Did you know that if you bring your own reusable travel mug to Starbucks, your drink will cost 10 cents less, and you can help to help save many paper cups from being tossed in the trash? I don’t often frequent Starbucks, but know that many people love their particular coffee. Ask your local coffee shop if they have a similar program — they may surprise you, or you may give them a great idea for an incentive they can offer their customers. Ten cents doesn’t seem like that much, but it adds up: if you purchase your coffee even just 5 days a week, that’s $26 bucks a year. I’m sure you could think of something to use 26 extra dollars for.

If you love your paper coffee cup, why not try a coffee cup cozy instead of the disposable ones? If you’re crafty, you could even make your own. I’ve read that 1.1 billion cardboard/paper coffee sleeves are thrown away every year.

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How to recycle anything.

CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs can last for about 6,000-15,000 hours, whereas regular (incandescent) bulbs last for about 750-1,000 hours. While CFL bulbs cost 3-10 times as much, their life is much longer, and they are more energy efficient.

Properly disposing of and recycling the CFC light bulbs is incredibly important, as they contain a small amount of mercury. If users dispose of these bulbs in the regular trash, more mercury will be added to the landfills and our water sources. According to The Boston Globe, the amount of mercury in one bulb can exceed the US guidelines for chronic exposure if not handled properly — so care must be taken when installing them.

These light bulbs are a great option, but only if we are responsible enough to dispose of them properly. The Home Depot has launched a program in all of their stores where you can bring in (unbroken) CFL bulbs to be recycled.