Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

50 green tips for earth day and beyond

In honor of Earth Day, here are some tips to help you make an impact—or less of an impact—on our planet:

1. Lower your thermostat by a few degrees in the winter and raise it a few degrees in the summer.

2. Say goodbye to bottled water by purchasing a reusable water bottle.

3. Install low-flow faucets and showerheads. If your budget allows, purchase a water efficient toilet—you may even get a rebate from your local water company.

3. Start a compost in your backyard.

4. Buy foods locally at a nearby farmer’s market.

5. Bring reusable shopping bags to the grocery store.

6. If you don’t have your reusable shopping bags with you at the grocery store and are given the choice of paper or plastic, choose paper.

7. If you have plastic grocery bags, recycle them to be used as doggie bags, dirty diaper storage or for small trashcan liners.

8. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs throughout your home.

9. Turn off lights and electronics when you leave the room. Likewise, unplug electronic items, energy strips and protectors when not in use.

10. Recycle newspapers, cardboard, paper and plastic items. 11.

11. Carpool to work more often.

12. Recycle your old cell phone. Coldwell Banker has a cell phone recycling program.

13. If you live within close proximity to your work or downtown community, ride a bike.

14. When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run the whole time.

15. Go to your local library instead of buying new books.

16. At holidays and birthdays, give your family and friends the gift of saving the earth by donating to their favorite environmental group, foundation or organization.

17. Remove yourself from junk mail lists by going to For a small fee, you’ll be removed from junk mail lists, and Precycle will even plant five trees for you!

18. Whenever possible, purchase products that use recyclable materials.

19. Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.

20. Use organic cleaning products.

21. Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables and reuse it to water houseplants.

22. The next time you are getting ready to purchase a new car, consider buying a fuel-efficient car or a hybrid.

23. Landscape with native plants.

24. Buy organic milk.

25. Cut down on paper waste. Get online subscriptions for your newspaper and magazines.

26. Switch to online banking and opt to have your bills sent to you electronically.

27. Teach children about the importance of being good to the environment.

28. Take your batteries to a recycling center.

29. Turn your car off if you’re going to be idle for more than one minute.

30. Do full loads of laundry and set the rinse cycle to “cold.”

31. When buying new appliances, consider those that are water and energy efficient, and offer cycle and load size adjustents.

32.Reuse. Plastic food containers make good crayon and marker holders. Use padded envelops more than once. Buy your toddler or preschooler’s clothes from a thrift shop and give away items that don’t fit to friends.

33. Limit the length of your showers. Even better, take a “navy shower,” shutting off the water while soaping up and shampooing.

34. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.

35. Wash towels only after several uses.

36. Put a damper on things by installing fireplace draft stoppers, attic door covers and dryer vent seats that only open when your dryer is in use.

37. Seal off drafts around your home and save 5-30 percent in energy costs.

38. Recycle your technology. Dell, Hewlett Packard, Apple, and IBM, among others, offer recycling programs.

39. When purchasing paint, opt for zero or low VOC paint, made by most major paint manufacturers today.

40. Keep your house cooler during the summer by closing shades, blinds or curtains during the hottest times of the day.

41. Line dry your clothes whenever you can.

42. Drop your tissue in the trash instead of flushing it and save water every time.

43. Plant trees and shrubbery around your home to help keep your home cooler during the warm summer months, and help you run your air conditioner a little less.

44. The next time you make improvements to your home, use green materials.

45. Run your dishwasher only when it is fully loaded and turn off the dry cycle and air dry dishes instead.

46. Wash your pet(s) outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.

47. Go paperless at work and avoid printing whenever possible.

48. Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows.

49. If your budget allows, install solar panels on your roof and see your energy savings soar.

50. Bring your mug to your local coffee shop, or keep one on hand at work for coffee fill-ups.

Any great tips that you care to share?


  1. We do a lot of things you listed here. We also like to reuse gift bags. We have a large supply of gift bags that were given to us for birthdays, Christmas, etc. We even go as far as asking our family members for their gift bags if we see that they are about to throw them away. Any flowers or roses we have we preserve them in one way or another. More recently I made potpourri, by reusing the fish net that was tied around the flower vase to cover the dried petals and baby's breath over a decorative dish. Or we'll add life to pictures by gluing the petals around the blank parts of a picture canvas.