Here are my “Great Eight”, 8 simple and easy ways you can save money, save resources and help the planet be healthier:
1. Save 25% of your copier ink or toner simply by downloading the free “Eco-Font”. When you make the font super large, you can see why, there are holes in each letter but at a small scale you can’t tell. Genius! Download it today at www.ecofont.com.
2. Aerators. Those little tiny screens on your water faucets. You can replace them with (cheap) low flow aerators; you won’t be able to tell the difference, but you’ll save hundreds of gallons each year. Saves you money and saves the water supply too. Just take yours off and visit a home improvement store to replace them. Small step, but big savings!
3. Use less (or no!) paper towels and napkins: buy reusable paper(less) towels, they work like a sponge and take the place of your paper towels for many jobs. Throw them in dishwasher to clean and disinfect. Each towel lasts longer than 15 rolls of paper towels. That adds up to a lot of savings! Also, instead of paper napkins, use linen napkins. They feel nice, your family will feel pampered…and they can often be used for 2-3 meals before washing. Inhabitat reports that we could save enough trees to cover Alaska if 1 in 4 Americans quit using paper towels, read more here.
4. The average elementary student throws away their weight in plastic bags and food packaging each year if they take their lunch. Save the cost of sandwich and snack baggies by using better choices…stainless steel containers or reusable sandwich bags. If you insist on using plastic, at least verify that it is BPA-free plastic and never microwave it. But please remember plastic comes from oil, and when we one day hopefully reduce our dependency on oil, now there’s some real savings!!
5. The term “Phanom Energy” reminds me a Scooby Doo episode. But it brings up an easy way to save money, just unplug small appliances when you are done using them, like hair dryers, coffee pots, toasters, razors. Not only will you save electricity (even when they are off, a plugged-in appliance uses ‘phantom’ power), it will make the appliance last longer. Double savings, just pull the plug every day! According to Treehugger.com, phantom energy could be “haunting” your house: http://www.treehugger.com
6. Take a large rock or brick, or use a 1-liter empty plastic bottle full of water, and put it in the toilet tank after you flush it and before the water fills back up the tank. The brick or bottle simply consumes space in the tank, so it saves the equivalent volume of water with every flush. No more cash down the toilet…
7. Put an insulation blanket around your water heater, it’s an easy and inexpensive way to reduce energy and save money, paying for itself in just a few months. The insulation will reduce the amount of heat lost through the tank’s walls by 25-45 percent.
8. Baby proof! Just add childsafe plugs to all your wall outlets along outer walls, it is a cheap and easy insulator and also helps when the babes come to visit!