Going Green Tips

Save money, make money and save the environment all at the same time by following our Going Green Tips. Whether you're at home, in the car or at the store, there are many ways that you can go green.
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The Better Planet

How To Go Green Tip #1: Pay bills online

When you pay your bills online, not only are you saving money on postage and reducing the amount of paper used, you're also saving yourself a lot of time.

How To Go Green Tip #2: Buy locally produced meats and produce

Support your local farm's and farmer's markets and help to reduce all of the waste associated with shipping food around the country.

How To Go Green Tip #3: Drink water from reusable containers

Save money and the amount of garbage you create by re-filling a reusable (BPA free) container rather than using and throwing out several bottles of water a day.

How To Go Green Tip #4: Print on both sides

Using a printer that can print on both sides of a piece of paper will reduce garbage and save you money on paper.

How To Go Green Tip #5: Opt out of junk mail

Each American household receives about 1.5 trees worth of junk mail each year. Opt out of receiving junk mail and credit/insurance offers by visiting the Direct Marketing Association, Consumer Credit Reporting Industry and Catalog Choice.

How To Go Green Tip #6: Turn off your computer

Shutting down your computer at night can save you close to $100 a year. Don't forget to do this at the office also.

How To Go Green Tip #7: Reduce Phantom Load

Read our article on how to reduce the Phantom Loads in your home.

How To Go Green Tip #8: Purchase EnergyStar products

EnergyStar products can help reduce your utility bills by 30%. Check out our list of the top selling EnergyStar products.

How To Go Green Tip #9: Wash full loads only

Only run your dishwasher and washer machine when you have a full load.

How To Go Green Tip #10: Wash clothes in cold water

90% of the energy used by washing machines goes towards heating the water. Not only will this help reduce your energy costs, but it will also reduce your carbon footprint. Cold water works just as well as hot water for cleaning most items.

How To Go Green Tip #11: Hang dry your laundry

While hang drying all of your laundry is not practical, skipping the dryer and hang drying a couple of loads of laundry a week will help you to save money on your utility bills.

How To Go Green Tip #12: Insulate your home

Insulation keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Making sure your home is properly insulated can yield big savings in your energy bill.

How To Go Green Tip #13: Seal leaks and drafts in your home

Check the exterior of your home for leaks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, plumbing, vents and any holes that are letting air in/out. Use spray foam insulation around pipes where they enter your home. This also helps to keep bugs out.

How To Go Green Tip #14: Seal the ducts in your home

If your home has a forced air heating and cooling system, then you need to make sure all of your ducts are properly sealed so that you don't lose air due to leaks in the system.

How To Go Green Tip #15: Install energy efficient windows

Windows are notorious for letting air leak in/out of the house. About 20% of the heat loss in your home can come from single glazed windows. You can reduce this heat loss to about 10% by replacing single glazed windows with double glazed windows. Window frames made from unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (UPVC) have the best insulating properties. Upgrading to new energy efficient windows can be written off on your taxes in most states.

How To Go Green Tip #16: Open/Close your window shades

During the summer, keep your window shades closed to block out the sun. During the winter time, open your window shades and take advantage of the sun's rays to help warm your house. If your curtains aren't lined, buy a curtain liner to hang behind the curtain.

How To Go Green Tip #17: Get an energy audit

Call your local utility company and find out if they offer home energy audits. Some utility companies even offer free audits. The audit will help you to find the spots in your home where you are losing energy.

How To Go Green Tip #18: Use alternative energy

Visit the U.S. Department of Energy website for a listing of alternative energy providers in your state.

How To Go Green Tip #19: Use compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)

CFLs last 10 times longer and use 66% less energy than incandescent bulbs.

How To Go Green Tip #20: Install motion sensors for your lights

Motion sensors automatically turn lights on/off when you enter/leave a room. Now you won't have to worry if you left a light on or not. Do this for lights both inside and outside your home.

How To Go Green Tip #21: Adjust your thermostat

For every degree you lower your thermostat in the winter or raise it in the summer, you will save about 1%-3% on your utility bill. Raise your thermostat 5 degrees during the summer and lower it 3-5 degrees during the winter.

