An (Extremely) Busy Woman’s 7 Tips for Going Green

posted: 04/22/15
by: Mara Betsch
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Set a "green" example for your kids.

Sure, you care about the planet, and you definitely want your kids to recycle, ride their bikes as often as possible and eat seasonal produce. But if going green means a daily task takes 20 minutes longer than usual or -- worse -- isn't budget-friendly, then you're not interested. Ain't nobody got time for that. But luckily, a lot of tips that green up your life also add a little green to your wallet. So here are seven little things you can do that don't take much effort, but can drastically reduce your carbon footprint.

1. Pump your ride. Underinflated tires see more wear and tear and can lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions. Most gas stations have air compressors, so consider checking your tires the next time you fill up (once a month is a good goal). And, as a bonus, you'll improve your fuel economy, too -- up to 3 percent.

2. Tweak the temperature: Turn your thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees in the winter. So if 70 degrees if your ideal temperature, aim for 68 in the winter and 72 in the summer. We guarantee no one will notice, and you'll save money on your electric bill. When you're away on vacation, adjust your thermostat accordingly.

3. Channel simpler times. Don't worry, we're not suggesting that you hang your sheets and towels in your backyard, but line drying clothing is a great green option. If you have delicates, athletic wear (these shouldn't be dried anyway) or items that don't really need to go in the dryer, consider buying a drying rack to cut down on a load or two a week. While you're at it, try using cold water as often as possible -- washing three loads a week this way saves you about $40 a year.

4. Lighten up. Replace five of your most frequently used lightbulbs with ENERGY STAR products -- you'll save $70 a year on energy bills and these bulbs use 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs. You can buy them at Lowe's, Ikea, Target, Walmart, Costco, and plenty of other locations.

5. BYOM. Bring your reusable mug to the coffee shop to save money and help out Mother Earth. Starbucks takes 10 cents off your coffee every time you fill up with one of their tumblers, and most local shops encourage the use of reusable mugs. Plus, if you have kids, having a mug that seals is essential for avoiding coffee spills in the car.

6. And reuse your grounds. If you make coffee at home, don't throw away your grounds. Acid-loving plants, like azaleas, will great appreciate your coffee grounds. Dump some in your garden, and watch your flowers grow.

7. Check what can and can't be recycled. There are tons of items you probably didn't know could be recycled (here's a pretty good guide). Did you know that Brita teamed up with Preserve to help you recycle their filters and turn them into toothbrushes or razor handles? With drop off locations nationwide (conveniently at Whole Foods), you can recycle these while doing your grocery shopping.