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It’s never too late to start living a more eco-friendly life. Scientists are constantly discovering new ways in which climate change is negatively impacting the world, and with the powers that be not poised to curb their greenhouse gas emissions any time soon, it often falls to ordinary people to take tiny steps to lessen humanity’s burden on the environment. Here are five ways that you can be more eco-friendly right now.
1. Switch to dish towels and dish racks
Washing dishes requires you to dry not just plates and silverware, but your hands once your work is done. If you use paper towels to aid in drying, make the switch to dish towels and dish racks. Once your dishes are sparkling clean, leave them in your dish rack to dry. Then, use dish towels to rub your hands dry. You can also use dish towels to immediately dry your dishes. Not only will you keep single-use paper towels from clogging landfills and contributing to environmental decay, but you’ll save money by buying fewer paper towels in the future.
2. Bring bags to the supermarket
Sure, you can recycle the paper bags you’re given at the supermarket, but what about those thin plastic bags piling up under your sink? Instead of letting these environmentally damaging plastics accumulate, drop a few dollars on a reusable grocery bag. Usually made from material strong enough to last years and sometimes lined with insulation for maintaining your groceries’ temperature, these bags allow you to give back to the environment while buying the literal fruits of Earth’s labor.
3. Ditch bottled water
Single-use plastics such as water bottles impart tremendous harm to the environment. Switch to reusable water bottles instead. This way, you can bring water with you when you’re on the go instead of stopping into convenience stores for that unreasonably pricey bottle of the world’s most abundant (but still threatened) substance. Plus, many reusable water bottles are designed with thermal technology that keeps the temperature of your water constant for hours, if not days, on end.
4. Buy a reusable straw set
Often, when you sit down at a restaurant, you’ll be given a plastic straw for your drink before you even think to object. If you’re aware of the environmental damage that single-use straws can cause, you’re probably looking for a way to quickly indicate that you don’t want the straw. Reusable straws get the job done. Bring one with you wherever you go, and take it out the moment you sit down at any restaurant so your server knows not to give you a plastic straw. Just be sure to place a napkin down under your straw so it says clean.
5. Invest in a smart thermostat system
Leaving your heat or air conditioning on all day uses precious energy. Minimize your home’s environmental burden by investing in a smart thermostat system. These systems allow you ultimate control of your home’s temperature with features that let you program variations in your home’s temperature by time of day. You can do this from within your home or, using your system’s app or website, anywhere that has an internet connection. The initial price may cause you to hesitate, but the long-term money you’ll save on energy bills – and the emissions on which you’ll cut back – will make your purchase well worth your while.
How do you stay eco-friendly? Sound off in the comments!