Improve Your Eco-Friendliness With These Green Tips!

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Whether you’ve taken our Green Quiz, or simply want to improve your eco-friendliness, it’s important to know that small changes to your daily habits can make a big difference for the environment!

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We recently sat down with Ann from our sustainability team to rack her brain and learn about her favorite green tips. Check them out below and start implementing them into your daily life–you’ll be surprised at how easy it is being green!

Is it always best to shut down your computer every day, or does leaving it in sleep mode save more energy?
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Ann: Though there’s a small surge in energy when a computer starts up, this small amount of energy is still less than the energy used when a computer is running for long periods of time. Spending a large portion of time in low-power mode not only saves energy but helps equipment run cooler and last longer.

Do you always have to recycle plastic, glass and aluminum drink containers? How do you know what can and can’t be recycled?

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Ann: While it can sometimes be confusing to remember what can and can’t be recycled, recycling is a great way to make sure our planet stays clean and green for future generations. Aluminum cans, for example, can be recycled indefinitely; plus, the cost of using recycled aluminum to make a new cans is much lower than using new material. In addition to aluminum cans, glass containers and plastic beverage containers are all recyclable. Just look for the recycle logo on the bottom of the container and head for the closest recycle bin!

What do you do with old electronics?

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Ann: Everyone knows the three R’s of environmental sustainability: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But it’s also important for you to know specifically what to do with your old electronics. When you’re done with an electronic, pass it along to a friend or donate it. This will ensure the products gets maximum use. If the electronic is broken, make sure to recycle it properly. Most manufacturers offer free product take back programs on their websites–super cool!

Pizza boxes: To recycle, or not to recycle?

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Ann: Pizza boxes are made from corrugated cardboard (which is recyclable!), but the cardboard becomes tainted with grease, cheese, and other foods once the pizza has been placed in the box. Once soiled, unfortunately the box cannot be recycled because the paper fibers will not be able to separate from the oils during the recycling process.

Do you really have to turn the tap off while your brushing your teeth every night?

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Ann: Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime, can save up to 8 gallons of water a day! For a family of four, this adds up to over 900 gallons a month–so do your best and turn off that tap!

How often do you bring your own reusable bags when you grocery shop?

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Ann: Always! Reusable shopping bags are a great way to reduce paper and plastic waste. In addition to being good for the environment, they can also help you save money and be a green shopper. Many grocery stores offer a discount if you bring your own bags, too! If you always forget your reusable bags when you go shopping, try keeping a few extra in your car – you never know when you’ll need them!


Thanks, Ann, for all the green tips! For more eco-friendly goodness, head to our Live Green page for ideas, quotes, inspiration and tips on leading a more sustainable lifestyle. Have a great green tip that we missed? Be sure to let us know about it in the comments below!

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Author: Emily

Emily is a recent UVA grad trying to find her way in this thing they call the “real world”. When she’s not learning about 401(k) plans or budgeting for her next online shopping spree, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen or scouring the district for the best cup of coffee.

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