5 Painless Tips to Save The Earth — And Your Wallet

Photo (cc) by emiliokuffer

The trash that Anamarie Shreeves creates in six months fits inside a Mason jar.

The “Earth advocate” is a manager for the nonprofit Keep Atlanta Beautiful.

“She creates almost no waste,” CNN reports. “The list of things she doesn’t use would send shivers up a consumer marketer’s spine: No plastic packaging, no new clothing, no metal cans, no cars.”

Fortunately, helping save the Earth — and saving money — doesn’t necessarily require such extremes. Start with these easy tricks suggested by the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Wash laundry in cold water

Not heating the water saves energy. Waiting until you have a full load worth of dirty laundry and making your own detergent also help.

To learn more, check out “How to Cut the Cost of Daily Chores (Plus 5 DIY Cleaning Recipes to Try)” and “Make Your Own Detergent and 20 Other Tips to Save on Laundry.”

Don’t stream video via game consoles

A PlayStation or Xbox can suck 25 to 50 times more power than it does to stream from a dedicated device like Apple TV or Roku, according to the NRDC. For more options, check out “How To Choose The Right Cord-Cutting TV Service.”

Turn off your furnace after winter

Like other appliances, the furnace uses electricity even when it’s not in use. So be sure to switch off the power to the unit completely until Old Man Winter returns later in the year.

Upgrade the sink aerators on older faucets

New water-efficient aerators cost less than $5, the NRDC says, and can reduce your water use by 40 percent. The nonprofit suggests going with aerators that use no more than 1.8 gallons per minute for kitchen faucets and 1.2 gallons per minute for bathroom faucets.

Check your TV brightness settings

Turning on the automatic brightness control will allow a TV to adjust the screen’s brightness to the room’s lighting, so it will use less power at night.

Also, turning off the “quick start” feature will stop the TV from taking up 20 watts around the clock, according to the NRDC.

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