- Tip #482: Send E-Cards
This year, make a point to send e-cards to friends and family for birthdays and holidays. Or, if you must send a traditional card, be sure it’s made from post-consumer recycled content.
- Tip #481: Use Lemon Instead of Salt
Squeeze a few wedges of fresh lemon onto food to flavor it instead of salt. It adds just as much flavor but is a healthier option.
Tip #480: Use Apple Cider Vinegar as a Natural Hair Rinse
Use apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse to fight dandruff and add body and shine. Mix 1 tablespoon in a glass of water at the end of your bath or shower. Rinse thoroughly.
- Tip #479: Unplug
When your cell phone, iPad, iPod, or laptop is fully charged, unplug the device and the charger. When you leave a charger plugged in, even though a device may not be connected to it, it’s still using energy.
- Tip #478: Wrap Creatively
Be creative when it comes to gift wrapping holiday gifts, birthday presents, even shipped gifts. Use brown paper bags, old calendar pages, empty coffee cans, or cereal and snack boxes.
- Tip #477: Play for a Cause
Organize a fun, cause-related game for charity. Whether it’s a poker tournament, a Wii tournament, or a Guitar Hero competition, raise money to donate to an environmental cause close to your heart. To raise even more money, sell tickets, raffle off donated items (everyone can bring 1 item to donate to the raffle), or sell refreshments during the event.
- Tip #476: Host an Eco-Movie Night
Looking for a good way to pass the cold winter nights? Why not invite a few friends over and host an eco-movie night. You can show a cool documentary about environment issues like An Inconvenient Truth, The 11th Hour, Arctic Tale, or any other films that help spread a message you want to share.
- Tip #475: Furnish from the Flea Market
Shop flea markets, yard sales, and thrift shops for used pieces to furnish your home. You can often find beautiful end tables, chairs, lamps, and more at great prices. Plus, you’ll give these items a second (or third or fourth) life and keep them out of landfills.
- Tip #474: Decorate with Natural Elements
Look as far as your back yard or morning walk to find natural elements to decorate with. Acorns, leaves, twigs, pine branches and pine cones make beautiful, natural decorations for any room.
- Tip #473: Support Your Favorite Team
Shop thrift stores and second hand stores to find your favorite team’s apparel. You’ll save lots of money and feel good about reusing instead of buying new.
- Tip #472: Make Produce Last Longer
Buying local fruits and veggies is one way to make them last longer. Produce can travel 5 days to make it to your grocery store, but local fruits and vegetables were likely picked within a day or two.
- Tip #471: Follow the Fair Trade Certified Facebook Page
Stay up-to-date on fair trade certified companies and products and let others see your passion and support for doing good for others around the world. Also, you’ll find some great recipes and tips!
- Tip #470: Defrost in the Fridge
Thaw frozen items in the fridge instead of the microwave or under running water. This way you’ll conserve energy and water by using an appliance that’s already running anyway.
Tip #469: Use Less Than the Recommended Quantity
This is a pretty easy concept because using less will make just about any product last longer. Squirting a little less lotion, lathering a little less soap and rubbing on a little less deodorant can most likely give you the exact same results you want yet make your products last significantly longer.
- Tip #468: Buy Bars Instead of Liquids in Bottles
Not only do bars last longer but they’re much harder to over use and waste. Plus, bars are often cheaper to purchase anyway! You can buy facial and cleansing bars at places like Whole Foods, Sprouts and other local health stores.
- Tip #467: Make Your Own Skincare Products
Finding a natural skin care recipe is as easy as Google. Doing a simple search will bring up countless recipes ranging from homemade deodorant, lotion, sunscreen, shampoo and much more. Steer away from purchasing books or downloads on this topic as there are many blogs that feature reliable how-to instructions for free.
- Tip #466: Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products
Just a few ingredients, many of which you may already have on hand, can be made into a multitude of cleaning solutions. Find some our our best proven cleaning solution recipes here.
- Tip #465: Carpool
This one is a no-brainer, but how many people have tried it? Ask around your workplace or check out erideshare.com to find someone else who wants to cut down on transportation costs and emissions. Chances are if you’re thinking about it, someone else is too. Take the first step!
