7 easy ways to go green for Earth Day

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Earth Day may still be a few days away, but there are easy ways to save the planet that you can do any day of the year. (And in many cases they'll save you money, too!)

Here are seven simple lifestyle changes you can make to celebrate Earth Day.

1. Wash dishes less often


Don't run your dishwasher just because a couple plates are dirty -- wait until you can't fit anything else in there. By running only full loads, you can reduce your carbon dioxide emission by 100 pounds per year (and save yourself $40), according to the EPA.

2. Invest in a reusable water bottle


Americans consume 50 billion bottles of water every year, according to the EPA's blog. These bottles are doubly harmful, as the process of making them is resource-intensive, and once we're done with them many of these bottles wind up in landfills. That's why the EPA is advocating to "bring back the water fountain." Buy a reusable bottle and fill it up with water from the tap.

3. Seal up your house


If you added up all the air that escapes through the nooks and crannies of a typical home, it's the same amount of energy loss as leaving a window open every day, according to EnergyStar.gov. Improving the insulation around your home or even just sealing up cracks around windows and doors will keep your house from using so much energy. Plus it can't harm your utility bills, either.

4. Donate your newspapers


Instead of throwing away your old newspapers, donate them to an animal shelter. These organizations get creative when it comes to using things you may not want, like scraps of fabric and plastic bags, but newspapers are especially useful, according to Earth911, because they can be used for bedding.

5. Recycle your cellphone


Much of the world's old electronics live in wastelands, but these devices don't have to be thrown out when they outlive their usefulness. By learning where and how to recycle your old devices, you can help reduce air and water pollution as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

6. Get the junk out of your trunk


When you let your car get cluttered, it weighs down the vehicle. That extra weight causes your car to emit more fuel than it needs to. Adding 100 pounds of unnecessary weight could reduce your MPG by 1 percent, according to FuelEconomy.gov.

7. Get free stuff!

Freerecycle.org helps keep landfills less cluttered by connecting people who are getting rid of stuff with people who want to take that stuff -- for free. The site has more than 9 million members worldwide. That's a lot of freebies.

Related Topics:
societyearth daylifestylegreenenergywaterfood