How To Go Green Tip #22: Use a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats are inexpensive and easy to install. Just set it and forget it and let the thermostat do the work for you.
Today's Top Sellers: Programmable Thermostats

How To Go Green Tip #23: Lower the temperature of your hot water heater

Set your water heater's temperature to 120 degrees.

How To Go Green Tip #24: Go eco-friendly with your furniture

Buy furniture made from reclaimed wood or bamboo. Don't throw out your old furniture. Either sell it or donate it to charity.

How To Go Green Tip #25: Use Recycled Toilet Paper

Using toilet paper made from post-consumer fibers lowers the number of trees that need to be cut down to manufacture toilet paper and also lowers the amount of waste going to landfills. Some popular brands are Green Forest and Seventh Generation.

How To Go Green Tip #26: Use sponges and cloths instead of disposable paper towels

How To Go Green Tip #27: Don't use your garbage disposal

Garbage disposals use water and electricity and the food that you are putting into your disposal could be used for compost instead.

How To Go Green Tip #28: Install a low-flow toilet

A low-flow toilet uses approximately 1.6 gallons per flush, as opposed to 7 gallons for a traditional toilet.

How To Go Green Tip #29: Install aerators on your faucets

Most faucets come pre-installed with aerators, which mix the water with air to lower water usage. If your faucet doesn't have one, they're inexpensive and easy to install.

How To Go Green Tip #30: Sell or donate your old electronics

While the fast pace of technology leads to constant innovations with cellphones, computers and other electronics devices, it also causes more waste as devices become outdated very quickly. Sell or donate your old electronics to gadget trade-in services to cut down on the amount of waste sent to lanfills and make money by going green.

How To Go Green Tip #31: Telecommute

More and more companies are giving employees the option to telecommute, a.k.a. work from home. Telecommuting, even just part time, helps (1) employees save commuting expenses, (2) companies save real estate and electricity expenses and (3) the environment because less cars are on the road.

How To Go Green Tip #32: Defrost Your Freezer

When ice builds up around the coils of your freezer it causes the compressor to work harder, thus using more energy. Defrost your freezer on a regular basis.

How To Go Green Tip #33: Keep Your Refrigerator Door Closed

Leaving your refrigerator door open wastes energy. Close the door as soon as you can.

How To Go Green Tip #34: Stock Up Your Refrigerator

Your refrigerator uses less energy when it is full.

How To Go Green Tip #35: Keep your refrigerator away from direct sunlight

The heat from the sunlight will cause it to work harder.

How To Go Green Tip #36: Use a rain barrel

Rain barrels can be connected to your gutters to collect water when it rains. You can then use the collected water to water your lawn and garden, rather than paying for tap water. Check out our list of the top selling rain barrels.

How To Go Green Tip #37: Use solar powered lights for landscaping

Solar panel landscape lights are cheaper to run and cheaper/easier to install than hard-wired lights.

How To Go Green Tip #38: Use Your Coffee Grinds For Fertilizer and Composting

Used coffee grinds can be used as fertilizer for your plants by simply spreading them on your soil like you would any other fertilizer. You can also add the coffee grinds to your compost pile.

How To Go Green Tip #39: Skip pre-heating your oven

Newer model ovens, particularly fan ovens, require little or no pre-heating.

How To Go Green Tip #40: Use a microwave for re-heating items

Microwaves are faster and more efficient than ovens.

How To Go Green Tip #41: Use fluorescent tube lights in the kitchen

The lights in the kitchen are typically left on more than other rooms and fluorescent tubes last long and are cheaper to run.

How To Go Green Tip #42: Clean your refrigerator's condenser coils

Clean the condenser coils at least once a year to help your refrigerator run efficiently and to help lengthen its service life. Use an extension with a narrow nozzle on your vacuum and/or a refrigerator brush.

How To Go Green Tip #43: Open/close interior doors

When it's warm, keep interior doors open to help air circulate through your home. When it's cold, keep interior doors closed.

How To Go Green Tip #44: Take a shower instead of a bath

Showering uses approximately 40-55 less gallons of water than a bath.

