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The phrase "going green" is used frquently these days as individuals and organizations reduce their use of paper, plastic, energy consumption, etc. Below are some "green tips" from Rutgers Cooperstive Extension to save you money as well as positively impact the environment.
- Invest in a water filter and drink filtered tap water instead of purchasing bottled water. At 25 cents to $1 a bottle, the cost of bottled water adds up. Fill a reusable bottle with tap water to take with you.
- When it's safe and convenient, walk or ride a bicycle rather than choosing to drive. By doing so, you'll save fuel, save money, increase Vitamin D exposure (on sunny days), and promote heart health.
- Shop for food in bulk rather than puchasing individually wrapped servings.
- Install occupancy or motion sensors on outdoor lights instead of leaving them on all night.
- Purchse local products, or products from online merchants, instead of driving long distances to retail merchants. Always follow "the Rule of Three" and compare at least three competing vendors.
- Prepare boxed lunches at home using washable, reusable containers instead of throw-away plastics.
- Use reusable shopping bags rather than paper or plastic. Some organizations give shopping bags away for free as a promotional item or you can buy them very inexpensively at supermarkets.
- Use recycled paper and reuse the good side of previously-used paper for low priority printing.
- Refrain from "topping off: at the gas station to round up to the next dollar. According the the EPA, topping off the gas tank can result in your paying for gasoline that is fed back into the station's tanks because your gas tank is full. For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/donttopoff.
- Plug all your plugs from your entertainment system and/or small appliances into an outlet plug with a switch on it. Shut the swith off when not in use to save on your electric bill.
- To reduce your heating bill and energy consumption, check to see if you feel a breeze at the bottom of your doors. If so, purchase inexpensive door sweeps to help block the flow and keep your rooms warm.
- If your bank offers free online bill-paying, consider taking advantage of it. You'll save money on postage and reduce paper usage for printed bills. You might also save money and paper by "bundling" separate phone, television, and Internet service bills into a bill from one service provider.
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