9 Easy Lifehacks for Going Green

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Looking out for the environment is both easy and effortless when you’ve got these convenient lifehacks on hand.

1. Dry Your Clothes Faster

For increased efficiency and faster drying of your wet laundry, try this trick: throw a dry, fluffy towel into your dryer with the load. The towel will absorb some of the extra moisture in the machine. Then, 15 minutes into the cycle, pull it from the mix and hang it up to dry. By using the towel to pitch in, you can reduce the drying time and make the process more energy efficient.

2. Learn to Love the Cold

Speaking of laundry hacks, did you know that the biggest energy suck from doing laundry comes from heating up the water? It’s true-- nearly 90% of the energy associated with doing the wash comes from having that dial cranked way up to hot. An easy solution for reducing your bills is simply to clean on a cold cycle.

3. Save Your Scissors

Instead of throwing old scissors out and replacing them with new ones, you can sharpen a dull pair with this handy tin foil trick. Rip a sheet of aluminum foil and keep folding it over until the piece is thick and sturdy. To restore the scissors, cut through your folded foil a dozen or so times until the blades are sharp.

4. Reuse that Silica Packet

The next time you get a new pair of kicks, take note of the silica packet that comes with the shoebox. The tiny packages are incredible at drawing moisture out of tight spaces. So, instead of tossing it out, try dropping it into one of your clothes drawers or storing it with your silver jewelry. The tiny packet will act like a tiny dehumidifier, keeping any excess moisture out.

5. Don’t Let Your Herbs Go to Waste

Fresh herbs can transform a mediocre meal into something remarkable, but it’s hard to store things like rosemary, sage and thyme in the fridge for very long. To expand the life of your herbs, use this trick: Before they show signs of wilting, take an empty ice cube tray and stuff some chopped herbs into each compartment. Then fill in the cubes with olive oil, and leave the tray in your freezer to set. The oil will preserve the herbs better than if you were just to stick them in your freezer. Plus, the next time you want to start cooking, just pop one or two of the cubes into a frying pan, add some onion and garlic, and you’ll have a quick base to build from.

6. Forget About Speeding

If you’re looking to be more fuel efficient, and save money on gas, driving the speed limit is one of the simplest ways. Most cars operate at peak fuel efficiency at or around the speed limit. And trips won’t take appreciably longer.

7. Put Something in the Tank

Making a habit of turning the faucet off when you’re brushing your teeth and shaving are easy ways to reduce water consumption. But there’s another simple hack that can aid the process: put something in your toilet tank. The common internet wisdom is to drop a brick in the back of your john. The problem is, brick dissolves, so it can make for a plumbing mess. Instead, try using a plastic bottle filled with rocks. The contraption will perform the same task as the brick-- displacing the water in your tank for savings of 2.5 gallons of water a day! Plus, it won’t cause any plumbing headaches.

8. Outsmart Your Printer

Ink cartridges are expensive. Why not stretch out the life of your cartridge and do the environment a favor by switching your typeset to Century Gothic or Ecofont. These savvy fonts use thin lines and stylish lettering to make the most of your ink.

9. Make a Milk Jug Watering Can

Just because you’ve misplaced your watering can, it doesn’t mean your flowers have to go thirsty. Take a 2-gallon milk jug from your recycling bin, fill the jug with water, and then, before you screw the top back on, use a nail to make a few holes in it. The holes work as a makeshift spout, dribbling out just enough water to make your flower beds happy.

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