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Eco-Friendly Tips for Readers

More, more, more-the classic mantra of American society. Thriving on anything that is bigger and better than their neighbor, Americans have truly embraced the definition of consumerism. Although this gaudy materialism is not always healthy, for us or the environment, many companies and newspapers are stepping up and encouraging consumers to cut back in order to save money and resources. Especially with the current recession, any money saving tips are greeted with more than open arms. And if you are helping the environment while you are at it, kudos to you.

A recent article from Parade magazine introduced some tips to readers that are both eco- and wallet friendly. The article presents 5 tips that cover different aspects of readers’ lifestyles, discussing anything from laundry use to gas mileage. These tips are great for those who are new to conservation practices. But if you really want to stretch your wallet and lessen the burden on Mother Nature, here are some ways to take those tips even further.

1. Plant a rain garden- This will not only reduce your water needs, it will practically eliminate them. This type of garden works by planting a variety of native plants in an area close to a pipe that drains rainwater from your roof directly to the garden. The garden is watered every time it rains, keeping storm water from flooding your house and the streets. If you live in a dry area, planting plants that are native to your area will dramatically reduce your watering needs.

2. Always turn off the appliances that you do not use often. That plugged in crock pot that only gets used when grandma comes into town? No need to have it plugged in 24/7. In fact, unused but plugged in appliances can contribute about 20% more to your utility bill.

3. Low on funds? Forget shopping, try swapping. Get some friends or neighbors together and host a clothes exchange. This provides you with an alternative to spending money for a new wardrobe and allows you to get rid of those clothes that have been sitting around. The old saying goes ‘one man’s trash in another man’s treasure.’

4. Don’t just slow down, buddy up. Carpooling can save you quite some money on gas bills and also make that morning commute to work less of a chore. If you don’t live too far, why not bike to work? Biking provides an excellent source of fuel economy (infinity!) and doubles as exercise- a great way to squeeze in some cardio into that busy schedule of yours.

5. Laundry cycles are guzzlers of both energy and water. And because you don’t want to reek at the office, not washing your clothes is NOT an option. One option is buying a ‘smart’ washer such as the LG Steam Direct. It is a combination washer and dryer that weighs your load before you wash to determine how much water to use. It washes and dries clothes using a steam technology in which moisture is carried away by hot air, condensed by cold mist in a separate chamber and then exits the system.


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