Even if you aren’t willing to give up your vehicle for a bike, or put solar panels on your home, there are simple and easy ways to make your environmental footprint a little smaller and go a little green.

Ditch the Plastic Water Bottles

Many of you probably already know that about 30 million single-serve non-returnable containers end up in landfills or as litter every day! That is a lot of garbage and waste, but did you know that 18 million barrels of crude oil equivalent were consumed in 2005 to replace the 2 million tons of plastic bottles that were wasted instead of recycled. (New York State Department of ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION) So ditch the plastic bottles all together! Purchase a water filter system and a reusable water bottle. You will save a bundle and will be doing Mother Nature a huge favor.

Skip the Produce Bags

When you are walking through the produce section of your grocery store you probably involuntarily reach for one of the plastic baggies hanging around the aisle. These baggies produce waste and are not needed! Throw the veggies in your basket and wash them when you get home (you are going to wash them anyway). If you aren’t too keen on letting the veggies roll around without a baggy, look into purchasing a few reusable produce bags. These are usually a light-weight cotton or hemp material that is perfect for fruit, veggie, and bulk storage.

Change your Light Bulbs

Use energy efficient light bulbs. Replacing one light bulb can save you on average about $50 over its lifetime, but it also saves energy! If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars. -U.S. Department of Energy

Turn Off those Lights!

When you leave a room turn off the light and during the day open your curtains and let Mother Nature’s natural light shine in. Your wallet will thank you too!

Sign-up for Paperless Billing

This is an easy one that can be more convenient for you! See if your utility companies have a paperless billing option. Save those trees!

So, as you can see, going green doesn’t have to be a life altering experience. Taking a few small steps can really make a big difference. What small green changes have you made in your family?