- Tip #464: Monitor Your Thermostat
Did you know even changing your thermostat 1 degree cooler in the winter or 1 degree warmer in the summer can save you up to 3% on your monthly heating and cooling bill? So dress in layers and encourage your family members to do the same.
- Tip #463: Sign Up for Green Energy
More than half of all electricity consumers in the U.S. now have the option of purchasing green power from their utility. Find out how you can buy it by visiting the Department of Energy’s state-by-state list of providers. You can also check with your own utility company to see what’s available.
- Tip #462: Use the Toaster Oven
If you can opt to use the toaster oven instead of the oven, do so! The smaller appliance uses less energy and won’t heat the entire room.
- Tip #461: Use Blackout Curtains
Making a simple change to blackout curtains can help save on heating and cooling costs. They are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors and designs.
- Tip #460: Monitor Energy Consumption
Invest in a home monitor to help measure energy consumption. You’ll see where you’re using the most energy and where you can make cut backs. It will also help you determine what your electric bill will be for the month so you won’t have any surprises.
- Tip #459: Use the Oven Light
Instead of opening the oven door to check on your food, use the oven light and peer through the glass. Opening the door allows a lot of heat to escape and uses more energy than the oven light. Just remember to turn the oven light off when it’s not in use.
- Tip #458: Give Green Gifts
This is a great way to introduce people to green and sustainable products. Whether it’s for a wedding, graduation, birthday or just because, give a green gift along with a card that tells the person why you think they’ll love it. Maybe it will inspire them to buy green in the future or give a green gift when it’s their turn.
- Tip #457: Sign Up for Subscription Boxes
These monthly boxes of organic, vegan, even gluten-free products are great ways to try new foods, health & beauty items and home products. Take a look at ConsciousBox or EcocentricMom for starters. A great option to keep kids busy all summer is to subscribe to GreenKidCrafts monthly craft boxes. Who doesn’t love getting a special surprise every month?
- Tip #456: Shop Garage Sales
Looking for something in particular? Check a few local garage sales or second hand stores before buying new.
- Tip #455: Water for Butterflies
Leave a shallow dish of water near your patio or fill a shallow birdbath in your yard. Butterflies will visit for the water and you’ll enjoy their peaceful beauty.
- Tip #454: Create a Living Room Outside
Love this tip from Mother Nature Network.com. The best way to reduce your energy bill is to avoid consuming energy. Have fun outside by dusting off those lawn chairs and board games. Once the sun drops a bit, an afternoon in the backyard can be a fun and relaxing way to enjoy family time. Just make sure to wear sunscreen.
- Tip #453: Use Natural Repellants to Keep Mosquitoes Away
See this great recipe for homemade, natural mosquito repellant and also how to make a mosquito trap. Click here.
- Tip #452: Talk to Farmers at the Farmer’s Market
Ask for their advice on preparing fruits and veggies and find out what they expect to bring to market next week so you can start to plan ahead. Learn all you can about the farmer’s growing practices, and make sure you know who you’re buying from. Another good question is to ask why their produce is NOT organic (if it isn’t).
- Tip #451: Pick a Natural Polish
Most nail polish contains formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP which can enter your body through your porous nails. Look for natural polishes made from soy or corn, which are becoming more and more prevalent.
- Tip #450: Grow a Bee-Friendly Garden
Choose a wide variety of plants native to your region and watch the bees pollinate the blooms and vegetables all summer long.
- Tip #449: Group Garden Plants by Water Needs
Put plants needing more water in wetter areas of your yard.
- Tip #448: Green Your Golf Game
If you plan to golf this summer, opt to walk the course instead of drive a cart. Also, be sure to recycle any beverage containers you use. If the course doesn’t have a recycling program, urge them to start one.
- Tip #447: Keep Cold Water on Hand
Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge so you always have cold water ready instead of having to let the water run until it’s cold.
- Tip #446: Don’t Bake It, Microwave It
Microwaves use significantly less power than ovens. Keep this in mind, and make meals in the microwave whenever possible.
- Tip #445: Unplug While You’re On Vacation
Before you go on vacation, unplug your computer, DVD player, TV, phone chargers, and other electronics, and turn down your thermostat.
