Want to live an environment friendly lifestyle without creating a hole in your pocket? Well, you can refer to Matt Malten, assistant vice chancellor for campus sustainability at Washington University in St. Louis for some valuable tips.
Malten has offered few tips on how to lessen your impact on the environment without spending a lot of bucks.
"Focus on reducing your energy and water consumption and your waste generation, and you'll be on your way to reducing your footprint on the planet," Malten said.
Some of the tips he offered were - use of fluorescent light bulbs. They are expensive than incandescent light bulbs (2 dollar vs. 50dollars), but switch out your incandescent bulb for compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) in your house, and you could save up to 30 percent on your energy bill.
"According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program, CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescents and last 10 times longer. This, on average, results in $30 savings for the life of the bulb," Malten said.
The other tip, which he gave, was - Keep your car in excellent condition. And follow traffic laws your car burns less fuel when you drive slowly and obey the speed limit on highways. Next was to make sure that the dishwasher and clothes washer and dryer were full before using them. The aforementioned major appliances consume large amounts of energy, so by only running them with full loads the use can be reduced.
Wash clothes in cold water and line dry. Using cold water rather than hot in the washer saves electricity and works just as well as hot with most clothes. Line drying not only is more environmentally friendly, but it also will keep clothes from shrinking and fading.
Shut down and unplug idle electronics. Skip the bottled water, because the process of harvesting the raw materials, processing and manufacturing the petroleum-based plastic water bottles and shipping them to market is extremely energy intensive. So filter your own water and fill up your own reusable bottles for water on-the-go.
Buy items with less packaging, and with packaging that your community recycles. It's convenient to buy snack crackers already divided into even, individual portions in plastic bags, but that creates much more waste packaging than just buying the full box.
"The old adage of reduce, reuse, recycle remains apropos. We must remind ourselves that the first step is always to reduce our demand of natural resources," Malten said.