Many people are worried about how we are treating our planet—and rightfully so. The alarming data surrounding climate change has forced the average person to consider their own impact on the environment. But while most of us are concerned, only one-in-five Americans say they actually make an effort to live in ways that help protect the environment. So what if we could make protecting the planet easier? What if we could use less water, buy less plastic, recycle more and save money while doing it? These five eco-friendly products are good for both the planet and your wallet.
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#1 A showerhead that uses way less water
We all love standing under a torrent of warm, steaming water after a long, hard day, but there's always that twinge of guilt after you realize you've been in the shower way too long. An average American family uses some 40 gallons of water per day in the shower. That's nearly 1.2 trillion gallons used in the United States annually just for showering—and a lot of that is waste. But we can fix the problem. Government data shows that putting in low-flow fixtures can reduce your water consumption by at least 50 percent and save you about $145 every year. Alternative showerheads like Nebia use 65% less water than traditional options.
#2 A programmable thermostat
Have you ever turned the heat on because you were cold and then left the house, forgetting that you left it on? You come home to an uncomfortably warm house and pay for the heat you didn't want or need. A lot of money and energy is wasted when we use old-style thermostats, but programmable thermostats allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day. You're comfortable, paying for what you need and helping the planet at the same time.
#3 Stainless steel drink bottles
The world uses 500 billion plastic cups, 16 billion disposable coffee cups and more than 480 billion plastic bottles every year. Save the planet and your money by investing in a stainless steel drink bottle. Many coffee shops like Starbucks in the U.S., Tim Hortons in Canada and Costa Coffee in the UK will give you 10 cents (or 25p in the UK) off your purchase if you bring your own cup. If you buy a coffee every day, that adds up to nearly $40 (or £90) every year in savings.
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#4 Second-hand clothes
You no longer have to find your nearest Goodwill to shop for used clothing. Online stores like Etsy, eBay and thredUP now sell branded clothes online to anyone who wants to nab a cool, vintage outfit and save a bit of money. But the benefits of buying second-hand don't stop at just being easy on the pocket. Purchasing used products is also environmentally sustainable. Did you know that approximately 1,800 gallons of water are required to make one pair of blue jeans? Buying second-hand encourages a recycling community, saves water and energy and keeps money in your pocket. That branded jean jacket you adored in that expensive department store? It'll likely be half price in a second-hand shop.
#5 Reusable bathroom and kitchen products
Beeswax wraps, reusable makeup pads, stainless steel straws, silicon baking sheets, shampoo and conditioner bars, reusable sandwich bags, stainless steel razors, glass food containers—the list could go on and on and on. There's a reusable or zero-waste alternative for nearly every bathroom and kitchen product out there. So why make the switch? Investing in reusable products not only helps save our delicate planet, but also helps you save money in the long run. The average person spends approximately $90 a year on plastic wrap, $95 on makeup remover wipes and $500 on haircare products. Get a reusable version of your favorite product instead.