How To Go Green Tip #45: Insulate your attic hatch/pull-down stairs

When attics are insulated, the hatch or pull-down stairs leading to the attic are often overlooked. Just make sure that the insulation doesn't obstruct your path.

How To Go Green Tip #46: Water your lawn early in the morning or late at night

Watering early in the morning or late at night reduces evaporation. Remember to only water your lawn when needed.

How To Go Green Tip #47: Use mulch around your plants and shrubs

Placing a 4 inch deep layer of mulch around your plants and shrubs helps them to retain moisture, thus requiring less watering.

How To Go Green Tip #48: Check your toilets for leaks

A leaking toilet can waste 100 gallons of water per day.

How To Go Green Tip #49: Check your faucets for leaks

A leaking faucet can waste 20 gallons of water per day.

How To Go Green Tip #50: Use a rain gauge

Use a rain gauge to record how much water your lawn receives from rain and your sprinkler system. This will help you adjust how often and how long you need to run your sprinklers.

How To Go Green Tip #51: Aerate your lawn

Aerating helps water to reach the roots rather than run off.

The Better Planet

How To Go Green Tip #52: Make sure your tires are properly inflated

Keeping your tires properly inflated improves your gas mileage and also increases the life of your tires.

How To Go Green Tip #53: Carpool

Save on gas, help decrease traffic, lower greenhouse gas emmissions, save mileage on your car, save on tolls. Some employers offer incentive programs to get employees to carpool together, such as reserved parking spots.

How To Go Green Tip #54: Stop idling

Did you know that idling your car for 10 seconds uses more gas than is needed to start your car? Plus, a growing number of municipalities have police officers ticketing drivers who idle their cars outside of stores.

How To Go Green Tip #55: Drive a fuel efficient car

The automotive industry is increasingly investing in hybrid, electric and fuel cell technology cars.

How To Go Green Tip #56: Don't weigh down your car

The more stuff you keep in your car, the heavier it gets. The heavier your car gets, the more gas that it uses. Take some time to clean out your car.

How To Go Green Tip #57: Use mass transit

Leave the driving to someone else.

How To Go Green Tip #58: Use cruise control

Let your car's computer maintain a constant speed for you to minimize accelerating/decelerating.

How To Go Green Tip #59: Turn off the air conditioning

A/C puts additional strain on the motor.

How To Go Green Tip #60: Slow down

The faster you drive, the harder the motor has to work.

How To Go Green Tip #61: Keep your windows closed

Open windows increase drag and forces your motor to work harder to maintain it's speed.

How To Go Green Tip #62: Rent a hybrid car when traveling

If you need to rent a car when traveling, look for a hybrid rental car. Car rental companies such as Hertz are starting to offer hybrid models for rent.

Going Green Tips - At The Store & On The Go

How To Go Green Tip #63: Use your own canvas shopping bags

"Paper or plastic?" Answer: "Neither". Pass on the store's paper and plastic bags and bring your own re-usable canvas bags. More and more stores are offering discounts towards your purchase when you bring your own bag.

How To Go Green Tip #64: Buy locally grown and locally raised food

Become a "localvore" and only buy food that was grown or raised locally. The fewer miles that food needs to travel before reaching the store, the lower the carbon footprint required for transporting the food.

How To Go Green Tip #65: Shop for products with minimum packaging

A lot of material is wasted with over-sized packaging that isn't necessary. Manufacturers can cut costs by using minimal packaging for their products which not only saves them money, but also reduces the amount of garbage being sent to landfills.

How To Go Green Tip #66: Shop for products made from post-consumer materials

This shows that the manufacturer that you're buying from cares about the environment. Read those labels carefully.

How To Go Green Tip #67: Don't Ask for an ATM Receipt

Most ATM's give you the option of whether you'd like a printed receipt or not. Since you can view all of your transactions online, why not skip the receipt to cut down on wasted paper?

How To Go Green Tip #68: Buy items in bulk

Individually wrapped items waste a lot of packaging materials. Buy in bulk and then separate everything into reusable containers. This will not only reduce packaging waste, but also save you money.