Happy Earth Day, everyone! In honor of our beautiful planet, here’s a list of 30 simple ideas to “green” up your life and reduce your environmental impact. I’m always amazed at how easy it is to make small changes that can add up to a big global difference. Even if you only adopt a few of these tips, you’ll still be helping to make tomorrow a more beautiful place.
In Your Home
- Switch to reusable market bags for your grocery shopping.
- Replace burnt out light bulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (cfl).
- Install a digital, programmable thermostat.
- In warmer months, use a clothesline instead of a dryer.
- Plant a tree in your yard.
- Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket.
- Use the energy saving settings on your appliances, especially your dishwasher.
- Unplug cell phone and computer chargers from the wall when not in use.
- Fill a plastic bottle with sand or rocks, seal it, and put it in your toilet tank to use less water per flush.
- Make a commitment to have one meat-free meal per week.
- Before you throw something away, ask yourself if it can be used for anything else. Try to give each item (whatever it is) at least two different purposes before putting it in a landfill. Use it up and wear it out!
In Your Car
- Check your tire pressure weekly for proper inflation.
- Make a commitment to walk or bike to places that are within 3 miles of home.
- Start a carpool.
- Telecommute from home to work whenever possible.
- Keep your car tuned up, and when it’s time for a new car, get something more fuel efficient.
In Your Neighborhood and Community
- Spend time in local parks, nature preserves, or beaches.
- Recycle, recycle, recycle!
- Organize a litter patrol to clean up local roads and highways.
- Participate in city clean-up days and green waste pick-ups.
- Plant a garden.
- Start a compost pile.
- Become a guerilla gardener and start seedbombing to beautify abandoned, vacant places. (The kids will love this one!)
- Take the kids to visit a local landfill to learn about what happens to garbage after it leaves our homes.
- Encourage community leaders to adopt energy saving practices in schools and government offices.
In Your Spending
- Switch to paperless billing whenever possible and use your bank’s online bill pay system.
- Shop local farmers markets.
- Opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.
- Before you buy something, consider checking Freecycle first for a used alternative.
- Avoid buying products with heavy packaging.
How do you celebrate Earth Day? Any other tips you’d like to share? Leave your ideas in the comments section!