12 Tips to Be More Green in One Minute

By Carmen Collins
tin can flower vase

The idea of “being green” can sometimes seem a little intimidating. Most of the tips I read about in magazines and on blogs feature out-of-reach goals that are both time consuming and unrealistic for my lifestyle. But after realizing in recent months how much paper, glass, and energy I have been wasting, I decided it was time to start incorporating greener practices into my life, no matter how small.

I have found that I’m more likely to do something good for the environment if it fits well into my busy schedule. So today we’ve partnered with Seventh Generation to share some easy green tips that you can accomplish in less than one minute. Seriously! I’m slowly turning these tips into daily habits, and I love that I can see the effects of these practices in my electricity bills, water bills, and the amount of times I have to take out the trash per week. Scroll down for 12 ways you can incorporate easy green habits into your own lifestyle, and let us know in the comments of anything we’ve missed!

For even more tips, check out some of the other posts in our Living Green series:

12 Ways To Make Greener Shopping Choices

The Cutest Kids Chore Chart

Why You Should Be Composting

Your Weekly Checklist for a Clean Green Home

How to Clean the House in 15 Minutes

Tip #1:

Save electricity by turning the lights off when walking out of a room. If you’re feeling really ambitious, an investment in light switches on dimmers can really help make a difference in your electricity bill each month.

image via design*sponge

Tip #2:

Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth to save water. The average American family uses 300 gallons of water at home each day. Limiting how much unused water we let go down the drain can help decrease this intake.

image via laura dominguez

Tip #3:

It seems like we can never completely remove ourselves from all junk mailing lists no matter how many times we unsubscribe. Instead of just tossing unwanted mail, use the back of junk mail envelopes to write down your grocery list or to-do list for the day.

image via camille styles

Tip #4:

Use cloth towels to dry your hands and dishes after washing as much as possible. If you’re in serious need of a paper towel to clean up a messy spill, consider unbleached paper towels made out of recycled materials. Seventh Generation paper towels are just as good for your skin as they are for the environment.

image via laura dominguez

Tip #5:

Repurpose tin cans and glass bottles as vases for flowers around the house. We love the look of old tomato cans and classic milk bottles for styling home decor with a vintage touch.

image via camille styles

Tip #6:

During the hotter months (which seem year-round here in Austin!), set your sprinkler system to water the yard in the early mornings or late evenings. Some experts estimate that 50% of the water we use outdoors is wasted due to evaporation, wind, or runoff.

image via chic sprinkles

Tip #7:

Avoid printing documents at work that you can share via email or store on a hard drive. If you absolutely must have a hard copy of something, try printing double sided to save paper.

image via amber interiors

Tip #8:

Wait to run dishwasher until it is completely full to save on water. The dishwasher uses approximately 4 gallons of water per cycle, so try to reduce the number of loads you run. If you’re feeling super green, using the dishwasher without the heated dry function will save even more energy.

image via laura dominguez

Tip #9:

Save energy by adjusting the thermostat to a neutral temperature when you’re going to be at work or out of the house for a while. Why waste energy heating or cooling an empty house if you’re not even there to enjoy it?

image via de-dujes

Tip #10:

Reduce your paper use by paying monthly bills and taxes online. Set up automatic bill payment to help you never miss another deadline. Some companies even offer discounts to clients who pay online.

image via the everygirl

Tip #11:

Read our tips on creating a home recycling station. An organized storage system with different bins for paper, plastic, and glass will easily help you sort your trash. Clean out the bins every so often with Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes to keep them smelling fresh.

image via camille styles

Tip #12:

Reduce your paper and plastic consumption by using reusable plates and cloth napkins during mealtimes. We think dinner feels a little more special when using dishware and linens that have a little weight to them.

image via my scandinavian home