So here's my 10 easy ways to be more green:
1. Turn OFF the lights when you leave the room, simple.
2. If you work in an office, do turn off your computer at the end of the day and on the weekend - if you are not there, there is really no reason for your equipment to be working (plus you'll save on electric bill, your boss will appreciate it).
3. Don't charge your cellphone overnight - these days most cellphones only take a couple of hours to charge so don't keep your phone connected to an outlet all day (and you'll save the battery life).
4. Replace light bulbs with long-lasting fluorescent bulbs in areas like hallways, storage rooms, and garage (many people say they are sensitive to fluorescent lights and get headaches so don't install them in rooms where you spend a lot of time, just a precaution).
5. If you are still getting it, cancel the phone book delivery. I mean, seriously, when was the last time you looked anything up in a phone book? Google it!
6. Sign up for getting your bills electronically to eliminate paper statements. Most banks and credit card companies already provide such services. Also, embrace online banking to cut back on paper and postage.
Quick Fact: Approximately one billion trees-worth of paper are trashed each year in the U.S., and hard copy bills alone generate almost 700,000 tons of waste and almost two million tons of carbon dioxide. Both you and the planet will be happier without the excess garbage.
7. Fight junk mail with all your might: cancel magazines you never read, catalogs you never look at, credit card promos you don't really need. Here's a wonderful website that gives you all the information on how to do that - Stop Junk Mail
8. Recycle. I can't believe how many still don't do it. Shame.
9. If you are going to buy groceries, bring re-usable bags with you to use instead of plastic: most big chain supermarkets now sell them and some (like Super Stop & Shop here in NY) even pay you back for every bag you use.
Quick Fact: Amount of plastic bags used in the US annually - between 500 billion to a trillion (according to Environmental Protection Agency). Amount of oil it takes to manufacture 100 million bags - 430,000 gallons!
10. Finally, my personal favorite and the easiest tip of the day - while you are brushing your teeth, turn off the water! If you do what the dentists recommend and brush for 2 minutes, well, you just used 18 gallons of water. It adds up to 547 gallons per month, just from leaving the water on while brushing your teeth! Think about it, people!
And if you are curious how much water you consume on a daily basis, here's a fun calculator - Water Consumption Calculator.
Check out EarthDay.gov for more helpful tips on how to reduce your environmental print.
Happy Earth Day!