I know thinking green can be intimidating, but there are simple things we can do to help save our planet, one drip, watt, or gallon of water at a time. Here are a few easy ways to do just that, as well as save money on our energy and utility bills this Earth Day and everyday.

Beauty Unplugged

According to actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., every time we use our curling iron it’s like leaving on a light bulb for a week. So I guess the first bit of advice is to take a day off and let your hair be straight (or curly or wavy). The second is that whenever we’re not using our curling iron, blow dryer, or flatiron unplug those suckers from the wall.  When they’re plugged in they’re draining energy even when not in use.

Flush Less

In the spirit of Sheryl Crow’s toilet paper conservation tip of counting out squares for our loved ones, consider having the grown ups in the house do their number one twice before flushing (particularly for those middle of the night visits) to conserve water since the average flush uses 3 ½ gallons.

PLEASE NOTE: Not recommended for young children and non-household members.

Lighten the Load

Did you know that, according to the Department of Energy, the average household does nearly 400 loads of laundry a year … yikes! That’s a lot of laundry, time, water, and electricity we’re using. My first suggestion is switch to cold water and a detergent specially formulated for it like Tide Coldwater, since according to my Tide buds you can save up to 50% on energy per load. Also consider letting your kids wear those blue jeans an extra few times and doing one less load a week. That can save anywhere from 1200-1600 gallons a year! Not to mention it will give you an extra 30 minutes to re-NRG-ize yourself.

And, if you’re in the market for a new washer check out the new LG Turbo Wash Washer, which will SAVE 20 minutes on every load, even large ones, without sacrificing performance. Plus it’s ENERGY STAR rated so it’s a win win!

Child’s Play: See if the Buck Gets Stuck

Bet your kids a dollar to see if your fridge’s door seals are airtight, since they help maintain energy efficiency by not allowing cold air to escape and warm air in. Simply have your child place a dollar where the door closes and if the buck gets stuck you both win since air is not escaping from your fridge.  If the dollar removes easily then this means your door’s seals are losing suction and should either be replaced or moisturized. If they are too dry, try putting a thin layer of Vaseline on the gasket – which will also prevent mold from growing.

Take Charge

Seems like a no brainer, but many of us don’t think to fully charge our cell phones in the car where we spend half of our lives shuttling our kiddies to school, friend’s homes, and after school activities.  Make charging your phone a no drainer on your home electric bills and charge on the go!

Please share any energy-saving tips and tricks you have here, my FB, tweet or www.juliestips.com.