In keeping with my annual Earth Day tradition, I've come up with a list of green tips for you. If you can incorporate even a few of these into your daily routine you will be living much lighter on the planet.
1. Air dry laundry or use a drying rack whenever possible.
2. If you must use the dryer, dry loads one after another. You'll use much less energy that way, because the dryer doesn't need to heat up each time.
3. Make sure your water heater is set no higher than 120 degrees.
4. Your refrigerater doesn't need to be any colder than 35 to 38 degrees, and your freezer between 0 degrees and 5 degrees.
5. Install aerators on all your faucets - you'll use a lot less water, and still get decent water pressure.
6. Bring toxic items such as old paints, cleaners and solvents to a hazardous waste facility for safe disposal.
7. If your office doesn't recycle, see if you can take the aluminum cans and paper home to recycle.
8. Use your toaster oven or slow cooker to prepare meals whenever possible, rather than heating up your oven.
9. Bring your used up batteries to your local pharmacy's photo department. Most will accept them and send them in with the batteries they take out of the disposable cameras for recycling.
10. Consider purchasing LED bulbs for your most used light fixture. The prices are starting to come down and you can get them at the big hardware stores for a more reasonable price. Remember, they cost a lot more upfront, but last 5 to 10 times longer than CFL bulbs, and 50 to 100 times longer than incandescents. They also use about one tenth of the energy an uses!
For more inspiration, check out my previous earth day posts, here http://talkthrifty.blogspot.com/2010/04/happy-anniversary-mother-earth.html and here http://talkthrifty.blogspot.com/2009/04/one-small-step-for-you-one-giant-leap.html. Now get busy, and go green!