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Green Your Lifestyle

Attaining a greener lifestyle doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. Some minor lifestyle adjustments can cut expenses and make a positive impact on your health and quality of life. Making your daily routine more sustainable can be as simple as learning some green basics, modifying your habits, and making informed choices.

Here are six simple changes:

1. Recycle

Make recycling a habit. Depositing plastics, paper, and glass into recycling bins costs nothing and it can help to preserve natural resources and keep trash out of landfills.  

Many household goods including electronics, paint, chemicals, and unused prescriptions don't belong in the regular trash. Whenever you buy something new, look for items made from recycled content. Learn more about recycling at earth911.com.  

2. Create a zero-waste kitchen

Instead of using the disposal or tossing food scraps, compost them. The practice keeps trash out of landfills and provides a natural way to enrich garden soil.  

Wooden spoons, dryer lint, cardboard Q-tips, and other unexpected items are compostable. Learn more at epa.gov./recycle/composing-home.

3. Eliminate toxins

Carefully consider what you bring into your house. Chemicals in common household products, including shower curtains, cookware, and furniture, can seep into your living space. That compromises indoor air quality and can cause health problems and worsen respiratory ailments.  

Seek non-toxic options for paint, pesticides, cleaners, furniture, and building materials. Learn more at healthyhouseinstitute.com.

4. Clean naturally

Though many associate a lemon or pine scent with cleanliness, such odors usually stem from cleaning products loaded with harsh chemicals that can be toxic to people, pets, and the planet.

Pick green-labeled cleaning products or mix up your own, using baking soda (an abrasive), vinegar (a disinfectant), and lemon (a deodorizer). Such alternatives are accessible, inexpensive, and better for your health. Learn more at earth911.com.

5. Reconsider your transportation

Explore public transit options and consider biking or walking to reduce commuting costs. If you can't eliminate your car entirely, try to find rideshares and ways to reduce car trips. Before a move, check walkscore.com to see a future neighborhood's walkability.

6. Buy efficient electronics

Choose computers, office equipment, and game consoles with the Energy Star label. By using less energy, such products cut your utility costs and have a lower impact on the environment. Learn more at energystar.gov/products/electronics.