Effective time management doesn’t just start at the office, especially if you’ve got a hectic schedule. Here are some simple ways that you can save time every day, and still do your part to save the environment with practical green living.
Cook in the Microwave
One of the best ways you can save time and energy every day is by learning how to cook in the microwave. Not only are microwaves between 3.5 and 4.8 times more energy efficient than traditional electric ovens, they’re at least four times as fast. As a matter of fact, according to The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time, if everyone in North America used only microwaves for cooking for one year, they’d save as much energy as everyone on the entire continent of Africa uses for everything during that same time.
Sure, you probably don’t want to try and cook your Thanksgiving turkey in a microwave, but day-to-day staples like pasta, rice and vegetables work very well with microwave cooking. Don’t believe me? Try this perfect microwaveable rice recipe:
How to Cook Rice in the Microwave
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups water
- Rinse and soak rice in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
- Drain rice and place in large microwaveable bowl.
- Add hot water and cook (uncovered) on high for 16 minutes.
- Let rice sit for an additional 3-5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Work Out Smarter Not Harder
If you can’t cut out cardio workouts on electrical equipment, there’s always the option of cutting down the amount of time you spend on the equipment. Switch to interval training and you may actually find yourself healthier than before, in half the time. Here’s why: Studies have shown that interval training can maximize health benefits and weight loss in much less time than traditional cardio routines. Also called high-intensity interval training, it involves intense bursts of energy that are short, cross-functional and followed by brief rest periods. The idea is to push yourself to maximum exertion, rest, then push yourself again.
Interval training is so effective, in fact, that according to the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, people who use interval training eat up to 500 calories less per day than those who do regular cardio, and they burn more calories too.
Shorten Your Shower to Save Water and Time
Okay, you already know that a bath is much more eco-friendly than a shower, but what do you do if you don’t have time for baths? If you’re stuck with a shower (or just enjoy it too much to give up!) there’s still something you can do to make up for it. Cut some time off your daily shower and you can make a huge difference in the amount of water you use. For instance, for every two minutes you cut off your shower time each day, you can save more than ten gallons of water. Multiply that out for a year and that would mean saving 2,400 gallons of water – just for two minutes a day. Shorten your showers and you won’t just have more time to enjoy your day, you’ll save a small lake in your lifetime.
Some Important Tips to Save Money
These family-friendly travel activities reduce waste, lighten landfills, and lower carbon emissions – and save money without you even noticing! For example, traveling by train is the most eco-friendly way to travel (unless you sign up for a bike tour, which is even more green and economical).
For more easy ways to lighten your footstep and save money while traveling, try these eco-friendly ways to reduce carbon emissions.
Green Travel Tips That Saves Money
- Print your maps & tourist information before you go. Instead of buying expensive guidebooks and maps, which are heavy and cumbersome, print the sections you need from online travel websites.
- Pack light. Apply the golden rule of packing: estimate what you think you’ll need, and cut it by half. Extra weight not only requires extra fuel, it may cost you additional baggage costs.
- Buy a solar charger. Most cameras, phones and iPods can be charge with a solar charger, which saves carbon dioxide emissions and energy. You’ll save money at home, and you won’t use extra energy resources while you’re overseas.
- Stay with family, friends or acquaintances. Hotels use massive amounts of energy and resources through daily cleaning, mini bottles of shampoo, lights burning unnecessarily, and so on. If you do stay at a hotel, re-use your towels, sheets, bathroom glasses and other amenities.
- Look into a home exchange. This type of ethical tourism allows you to get an insider’s feel for the country while stimulating local economic growth. You’ll live like a local, buy home-grown produce and goods, and eat in neighborhood restaurants.
- Travel by train or bicycle. Trains and bikes are the most eco-friendly transportation options.
- Rent small cars. The smaller your car, the less gas money you’ll spend – and the fewer emissions will pour into the air. Better yet, ride buses, trains and subways as much as you can. Look into hybrid-electric or biodiesel cars, which may not be as expensive as you think.
- Eat local. Picnic at least once a day with food from the local market or grocery store – it’s healthier, less expensive, and often tastier. Always have your own refillable water bottle, and buy water purification tablets if the water is a concern.
- Visit parks and nature reserves. Supporting the protected areas ensures that they’ll be maintained. The entrance fees are usually reasonable, and you’re often encouraged to stay as long as you like.
- Buy local handicrafts. Refrain from buying souvenirs that exploit wildlife or the environment, such as ivory, tortoiseshell, coral or animal hides. Handicrafts made by locals are not only sustainable, they’re often less expensive.
- Keep entertained from top 10 online casinos instead of going to real casinos.
Consider carbon credits to offset your jet emissions. Vancouver’s “Green My Flight” website can calculate your carbon impact. Buying carbon credits can pay for trees to be planted, cleaner energy to be produced, or invest in alternative energy.