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A rubbish tip.Going green doesn’t have to be expensive or inconvenient.  Nor does it have to mean giving up your favourite luxuries.  In light of our continual commitment to helping the planet, check out these 15 ways to reduce your environmental impact by making small and simple changes to the way you live.  If everyone did these things, the planet would be a much healthier place.

Get Energy Saving Bulbs – In many parts of the world, incandescent light bulbs are no longer on sale, so most people have changed to fluorescent bulbs.  However, you may still have some old bulbs in your home.  Be sure to switch them out for energy saving bulbs at the first opportunity.

Stop rinsing your dishes – You could save up to 20 gallons of water per dishwasher load if you stopped rinsing your dishes before using the dishwasher.

No more pre-heating the oven – Fan assisted ovens don’t normally need pre-heating for cooking up simple dishes.  If you aren’t making bread or pastry, skip the pre-heating bit to save energy.

Recycle your glass – Recycled glass produces just half of the water pollution of making new glass.

Use cloth nappies – By using cloth nappies instead of disposable ones, you’ll save a lot of money, and greatly reduce the amount of waste heading to landfill.  The average baby goes through more than 5,000 nappies before they’re toilet trained.

Meat free day – By skipping meat one main meal per week, you can enjoy health benefits, and save the planet too.

Take fewer napkins – Do you really need to take more than one napkin with each meal at the restaurant?

Buy a water filter – Instead of buying bottled water, buy a sports bottle, and filter your own water at home.  You’ll save a lot of money, and cut down on plastic waste too.

Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth – You could save several gallons of water per day if you stopped running the tap while brushing your teeth.  If your water usage is metered, that could save you some money too.

Buy a reusable coffee cup – many coffee shops offer discounts for people that bring their own cups, and reduce waste too.

No more weed killer – Get rid of weeds with vinegar rather than weed killer.  It’s cheaper, does the same job, and is far less damaging to the environment

Work from home – Save on stress, petrol, and parking fees – everyone wins.

Freecycle Instead of throwing old but serviceable goods away, give them to people who need them via freecycle, or your local equivalent.  Not only will you save the planet, you’ll enjoy doing a good deed too.

Get a bag for life – Plastic bags harm wildlife, pollute the oceans, and are starting to damage our food chain.  Instead of taking a new bag every time you go shopping, get a bag for life and carry it with you.

Opt for electronic bills – Why waste paper on bank statements and phone bills when you could go for electronic bills instead?  Many companies offer discounts if you agree to receive bills in electronic format only.

Photo by United Nations Photos