Kermit the frog once said, “It’s not easy being green.” But, you know what it kind of is. There are little things all of us can to prevent the planet from imploding or melting or something before our children reach adulthood. So, in honor of Earth Day, I’ve compiled a list of simple things us 20-somethings can do to be green.

RECYCLE: Sounds simple, but most of us really don’t do this. My Mom used to yell at us for putting our yogurt cups in the trash, and plastic in the paper basket, but it paid off. Recycling is simple and really does make a difference. If you’re lucky enough to have an apartment building, trash collection service, or city landfill that recycles, it’s easy. At home I have a cute wastebasket where I throw all my paper waste, a grocery bag where I put bottles, cans, and empty plastic tubes of my products. Then,  in the building’s trash room, they have bins for paper, for plastic, and for cans. It takes no time, and it’s good for the planet. Recycle your paper and cans/bottles at least! Especially at work where they usually have paper baskets right next to the printer, or in your cube/corner office!

recycle

Cleaning Products: Most cleaning products we use are pretty toxic. They are not only harmful to the environment, but also to us! A lot of that eco-friendly stuff is indeed more expensive. However, Method, sold at Target, is a great low cost line and it’s good for the environment!

method

Lightbulbs: Last year I purchased a pack of those weird looking “green” light-bulbs. And guess what, I haven’t changed any light-bulbs in my lamps since. They last a long long time, and the light they produce is the same, if not better, than your regular old bulb. They did cost a little more than the standard ones, but you save in the long run since you change them half as much. Some lights in my house, like the bathroom ones, aren’t conducive to them, but that’s okay. Green it one step at a time!

ecofriendlylightbulb

Waste at Work: I don’t know about you, but at my office, they stock napkins, plastic cutlery, paper plates and bowls, Styrofoam cups etc. I probably use at least one to two of each a day. Finally I started bringing in my own mug, when I was told they bought Styrofoam cups because they were cheaper than recycled paper ones. So, be conscious of how much you use at work, and try to cut back. Even one less plastic spoon a day makes a difference!

styrofoam_cups

Washing Machine: Washing your clothes on “hot” uses a lot more energy than warm or cold (think about it, it takes more electricity to make water hot). Using warm or even cold really makes no difference. Also, be sure you select the right load size, don’t wash 3 towels on the “large” setting.

Unplug the Toaster: This one I just started doing recently thanks to Allie. Toasters and other household appliances like KitchenAids and CoffeeMakers are electricity suckers. I use my toaster maybe twice a month, so unplugging it when not in use doesn’t cramp my style. Give it a try and maybe you’ll even save 69 cents a month on your electricity bill!

toaster

Dishwasher: If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher in the city, make sure it’s nice and full before you run it. I know this can be hard if you’re living alone, but just rinse your plates before you load. That will keep them from getting yucky while you fill the washer. It’s a waste to let it run when it isn’t full. Until they invent dishwashers with different settings based on size, fill ‘er up.

Turn off the Water: There’s this one boy I know who keeps the water running while he’s brushing his teeth, shaving, just about anything. In a Barney episode I watched when I was a little old for it (I was watching with my younger siblings okay), the kiddies were singing a song that when something like this: “Oh when I’m brushing my teeth I’m having so much fun, but I never let the water run.” The song stuck with me, and from that day forward I heeded their advice. TURN OFF the water when you don’t need it. Then, turn it back on to spit and rinse.

barneygoestothedentist

Public Transportation: I take the bus to work every morning. That’s in part because I can’t afford the $175 a month parking fee, but that said. If you live in a place with public transportation, take advantage of it. Or, if you’re going somewhere nearby, walk! It saves you gas or bus money, keeps at least a little pollution out of the air, and you get some exercise.

Humor: And, lastly, send your friends a Someecard Eathday Card. Who said going green can’t be humorous.

Even just doing one of these things will help the environment a little bit. So go and BE GREEN. Your unborn children and the planet will thank you. So, will Kermit.

kermit

Happy Earth Day!

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