Make a Smaller Family Footprint

By Paige Smith

The message is crystal clear. Whether you’re tuning into the radio, watching the news, or running errands around town, it’s obvious that everyone is going green.
And why shouldn’t you? After all, recycling that Kombucha bottle is much better for mother earth than the landfill. But even if the world is trying to do its part, how should you? Fret not! We’ve organized top tips that you and your family can follow to create less waste!

Recycle
Obvious, and yet so overlooked! Organizing your trash and taking that extra step to separate your recyclables will not only reduce waste in your community, but your home. Need some ideas on how to get the kids in on this easy, but ultimately boring chore? For once, technology is your friend and not a time-drain! Turn to your favorite social media sites such as Pinterest to uncover creative ways to make recycling fun!

Reuse
Like saving money? Love coffee and other caffeine-riddled beverages? You’re not the only one. Instead of ordering from Starbucks and tossing those one-use cups, purchase a reusable coffee travel mug and hand it over to the barista when you order. Not only are you investing in sustainability, you’re also getting yourself a nice discount for bringing in a reusable mug! Going to the grocery store? The same concept applies. Purchase a reusable bag and save yourself the extra five cents per plastic bag. Who knows? You may end up saving enough to buy yourself that extra shot of espresso.

Go Paperless
Between phones and computers, everything is at your fingertips. Literally. Forget to pay a bill? Get to typing, because there’s no need to spend the extra fuel to drive to the business in question. Got a check that needs cashing? Many banks offer mobile deposit, making bank-runs a thing of the past. Opt-in for paperless statements, bills, and newsletters and find yourself clutter-free! If you have any documents for work or bills or such things, don’t print them all off. Use a document management software to keep them safe in one place without needing to print and use paper. The future is alive, and it’s gone paperless.

Update Appliances
Tired of seeing wallet-crunching electricity bills? Take a close look at those appliances you’ve been holding onto since college, because they might be sapping more energy than their newer, energy-efficient successors. Consider LED lighting to save money, and unplugging certain devices during peak hours. After all, peak hours bring in higher prices, and those few hours may be the perfect time to press off on all the power strips and head outside. Don’t forget to hit the lights when you’re heading out the door!

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