With gasoline prices at record highs and Global Warming fanatics telling us the end is near, many Americans are fed up with it all and just want to be left alone. The average American recognizes that there is trouble in the environment, but with budgets being pinched by the high cost of energy buying an electric car and fitting the roof with solar panels is an expense few can afford. However there are some easy steps that can be taken to help both your wallet and the environment.
The following 5 tips are quick, easy and do not require an electric car nor an evening with Al Gore.
Recycle. Are you really still not recycling? I’m not talking about filling your kitchen with smell and bug infested containers to sort every scrap of waste. I’m just talking about the basics. Aluminum, newspapers, computer paper, plastic, etc. Just try to catch the products you use the most, pat yourself on the back and go watch TV.
Stop Energy Waste in the Home. Two items are easily addressed and will save you money. Insulate hot water pipes. Take a tape measure and determine the diameter of the pipe (just hold the tape up and estimate, you just need to get close). Then go to the hardware store and buy pipe insulation (big, long, foam tubes). They simply slip over the pipes and can be taped on, if needed. Loss of warm or cold air is another energy waste. While you can buy stick on insulation, simply laying a towel down to stop drafts under a door works well and is much easier. Cracks in walls can be filled with spray foam insulation that can be bought in cans at hardware and most department stores.
Use Things More Than Once. Before discarding an item, try to find one more use for it. I learned this at an early age as my grandparents were born during The Depression and waste was unknown to them. One of my grandmother’s favorites was to save empty butter and cottage cheese tubs. I often use these to carry my lunch to work. But unlike grandma, I throw it away after that one use. The omnipresent plastic shopping bag carries my lunches, is used to collect trash from my car, and lines small trash cans in my house. Yes this will only make a minimal impact, but if everyone did it the cumulative effect would be huge.
Turn Off Items Not in Use. Like my dad used to say, “Turn off that light!” While one bulb may not make a big deal, an air conditioner running needlessly or a TV on all night can really add up. If you aren’t using it, turn it off. Not only will this save on your energy bill, but less energy will need to be produced (and thus less pollution will be made).
Drive Sensibly. Our cars are probably our biggest polluter. Just use common sense. Don’t accelerate unnecessarily quickly, don’t slam on the brakes, and keep your tires properly inflated.
If we all would do our part and lessen our impact on the environment, together we can make a big difference and save some money at the same time.