3 Easy Ways to Go Green at Home

3 Small Changes You Can Make to Create a Green Home

You don't have to change the world to make a difference. If everyone just made small changes to everyday living, we could help protect the environment in a big way.

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Going green doesn't have to cost you time and money. You can make small changes to create a green home. Here are a few to get you started.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

You've heard this countless times before, but many people seem to only focus on one aspect (typically recycling). But recycling isn't enough. In fact, a lot of the plastics we recycle don't even end up being recycled. This is why it's also important to reduce the plastic we use and reuse the plastics we have. Try to avoid using one-time plastics. If you buy something in a plastic container, reuse that container for something else. Try to shop in bulk and bring your own containers for things like rice, beans, coffee, etc. Even if we all just reduce and reuse a little bit more each day, we can make a big difference in the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill.

Use Energy Wisely

Many people may not have the means to go solar just yet, but that doesn't mean you can't reduce the amount of harmful energy you use on a daily basis. Try not to have your air or heat blasting all day and night. Turn off lights and appliances wen they aren't being used. Not only will these small changes reduce the number of fossil fuels we use as a whole, but your utility bill will be decreased, so you'll save money!

Drive Less

Electric cars may be the vehicle of the future, but right now, most young adults can't afford electric or hybrid vehicles. This means we're using gas to drive around, which is harmful to the environment. Try using public transportation, biking, walking, and carpooling as much as you can. You could try to limit driving to only long distances, and do the rest of your travel without your car. By making a small change of driving less each week, you can reduce your carbon footprint and save a ton of money on gas.

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On June 22nd I Celebrated My 22nd

*Insert cliche Taylor Swift song "22"*

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It's about time I turn 22. I've been told that after your 21st birthday, the years begin to fly past you in a blur. I don't know if I agree, but I can definitely say that I don't feel 22. Sometimes I look around at all the people who are freshmen in college, or juniors in high school, and I begin to reminisce about when I was their age. One thing getting older does do is make you a skeptical, cynical person.

I've thought a lot about my birthday as another day that I get to eat cake because let's face it, I'm not really here for anything else, except maybe a shot. I remember celebrating my birthday when I was younger was much different from what it turned into after I turned 20. Back in the day, I would celebrate my birthday with a pool party. Pizza, chips, cake, and soda. A few balloons and candles and that was it. I'd only invite my closest friends and we'd have so much fun.

I miss that kind of birthday. The kind you pick out an outfit for days prior, the kind you get so excited for and can't sleep, the kind that makes you feel special. It doesn't feel like that anymore. What it feels like now is, "welp, there goes another year." This line is also applicable to New Year's Eve, but we'll cross that bridge six months from now.

My birthday is pretty uneventful. It feels like the spark is gone, the excitement is gone. I wish I could feel happy that I'm turning 22, but I also know that it's just a reality that we all get older and things like birthdays begin to feel strange. You're faced to realize that you're supposed to have gained another year of experience and intelligence in the aspects of life, but it's almost like you feel the same.

It's safe to say that this has been a bit of an existential-crisis-themed birthday, but I'm just a little scared of getting older. I think we all reach a point where you realize you aren't invincible anymore. It's time to see what's in store for the future, what your career goals are, where you plan to move to after graduation, how to eat better, and how to feel like you've reached your full potential. It's a bittersweet moment in my life, but I'm ready to see what's next.

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3 Ways You Can Save Money as a Young Adult

Whether you're in college or trying to make it out in the "real world", it's important to save money in any way you can.

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Don't fall into a hole of debt as a young adult. Start making smart financial decisions and save money from the get-go. Here are some simple ways you can start saving money.

Start Budgeting

The most important thing you can do to save money is to start budgeting. Create a budget where you can lay out on paper how much you're making, how much you have to spend on necessities (rent, groceries, gas), and see how much is left. From what is left over, determine how much you should be saving per month. If you can save 25% of your paycheck, that's a great way to start an emergency fund. However, many people who are just starting out can't save that much, so just do what you can. Have a set amount of money per month for non-essentials and pleasure, such as eating out at nice restaurants, going to events, etc. By sticking to your budget, you won't fall into debt and you'll be saving at least a little bit of your income each month.

Make Smart Investments

It may seem difficult to start thinking about investing money when you don't have a ton to begin with, but you can start small and work your way up. Investing money will allow you to start making a passive income down the line, which means you'll be saving money without working any extra. You can make investments in the stock market, or by purchasing things that will save you money directly. For example, you could invest in solar panels which will end up saving you a ton of money down the line on utilities.

Pay Off Your Debt 

Many young adults are in debt, especially if they went to college and had to take out student loans. The key to not falling even deeper in the hole is by paying off your debt as fast as possible. This may mean you need to cut out some pleasure purchases such as a trip to Europe or even just not going out to dinner often. The faster you can pay off debt, the more money you'll save by not paying interest on your credit cards or student loans down the line.

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