1. Save Energy
Saving energy reduces pollution and monthly electricity bills! First, turn off or shut down electrical devices, computers and lights when not in use. Second, when looking to buy new major appliances go for energy efficient models - check out Energy Star and Greener Choices for efficiency ratings for new purchases, and remember to do simple maintenance to maximize energy savings. Third, switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.
2. Use Less Water
Using less water reduces waste and saves money! The water heater is second only to the heating system in energy usage for the standard home - so turn the water heater down to 120° and wash full laundry loads in cool water. In addition, install low flow showerheads and faucet aerators, and turn the water off when you're shaving or brushing. Lastly, use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water - not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste.
3. Buy Products with Less Packaging
Simply put, less product packaging equals less waste and pollution. Product packaging plays an important role in promoting and influencing buying behavior; however, many products are simply "over-packaged" which wastes resources. With so many similar products crowding store aisles, try choosing one that sports less packaging - you'll find that companies that give careful thought to packaging waste are probably considerate of eco-friendly practices such as pesticide-free agriculture or humane working conditions.
4. Eat Smarter
Reducing the amount of travel your food takes helps save the planet in several ways! Specifically, buying locally grown produce from a greenmarket, farm stand or conscientious supermarket can conserve fuel, reduce pollution, and support your local economy. Organic produce grown nearby doesn't require preservatives and waxing to keep it fresh, so it tastes better. More so, spending the extra money on organic produce will not only keep you from potentially ingesting toxic pesticides, but it's good for the environment. Finally, try balancing your weekly diet with a combination of meat and meatless meals.
5. Rethink your Travel
Do you want to be more productive, healthier and save money? Well try these tips. Look for opportunities in your office to work remotely from home and/or carpool with fellow employees. Try biking or walking to post office and grocery store - you'll save money on gas and burn calories. Finally, go ahead and combine multiple errands into one trip and think about the most efficient route before heading out to avoid busier traffic times.
6. Plant a Tree
Planting a tree provides immediate visual stimulation, self-satisfaction and exercise! Trees help convert pollutants (carbon dioxide) into pure oxygen which helps to reduce global warming. Depending on the type of tree you choose, they offer outdoor spaces a refuge for shade, a welcome to wildlife and a perfect spot for contemplation, meditation or recreation. Try planting a tree as living growth chart for your child or in memory of loved one.
7. Recycle More
Recycling is one of the most environmentally positive things you can do. Here are few creative ideas to keep your trash pile from mounting. First, try taking your used car batteries, antifreeze, and motor oil back to participating mechanics. Next, go ahead and return those plastic bags to the grocery store if you don't reuse them as a bag for trash. Third, donate old cell phones and computers to your favorite charity to help reduce electronic waste in landfills and prevents lead from creeping into soil and water sources. Finally, compost your leftovers and keep your lawn well fed by letting grass-mown clippings lie.
8. Make your own cleaning supplies
There are many cleaning products in the market today to choose from. One secret is that you can actually make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products yourself. Do you have ingredients around the house like baking soda, lemon, vinegar and soap? If yes, you can start making your own cleaning products today and save money, time, and packaging; not to mention your indoor air quality. Baking soda is an abrasive and great for polishing, Vinegar is an acid and works well cutting grease. Try mixing a 1/2 gallon of water with baking soda and soap and you have a soft scrub for bath or kitchen sink cleaning.
9. Borrow instead of buying
Borrowing instead of buying saves money and resources. People like new things, but borrowing from libraries instead of buying personal books saves ink and paper in printing new books. Also, try sharing power tools and other appliances with friends and neighbors - you don't have to own every tool now do you? Another tip, try borrowing movies from that friend with 1000 DVD's, it will save you gas and give you one more thing to chat about together.
10. Wipe your feet
Have you ever thought about what the bottom of your shoes touches throughout the day? Now think about having those shoes touch the carpet and flooring you and your children walk on - not healthy. The simplest idea is to not allow people to walk through your house with shoes on; however, if you like wearing your flip-flops everywhere, try placing a rug or mat near door entries to wipe off shoes. This will help reduce the amount of dirt or grime tracked in, leading to fewer pathogens that cause disease and less chemical cleanup. It also improves indoor air quality by reducing embedded dirt in carpet that becomes airborne when tromped or vacuumed.