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25 Quick & Easy Green Living Tips

So, you've purchased a green energy plan from New Leaf Energy because you want your house to be powered by 100% renewable energy. What's next? How do you convince your family that becoming more environmentally friendly is good for everyone and doesn't require that everyone become back-to-nature hippies? Thankfully, it's much simpler than you think, and with this collection of green tips, you'll be able to smoothly transition your family into become more conscious of how your home uses electricity and the environment as a whole.

  1. Your dishwasher actually uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Save even more by letting the dishes air-dry!
  2. Make sure you recycle all your all your newspapers, cans, bottles, plastics, cardboard and other materials. It takes a lot of energy to make new containers, paper products and packaging.
  3. Bring reusable bags when you're shopping. A plastic bag takes up to 1,000 years to decompose.
  4. Keep plants and trees trimmed away from south-facing windows to get the maximum solar heating effect.
  5. In your yard, use native plants and landscape designs that optimize local conditions. This will reduce irrigation water use and soil erosion, lower maintenance costs, and preserve natural resources.
  6. Reduce paper waste and free your mailbox from piles of junk by making a couple of quick calls to mail order catalog companies.
  7. Help cut down paper waste by switching to online bill pay.
  8. When replacing your furniture, send your old stuff to a local furniture recycler. They'll turn your trash into treasure for someone else and save them from the landfill.
  9. Collect and save rainwater from your gutter for the next time you have to water your plants or lawn.
  10. Mow your lawn when it's dry and leave the clippings lying on the grass -- they'll break down and feed the lawn underneath.
  11. Wrapping a water heater with insulation can keep as many as 1,000 pounds of global-warming CO2 a year out of the upper atmosphere.
  12. When using vinegar as a cleaning agent, make sure to choose the white variety. Brown will stain porous surfaces.
  13. An idling vehicle burns more fuel than a simple restart. Plus, you won't be polluting when the engine is off.
  14. Turn the faucet on at a fraction of full volume when washing your hands to save water.
  15. Fix toilet leaks immediately. A leaky toilet could waste anywhere from 300-60,000 gallons a month.
  16. Take the stairs instead of the elevator! You'll trim your waist and the energy bill!
  17. Repair dripping faucets promptly. One drop a second can waste up to 48 gallons a week!
  18. Always wait until you have a full load before running your dishwasher. Full loads use the same amount of hot water and energy.
  19. If you're remodeling, consider skylights and solar tubes and energy efficient appliances.
  20. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). CFLs use 75% less electricity and produce 90% less heat.
  21. Water lawns early in the morning and long enough for a deep soak to encourage deep root growth.
  22. Plants and grasses grow slowly in the cooler weather. Reduce your watering schedule accordingly.
  23. Install water saving devices using low-flow showerheads on all showers and faucet aerators on all faucets.
  24. Take quick showers. Every minute you're in there will increase your bill!
  25. Clean air filters monthly. Dirt and dust hinder air flow, reducing efficiency.