Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Top 10 Steps to a New You

Be Greener
Living a greener life may seem overwhelming.
Living a greener life may seem overwhelming.

Living a greener life may seem overwhelming. It doesn't have to be, nor does it have to be costly. In fact, it can be wallet friendly as well as environmentally friendly. We've broken it down to a few ideas beyond the recycling bin to get you started on the greener path:

  • Adjust the thermostat -- Dropping the temperature in your home by just 1 degree (and raising it 1 degree in the summertime) will not only reduce your energy usage but will also reduce your heating (and cooling) costs by roughly 4 percent.
  • Buy plants -- Bringing plants into your living space can help remove indoor air pollutants (including formaldehyde and benzene, two chemicals associated with increased cancer risks), but be sure to choose the most helpful varieties. Golden pothos, English ivy and peace lilies are popular choices for natural air purifiers.
  • Change your light bulbs -- The next time one of your incandescent light bulbs burns out, reach for a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) as its replacement. CFLs are available in a variety of light colors, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy, they use 75 percent less energy and last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.


Installing low-flow faucets in your home could reduce your water consumption and cost of heating water by about 50 percent.