Earth Day: 13 everyday things you can do to help the planet

Monday will be the 49th Earth Day, an event celebrated in 193 countries worldwide, currently coordinated by the Earth Day Network.

Read more: A brief history of Earth Day

Here are 13 everyday things you can do to help our planet

1. Turn your computer off overnight: By reducing power use, you will not only save a few bucks, but you'll also help reduce your footprint.

2. Don't pre-rinse dishes: With a good detergent, your dishes will be just as clean and you can save gallons upon gallons of water per load.

3. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs: This is one of the easiest ways to reduce power use. LED or CFL lights will use a fraction of the energy incandescent bulbs use.

4. Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth: Humans can use up for five gallons of water while running the tap during brushing. Just turn it off. You don't need that water.

5. Opt out of a bath and into a shower: Baths use about double the amount of water a shower uses. 

6. Adjust your thermostat: By dropping your in-home temp even one degree, you'll save money and energy, along with helping the planet. Throw a sweater on, it's cozy!

7. Do a light check before leaving (or while home): Be sure to turn your lights off before leaving the house. Or, turn off lights in rooms you're not using. 

8. RECYCLE: Almost everything in your house can be recycles, including cell phones, wire hangers, glass, aluminum, paper, plastic, boxes, bags and bottles. Find a local recycle center.

9. Use a reusable bag for groceries: Those plastic bags you get at the store are a huge hazard to the planet. They sit in landfills and often end up in the ocean.

10. Don't use coffee stirrers or straws: About 140 million straws and stirrers are thrown away every year in the U.S. Using a spoon to stir and just avoiding straws is a great way to help the environment. 

11. Go paperless: Most services now offer paperless billing options, like banks, loans, and your every month bills. Check with your provider for paperless options.

12. Use rechargeable batteries: Throwing away batteries can be extremely damaging when they end up in landfills. The up front cost of recharging will save you money in the future.

13. Go vegetarian for a day: If you can cut down on meat, even once per week, you can have an immense effect on the planet's health. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef.

Also see: 25 of the most beautiful places around the world

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