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17 Ridiculously Easy Ways To Save The Planet

So simple you'll barely even have to think about it.

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1. Reduce your food waste.

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Buy only what you need. Consider freezing fruits and veggies before they go bad. Use food scraps to make soups out of leftovers. Donate food you aren't going to eat to a local food bank. See more tips here.

2. Don't leave the water running while brushing your teeth.

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You'll save about 5 gallons of water this way.

3. Make use of your blinds.

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Before you turn on a fan or air conditioning, try closing your shades when the sun is shining in to keep from getting hot, and open them in the winter to help warm your home.

4. Try CFLs (compact fluorescent lightbulbs).

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I'm not saying you need to throw away every bulb in your house right now, but the next time you buy lightbulbs, try CFLs. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs can reduce the amount of energy used AND save you money (among many other things).

5. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

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Turning most lights off when you leave a room will save energy and keep the heat down — 90% of an incandescent light's energy is given off as heat, not light.

If you've already adopted CFL or LED lights, this depends on how long you leave a room for. If it's 15 minutes or more, turn it off. Read more about that here.

6. When you see trash, pick it up.

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This one is pretty simple. Do the world a favor and pick up after the careless litterbug that came before you.

7. Unplug devices that are energy vampires and use power strips.

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Unplug your hair dryer, DVR, TV, and any other sneaky appliances that suck energy while not in use. Read more here.

8. Buy in bulk bins and store your goods in mason jars and glass bottles.

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Cut as much food packaging out of your life as you can by visiting the bulk area of your local store. This way you can buy only what you need (reducing food waste) and you'll help the environment. It'll also save you money — read more about why here.

9. Pay your bills online.

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According to eBill Place, if every American switched from paper bills to online, it could reduce waste in landfills by more than 800,000 tons per year and reduce the release of greenhouse gases by 2.1 million tons.

10. Eat a meatless meal one day per week.

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Believe it or not, this will hugely help the environment by minimizing water usage and reducing greenhouse gases and fuel dependency. Read more about the effect meat has on the planet here and check out our list of Meatless Monday recipe inspiration.

11. Swap bottled water for a reusable water bottle.

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Invest in a bottle you can bring with you wherever you go to cut down on waste from plastic.

12. Invest in some rechargeable batteries.

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Cut down on battery waste by charging the same set of batteries over and over again.

13. Recycle your K-Cups or invest in the reusable kind.

The ideas of things to make from old K-Cups are plentiful.

14. If you have air conditioning, make sure to seal any holes or air leaks.

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Keeping the cool inside = less energy being used in sum.

15. Consider composting.

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If you don't have a backyard, you can compost indoors, too.

16. Mail your old mascara wands to the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge to be used on rescued animals.

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The refuge's cofounder Savannah Trantham explains, "We use mascara brushes to help remove fly eggs and larva from the fur of animals. They work great because the bristles are so close together!" Get the instructions here.

17. Buy recycled items.

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You may already be donating items to be recycled — AWESOME! — but you can help to complete the cycle by purchasing items made from recycled items, too!

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