This 2016, make it your goal to become more environmentally responsible with KISS (Kiss It Seriously Simple).

Few individuals today are not environmentally conscious. Although most of us can agree that we would love to save the planet in whatever way we can, sometimes it’s time consuming and difficult to do so. This year, make it your goal to adopt these quick and easy tips for bettering your planet:

Avoid Dry Cleaning

One very simple way to reduce pollution on a personal level is to avoid buying clothes and other items that require dry cleaning. Dry cleaning fluids contribute to a lot of pollution, so instead of getting your suit dry cleaned once a week, consider purchasing a suit that can instead be machine washed and pressed.

Reduce Your Meat Intake

Did you know that anywhere from 18-51 percent of global emissions comes from animal agriculture? It has even been said that if everyone in America were to not eat meat for just one day, it would save up to 70 million gallons of gas. This little statistic is shocking, but we can use this information to better our planet. You don’t have to go completely vegetarian or vegan to make a difference. Instead, try to reduce your meat intake, even if it’s just one day out of the week.

Use an Automated Thermostat

Consider the amount of energy used on a daily basis just from heating and cooling your home. Use a programmable thermostat to control the temperature in your house when you’re not home, so you can reduce heating the house in the winter and cooling in the summer. You’re not only saving money, but you’re saving the environment too.

Consider using Solar

Solar energy has been available as an alternative clean energy fuel for some time. Today, solar panels can offer heating, cooling, and electricity for your home. Check with an HVAC professional to install a solar water heater, or calculate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. Due to the recent tax incentives, the cost of installing solar is more affordable than you think!

Change Your Cleaning Supplies

Be more conscious of the demand on natural resources like water and soil. Use environmentally approved household cleaners rather than harsh chemicals that are flushed into municipal drains and pollute drinking water.

Recycle

This one is obvious, but it needs to be reiterated. Recycle as much as you can! – glass is one of the easiest to recycle since you can keep reusing it yourself. Think glass bottles and jars turned into a fun DIY project. If you don’t have the time or effort to take all of your plastic to the recycle bin, at least consider bundling large cardboard and pizza boxes for recycling.

Say “No” When They Ask If You Want A Bag

This one doesn’t take much effort. Next time you’re out shopping for a few things, nix the bag, and choose to carry it in your purse or arms instead. It’s the little things like this that add up for our environment.

Invest in a Composter

Using a composter is great for the environment, and your garden! When recycling food, consider implementing the use of a composter. If you live in an apartment, encourage apartment complex owners to allow for special recycling of compostable materials.

What to do with Shredded Paper

There is still the matter of what to do with volumes of shredded paper from home offices. Shredded paper can be recycled for several other uses. For example, to line litter boxes and bird cages. Even better, use shredded paper as a “draft dodger.” Simply cut a single leg from pantyhose, stuff it with shredded paper and tie off the open end. Place against drafty windows to keep your house warmer in the winter. For a more fanciful draft dodger, recycle fabric from old shirts, skirts and other clothing. Sew or baste stitch the fabric around the draft dodger. Recycle bits of yarn to add to the material to make it more decorative.

Ask Yourself: Do you Need it? 

Do you need it or do you just “want” it? Ask yourself this question before making purchases. Too often, what individuals need as opposed to what they desire to own is the cause of environmental problems. Take inventory of personal possessions and objectively review how much they contribute to polluting the environment. Owning excessive amounts of personal possessions, most of which end up in disrepair or are disposed of contribute to the enormous amount of trash in today’s landfills.

It’s Easy to Be Green!

Keep your environmental program seriously simple by taking small steps that add up to bigger impacts for protecting the environment. It takes serious vigilance to track how your daily living habits are impacting the environment. It’s easy to be more environmentally conscious by simple pre-planning and thought. If necessary, create a custom guideline that outlines your initiatives and goals. Check on your achievement of these on a weekly basis. With a little effort and some simple tips, living an environmentally aware lifestyle can be second nature.

Featured photo credit: Jeff Shewan via flickr.com

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