Save the Planet and Your Money

Times is tough. The economy, at least in North America, isn’t exactly vigorous.

Now, there are many different ways people can help the planet, but the one that seems to be the easiest is to donate. Pledging money, can be, and usually is, the best thing you can do for a budding, or even prosperous company of environmentalists. It take money to move the world, this is for certain, but what about those who can barely support themselves or their families? It’s not fair to expect the people to give when they have nothing to give.

But, that doesn’t mean you have an excuse not to help. So, with that in mind, here are some ideas on how you can help the planet for little to no money.

Recycle

At  first this seems like a pretty simple option, and it is, but do your research. Know what is to be recycled and what is not. There’s a story of a man who had gone to the Caribbean and while over there, he had noticed that the resort he was at didn’t practice proper recycling. So, being the conservationist he was, he kept all his recyclables in plastic bags with him for his entire trip and brought them back to the U.S. when he returned home.  He flew home over 30 lbs. of garbage. Pretty admirable, right? Well, think of it like this: that was an extra 30 lbs. that the plane had to transport, resulting in the plane using that much more jet fuel. His heart was in the right place, but he probably did more damage than good in this situation.

So try to think about conserving all energy when recycling.

Pick Up Garbage

Again, seems small, and even a little trivial, but if you see garbage on the ground, pick it up and throw it in the right receptacle. I’m not saying you have to get dirty doing it; don’t go scrapping gum off the road, but if you see a paper cup on the ground, be a sport, put it in the garbage.

It’s funny, the problem with this one is the social stigma that comes with it. People can look at you funny when you pick up garbage, but to fight that, I just look back at them like they are the asshole for not picking it up. It usually works.

Donate other stuff

Donated clothing is a huge market these days. Second hand shops and consignment stores make a killing selling old, donated clothing. Not only is this a better alternative to throwing away old clothing, but buying used clothing is better, and much cheaper than buying new.

Also, old shirts and pants can be cut up and used as rags. Oh, and maybe you should learn to sew, you’re an adult now.

The Refrigerator

Yes, get rid of the old fridge in the garage, of course. But for the one you use, try to keep it full. The cold food will act as a cold pack keeping your fridge cooler for longer. This way the compressor won’t have to work as hard. Also, keep the fridge at 37 degrees F and the freezer and 3 degrees F.

Along with checking the stripping around the doors for leaks (any leak will rob the efficiency of your fridge), you can vacuum the compressor and coils regularly.  This are supposed to expel heat and any dust could just insulate them.

More Little things

Repainting the house? If you live in a cold climate, paint your house a dark colour. The darkness of your house will reflect as little as 3 per cent of sunlight, thus absorbing the rest, keeping your home warmer and your energy bill down. Also, if you’re painting, leave old, unused paint out for a while with the lid off the can, hardened paint is not hazardous for the environment.

Use natural light. Simple enough, arrange your rooms to use the windows to your advantage.

Install motion sensors on outside lights and dimmers on inside ones.

Walk.

Most pharmacies have proper medication disposal practices open to the public. Don’t flush medication, that’s horrible, last thing we need is our water supply saturated with Viagra or Zoloft. Maybe Viagra.

These are just a few things that can become a habit, and really that’s the best way to be green.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rachel on April 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    When I read this one, I picture the actor who narrated the Big Lebowski reading this to me just because of the first sentence.

    But on a relevant note, I found the Refrigerator section highly educational.

    Reply

  2. Do people really flush their unused meds. In the case of antibiotics this could have major ramifications for organisms to me resistant to modern meds. Take all of your meds people.

    Reply

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