It is 2018! If you don’t have a resolution picked out, consider going green this year. Here is an easy guide to making small changes that will make a huge difference.

 

Have a recycle only trash bin.

Clearly label a bin for paper, plastic, and aluminum only. Also, clearly label your trash bin. Clearly labeling your bins will not only keep you in check, but it will also help houseguests recycle as well.

Not sure what you can recycle? Check out this guide.

Take shorter showers.

Shower only as long as you need too.  Now, understandably, it is nice to have a long shower or a hot bath to unwind from a long day, just try to keep them to once a month. Treat yourself.

Carpool.

This is an easy explanation.  Use the buddy system and carpool to work or school. This will save you gas money, as well as reduce your fuel emission.

Use reusable bags.

Using reusable bags cuts down on your plastic waste.  This is especially important because plastic grocery bags cannot go in the recycle bin.  It can also be helpful to grocery shop with a bag that is a little bigger than the plastic ones at the store.

Use a personal water bottle.

Using a personal water bottle will also cut down on your plastic waste.  It is refillable and washable. On the same note, use a travel coffee mug and skip the Starbucks line.

Use washable dishes.

Whenever you can, avoid paper/plastic dishware.  If you are having a party, that will surpass the scale to use washable dishes, make sure you have a recycle bin and use a marker for your guests to mark their drinks. Having guests mark their drinks will keep each guest accountable for their own cup.

Reuse.

Throughout the year collect or reuse things as you see fit. Think of holidays coming up and what kind of things could be used for decorations. Take old clothes to a thrift store.  Reuse that glass you put down in the morning.  Constantly think about what you could be reusing (like that pile of grocery bags in the cabinet).

New light bulbs.

Get new compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL).  These guys will cut down your energy bill and last longer than an incandescent light bulb.

Cut back on holiday waste.

Get creative with how you wrap presents. Use fabric, or reuse wrapping paper.  This will cut down on waste around the holiday season, as well as birthdays.

Skip the sink when washing your dishes.

Dishwashers are made to clean your dishes, but most people use about as much water “pre-washing” their dishes as the dishwasher does.  Let the dishwasher do its job.

Do your laundry cold.

Unless your load of laundry is especially dirty, or it is stained, there is no need to be using hot water.  Even switching from hot to warm will decrease your energy use.

Use power-strips.

When you’re done with a power-strip it is easy to turn off the switch. The good thing about power-strips is that once you turn off the switch you are also “unplugging” everything plugged into the strip. It is hard to remember to unplug everything, so instead unplug one thing.

Insulate your home.

Insulating will save energy and money, keeping your house colder in the summer and hotter in the winter.

Check your air filters monthly.  

Changing out your filter will make your AC more effective and you will be able to keep your thermostat in check.

Note: Check your thermostat regularly.  Leave it higher if you’re leaving for work and lower it upon getting home. Or vice versa depending on the season.

Unsubscribe.

Unsubscribe from the magazines/newsletters that you toss in the trash (more likely than not, it is online anyway), this will cut your waste.

Take advantage of sunlight.  

Not only will it light your home, but it can also warm it in the winter weather. This will enable you to have the heat lower during the day and higher at night.

Fix that leaky toilet.  

Leaky toilets are a pain, and they may just run a little longer and then you can get back to your day.  But that extra water running can run up your bill as well as the water you use. Call a plumber.

New appliances.

Yes, this is an expensive fix, but hear me out. If you can get new appliances, get energy efficient appliances. They are becoming more popular and will save you money in the long run on your power bill.

Drive green. 

You can drive green this year by simply filling up your vehicle with Ricker’s Replenish! Filling up at Ricker’s with Replenish can reduce your carbon emissions by up to 30%!

Overall these are pretty simple, easy ways to go green for 2018. Make it your resolution to save energy and give back where you can. It may take some getting used to, but once you’re in the habit these small changes won’t even feel like changes. Happy New Year!