Invest in a water bottle. Over 100 million plastic bottles make it to US landfills EVERY DAY! Purchase a refillable bottle, and soak up the savings.
Buy a CFL light bulb( the spiral kind) and save up to $ 60 a year on energy costs. My husband and I switched all of our light bulbs to CFL’s and within a year our energy bill was cut in half!
Donate and shop with a conscience. If you have been blessed with an overabundance of clothes or shoes donate them to your local thrift store, Goodwill or Salvation Army. While you are there, stop in to check out the store. I buy a lot of my clothes from thrift stores and consignment shops. I love when I get compliments on my brand new $5 designer jeans! You can also donate your clothes to another family or a shelter.
Give up the Styrofoam-it's cheap but it does not make the eco-friendly cut! Opt for paper plates or pull out your dishes!
Recycle for the first time or more often than usual. Newspaper, cereal boxes, paper rolls and tubes, magazines, junk mail and computer paper make the top of the paper list. Don’t forget cans and aluminium foil (clean it first), and plastic bottles (if you just can’t give them up) and shampoo bottles. Look for the arrow and the number 1 or 2 to be sure. Visit my local recyclers for tips www.eurekarecycling.org. Recycle your old cell phones! if you throw them away, they end up in landfills(the mercury and lead do too), so check in with your cell phone company to see if they will buy them back from you, find a cell phone recycling station near you. Go to 911.org to find one near you.
BYOB-Bring Your Own Bag. Remember your reusable shopping bag (Maylena does such a great job reminding me). Don’t worry, if you forget, they are no more than $2 at the store. If you have to use plastic bags, re-use them or recycle them.
Carpool or ride your bike to a place where you usually drive. As I sat frustrated by the wait and long line of cars waiting to get in to the U of MN parking lot (the lot is dedicated to those who were more eco-conscious before 9am), I decided that I am going to carpool or take the bus for at least 5 more classes! If you live in the TWIN CITIES, go to metrotransit.org for more information. If you live outside the cities, visit your local transit website.
Maylena’s addition: “Turn off the water when you brush your teeth, and turn off the lights so you save energy.” I am so proud!
Save money and get an energy audit with the Neighborhood Energy Connection ( if you live in Saint Paul). The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. They will come to your home, talk to you about how you can save more money and energy( especially with the MN winter fast approaching), and even change your light bulbs( CFL), and so much more. This was a great experience, and I learned so much. They even send you information about your energy use, so you can see the green you save! Go to www.thenec.org to find out more.
Shop and eat local! Stop by a farmer’s market or local shop. Two words: Mississippi Market! Our new favorite place is The Flamingo, an East African restaurant in Saint Paul adjacent to Subway on University Ave! Delicious!