8 Ways to Go Green Without Even Noticing

Going green is easier than you think! Try these simple switches today for a more eco-friendly, cost-effective home.

By Kyley Eagleson from blog.heritage-enviro.com
Also in Reader's Digest Magazine April 2014
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Don’t preheat your oven

Did you know that unless you are cooking temperamental things—such as bread or other baked goods—there is no need to warm up your oven? The next time you make dinner (be that meat or lasagna), go green and don’t turn on your oven until you put in the food. Also, never preheat for things that will cook for more than an hour—the oven will reach the desired temperature as the food cooks. By cooking with glass or ceramic pans instead of metal, you can lower the called-for oven temperature by 25 degrees. 

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Unplug an appliance

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 75 percent of all electricity used to power electronics is consumed by devices that are turned off. Skip the annoyance of disconnecting electronics with internal clocks, and unplug just a few items to save considerable energy and go green.

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Use a low-flow showerhead

Gone are the days when low-flow meant subpar in terms of showering. To give consumers who want to go green more control, these devices now offer options for different GPM (gallons per minute) rates during a shower. The result: Users can adjust to a low rate for lathering and a higher rate for rinsing. 

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Clean your lint filter

A full lint filter makes your dryer work harder and produce more heat. Clean your filter after each load to help go green by decreasing your energy usage and speeding up your drying time.

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Wash clothes in cold water

Clean clothes in cold water to save big on your next bill while going green. Even switching the water setting from hot to warm can cut a load’s energy use in half. 

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Pay your bills online

By paying bills online you save the paper that would be used to send you the bill, paper needed by you to send the bill back, money on postage, and time. Many businesses also offer incentives for signing up to go green and pay online. 

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Buy gallon or economy sized shampoo and conditioner

Not only will you be throwing away less plastic, but you'll be saving money and cut down on your trips to the drug store. For frequent travelers who are going green, buy one set of small travel sized bottles and reuse them for every trip. 

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Buy and use re-useable grocery bags

Most grocery stores offer a small incentive for using your own re-usable bags, and you might even find its easier to carry your groceries without worrying about the plastic or paper bags ripping. At the very least, go green and reuse any shopping bags you take home from the market. Small plastic bags can be used twice more, to carry lunch and as a spill guard. They're also the perfect size to use as a liner for small trash cans. Paper bags can become book covers, scrap paper, and even a canvas for kids to draw on.

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