Going green is easier than you think. We all have to do our small part, and by following a few simple life changes, our little part can make a world of difference. Going green certainly benefits everyone, but it also has immediate rewards that can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

1. Reduce Your Cooking Time.

Sometimes the oven is the only way to go for preparing your favorite meal, however, the energy consumption can be cut back by using a smaller counter top oven for light usage. Use the compact oven when cooking for one or two persons, and be sure to reheat leftovers with an economical source.

2. Cold Water Washes.

The washing instructions on garments, rugs, towels and such may prefer that you use a hot water setting on your washing machine. However, many items with normal soiling come out beautifully with a cold water rinse, and you save big bucks on your water heating bill. In cases of heavy soil and stubborn stains, you may need to revert back to filling your machine with hot water. In addition, when doing a light laundry load, be sure to set the dial for a small load or mini basket for optimal savings on your water bill.

3. Thermostat Control.

Most people find 68 degrees to be comfortable at night when proper bedding is used to insulate the body heat. Try a goose down comforter, thermal pajamas and wearing bed socks at night. Traditional socks may pose a problem with cutting off circulation, so be sure the socks are nice and loose. Also be sure that your doors and windows are weather stripped to keep your heating bill to a minimum.

4. Shower vs. Bathtub.

A nice bubble bath may sound appealing, but you are emptying gallon upon gallon of hot water into just one bathing. To lower your water bill, have a shower instead, which not only gets you cleaner faster, but gives you more control as to how much water you wish to use. To economize even further, turn the water off when washing your hair or lathering up for scrub. A good long soak may be a luxury once and a while, but for daily grooming and maintenance, a quick shower will do.

5. Lights Off.

It’s common sense to turn off a light when its not in use, but how many of us put that into practice? We wander from room to room with little attention paid to lights and other electrical fixtures not in use. The best way to get into the habit of switching off the lights is to put up a sticky note to remind you. After a few weeks, it will be old hat, and you will have saved a lot of dough on your energy bill. It was said that even Queen Elizabeth of England is a stickler for turning off unused electricity at Buckingham Palace. So take care of your own castle and turn off the lights.

6. Shut Down The Computer.

The computer at your home or office should be shut down at night to reduce the monthly energy bill. In addition, if the computer is not going to be used for a few hours, it costs less to power up for a few minutes than to let it run unattended.

7. Fuel Efficient Driving.

To cut back on the usage of fuel, it is wise to have a game plan when running errands. Rather than driving aimlessly, try to organize your driving schedule to make the best mileage for the trip. Devising a route to eliminate back tracking helps a great deal to reduce your fuel expenses, keeps the air cleaner and reduces your carbon footprint.

8. Water Purifiers.

Rather than buying water in plastic containers, you may opt for a water purifying system hooked up to your kitchen sink. Once a costly endeavor, the home water purifiers are now high tech and available for a modest price. Not only do you save on bottled water, the planet is spared another indestructible plastic object to be hauled away out of sight.

9. Leave the Car in the Garage.

If you are just going to make a quick trip, try waking or biking rather than starting up the car. Our society is programmed to believe we need a vehicle every time we leave our property. Nonsense. If your post office is around the corner, the walk will do you good and reduce your carbon footprint. Walking is heart smart and opens up the capillaries for clear and beautiful skin. A little physical activity feels good, costs you nothing, so why not give it a try?

10. Going Paperless.

Eliminating the paper trail does wonders for lowering the energy costs that it takes to cut down a tree, process the pulp and make a piece of paper. If you are ordering from a catalog, ask them to discontinue your hard copy catalog and send you email newsletters instead. Ordering online is fast, efficient and often has better bargains than in-store merchandise. You may also pay your bills online, store your records, and come up with your own creative ideas to cut down on paper products.

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