Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store and buying organic whenever possible are some of the more obvious ways to be a friend to Mother Earth. But to more fully embrace green living, it’s important to consider adopting some other more tried-and-true eco-conscious practices that can save you money and help ingrain in you more sustainable habits. Here are several ideas to step-up your eco-friendly game within the realms of driving, cooking and tech.
1. Modify Your Driving Habits
Driving a hybrid or electric vehicle isn’t the only way to go green. In fact, modifying your driving habits can help increase your car’s fuel efficiency, lower your gas consumption, and reduce your vehicle’s overall carbon footprint. More specifically, you can reach and maintain a more optimal fuel economy if you avoid speeding, rapid acceleration and immediate braking.
While not always feasible, avoid carrying heavy baggage, equipment and goods in your trunk and on the roof of your vehicle. Ultimately, this will reduce the overall weight of your vehicle and increase its fuel efficiency.
Finally, proper tire maintenance is the best way to ensure your vehicle reaches its full fuel efficiency potential. In that vein, make sure your tires are rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, which will increase their overall fuel economy and lifespan, as well as reduce the number of tires that wind up in landfills.
2. Adopt Some Nature-Friendly Kitchen Hacks
If you recycle, use your oven during off-peak times and purchase energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, your eco-conscious habits are definitely on point. However, there’s always room for improvement. First, take a look beneath your sink and assess your cleaning products.
Dishwashing liquids, detergents, surface cleaners and most other household cleaning supplies are filled with toxic and petrochemical ingredients that can be harmful to you and the environment. With that in mind, do some research and look to buy products that are more eco-friendly.
Additionally, when possible, avoid preheating your oven, cook as many dishes as possible at any one time, and turn off the oven a little early so your meals and baking goods warm up in more residual heat. If you’re cooking or reheating something small, experts say to avoid the oven and instead use a toaster or microwave, which can reduce energy costs by 80 percent.
3. Learn Some Eco-Friendly Tech Habits
With a seemingly endless supply of appliances, devices and gadgets in every room, it can be easy to lose track of how much energy your home is consuming at any one time. Thus, whenever possible, try to use any of these goods in standby power. Keeping electronics plugged into a power strip makes it easy to unplug multiple gadgets at one time, thereby reducing your standby power load.
Additionally, when your old TV or laptop has kicked the bucket, properly recycle these old electronics to reduce your e-waste footprint. Not sure where to turn? Find nonprofit groups that specialize in recycling old electronics, donate a gadget that still works, or take any old and unused items to retailers like Best Buy or Office Depot to keep any toxic substances out of landfills.
Ultimately, it Takes Some Effort to Truly Live ‘Green’
These days, buying products advertised as “green” isn’t enough to significantly reduce your carbon footprint. In other words, embracing a more eco-conscious lifestyle requires some creativity and ingenuity. With that in mind, don’t just stop at your car, kitchen and/or tech gadgets. Instead, continue to look for ways to reduce your carbon footprint as part of your overall lifestyle.