CHANGE YOUR LIGHT
If every household in the United State replaced one regular light bulb
with one of those new compact fluorescent bulbs, the pollution
reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the
the colour of light? Use these bulbs for closets, laundry rooms and
other places where it won't irk you as much
TURN OFF COMPUTERS AT NIGHT
By turning off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode, you
can save 40 watt-hours per day. That adds up to 4 cents a day, or $14
per year. If you don't want to wait for your computer to start up, set
it to turn on automatically a few minutes before you get to work, or
boot up while you're pouring your morning cup of tea.
Skip rinsing dishes before using your dishwasher and save up to 20
gallons of water each load. Plus, you're saving time and the energy
used to heat the additional water.
DO NOT PRE-HEAT THE OVEN
Unless you are making bread or pastries of some sort, don't pre-heat
the oven. Just turn it on when you put the dish in. Also, when
checking on your food, look through the oven window instead of opening
Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and related
water pollution by 50 percent. If it isn't recycled it can take a
million years to decompose.
DIAPER WITH A CONSCIENCE
By the time a child is toilet trained, a parent will change between
5,000 and 8,000 diapers, adding up to approximately 3.5 million tons
of waste in U.S. landfills each year. Whether you choose cloth or a
more environmentally-friendly disposable, you're making a choice that
has a much gentler impact on our planet.
clothesline or rack to dry your clothes by the air. Your wardrobe will
maintain color and fit, and you'll save money. Your favourite t-shirt
will last longer too
GO VEGETARIAN ONCE A WEEK
meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet. For example: It
requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. You will
also also save some trees. For each hamburger that originated from
animals raised on rainforest land, approximately 55 square feet of
forest have been destroyed.
IN COLD OR WARM
If all the
households in the U.S. switched from hot-hot cycle to warm-cold, we
could save the energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil a day. Only
launder when you have a full load.
ONE LESS PAPER NAPKIN
average year, an American uses approximately 2,200 napkins-around
six each day. If everyone in the U.S. used one less napkin a day, more
than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each
USE BOTH SIDES OF PAPER
American businesses throw away 21 million tons of paper every year,
equal to 175 pounds per office worker. For a quick and easy way to
halve this, set your printer's default option to print double-sided
(duplex printing). And when you're finished with your documents, don't
forget to take them to the recycling bin.
There are 63 million newspapers printed each day in the U.S. Of these,
44 million, or about 69%, of them will be thrown away. Recycling just
the Sunday papers would save more than half a million trees every
reuse gift bags, bows and event paper, but you can also make something
unique by using old maps, cloth or even newspaper. Flip a paper
grocery bag inside out and give your child stamps or markers to create
their own wrapping paper that's environmentally friendly and extra
special for the recipient.
RETHINK BOTTLED WATER
Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, instead taking
thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it
with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet, and
possibly your health. The EPA's standards for tap water are more
stringent than the FDA's standards for bottled water.
BAN BATH TIME!
Have a no-bath week, and take showers instead. Baths require almost
twice as much water. Not only will you reduce water consumption, but
the energy costs associated with heating the water.
BRUSH WITHOUT RUNNING
You've heard this one before, but maybe you still do it. You'll
conserve up to five gallons per day if you stop. Daily savings in the
U.S. alone could add up to 1.5 billion gallons--more water than folks
use in the Big Apple.
SHOWER WITH YOUR PARTNER
Sneak in a shower with your loved one to start the day with some zest
that doesn't come in a bar. Not only have you made a wise choice for
the environment, but you may notice some other added...um...benefits.
TAKE A SHORTER SHOWER
Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten
gallons of water. If everyone in the country saved just one gallon
from their daily shower, over the course of the year it would equal
twice the amount of freshwater withdrawn from the Great Lakes every
PLANT A TREE
for the air, the land, can shade your house and save on cooling (plant
on the west side of your home), and they can also improve the value of
your property. Make it meaningful for the whole family and plant a
tree every year for each member.
USE YOUR CRUISE CONTROL
You paid for those extra buttons in your car, so put them to work!
