Try getting all family members on the same page of cutting lights off when not in use.
Skip the oven preheat except for baking.
We went over this tip in more detail in our article titled “Green Kitchen – 19 Ways To Be More Green In The Kitchen“
You can check out if you are interested in a whole section dedicated to kitchens.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Keep your house cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer.
The great thing is they now make smart thermostats as well that can be set just like the timmer smart plugs I recommended above.
You can have it automatically raise or lower temperatures when you are asleep or when you leave the house for work.
They have a lot of different features to help you save on electricity.
The one I recommend is the EcoBee3.
It is relatively inexpensive compared to other models and will give you all the features you need.
Do You Recycle?
Recycling has become more and more popular but sadly it is still not done nearly enough by nearly enough people.
Here is a small list of somethings that can be recycled. If you are a creative person the next section might be another option for you!
- Cell phones.
- Ink cartridges.
Do You Reuse Items?
Some things that can not be recycled or might have a better life as a reused product.
The possibilities are endless to turn products into other items that will have a new life.
The picture above is of a kit that allows you to cut wine bottles or other glass bottles into cups!
You can purchase by clicking here!
For example, instead of cutting up your old credit cards and throwing them away, punch them out in neat shapes and make yourself a pair of unique earrings, or a guitar pick if you play or know someone that does!
You can purchase this guitar pick puncher by clicking here!
Another simple idea is to reuse the ketchup bottle after being cleaned to fill it with the pancake mix.
Now you can make perfect pancakes every time without all the mess.
Here are some other items that need to be more than a one time use product.
- Reuse gift wrap like bows and gift bags.
- Reusable bags at the grocery store.
- Use reusable water bottles.
- Reusable coffee mugs.
- Use reusable lunch bags.
- Don’t use coffee stirrers.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
You can also use a water filtration system instead of buying bottled water.
We have an article on our top picks for eco-friendly water filters you can view by Click here!
Do You Go Paperless or Digital Whenever Possible?
Stop paper bills/statements if at all possible. Pay Online!
Most companies now days realize the benefit of going paperless.
Let’s face it most of the things that come in the mail get pitched in the trash.
Try cutting down on junk mail and unsubscribing for things you no longer are interested in.
Do not use paper products whenever possible!
I understand a lot of people have busy and hectic lives.
Paper plates, paper napkins, along paper cups for birthday parties are all essentially wasted.
These get thrown away never to be used again.
Think of anything paper you use and think about opting for a more eco friendly item to replace these things.
Nothing you own should be one time use if at all possible.
If they are think of ways you can make them have a new life as something else.
Download instead of purchasing the disc.
With technology advancing in the way it has been in recent years everything is turning digital.
You should avoid buying DVDS or other computer software in stores that have a disc.
Most of all of these can be found and ordered on your computer, tablet, or phone.
- Plane tickets
- Movie tickets
- Concert tickets
- Sporting Event tickets
Wedding invites, baby shower invites, or any other event can now be sent digitally.
See our article on paperless invites by clicking here!
Do You Monitor Water Usage?
Water is a big waste in most people’s houses and business.
It’s one thing that a lot of people do not monitor at all.
Some things to be considered
- You can make a No Bath rule and use showers only.
- Hang clothes to dry.
- Shared showers amongst family members.
- Don’t rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.
- Only run full loads for the washing machine or dishwasher.
- Wash laundry in cold water.
- No running water while brushing teeth.
- Take short five-minute showers.
Do You Try To Cut Back Vehicle Usage?
Vehicles are a huge detriment to the environment.
Every product that someone buys has to be transported usually by multiple means.
Think about the waste in the process of just making one simple product for someone.
- Materials have to be transported to the factory
- Items manufactured have to be packaged in stuff that people throw away
- Then they are put on another truck and taken to an airport or shipping yard to be shipped.
- After shipping, they still have only made it halfway.
- They are then put on semis or trucks taken to another warehouse to be stored.
- After storing they can be sent to a store to be put on a shelf.
- At this point, they are still not in the hands of the person buying them.
- Someone drives to the store and picks the item up.
- After taking them home to be used most items are thrown away
Most things now days are only intended to be single usage products.
Think about how cheap you can buy a new laptop for. If the screen goes out it is almost just as cheap to buy a new one then to get it fixed.
Think more ships and boats along with semis and trucks delivering all that.
Other tips include:
- You can walk or ride a bike when possible.
- You can use public transportation or carpool to work when possible.
- Do all your errands at once.
- If possible avoid car washes that just waste water
- Work from home whenever you can.
- Use your cruise control. (saves gas)
- Keep your car tuned up and well maintained. (also saves gas and cost of future repairs)
Are You Giving Back Or Protect The Environment?
Have you been planting trees?
Do you support non-profits or companies that plant trees for purchasing from them?
A bunch of the eco-friendly companies will plant trees or donate portions of their profit to plant trees or give water to countries in need.
You could also:
- Clean your home with eco-friendly cleaning products.
- Do yard care with eco-friendly products.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed.
- Use matches instead of lighters.
- Reduce the use of plastic or other things that end up in oceans and wood where animals habitat.
Try reducing your carbon footprint along with giving to nonprofits who try to clean these areas up from the waste thrown out by people.
Another great way is to volunteer for any of these programs that may be in your area!
Do You Buy Second Hand Instead Of New?
Give away clothes and other items you don’t use anymore to someone in need can be one way to help.
The products you do not need do not end up in the landfills and they are given to someone that will extend the useful life of the products.
You can also buy second hand.
Do I really need a brand new car?
Will a used one do the same thing?
This thinking can go for about anything you are looking to buy in the near to future.
This can be very apparent if you jump onto any local selling group on Facebook in your area.
The amount of times I see “like new”, “barely used” , or worse “brand new never used”
Tells me a lot of people are not even thinking about being eco-friendly when making purchases.
How did you do with this list?
Are there any areas you or your family could improve on?
Being eco-conscious is not only something you’ll find is good for our planet, but you’ll also notice some huge money savings.
Your energy costs will go down as will your grocery bill.
So work on reducing your carbon footprint on this planet, one thing at a time.
Even the small things matter on a larger scale!
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