The new year doesn’t have to be the only time that brings a desire for change and new goals. Spring is a great time, too! While many of us probably already have goals to improve ourselves by vowing to eat better, lose weight, or maybe just take the steps toward exercising every day, what about exercising our sustainability muscles? This may not be something you think of when you start to write out your goals for the year, but we can provide some simple tips to help you reduce waste and support the environment. With Earth Day on April 22, this is the perfect month to get started.
1. Washing machines: To conserve water, be sure to only run your washing machine when you have a full load of laundry. This ensures that you are minimizing machine usage and reducing the amount of water used.
2. Composting: Reduce landfill waste by composting your kitchen scraps and other leftover food. Compost is organic material that can be used as an addition to soil or as a method to grow plants. The composting process occurs when this organic material is broken down by microorganisms, creating nourishment for your soil.
3. Reusable bags: Publix reusable bags are not only pretty, they’re also purposeful. To reduce the number of plastic bags used in our stores, we started offering reusable shopping bags to our customers more than 20 years ago. And guess what? One reusable bag can hold up to three regular plastic bags worth of groceries. Pick some up during your next shopping trip and see for yourself! If you already have a few, try keeping them in the car so you always have them when it’s time to shop.
4. Double-sided printing: Whether you’re at home or work, one way to reduce waste is to print documents double-sided to use less paper. You can also use discarded documents as scrap paper for notes and lists. Don’t forget to recycle them when you’re finished!
5. Electricity: This one may be a no-brainer, but turning off lights and unplugging electronics when not in use is a great way to save on your next electric bill while maintaining a green routine. According to the Department of Energy, leaving a computer on all day can cost about 21 cents per day, or about $75 per year. You can help yourself save money and energy with just the flip of a switch.
6. Heating and cooling efficiency: Close shades and curtains to keep cool air from escaping in the summer, and warm air in the winter. Be sure to close vents and doors of rooms that are not in use to keep air flow localized.
7. Smart landscaping: When choosing the perfect flower bed or shrubs for your front yard, try picking foliage that doesn’t require much water. This is a great way to save not only water, but energy too!
8. Dishwasher loads: Similar to our tip on washing machines, it is best to use your dishwasher only when it is full for the most efficient water use.
Making small changes now can make a big difference when it comes to sustainability efforts for our future. Start with one thing on the list and work your way down. You can do it!
Do you have any sustainability tips of your own? We’d love to hear from you.