When using cruise control your vehicle could get up to 15% better
mileage. Considering today's gasoline prices, this is a boon not only
for the environment but your budget as well.
SECOND-HAND DOESN'T MEAN SECOND-BEST
Consider buying items from a second-hand store. Toys, bicycles, roller
blades, and other age and size-specific items are quickly outgrown.
Second hand stores often sell these items in excellent condition since
they are used for such a short period of time, and will generally buy
them back when you no longer need them.
Consider the amount of pollution created to get your food from the
farm to your table. Whenever possible, buy from local farmers or
farmers' markets, supporting your local economy and reducing the
amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked
ADJUST YOUR THERMOSTAT
Adjust your thermostat one degree higher in the summer and one degree
cooler in the winter. Each degree Celsius less will save about 10% on
your energy use! In addition, invest in a programmable thermostat
which allows you to regulate temperature based on the times you are at
home or away.
INVEST IN YOUR OWN COFFEE CUP
If you start every morning with a steamy cup, a quick tabulation can
show you that the waste is piling up. Invest in a reusable cup, which
not only cuts down on waste, but keeps your beverage hot for a much
longer time. Most coffee shops will happily fill your own cup, and
many even offer you a discount in exchange!
Feel like you spend your whole week trying to catch up with the
errands? Take a few moments once a week to make a list of all the
errands that need to get done, and see if you can batch them into one
trip. Not only will you be saving gasoline, but you might find
yourself with much better time-management skills.
TURN OFF LIGHTS
Always turn off incandescent bulbs when you leave a room. Fluorescent
bulbs are more affected by the number of times it is switched on and
off, so turn them off when you leave a room for 15 minutes or more.
You'll save energy on the bulb itself, but also on cooling costs, as
lights contribute heat to a room.
GREENER LAWN CARE
If you must water your lawn, do it early in the morning before any
moisture is lost to evaporation. Have a few weeds? Spot treat them
with vinegar. Not sure if you should rake? Normal clippings act as a
natural fertilizer, let them be. If you've waited too long, rake by
hand - it's excellent exercise.
PICNIC WITH A MARKER
Some time in between the artichoke dip and the coleslaw, you lost
track of your cup, and now there are a sea of matching cups on the
table, one of which might be yours. The next time you picnic, set out
permanent marker next to disposable dinnerware so guests can mark
their cup and everyone will only use one.
RECYCLE OLD CELL PHONES
The average cell phone lasts around 18 months, which means 130 million
phones will be retired each year. If they go into landfills, the
phones and their batteries introduce toxic substances into our
environment. There are plenty of reputable programs where you can
recycle your phone, many which benefit noble causes.
MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE
Not only are you extending the life of your vehicle, but you are
creating less pollution and saving gas. A properly maintained vehicle,
clean air filters, and inflated tires can greatly improve your
vehicle's performance. And it might not hurt to clean out the
trunk-all that extra weight could be costing you at the pump.
RECYCLE UNWANTED WIRE HANGERS
Wire hangers are generally made of steel, which is often not accepted
by some recycling programs. So what do you do with them? Most dry
cleaners will accept them back to reuse or recycle. (Cue Joan
RECYCLE ALUMINIUM AND GLASS
recycled aluminium cans can be made with the energy it takes to
manufacture one brand new one. Every ton of glass recycled saves the
equivalent of nine gallons of fuel oil needed to make glass from
See if you can work out an arrangement with your employer that you
work from home for some portion of the week. Not only will you save
money and gasoline, and you get to work in your pyjamas
KEEP YOUR FIREPLACE DAMPER CLOSED
Keeping the damper open (when you're not using your fireplace) is like
keeping a 48-inch window wide open during the winter; it allows warm
air to go right up the chimney. This can add up to hundreds of dollars
each winter in energy loss.
CUT DOWN ON JUNK MAIL
Feel like you need to lose a few pounds? It might be your junk mail
that's weighing you down. The average American receives 40 pounds of
junk mail each year, destroying 100 millions trees. There are many
services that can help reduce the clutter in your mailbox, saving
trees and the precious space on your countertops.
