With Earth Day kicking off Tuesday, there's no better time than now to go green.
If you're new to eco-conscious living, there are small things you can do to get started, like turning off the lights when you leave a room or putting aside a small bin to collect aluminum cans for recycling.
Every little bit counts. By living a more eco-conscious lifestyle, you not only can help improve the environment, but you can better your health as well.
Check out these seven easy ways to go green!
1. Start Small: If you want to go green, but don't know where to begin, start by doing things like turning off the lights when you leave a room, walking or biking short distances instead of driving, and using cold water to wash your clothes.
2. Switch Your Light Bulbs: Change the way you light up your home and opt for a compact fluorescent bulb to save energy. According to Energy Star, if every household in the United State replaced one regular light bulb with a new compact fluorescent bulb that's earned the Energy Star, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year and $680 million in annual energy costs. Bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
3. Buy Produce From Local Farmers: Can you believe that food travels an average of 1,200 miles before it reaches our plates? Purchasing your produce from local farmers instead of the grocery store can save energy and help reduce the environmental impact and costs of transporting the goods to stores.
4. Recycle and Buy Recycled: Some of the major benefits of recycling and buying recycled goods include saving energy, preventing pollution and conserving natural resources. Yet, there are still many people that don't do it. To make recycling easier for you, schedule an appointment with a company that picks up recyclables to avoid transporting them to a sanitation department yourself. Or, take your recyclables down to the blue bins that are generally placed outside of apartment buildings and homes.
5. Rock Eco-Friendly Fashions: The number of eco-friendly fashion brands is growing, with "sustainable fashion" becoming a hot trend that started catching on in the last couple of years. Vegan designer Stella McCartney, for example, creates her killer looks without using leather. Meanwhile, H&M's eco-friendly Conscious Collection has been very successful, as well as those of several green designers on the rise like Rok-Cork and Carrie Parry.
6. Go Green With Your Household Cleaners and Laundry Detergents: By using green cleaning products, you can reduce air pollution indoors and out and minimize exposure to asthma and allergy triggers, according to Realsimple.com. As for eco-friendly laundry detergents, they are generally plant-based and 100% biodegradable. Typical detergents often contain toxic chemicals like surfactants, while bleaches tend to be made with chlorine, a known carcinogen.
7. Turn Off Your Computer at Night: Save energy by shutting down your computer when you head to bed. According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, turning off your computer instead of putting it in sleep mode can save 40-watt hours a day. That adds up to $14 a year.