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Sustainability Saves Resources and Money

Sustainability makes sense whether you’re concerned about the environment, you want to be less wasteful, or you want to save money. Either way, there are positive reasons to avoid the mentality of a “throw-away” society. We can all change a few habits to live more sustainable lifestyles. 

Here are a few ways you can help save resources, as well as money:

Repair possessions instead of throwing them away
If something stops working, see if it’s repairable before you throw it in the trash. YouTube, DoItYourself, and DIYNetwork provide instructions for fixing most items when they stop working. Sometimes the fix is as simple as cleaning out a filter.

Install low-flow showerheads
You can save over 2,000 gallons of water and over 300 kilowatts of electricity to your water heater per year.

Buy in bulk
It’s cheaper and reduces the amount of packaging. Most cooperative grocery stores offer goods in bulk, but more mainstream stores now offer bulk items as well. If the store allows it, consider bringing your container to eliminate wasteful packaging.

Use fluorescent or LED bulbs
If you still have any incandescent lightbulbs, replace them with newer energy-efficient bulbs. Incandescent bulbs average about 1,000 hours, while fluorescents last an average of 10,000 and LEDs an average of 30,000 hours.

Buy efficient appliances
Look for the efficiency rating on the appliance and picked the highest you can afford. Ratings go from A (the best) to G (the least) and are based on how many units of energy the appliance uses per hour.

Maintain your car
Regular maintenance and tune-ups will maintain your car’s fuel efficiency as it ages.

Carpool and combine trips
When you have multiple errands to run, plan your schedule and the route so you don’t have to keep returning to the same place multiple times. Carpool with friends and neighbors whenever possible.

Add caulk and weather-stripping
Check your windows and doors for drafts. If the old caulk or weather-stripping is brittle or missing, remove it and add a new seal. With a good seal, you can save 5-10% on your energy bill each year.

Reuse paper bags and envelopes 
Creating paper requires a lot of fuel and water, in addition to trees. If you use paper bags, give these items a second or third life. Use them to collect recycling, to take items you’re donating to a thrift store, or as gift wrap. Reuse return envelopes as note pads, to collect coupons, or add them to your kids’ craft supplies.

Living a sustainable lifestyle isn’t difficult. It can be as easy as making a few minor adjustments that evolve into major improvements.

Source: Copyright Credit Union National Association Inc.