CHOOSE MATCHES OVER LIGHTERS
Most lighters are made out of plastic and filled with butane fuel,
both petroleum products. Since most lighters are considered
"disposable," over 1.5 billion end up in landfills each
year. When choosing matches, pick cardboard over wood. Wood matches
come from trees, whereas most cardboard matches are made from recycled
LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING—ONLINE
Consider if you really need a paper phone book. If not, call to stop
phone book delivery and use an online directory instead. Some estimate
that telephone books make up almost ten percent of waste at dump
sites. And if you still receive the book, don't forget to recycle your
GIVE IT AWAY
Before you throw something away, think about if someone else might
need it. Either donate to a charitable organization or post it on a
web site designed to connect pe
GO TO A CAR WASH
Professional car washes are often more efficient with water
consumption. If everyone in the U.S. who washes their car themselves
took just one visit to the car wash we could save nearly 8.7 billion
gallons of water.
PLASTIC BAGS SUCK
Each year the U.S. uses 84 billion plastic bags, a significant portion
of the 500 billion used worldwide. They are not biodegradable, and are
making their way into our oceans, and subsequently, the food chain.
Stronger, reusable bags are an inexpensive and readily available
FLY WITH AN E-TICKET
The cost of processing a paper ticket is approximately $10, while
processing an e-ticket costs only $1. In the near future, e-tickets
will be the only option, saving the airline industry $3 billion a
year. In addition to financial savings, the sheer amount of paper
eliminated by this process is commendable.
DOWNLOAD YOUR SOFTWARE
Most software comes on a compact disc, and more than thirty billion
compact discs of all types are sold annually. That's a huge amount of
waste, not to mention the associated packaging. Another bonus to
downloading your software is that it's often available for download at
a later date when you upgrade to a new computer or are attempting to
recover from a crash.
STOP YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE
Answering machines use energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And
when they break, they're just one more thing that goes into the
landfill. If all answering machines in U.S. homes were eventually
replaced by voice mail services, the annual energy savings would total
nearly two billion kilowatt-hours.
SKIP THE COFFEE STIRRER
year, Americans throw away 138 billion straws and stirrers. But
skipping the stirrer doesn't mean drinking your coffee black. Simply
put your sugar and cream in first, and then pour in the coffee, and it
should be well mixed.
to stir? Break off a piece of pasta from the cupboard. You can nibble
after using it, compost, or throw away with less guilt
FIND A BETTER WAY TO BREAK THE ICE
When a big winter storm heads our way, most of us use some sort of ice
meter to treat steps and sidewalks. While this makes the sidewalks
safer for people, it may pose a hazard for pets who might ingest these
products. Rock salt and salt-based ice-melting products can cause
health problems as well as contaminate wells and drinking water. Look
for a pet-safe de-icer, readily available in many stores.
SWABS WITH A PAPERBOARD SPINDLE
Some brands of cotton swabs have a paperboard spindle while others are
made of plastic. If 10% of U.S. households switched to a paperboard
spindle, the petroleum energy saved per year would be equivalent to
over 150,000 gallons of gasoline.
PAY BILLS ONLINE
By some estimates, if all households in the U.S. paid their bills
online and received electronic statements instead of paper, we'd save
18.5 million trees every year, 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases, and 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste.
STOP PAPER BANK STATEMENTS
Some banks will pay you a dollar or donate money on your behalf when
you cancel the monthly paper statements you get in the mail. If every
household took advantage of online bank statements, the money saved
could send more than seventeen thousand recent high school graduates
to a public university for a year.
USE RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES
year 15 billion batteries produced and sold and most of them are
disposable alkaline batteries. Only a fraction of those are recycled.
Buy a charger and a few sets of rechargeable batteries. Although it
requires an upfront investment, it is one that should pay off in no
time. And on Christmas morning when all the stores are closed? You'll
be fully stocked.
Take what you've learned, and pass the knowledge on to others. If
every person you know could take one small step toward being greener,
the collective effort could be phenomenal.