You’re a busy person. Between taking care of your family, taking care of yourself, and work, there’s not much free time in your day. But you care about our environment…a lot. After years of carelessness and waste, our planet is under attack. We all need to step up and help. But how? You don’t have to participate in marches, volunteer across the globe, or plant trees to save the planet. There are a number of simple changes you can make in your day to day life that will go a long way in helping our environment, as well as teach your children how we can all help care for our environment. Let’s take a look at 10 easy things you can start doing today to make tomorrow better for your children.

1. Conserve Laundry!

If your clothes don’t stink, don’t wash them―and save a load a week. Standard washing machines use 40 gallons of water per load. If American households were more conservative when it comes to doing laundry, they would save enough water to fill more than 7 million swimming pools EACH YEAR! When you do wash, make sure it’s a full load. Bonus tip: Washing clothes in cold water can save 3,400 gallons of water per year alone.

2. Say No to Junk Mail

Here’s a great tip that’ll keep your recycling bin a little less full AND help save the planet at the same time. If everyone in the United States reduced the amount of junk mail they get each week, we could 100 million trees a year. Think that’s a good idea? Me too! Simply go to optoutprescreen.com to stop receiving pre-approved credit card offers. You can also sign up on catalogchoice.org to reduce the amount of unsolicited catalogs sent to you.

3. Eat Less Red Meat

Where’s the beef? Well, if you want to help save the planet, t’s not on your plate! Skipping red meat once a week would save 840 gallons of the fresh water that it takes to produce a single serving. When we talk about mass-produced beef, we’re talking about an extremely resource-intensive production. To produce just 1 pound of beef could take 7+ pounds of grain. Not to mention livestock consumes 70% of grain in this country. So help save the planet by eating less of it. Want to help the planet even more? Opt for pasture-fed, sustainably raised beef instead!

4. Clean the Lint Filter

Did you know a dirty link filter can use 30% more energy to dry your clothes? Since drying clothes costs the average U.S. household up to $135 a year in energy costs, conserving 30% of that energy is not only a big savings to your wallet, it’ll also help save the planet!

5. Ditch the Water Bottle

Bottled water can be a drain on the environment, though many believe they should buy it for health reasons. That’s simply not the case. “Bottled water may be no safer or healthier than tap water, while selling for up to 1,000 times the price,” a a report commissioned by Switzerland-based World Wildlife Fund International said. According to the group, the reason is an absence of standards regulating bottled water. So if it’s not better and it’s bad for the environment, what should you do? Go tap and use a water-filter pitcher instead. Get a Brita water-filter pitcher or an in-sink faucet filter. Take advantage of what you already pay for and help save the planet, one bottle at a time.

6. Choose Appliances Wisely

The appliance you choose to use makes a big difference, so choose wisely. For example, an electric kettles use less energy than a stovetop one. You’ll use up to half the energy with toaster over a conventional electric oven. Making soups and stews? Use an electric slow cooker instead of the stove and save tons on the wattage. It pays to pick the right appliance. The planet will thank you for it!

7. Donate Old Cell Phones

Donate old cell phones. Do you know we get rid of about 130 million mobile phones each year resulting in more than 65,000 tons of waste? Not to mention this is also potential hazardous waste we’re contributing to our environment. So, what can you do? Check out Call2Recycle.org to recycle your phone, or donate old phones to programs such as collectivegood.com to benefit groups such as the American Red Cross. It only takes a minute to log on and see how one small act can save the planet.

8. Shop Locally

Did you know buying local helps combat air pollution? When products have to be shipped to where you can purchase them, that affects air pollution. So help put a dent in air pollution by shopping at local farmer’s markets for your produce, and buy food that’s produced as close to home as possible. Every small effort makes a big difference in the long run.

9. Start Composting!

Think about the amount of trash you make in a year. It’s a lot, right? Ever considered composting? Not only will it take up less space in landfills, compost makes a great natural fertilizer. And it’s easier than you think. Read the “7 Things You Need To Know To (Finally!) Start Composting” by Organic Life (http://bit.ly/2pAGZck) and be on your way to helping save the planet AND improve your garden!

10. Every Little Bit Helps

Wasting energy is bad for the environment. The amount of energy Americans use has doubled about every 20 years. Many of the energy sources we depend on, such as coal and natural gas, can not be replaced. Once used, they’re gone forever. In addition, most forms of energy can cause pollution. Turn off lights when you’re not in the room. Turn the heat down in the winter. Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Buy energy-smart light bulbs. Close curtains during hot summer days to block the sun and leave them open in the winter. Fix a leaky faucet. Take short showers. It only takes a second to be environmentally conscious.

This article is part of The Busy Woman Series

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