Today there is a lot of discussion about the environment and “going green” both online and throughout local communities, but sometimes it can be difficult to know what you, as an individual, can do to make a difference. Luckily, there are many simple steps you can take to adjust your lifestyle in order to have less of a damaging footprint on the planet. Here are five ways you can begin your journey to being environmentally conscious.

1. Switch to Reusable

 From plastic water bottles to grocery bags to straws, there are a lot of single-use items most people use regularly that can be replaced with reusable counterparts. You can purchase high-quality reusable water bottles, grocery bags and other common items from almost any store or order them online. It won’t take long to get in the habit of reusing things rather than tossing them in the garbage and you may find you don’t miss the disposable options at all.

 2. Consider Alternative Travel Methods

It is a widely known fact that cars and other vehicles can give off emissions that are harmful to the environment. Driving less can not only make your footprint smaller, but it can also save you a lot of money on gas. Walking or biking to work or other destinations can help you stay in shape as well as make a positive difference. If biking or walking isn’t an option for you, then public transportation can be a great choice.

When you do have to drive somewhere, consider carpooling with other friends or colleagues who are heading to the same destination. Not only will you get more time to socialize, but you will reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

3. Unplug or Turn Off Devices

Appliances and electronics can be an unnecessary drain on electricity when they are left plugged in. Even when they are turned off, devices that display a light still take power. You should always make sure everything you can unplug stays unplugged when it’s not being used. As for things that are difficult to unplug, turning them off every time you’re done using them is still better than leaving them on.

4. Update Your Home

Heating and cooling your home can consume a lot of energy. This means that it has an adverse effect on your wallet as well as on the earth. The simple solution can be to add extra insulation to your home. While it may cost you some extra money up front, the benefits and savings should be substantial. You can also make your home more environmentally friendly by switching to LED light bulbs as your current lights burn out. LEDs last for much longer and run on less power.

5. Be Conscious of Your Water Use

Tips like turning the water off when you brush your teeth, only running the dishwasher when it is full and taking shorter showers may seem cliché, but they can actually be an important part of being responsible with your water consumption. Access to clean running water is a luxury that many in our world do not get to enjoy. Be responsible and do your part by being mindful of how much water you’re using. You can also look into supporting water improvement projects that are making positive changes in the United States, such as the Cadiz Water Project, and all across the globe.

Going Green

There are so many ways you can live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Even small steps are beneficial and you should feel good about making a change in your habits. Even if you can’t do everything discussed in the list, something is still better than nothing. Reducing your impact on the environment feels great and can save you money. If you want more inspiration for how to go green there are countless resources on the internet where you can find numerous ways to be a friend to Mother Earth.

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