Stop unsolicited mail. The average household receives six pieces of junk mail per day. The federal trade commission offers services to opt out of [http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt063.shtm] credit card offers, catalogues, and coupons. Opting-out not only reduces the amount of junk mail you receive, it cuts down the number of trees used every year. Another way to cut down on paper? Pay your bills online.
Wash laundry in cold water. Up to 90% of washing machine energy is consumed when heating water. Unless clothes are heavily soiled, set your laundry machine to “cold.” Cold water maintains vibrant colors and is better for the environment. If you need to use hot water, set the water heater no higher that 120F.
Insulate your outlets. Foam gaskets save energy and money by reducing draft and improving comfort.
Unplug chargers and appliances. Most chargers, appliances, and electronic equipment use energy even when not in use. Phantom energy loss can make up to 5 percent of your home energy bill. Common culprits are TVs, DVD players, and cell phone chargers. Limit wasted energy by unplugging chargers and other unused equipment.
Borrow from a friend. Ask friends and neighbors to borrow items you only need temporarily. They’ll be happy that things are being used. Also look for borrowing blogs like FreeCycle.org.
Take a walk. Instead of turning on the TV after dinner, take a leisurely stroll with your loved ones.
Let in natural light. Keep your lights off as long as possible and let natural light brighten up your room. This will decrease energy costs and boost your mood!
Repurpose everyday items. Instead of throwing out old tee shirts, cut them up for rags. Another idea? Use glass jars as containers, crafts, or cups. [http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/hack-mason-jar.htm]
Time your showers. A typical 10-minute shower uses up to 50 gallons of water. A simple shower timer can cut water use in half.
Move your recycling bin. Put all waste containers in the same area to make recycling easy. You’ll recycle more when you don’t have to trek to the garage. Reward kids for recycling by letting them keep money collected from bottles and cans.