GUEST BLOGGER: EMMA PARKHURST, CHES, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
There are a number of amazing benefits to be gained when it comes to sustainable or eco-friendly living. We can benefit personally, socially, economically, and of course, environmentally. However, it can be somewhat intimidating to get started! If you’re ready to make some lifestyles changes to save money and live more eco-friendly, here are some realistic tips to help you get started just in time for Earth Day:
Routines: take a moment to think through your daily routines. Are there changes you can make to your morning, afternoon, or evening? Here are some examples - if you’re a hot beverage lover, make your own coffee or tea rather than stopping by your preferred beverage vendor; set aside some extra time to pack a lunch or snacks in reusable containers to avoid going out for lunch; consider going meatless or making it a side dish for a meal or two; change your commute when it’s possible, whether you choose to use active or public transportation every once in while or combine trips into one outing (aka trip chaining).
Home: have you ever heard of vampire electronics? They’re those pesky appliances that have a light shining even though it’s turned “off” that continue to use energy when they’re not being used. Unplug these vampire electronics when they’re not in use, or use a surge protector to truly power down appliances. Another great tip to reduce energy use is through energy efficient products. Look for EnergyStar appliances, and replace lightbulbs with LED bulbs. Other ideas include using a programmable thermostat to regulate temperature, hang clothes to dry on warm days instead of using the dryer, and choose reusable items over single-use.
Reduce and Reuse: did you know that we produce an average of 4 pounds of trash every day? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, that’s about 1,600 pounds of trash per person each year – yikes. One simple way to reduce your waste and save some cash is to reuse items you may normally throw away. By using an item more than once, you can save energy, transportation time, and fuel needed for both recycling and waste management. Click here for some creative ways to reuse items. Another great option to save cash and decrease waste is using reusable items. Some ideas include washable rags instead of paper towels, glass or insulated water bottles, reusable produce bags, bamboo cutlery, or a silicone baking mat.
Emma is a certified health education specialist and is passionate about helping others improve the quality of their lives using a holistic approach to health and wellness. She finds joy in listening to true crime podcasts, petting all the dogs, getting active outside, and finding thrift store bargains.
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