10 Ways to Be More Environmentally Friendly

For those of you who have been hiding under a rock, or didn't see Leonardo DiCaprio at the UN Climate Change Summit, environment and climate changes are happening now. Even one environmentally friendly change can help our growing climate change issues. No only will you be lessening your carbon footprint, but can reduce your costs with these environmentally friendly tips:

1. Stop Wasting Water Bottles
Bottled water is incredibly wasteful on so many levels: An estimated 80 percent of them don't get recycled and, because of the plastic production process, it takes three times the amount of water in a water bottle to produce just one!

2. Modernize Your To-Do List
If you're like me, I used to keep lists and post-it notes everywhere. Instead, use an app or your phone's calendar/notepad to make the lists. Not only does it keep your list with you and help you stay organized, you're being environmentally conscious. It may seem like something small, but those lists add up!

3. Carpool
Not only does carpooling with coworkers saves gas, reduce the number of cars on the road, (thus less carbon emissions), your commute will become more lively!

4. Buy Canvas Bags and Use Them for Groceries
I keep them in my car so I don't forget to bring them. Companies like Trader Joe's applaud your environmentally friendly decision by adding you to a weekly raffle for every bag you bring in yourself.

5. Make A Compost Bin.
Using a bin, (or thanks to Pinterest, making a DIY compost bin has never been easier), toss in your biodegradable products, such as fruit or vegetable scraps instead of throwing them away in your garbage. This will help cut down the amount of garbage, as well as eventually produce healthy, nutrient filled soil for your garden/landscape.

6. Use Cloth Napkins.
Not only will you reduce your garbage, but using cloth napkins can also save you money.

7. Take shorter showers.
We all love the feeling of a nice, hot shower, but five minutes is really all we need. Shaving even one minute off of the daily shower will save nearly a thousand gallons of water every year. It's not only better for the planet, but can reduce your water bill!

8. Turn off your lights when you leave the room.
A simple way to reduce your energy bill and environmental use is by just turning off the lights when you leave a room. A little goes a long way! While we're on that manner, reduce your energy bill by replacing incandescent bulbs CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs).

9. Wash in Warm.
It's also best to wash with warm or cold water as often as possible -- about 90 percent of the energy used by a top-loader is for heating the water. Choose an Energy Star washing machine with a low (six or lower) "water factor," (the number of gallons per cycle used).

10. Recycle=Money
Today, many grocery stores and local marts offer bottle return centers. Although it initially seems like a small win, save your recycle money for a rainy day. You'll be surprised how fast it adds up!