Go green this next year and every year there after. You will feel better about helping the planet and the planet will thank you for it. There are many simple ways to adjust small daily habits that can deeply affect the environment for the better. Here are 10 ways you can have the biggest and quickest healthy impact on our planet earth:

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1. Recycle

Haven’t you ever had a twinge of guilt when throwing away large laundry detergent bottles or felt a bit bad for chucking water/soda bottles away so easily? If people chose just one sort of material to recycle, let it be plastic. Second to that, let it be glass. Plastic and glass waste never leaves the earth. These materials make up 95% of the bottles and jars we buy all our daily products in.

2. Pay Bills Online

The amount of paper wasted by companies’ hard-copy bills and addressed envelopes is ghastly and costly. Cut down on this waste instantly by going to the websites for all your utility bills and monthly expenses and opt for online billing.

3. Change Light Bulbs to Energy Efficient

A lot of people resist this change because they don’t like the bluish-white color of a fluorescent bulb. Light bulb manufacturers have heard these complaints and now offer bulbs that give off soft, golden light. One can literally cut their energy bill in half by changing all light bulbs in their home to energy efficient.

4. Mind Water Waste

 

There are numerous ways people innocently waste water every day: allowing water to run while brushing teeth, not fixing leaky faucets, washing clothes in hot water only, not fixing broken sprinklers, allowing water to run while shampooing/conditioning hair and not fixing running toilets. Cutting out these water uses will not only preserve water, they will often cut your gas bill because often hot water is wasted more than cold.

5. Find and Use Homemade Cleaning Products

There are some natural-ingredient cleaning products on the market but you can also make your own cleaning products with kitchen ingredients. A popular mixture of lemon juice (sugar-free), water and mint is safe and effective on all surfaces such as linoleum and wood finishes.

6. Replace Paper with Cloth Towels

Landfills are full of paper towel waste that will never break down or disintegrate naturally into the earth. Like plastic diapers, they never go away. If all people replaced paper towels and plastic baby diapers and instead opted for clothe towels, the amount of waste in landfill would be cut by two-thirds of what it is today.

7. Shop Classifieds

Before going out and spending small fortunes on large things like exercise equipment, cars, household appliances, furniture, bikes, etc, browse garage sales and classified ads online for these items. Save money and the earth in one small action.

8. Create a Compost Jar

Even if you don’t garden, a compost jar will save landfills from wastes that could actually be used by someone. Coffee grounds, orange peelings, egg shells, peanut shells, etc can be collected and all thrown into one big jar or can. If you’ve always wanted to start a garden, your compost makes excellent plant and flower food. If you don’t garden, keep the compost and donate it to plant farms or nurseries. Take pleasure when you see flowers that your compost waste may have contributed to their growth.

9. Grocery Shop More Frequently

Instead of buying food once a week and stocking up, visit the grocery store more often and cut down on wasted food. This is a great way to keep less food from spoiling and to keep less calories from potentially being snacked on.

10. Walk When & Where You Can

Being green means that you and the environment are going to be more healthy. Get out and stretch your legs by walking to the local store, your friend’s homes and as daily exercise. Use your legs instead of your tires whenever possible. Your waistline will also thank you for it.