(BPT) - In a sea of plastic bags and exhaust-filled commutes, it can be overwhelming to remind yourself to be environmentally responsible and reduce your carbon footprint, especially during busy times like the morning. You slept through your alarm, the kids wouldn’t get dressed for school, your train has been delayed another 10 minutes — sustainability is often the last thing on your mind when trying to get out the door.
No matter how hectic your morning may get, consider integrating these five easy habits into your daily routine for small ways to make a big impact.
Shower smart. Replace showerheads and leaky faucets as soon as they begin to drip. Take advantage of fixtures that can reduce overall water waste. The EPA estimates that by replacing just one showerhead with a WaterSense certified model, the average family can save up to 2,900 gallons of water every year, or the amount of electricity needed to power its home for 13 days.
Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth. While this might seem like a no-brainer, 42% of Americans report leaving the faucet on when brushing their teeth, according to a Google survey, which can waste up to four gallons of water each time. Colgate’s Save Water initiative estimates that every morning, we have the power to save up to 542 million gallons of water as a country with this small behavior change, based on U.S. Census data. Your water utility bill will thank you too.
Save your breakfast scraps. You may have to crack some eggs to make your morning omelet, but that doesn’t mean the eggshells need to go to waste. The idea of composting may seem intimidating, but there are several breakfast scraps, like coffee grounds and eggshells, that can enrich your garden’s soil as is. Sprinkle them in your flower bed to give your plants, and your karma, a boost.
Unplug your electronics. As you’re getting ready to begin the day, look around your house and consider unplugging any unnecessary appliances. The easiest way to reduce the amount of “phantom energy” that is likely contributing up to 10% of your electric bill, according to Berkeley Lab? Invest in power strips that you can easily power down before you head out of the house.
Use a reusable coffee mug. You don’t have to ditch your morning jolt of caffeine, but you also can help combat the 100 billion disposable cups sent to U.S. landfills each year, according to Associated Coffee. Put down the single-use cup, grab a to-go mug and enjoy your coffee. Bonus points if you choose organic or night-shade coffee.
Visit https://smiles.colgate.com/page/content/everydropcounts to learn more about the environmental impact of turning off the faucet when you brush and join the 321,646 people that have already pledged to spread the word, saving up to 2,573,232 gallons of water every day.