Save water. Save time. Save your clothes. Living in an apartment where I have pay per load and trek down over ten flights to get to the washing machine, I’ll happily use any excuse I can find to do a little less laundry. This is a good little guide for washing frequency suggestions, but you can take some liberty with it. If you’re only washing to get rid of an odor, check out these 8 washing alternatives.
Line ‘Em Up!
Electric dryers are one of the most expensive and energy-intensive appliances in your home so any reduction in their use = huge savings for your wallet. Line drying will give your clothes a longer life and you don’t have to risk shrinking your favorite white tee.
Don’t Throw Out That Apple!
The average family of 4 loses $1,500 annually (!!!) on food waste so you may just want to take another look around the kitchen before eating out – you’ll be surprised what you can find and get creative with. Supercook is a really neat resource that finds you recipes from all around the web using only the ingredients you have at home. Another way to prevent wasting all that food (40% on average!) is knowing how to store your food for maximum freshness.
Embrace your Inner Tree Hugger!
Save the forests and your finances by opting for cloth napkins instead of paper ones, real plates instead of disposable ones and basically eliminating anything that begins with “paper” or “disposable” before it.
If It’s Broke, Fix It!
Borrow Before You Buy!
Before you fork over major cash for those infrequently used items (ladders, power-washers and such), check to see if you can borrow from a neighbor. Or, you can rent what you need at a nearby home and garden store.
Be a Green Rider!
Not to play favorites… but this is probably the most important change when it comes to reducing our environmental footprints. Driving a personal vehicle is the single largest contributor of carbon emissions in a household. Could you bike? Take public transportation? Carpool? Even if you supplement one to two days per week using one of these greener alternatives, you’ll see huge savings for your budget and for the planet.
Bye Bye Junk Mail!
It’s a huge waste of paper (to the tune of 100 million trees per year) and everyone hates sorting through that stuff anyway. DMAchoice.org is a website that let’s you opt out of receiving unsolicited mail. I submitted my info and I’ll keep you all updated on if it works or not, but I figured I had nothing to lose by trying right? You can also opt out of receiving those huge 20 pound phonebooks here.
Stop the Plastic!
A super simple switch you can implement starting this week, if not today, is using reusable bags at the store. It saves a whole lot of plastic and it’s way easier to carry in the load with sturdier bags! Major bonus: some stores have savings programs for bringing in your own bags – 10 cents off per bag at Whole Foods and 5 cents off per bag at Trader Joe’s and Target.