Switching to CFL light bulbs, recycling old cell phones, not mowing your lawn as often; little changes can make a big difference, and people are embracing the "green" lifestyle like never before. Fortunately for most of us, this doesn't require a complete lifestyle overhaul. In fact, there are quick and easy ways that you can make your life a little more earth-friendly - without sacrificing your savings or your time.
1. Use your computer.
Surfing the Web for information rather than purchasing multi-volume encyclopedias or newspaper and magazine subscriptions can save you hundreds. And, since you only print out the pages that you need, you save precious resources, not to mention space. Say goodbye to newspaper clutter and those magazines that you toss after a week anyway - there are tons of sites out there that provide the same articles and information at no cost.
2. Remember to turn off that light (or air conditioner or TV...).
Saving electricity is easier than you think. Make it a habit to turn off the light every time you leave a room and use natural lighting when it's available. Also remember to turn off the heat or air conditioner when you leave for the day. Many thermostats have programmable options that may be worth investigating.
3. Invest in a water filter.
It's hard to say no to an ice cold glass of water. By using a water filter pitcher or even one for your tap, you eliminate the need to purchase and consume bottled water - and the excess plastic they generate. An added bonus - no more $4 bottles of water.
4. Start a compost pile.
Starting a compost pile can be a benefit beyond just reducing your trash output - it can also be a major asset to your garden. Do some quick research (see number one) and you'll be amazed at all of the compost pile options that are out there. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of thousands of web pages out there about this very topic.
5. Put your recycling bin to good use.
Remember that little blue bin? Of course you do. Dig it out and put some recyclables in there. It may not save you any money directly, but it will give you something to feel good about, and it will help ensure that future generations maintain access to necessary materials. If you have children, it is a great idea to set the recycling example for them.
Charlotte Beulow is a contributing writer for AccessMyLibrary.com. Best known for its large and diverse set of content, AML provides authoritative reference content as well as full-text magazine and newspaper articles - all courtesy of your local library and at no cost to you.