How to be a Greener Broke-Ass
Sorry to say, this is not a how-to on becoming richer or increasing the amount of green in your wallet, though if anyone has any of those tips, feel free to send them my way.
In honor of Earth Day (which is this Thursday, April 22nd in case you don’t know) I thought I’d give a little refresher course on how to be a better citizen of the Earth by reducing your lil’ ol Carbon Footprint. Mother Nature says “thanks.”
The term “going green” has gotten a little watered down in the past few years as everyone and their mom jumps on the enviro-wagon, so it pays to be a discerning consumer. There are lots of new certified seals of approval that you can look for to make sure what you’re getting is genuinely better for the environment. Your broke ass doesn’t have the time or extra disposable income to act a fool, so look closely and when in doubt, DIY!
Ok, so hopefully I don’t REALLY have to tell you to recycle, but for those of you who have been sleeping in the back of the class for the past twenty years, here’s a refresher: RECYCLE! Municipalities across the country are getting better and better recycling programs and some can even work with those plastic products with the higher number on the bottom (which, btw, tells recycling companies what it’s made out of and if it can be worked with). Here is a list of guidelines, but look up your local waste management system for more specific info. And FYI, you can still collect cans for ca$h! Booya!
Watch Out for Phantom Load
Phantom load, or vampire power, is that tiny bit of electricity that is being used by your electronic devices when in the “off” position. Phone chargers, microwaves, toasters, etc. are a few of the energy offenders that not only suck resources out of the grid, but also end up costing you on your power bill. I fully acknowledge that it is a pain in the arse to have to unplug everything every day (you lazy jerk), so make it easy on yourself and use a couple power strips that you can switch on and off with ease.
Let it Mellow
Gross. But truth is, unless you have one of those spiffy new low-flow toilets, flushing every time you tinkle can be a huge waste of water. This strategy may not work in a multi-roommate situation (gross-out factor increases exponentially) but do your best. I don’t feel like looking up an exact statistic, but I’m pretty sure a puppy dies every ten times you flush the toilet, so live by the old adage of “If it’s yellow….” Please don’t make me type the rest. I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Make an Investment
This is obviously not an option for most broke-asses out there, but for those of you who just fell on a pile of money, or finally collected on that bet, consider making an investment in renewable energy. I don’t care what none of y’all say, there aint no such thing as clean coal, so if you can pay as little as five bucks a month in some cases, you can support clean energy generation. Campaigns like Buy Clean Energy, break it down for you, but you can also contact your local utility and ask/demand a green-pricing program of your very own.
Happy Earth Day!
Photo from: Blakeonline.com