Read it. Obey it. Live it!
1. Don’t use straws.
2. Press “No” when the gas pump asks if you want a receipt.
3. Use cloth napkins. Even if you only do this once a week, it will add up. Try it.
4. Use cruise control when you can.
5. Own a reusable water bottle – fill it up at home.
6. Cut back on paper towels by using dish cloths in the kitchen. You’ll be so surprised at how fast you can see a difference in your trash can and your wallet.
7. Take your own bags to the grocery store. Canvas bags hold a lot more than the store’s plastic bags, they’re washable, and they don’t rip.
8. Recycle. Call your local trash/recycling collector to see what items you can recycle in your area.
9. Use fluorescent lightbulbs – they use about 75% less electricity.
10. Wait until you have a full load to run the washer, dryer or dishwasher.
11. Recycle your used electronics. Go to Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation to find a quick and easy drop-off location near you. (I did this and was so surprised at how many locations are available in my own town!)
12. Give up individually wrapped snacks. That packaging isn’t going anywhere.
13. Compost. The average household produces more than 200 pounds of kitchen waste every year. You can successfully compost all forms of kitchen waste, with the exception of meat, meat products, dairy products, and high-fat foods. But did you know, you can also compost other household waste? Shredded paper, newsprint, toilet paper rolls, coffee filters, and even dryer lint can be added to your compost pile.
14. Support local farmers by buying local produce.
15. Unplug appliances when not in use.
16. Fix that leaky faucet.
17. Pay your bills online to eliminate the extra paper mail.
19. Turn down the heat. Just turning it down 2 degrees makes a big difference in your energy bill.
20. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. Again, a little thing that adds up.
21. 100 million trees are used every year just for making junk mail! Log on to ProQuo for a free, fast way to put an end to a lot of the junk you find in your mailbox. I did it – it only takes a couple minutes. Think of it like being put on the “do not call” list for telemarketers – it works the same way.
22. Check out Big Green Purse to read about why tossing rock salt on your sidewalks and driveways isn’t eco-friendly, and to find some safe alternatives.
23. When using an oven, minimize door opening while it’s in use. It reduces oven temperature by 25-30 degrees every time you open the door. Also, don’t preheat the oven unless you really need to.
24. Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load. You can collect the lint in a mesh produce bag to hang out for the birds to pick at when it’s nest-building time.
25. Leave grass clippings on the yard after you mow – they decompose and return nutrients to the soil.
26. Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
27. Plant trees! They save energy and money by shading our houses in the summer, and letting the sun shine through for warmth in the winter.
28. Spot-spray weeds with common full-strength household vinegar, on a sunny day. It’s an organic weed killer that’s safe for you and the environment.
29. Find new ways to reuse objects instead of sending them to the trash or recycling bin. Check out these creative ideas:
- 20 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Cartons – you’ll find exactly what it says, plus pictures of all of them.
- Junk Mail Gems – offers free downloads to make gift bags (and more) out of your junk mail.
- How to Recycle Used Coffee – you read that right, you can do more than compost your used coffee grounds.
- WhipUp.Net – provides a picture tutorial for how to turn a skirt into a really cute purse!
- Esprit Cabane – offers a really beautiful use for your egg cartons.
- Natural Home – has some great tips and a common-sense approach to reusing glass jars.
- Her Cup Overfloweth – such a great use for those frappuccino cups from Starbuck’s – turn them into no-spill paint containers for your kids!
31. Check the air pressure in your tires. The pounds per inch should be printed on the side of your tire. If your tires are below where they should be, you’re increasing the amount of fuel you use.
32. Take a closer look at the way your food is packaged. Here’s an example: My kids are big yogurt eaters, but some yogurt containers are recyclable and some aren’t. We choose the ones with the little triangle on the bottom over those without. The kids still get their yogurt, but rinse the yogurt cup and toss it into the recycling bin when they’re done.
33. Take advantage of daylight by opening the curtains and blinds instead of turning on the lights.
34. Check out this list of 75 things you can compost, but might not have known you could, by Planet Green. My compost pile’s gonna be gettin’ a lot bigger.
35. Eat locally and in season.
36. Use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain instead of that nasty liquid from the store. Be sure to call your kids in first ~ they’re gonna want to watch!
37. Shut down your computer at night.
38. Fill up your freezer. A full freezer uses less energy than a half-empty one.
39. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full and well-organized.
40. Packing your own lunch every day will help you eat better and will cut down on packaging waste.
41. If you subscribe to a magazine, pass it on to a friend or leave it in your doctor’s waiting room when you’re done reading it.
42. Dry your clothes on a drying rack or a clothesline instead of in the dryer.
43. Put faucet aerators on your sink faucets. They help conserve heat and water, and only cost a couple dollars.