10 ways to go green
- Unplug electrical devices that are not being used. Small appliances and other electronic items pull electricity when plugged in.
- Shut down your computer, printer, and the power strip they are plugged into at night or when not in use. During the day, utilize the sleep mode to cut energy use during breaks.
- Set your thermostat a few degrees higher in summer and a few degrees lower in winter to save on heating and cooling costs.
- Carry a reusable aluminum or stainless steel container and fill it with filtered water instead of purchasing bottled water. It is estimated that only 20% of water bottles are recycled.
- Wash clothes in cold water instead of hot to save the energy used to heat the water.
- When your incandescent bulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, which last longer and produce less heat. Also remember to use natural lighting when possible and turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Recycle your newspaper and junk mail. Print on both sides of office paper and then recycle it. Use scrap paper for notes. Avoid printing documents that can be viewed online.
- Make your own non-toxic cleaning products using household ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.
- Bring your own reusable bags when shopping.
- Donate or recycle electronics. Electronic devices such as cell phones and computers can contain dangerous elements such as lead and mercury, which can contaminate the soil and water.