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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

40 Ways to Go Greener at Home

1.  Plant an herb garden.  It’s good to have a reminder around of where our food originates.
2.  Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few).
3.  Create a homemade compost bin for $15.
4.  Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “energy star” label).

Photo from Flip & Tumble
5.  Stop using disposable bags – order some reusable bags, or make your own. 
6.  Buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles.  Then watch The Story of Bottled Water, a short movie about the bottled water phenomena.
7.  Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
8.  Turn off lights when you leave the room.
9.  Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can — open your curtains and enjoy natural light.
10.  Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.

Photo by Kamyar Adi
11.  Better yet, walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer.
12.  Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market.
13.  Turn off your computer completely at night.
14.  Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.
15.  Pay as many bills as possible online.
16.  Put a stop to unsolicited mail — sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.  While you’re at it, go ahead and make sure you’re on the “do not call” list, just to make your life more peaceful.

17.  Reuse scrap paper.  Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.
18.  Conduct a quick energy audit of your home.
19.  Subscribe to good eco-friendly blogs.
20.  Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle.
21.  Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.
22.  Fix leaky faucets.
23.  Make your own household cleaners.

Photo by Kasia
24.  Line dry your laundry.
25.  Watch The Story of Stuff with your kids, and talk about the impact your household trash has on our landfills.
26.  Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world.
28.  Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
29.  Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
30.  Repurpose something – turn one of your well-worn t-shirts into basic play pants for your baby.  Or save egg cartons for paint wells, seed starters, treasure boxes, or a myriad of other crafts.
31.  Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.

Photo by Lori Ann
32.  Switch to cloth diapers – or at least do a combination with disposables.
33.  Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade” label.
34.  Use a Diva Cup for your monthly cycles.
35.  Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Be frugal, and make these rags out of old towels and t-shirts.
36.  Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
37.  Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and open your eyes to the way conventional food is processed.

Photo by Katherine Raz
38.  Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.
39.  Five-minute showers – make it a goal for yourself.
40.  Donate to – and shop at – thrift stores such as Goodwill.  You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, and you’ll be supporting your local economy.

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