- Tip #444: Take Your Own To-Go Containers
When going out to lunch or dinner, take your own reusable storage containers. They’re much better to use than the disposable, styrofoam containers the restaurant will likely give you. Plus, they’ll stay sealed better, keeping your food good longer and reducing smells in the fridge.
- Tip #443: Buy Fresh Foods Instead of Frozen
Many people don’t realize it, but frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.
- Tip #442: Don’t fertilize before a rain storm
Your fertilizer can just wash off your lawn and down the storm drain polluting rivers, lakes, streams, and bays while washing away your money.
- Tip #441: Take Proper Maintenance of What You HaveProper maintenance reduces waste. Keep your appliances/car/bicycle/etc. in good working order and follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for operation and maintenance. Take time to research and buy products with high consumer satisfaction and fewer breakdowns.
- Tip: #440: Yoga to End Your Work Day
If you work from home, like many Americans, it can be tough to officially end your work day. There are always more emails to be sent and the computer is likely just steps away. Try replacing a physical commute with a 10-15 minute meditation session. This will help you transition from work to home.
- Tip: #439: Say “No” to ATM Receipts
These slips of paper can be found all over the sidewalk and street from people littering their receipts. If everyone skipped the slip, it could save over 2 billion feet of paper in just one year. Use your bank’s website or mobile app to check your balance instead.
- Tip: #438: Rent Eco-Friendly Cars
As you plan your summer vacation, look for rental car companies that offer hybrid or electric cars. You’ll save money on refueling the car and save the environment at the same time.
- Tip: #437: Recycle Your Toothbrush and other #5 Plastics
Yes, really. Through the Preserve Gimme 5 program, you can get a #5 plastic toothbrush or razor which can later be sent back (postage-paid!) for recycling to be remade into plastic lumber for picnic tables, decks, etc. They also sell recycled, reusable tableware, food storage containers, mixing bowls, and more. Visit preserveproducts.com for more info and where you can drop off or send in your #5 plastics like takeout containers, Brita filters, and yogurt containers.
- Tip: #436: Join Mother Nature’s Gym
You can’t beat the membership fee and you never have to wait for a treadmill. Most gyms are anything but energy efficient with air conditioning, TVs everywhere, treadmills, stair climbers, elliptical machines… the list goes on and on.
- Tip: #435: Become a Bike Commuter
As Spring and warmer weather approaches, consider biking to work at least a couple days per week. Here are some excellent tips from Sierra Club for those thinking about becoming “bike commuters.” Click HERE.
- Tip: #434: Don’t Forget Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Home Improvements
As you efile your taxes, don’t forget to research tax credits available for energy-efficient home improvements like windows, insulation, solar hot water heaters and more. Visit the IRS site for energy-efficient tax credits.
- Tip: #433: Make a Commitment to Walk or Bike
If where you’re going is less than 2 miles away, make a commitment to walk or bike to where you’re going instead of driving. Biking 2 miles will only take about 10-15 minutes, depending on your speed, and walking 2 miles will take 20-30 minutes, depending on your pace. This could be some great time to enjoy the outdoors, meditate, and unwind.
- Tip: #432: Save on Natural and Organic Foods
Look for Co-ops and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) for considerably lower prices on local produce, meats, eggs, etc. Other ways to save include shopping at farmers markets, buying in bulk (and splitting with another family if necessary) or growing food yourself.
- Tip: #431: If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It
According to Real Simple Magazine, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year. So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.
- Tip: #430: Learn “Want” vs. “Need”
Before purchasing something, consider whether you truly need it. Ask yourself a few questions:Do you NEED it or do you WANT it? Do you already have one? Can you buy an alternative that will last longer so you won’t be throwing it away creating waste in the near future? Your response to these questions will help you learn to buy less, spend less, and waste less.
- Tip: #429: Teach Kids to be Green with “Green Rewards”
If your kids respond well to a rewards system, institute “green rewards” by rewarding them for thinking and acting green. After they’ve completed say, 10 green activities (sorting the recycling, helping with the compost, successfully conserving water, etc.) they could earn a reward. Whether it’s a cool fair-trade item or an organic chocolate bar, you’ll reinforce their green habits, making them second nature.
