13 Ways You're Wasting Resources And Money Every Day Without Realizing It

As far as animals go, we humans are pretty wasteful. And we tend to rely on the "out of sight, out of mind" model for most of our collective problems despite the fact that there’s a fair amount of evidence that this does not work.

For instance, even though we all know that pollution is an issue (and one that we will continue to face with mounting urgency in the future), few of us have changed a lot of our simple habits to be more environmentally friendly.

While three quarters of Americans are concerned about the environment, fewer say they make an effort to live out that concern all the time. So while 75 people out of 100 are actively concerned about the environment in their daily lives, only 1 out of 5 makes a conscious effort all the time.

This likely comes from a mix of things, like wanting to avoid added costs and inconvenience, as well as a desire to help but a lack of information on how to do so in easily attainable ways.

Reducing your own waste doesn’t mean that you have to rid yourself of the conveniences of the 21st century or subsist off of whatever cherry tomatoes finally grow in your backyard garden. There are a lot of everyday habits that contribute to much of our collective waste — habits that would require little to no inconvenience on our part. If it’s as simple as swapping out one thing for its equally good alternative, more than a few of us would be happy to make the switch.

Quite a few of the solutions even save you money.

If you want to make a difference but don’t want to commit to anything truly life-changing just yet, here are 13 ways to lessen waste without added inconvenience:

1. Straws


According to the National Park Service, you could fill over 125 school buses with the straws Americans use every single day (500 million in all). Using disposable utensils of any kind introduces a lot of unnecessary waste into the environment, but straws are a particularly easy one to fix by ordering a set of reusable stainless steel straws today.
SipWell Extra Long Stainless Steel Drinking Straws, Set of Four with Cleaning Brush, $7.88

2. Coffee filters


While the ease of instant coffee systems like Keurig is next-to-miraculous for busy people everywhere, all that convenience can also be measured in avoidable collateral waste. Instead of popping in a new K-Cup every morning only to toss it into the waste bin, consider saving yourself space and money with your choice of fresh ground coffee and a reusable filter pod.
Single K-Cup Solo Filter Pod with Stainless Mesh for Keurig Brewers, Set of Four, $10.95

3. Grocery bags


Each year, we use an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags, which, incidentally, creates quite a lot of harmful (and avoidable) waste. To put it into perspective, that means every minute we use 1 million plastic bags.

It's a simple habit to get into — using reusable grocery bags — but it requires a) grabbing them (I like these for their structure, space, and reinforced bottom) and b) not forgetting them at home. A good rule of thumb is keeping one folded up in your work bag in case you plan on stopping in after work. Some grocery stores even offer incentives for people who bring their own bags.
Earthwise Deluxe Collapsible Reusable Shopping Box Grocery Bag with Reinforced Bottom, Set of Two, $13.97

4. Your toothbrush


Not only does a Boie toothbrush have silver embedded into the bristles to kill germs that would otherwise sit and grow on your toothbrush (like a normal brush head), but they're also making a much more environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional option.

All of Boie's toothbrushes are made out of a rubber-like material that cleans your teeth more gently and effectively than alternatives and is built to last twice as long as a regular brush, so you have to replace it less often. On top of that, Boie brushes are designed with detachable brush heads, so you can replace only that without having to buy an entirely new brush every time. This saves you money and keeps more waste from entering landfills.
Boie Toothbrush, $12

5. Your razor


An electric razor means you won't be buying replacement razor heads as often, or worse — disposables.
Men's: Philips Norelco Electric Shaver, from $39.95
Women's: Panasonic Ladies Electric Shaver, $15.39

6. Water bottles

Hydro Flask

Even though recycling programs exist, 91% of the water bottles we use every year wind up in a landfill. And we use about a million per minute. Grab a cool water bottle you'll enjoy using and skip the plastic disposable bottles.
Hydro Flask Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, from $44.95

7. Books

Pictured: Kindle Oasis. Amazon

While the feel of a great paperback in hand is satisfying in and of itself, there might be an opportunity to make a smaller footprint here as well. Unless you're a regular patron of the library, reading on your Kindle or through a reading app on your phone is a great way to use something you already have to enjoy the next great book rather than buying one that is the end product of a production cycle that uses paper and transportation.

For me, it's probably just as much about saving space. I still buy the hardcovers of my all-time favorites, but I don't need to add clutter for new beach reads.

Kindle Oasis E-reader, 7" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Waterproof, Built-In Audible, 8 GB, Wi-Fi, $269.99

8. Your buying habits


Buying in bulk means less wasteful packaging. Plus, it saves you money (especially if you use Amazon's new Subscribe & Save program).
Sign up for Subscribe & Save here.

9. Energy


Programmable thermostats can save up to $150 a year in energy costs when used properly.

Not only does this thermostat work with Amazon Alexa voice control, but it's also the first one to earn an Energy Star. Since your thermostat supposedly controls half your energy bill (more than appliances or electronics), it's a great place to focus your attention if you want to cut down on use and costs. Using the Nest app (yes, there's an app), you can view how much energy you use and why, so you can make the right decisions for you using your own energy history.

Plus, since most of us are busy and potentially beginners with this, Nest will display a leaf when you choose a temperature that saves energy.
Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation, from $223.23

10. Batteries


Batteries are made up of a variety of chemicals, some of which are extremely toxic and can cause soil and water pollution.

Pretty much all of us know that batteries aren't a great thing to throw into landfills, and rechargeable batteries help us cut down on how many enter them. It also saves you money and space.
8 Bay AA, AAA Battery Charger with AA 2800mAh (Set of Four) and AAA 1100mAh (Set of Four) Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries, $16.99

11. Tea bags


Similar to the idea behind using a filter pod for Keurig coffee, using a loose tea infuser helps cut down on the amount of (often individually wrapped) tea bags you use.
Finum Brewing Basket, from $11.89

12. Your showerhead

Anna Omelchenko/shutterstock

Niagara's Earth Shower Head saves money by using up to 75% less water than traditional "low-flow" shower heads typically found on the market. Though it promises drastic water usage reduction, it also uses patented pressure compensation technology so there's always a consistent flow rate regardless of available water pressure. It's also guaranteed for 10 years.

According to government data, putting in low-flow fixtures like this can reduce your water consumption by at least 50% — and save you about $145 every year.
Niagara Earth Massage 1.25GPM Low Flow Showerhead, from $8

13. Your outlets


This energy-saving power switch draws zero energy when the switch is flipped off. Plus, it declutters the kitchen from the wandering cords of unplugged devices.
Belkin Conserve Energy Saving Power Switch, $6.99

This post was was originally published on: Businessinsider.
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