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Zero Effort: Help the Planet with These 10 Easy, Eco-Friendly Life Hacks

Zero Effort: Help the Planet with These 10 Easy, Eco-Friendly Life Hacks

 

The problem with saving the Earth is that it can seem like so much work. Install this, repurpose that, recycle, realign, regrow, reuse — who has the time or energy? Besides, with the march toward doomsday we constantly hear about, why bother? Trust us, we understand. But the fact is, with a minimum of effort, you can make a difference. One example? Switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs. Another? Make sure those energy-efficient lights are turned off when you leave the room. See how easy that was? Better yet, when you act to help the environment, it usually benefits you, too. With that in mind, here are 10 more eco-friendly life hacks to try — without breaking a sweat.

1. Don’t waste water

Maybe it’s because we’re on a planet that’s mostly ocean, but most people don’t view water as the depletable resource it is. (How else to explain why so many people continue to water their lawns during parched, historic droughts?) Even a few minor tweaks to your daily routine can make a difference.

A few examples? Use your dishwater instead of washing dishes by hand — as long as you don’t rinse before you load. In the bathroom, don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth. As for the age-old question: what is more eco-friendly, a bath or a shower? Depends on you. A short shower (say, 10 minutes or less) will use less water than it would take to fill a bathtub. But if you want a long, good soak, a bath is the greener choice.

2. Scrap the paper — and all those unwanted emails

Are bank statements piling up in unopened envelopes around your home? Is your mailbox still stuffed with monthly utility bills? The good news? You can cut down on the clutter — and help the environment — by simply going digital. No more filing cabinets. No more overstuffed folders shedding scraps of paper everywhere. Everything you need can be easily accessed on your phone or computer, so save a tree or two.

One digital caveat: delete all those unwanted emails in your inbox. That will put less strain on the energy-consuming server you’re using — making for a tidier e-life and a less carbon-intensive one.

3. Ease up on the gas pedal

There are many obvious reasons you shouldn’t speed — safety and the law, to name two — but even slowing down by a mere 10 mph (16 km/h) can reduce your fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent, studies show. And considering fuel prices, who doesn’t want to save money at the pump? Besides, will it change how quickly you reach your destination? Another way to make your time behind the wheel more eco-friendly? Keep your car well-maintained. Not only will it extend the life of your vehicle, but it will reduce the number of toxins your tailpipe is chugging into the atmosphere.

4. Eat more greens

As we said, many of these simple steps are not only good for the environment — but for yourself, too. For example, it’s known that consuming less red meat reduces your risk of disease and early death. Likewise, because cows are a tremendous source of the greenhouse gas methane, by swapping out that burger for a salad, you’re also helping the environment. 

5. Skip the plastic bags

Simple actions add up. Instead of single-use plastic bottles, arm yourself with a refillable water bottle. Use a refillable coffee mug instead of a disposable plastic or Styrofoam cup. Have you seen people bring their reusable totes to the grocery store? Why not try it the next time you go through the checkout? Speaking of groceries, skip plastic-bagging all your produce. You’re going to wash your fruits and vegetables before you eat them, right? (We hope.) Altogether, these small gestures mean less plastic bound for landfills, waterways, and oceans.

6. Power down around the house

No time or resources to install solar panels on your roof or undertake other similarly large-scale projects? Why not just inspect your windows and doors for leaks and fix them? Likewise, throwing down some carpets or rugs on your floors will make your home warmer this winter. And save some electricity — and money — by investing in a power strip that will stop “vampire” electronics and appliances from still sucking up electricity even when turned off.

7. Check out the kitchen

What’s your food stored in? If you’re like most people, you keep dry goods and leftovers sealed in plastic containers. But these containers may also contain BPA, which stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical used to make some plastics for decades. Studies have shown that BPA can leak into the food stored in these containers, especially microwaved, leading to health issues, including cardiovascular disease. It can also affect the body’s hormones. So, replace them with glass, silicone, or stainless-steel containers.

The same goes for any straws in your home. Use glass or stainless-steel straws instead and do your part to cut down on the estimated 500 million straws thrown out daily in the U.S. While in the kitchen, consider swapping out aging appliances for new, energy-efficient models. Not only will the planet appreciate it, but you’ll enjoy the fresh, modern look.

8. Let the laundry pile up

Yes, we are suggesting you do less housework than you already do. It doesn’t get easier than that. Why? Because every wash load consumes an abundance of water and energy, there’s no harm in letting some clothes gather in your hamper. Are they that dirty? Additionally, clothes made from synthetics bleed microplastics into your washing machine, which then end up in the ocean. Right now, it’s estimated there are more than 24 trillion pieces of microplastics in the oceans. That includes the waste created by washing this synthetic apparel. So, let’s not overwash them. (Better yet, buy organic cotton clothing.) Lastly, while discussing laundry, why not ditch the harsh chemicals and opt for an eco-friendly option like SaltyLama’s easy-to-use detergent strips? We promise you will never miss hauling that plastic jug of liquid detergent again.

9. Go out less

We’ve all heard about workers unhappy about being ordered back to the office. But that daily commute isn’t just bad for them — it’s unhealthy for the environment. Fewer drivers on the roads mean fewer emissions. If you want to take a few classes or broaden your education, consider online courses. Likewise, try to choose staycations over vacations. We’re not suggesting you never travel to exotic lands but think about the beauty, nature, and adventures much closer to home. You might surprise yourself — while reducing your carbon footprint.

10. Subscribe to SaltyLama

Pick one of our scents — Baby Blossom, Fresh Scent, or Fragrance-Free — and never run out of laundry detergent again with a SaltyLama subscription. No store, no more lines. We offer flexible delivery options — tell us when you want your order and never think about it again. You can cancel, pause, or skip an order on your subscription whenever you want. Bringing our eco-friendly detergent strips to your door is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint — and rid your house of harmful chemicals.

 

 

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