- Tip: #428: Buy In Season; Freeze for Later When Possible
- Tip: #427: How Do You Know Something is Actually Organic?
The best way to separate what is organic and what simply isn’t, is by looking at the labels. There are a variety of labels when it comes to being organic, and not all products are regulated. The “USDA Organic” label is used for food that is 100% natural and contains no artificial ingredients. Also, look for organic labels also on beauty care and cosmetics. Avoid products that contain parabens, petrol, phtalates and silicon.
- Tip: #426: Buy Organic Flowers this Valentine’s Day
Most flowers found in florist shops and grocery stores travel long distances from third world countries in fuel-guzzling cargo planes. They’re kept at very cool temperatures and packed with individual water tubes on every stem. The next time you need a bouquet, check with your local farmers’ markets or natural food stores to find environmentally produced flowers and plants. Non-traditional varieties such as lavender or sunflowers are often a good bet. Some major retailers like Whole Foods are beginning to offer organic, chemical-free flowers.
- Tip: #425: Get Hundreds of Dollars When You Recycle Your Old Mobile Phone
You hear this all the time, but did you know you can get nearly $300 for your used cell phone? Here’s a list of 21 electronics worth MORE than $125 from TheDailyGreen.com.
- Tip: #424: Opt Out of the Printed Yellow Pages
Did you know about 70% of states still require the Yellow Pages to be printed? Do your part and opt-out of the printed version by going to YellowPagesGoesGreen.org and click on “Print Opt Out” near the top of the page. You will have to register your email address (and verify it), but your information is not used for solicitation purposes. It’s worth these few quick steps. Even in a small or medium-sized town, you can opt-out of 5 or more publications. It’s well worth the 4 minutes of work!
- Tip: #423: Tips and Information on Rechargeable Batteries
Many of those holiday gifts you purchased and received likely need batteries. Check out GreenBatteries.com for great tips and information about the different types of rechargeable batteries and how to get the most out of them.
- Tip: #422: 119 One-Liners to Respond to Climate Science Myths
Here’s a great collection of statistics and facts from planetsave.com that can rebut almost any climate science myth. http://planetsave.com/2010/08/13/119-one-liners-to-respond-to-climate-science-myths/
- Tip: #421: Select Safe Food Storage Containers
Avoid the risk of leaching chemicals by choosing safer storage containers like glass, stainless steel, or even reusable food storage bags.
- Tip: #420: Green Your Space with Plants
You can rid your home or office or toxins by placing some green plants in the space. The best plants for doing so are indoor palms like the Areca Palm, Lady Palm, and Bamboo Palm, as well as well-known house plants like the Boston Fern and Peace Lily. Plant them in reused containers like yogurt tubs, jugs or tins to be even more green.
- Tip: #419: Turn Your Junk (or your kids’ junk) into Jewelry
Before you toss miscellaneous game pieces or small toys, see if you can make it into a new ring, necklace, or charm bracelet. It’s a great way to reuse and can make for great conversation starters.
- Tip: #418: Recycle Old T-Shirts
Cut it into a square, sew up the sides and fill it with potpourri. Use your new sachet in your drawers, car, or anywhere you want a fresh scent. Another tip is to cut out the graphic part of the tee and put it into a picture frame. Make a wall of memories in your home with your favorite t-shirt graphics.
- Tip: #417: Plan Ahead for Holiday Shopping
Take a few extra minutes before you head out to shop and map out the stores you need to visit. Consolidate trips and avoid high-traffic times (not easy this time of year) to use less fuel. Better yet, use public transportation or carpool with a friend if possible.
- Tip: #416: Keep Your Fridge Organized:
An unorganized fridge means it’s taking you and anyone else in the house longer to find what you need. Keeping the door open for too long makes the fridge have to work harder to regain its temperature. A simple task, like organizing the fridge, will help keep it running longer, keep food fresher, and reduce energy costs
- Tip: #415: Shop Green This Holiday Season
There are lots of reasons and ways to buy green gifts for your friends and family this holiday season. Check our GreenDeals’ Green Tuesday sales featuring over 50 recycled, sustainable, and eco-friendly products. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list, even the hard-to-buy-for.