- 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’re filing 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.
GreenDeals offers deals and coupons from green certified business from the Green Business Network (Green America).
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