How To Go green (in less than five minutes!) Amanda Greene
Living eco-friendly no longer means making big changes in your family’s routine—even the smallest actions can have impact.
Pull the Plug
When you disconnect your phone charger or turn off a lamp, also remove the cord from the outlet. "Even while turned off, appliances are using up to 40 percent of their power," says Kim McKay, coauthor of the eco-living guide True Green. By cutting power at the source, you’ll reduce carbon emissions and save a chunk of money on bills.
Bag the Bags
When buying fruits and veggies, avoid using those little plastic baggies. "Produce already comes in its own lovely packaging—its skin!" says McKay. "It doesn’t need to be mummified in plastic too." But if you mustuse a plastic bag, make sure to reuse it. Fewer than 1 percent are recycled, and shockingly, they can take over a thousand years to decompose. (Paper bags take only a month.)
Swap your incandescent lightbulbs for compact fluorescent lights—they last eight times longer and use one-quarter of the energy. An eco-friendly bulb also keeps a half-ton of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over its lifespan.