10 Ways to Go Green
Tip #1: Unplug

Taking a few minutes to turn off electrical devices won't just help you save the planet,
it can also help you save a few bucks off your electric bill each month. At home, go
ahead and turn off the lights when leaving a room (chances are the walls and floor
won't mind the dark)!

Take an extra few seconds to shut down your computer and printer instead of letting
them idle, and-annoying as it sounds-make morning a routine of unplugging T.V.s, fans
and stereos before leaving for work. Like any routine, you'll get used to doing it in no
time flat.

When you're looking to buy new major appliances, go for energy efficient models with
fewer frills-that ice maker requires more power than you think! Check out Energy Star
and Greener Choices for efficiency ratings for new purchases.

If you already own an appliance, remember to clean AC filters, insulate water heaters,
and do other simple maintenance to maximize energy savings. Simply put, less energy
= less pollution.

Tip #2: Use Less Water

Did you know that in the average home, the water heater is second only to the heating
system in energy usage? Here's how to use less.
Go ahead and turn the water heater down to 120°. Wash full loads of laundry in cool
water. If you've just got to use hot, rinse in cold. In the bathroom, skip the
water-wasting steam bath and opt for the quick shower. Install low flow shower heads
and faucet aerators, and turn the water off when you're shaving or brushing.

Have to let it run to heat up? Catch it and water the plants later. In the kitchen,
remember that you don't need to scald every plate and pot to get them clean, and don't
forget to turn the water off when you're scrubbing!

Thinking about the long haul? Try setting up a solar powered water heating system.
10 Ways to Go Green
Tip #1: Unplug

Taking a few minutes to turn off electrical devices won't just help you save the planet,
it can also help you save a few bucks off your electric bill each month. At home, go
ahead and turn off the lights when leaving a room (chances are the walls and floor
won't mind the dark)!

Take an extra few seconds to shut down your computer and printer instead of letting
them idle, and-annoying as it sounds-make morning a routine of unplugging T.V.s, fans
and stereos before leaving for work. Like any routine, you'll get used to doing it in no
time flat.

When you're looking to buy new major appliances, go for energy efficient models with
fewer frills-that ice maker requires more power than you think! Check out Energy Star
and Greener Choices for efficiency ratings for new purchases.

If you already own an appliance, remember to clean AC filters, insulate water heaters,
and do other simple maintenance to maximize energy savings. Simply put, less energy
= less pollution.

Tip #2: Use Less Water

Did you know that in the average home, the water heater is second only to the heating
system in energy usage? Here's how to use less.
Go ahead and turn the water heater down to 120°. Wash full loads of laundry in cool
water. If you've just got to use hot, rinse in cold. In the bathroom, skip the
water-wasting steam bath and opt for the quick shower. Install low flow shower heads
and faucet aerators, and turn the water off when you're shaving or brushing.

Have to let it run to heat up? Catch it and water the plants later. In the kitchen,
remember that you don't need to scald every plate and pot to get them clean, and don't
forget to turn the water off when you're scrubbing!

Thinking about the long haul? Try setting up a solar powered water heating system.
10 Ways to Go Green
Tip #3: Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Don't even try to front: You've been avoiding fluorescent bulbs because you fear
flashbacks to the industrial pallor and buzzing tubes of your grade school. But
fluorescent bulbs have come a long way, baby.


Watch for ones with higher lumens (not watts) for brighter light; read carefully for a
color rendering index (CRI) over 80, or cues like "warmer light," to get closer to
incandescence while saving $30 in energy costs over the life of each bulb.

Not to mention the benefit to the planet:
EnergyStar has dozens of similes to tell you
how much less pollution you generate by simply replacing your feverish incandescent
bulbs with chill fluorescent ones, but they all add up to a huge benefit for the earth.


Tip #4: Choose Products With Less Packaging

Think of the layers of armor that separate you from a new consumer good. The precious
cargo is placed inside a pouch inside a plastic exoskeleton inside a paper sleeve, then
bagged for easy transport. Sounds cute for Russian dolls. But for a stick of gum or a
fresh razor blade, it's infuriating, time-consuming, and a waste of resources.


With so many similar products crowding store aisles, try choosing one that sports less
packaging. (You'll find that companies that give careful thought to packaging waste are
probably considerate of, say, pesticide-free agriculture or humane working conditions,
too.)

Don't have time to comparison-shop? Simply buying product refills can assuage your
conscience, and save a few cents. Bring your canvas tote to the grocery store to get
everything home.

Think similarly for restaurants: that pile of plates, napkins, plastic utensils and
condiments could easily be spared by making your takeout eat-in.