10 Ways to Be More Green

Whole LivingWhole LivingHelping to change the world isn't that hard. It begins with small acts that become habits. As they gain momentum, soon you're not doing just one thing; you're revolutionizing your life in a way that can, in fact, save the planet.

1.Turn Off the Lights
Two-thirds of all the electricity used in the residential sector of the United States powers lights and appliances. Considering that electricity production generates more than 1.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, a simple flick of the switch is a good start.Plus

Plus: See Our Favorite Eco-Bulbs

2. Eat More Veggies
While a meat-centered diet deepens our ecological footprint and contributes to pollution, a plant-centered diet requires fewer resources and supports long-term health. But you don't have to go completely veggie to reap the benefits; try gradually shifting the emphasis of your meals from animal-based proteins to plant-based ones, such as soy foods and beans.

3. Use Greener Cleaners
As many as a third of Americans have an adverse reaction to common household chemicals. Safer products can save you money, too. While furniture polish will set you back about $4, cleaning with 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar and a few drops of olive oil costs mere cents.

4.Find New Uses for Old Things
Many retailers provide in-store drop-off bins for recycling cell phones, while items such as clothing, toys, and computers are great for local shelters and rescue missions. Through donations you not only relieve pressure on landfills, you contribute directly to your community.

5. Bring Your Own Bag to the Grocery Store
The paper-or-plastic dilemma may someday be obsolete. But paper is an only slightly better alternative. The greenest option? Look in your closet and drawers for a strong, durable, reusable bag, and take it with you to the supermarket, mall, or your favorite takeout place.

6. Buy Products Made from Recycled Materials
These days, it's easy to find affordable green products and adopt creative, sustainable practices -- and doing so will bolster the bottom line by cutting energy and material needs.

Plus: Eco Office Supplies

7. Choose Reusable Instead of Disposable
Saving the Earth starts early. Show even your littlest child that you always think green by selecting reusable instead of disposable products.

8. Turn Off Your Computer
Whenever you leave work, remember to turn off your computer, especially on Fridays -- or any other occasion when you're going to be away from the office for long periods of time.

9. Bring Farm-Fresh Food to Your Kids' School
School districts across the country are making the transition from processed cafeteria foods to meals based around fresh produce. If your child's isn't one of them, there are still things you can do. We have four tips to follow, and more online resources to consult, to make your school nutrition dreams a reality.

10. Boost Your Appliances' Efficiency
The major appliances -- the refrigerator, water heater, and clothes dryer -- can together account for a big chunk of all the energy a household uses. With a few quick tune-ups, you can reduce the electricity these power-hungry amenities consume, in turn reducing your carbon footprint -- and your energy bill.

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