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5 Simple Ways to Help the Planet

Sometimes it feels like trying to help the planet can be overwhelming, but as with most problems, every little bit helps. Start with these five small tips, and ask your friends to do the same, to make a big difference.

1. Drive thoughtfully

Consider walking or biking to destinations nearby, which is great for the environment and has the added bonus of being healthy exercise. When possible, take public transit or consider carpooling to share the carbon footprint. When you do need to drive, ensure your tires are correctly inflated and commit to proper engine maintenance to improve gas mileage.

2. Eat your veggies

Meat, dairy and eggs require many more resources to produce than plant-based foods. But, you don't have to become a full-time vegan to reduce your impact on the planet. A May 2009 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that replacing a single meat-based meal with a plant-based meal can save 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses.

3. Bring your own shopping bags

Americans throw away almost 100 billion plastic bags a year. As an oil-based product, plastic bags do not biodegrade and therefore persist in the environment, as well as rely on carbon production. Consider switching to reusable bags for your shopping. These bags can be made in a sustainable way and used many times before naturally degrading.

4. Change light bulbs

Replace traditional incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These newer bulbs are more energy efficient, reducing the strain on our planet and saving you money over their lifetime. Compact fluorescent bulbs produce about 75 percent less heat also, making them safer to operate and reducing cooling costs.*

5. Take advantage of online banking

If you're still using paper mail for bills and statements, consider going digital. Not only can you ditch the envelope and stamps, but also many financial activities that used to require driving to the [bank/credit union] can now be done from home. With online banking, bill pay, and eStatements at Star Choice Credit Union, you can reduce your carbon footprint.

To learn more, visit our website at or call us at 952-698-SCCU (7228).

*Source: Energy Star,