To counter-balance the effects of this season of excessive consumption, we thought it appropriate to fill your mind with green thoughts and plenty of suggestions for things you can do to REDUCE your consumption.
Of course, this list is just a start. But we suggest you print it off and circle all the ones you’re currently doing. Cross out all the ones that don’t apply (maybe you don’t have a car, or use dry cleaning, for example). Then get out a nice, big highlighter and highlight all the ones you can start taking steps toward handling.
Then put this list on your energy-efficient fridge, and start making things happen!
Of course, the list just starts here, but if you stick this list on your fridge, you’ll have a constant reminder and motivator to make things happen.
For those of you who would consider passing over this with a perfunctory glance, we’ve hidden a secret word within this list to encourage you to read WHOLE thing and literallly fill your mind with ideas about things you can do to make a difference. Send us an email with the secret word and tell us the next three things you’ll do to start making the world a greener place to be, and we’ll send you a special thank you gift!
With no further ado, then, here are some suggestions that prove something can be done about it:
1. Recycle paper and plastics, and inform yourself about local recycling regulations so you can reduce your waste as much as possible.
2. Buy e-books and e-programs as much as possible.
3. Bring your own bags to the grocery store, and if you forget, take paper instead of plastic, which is easier to recycle! Most grocery stores now offer re-usable bags you can purchase at the counter for $1!
4. Shop at second hand stores and make it an adventure! Especially childrens clothing which tends to be outgrown while the clothes themselves are in good shape.
5. Shop close to home and support local merchants and locally produced foods as much as possible
6. Take public transport.
7. Walk, jog, ride a bike, skip or hop instead of taking a car.
8. Turn lights OFF when you leave a room.
9. Take shorter showers.
10. Eat more vegetables.
11. Install a reduced-flow shower head.
12. Clean your fridge coils for better productivity.
13. Visit your local library. There are loads of resources available at local libraries and in this modern age these resources are entirely underused!
14. Take the stairs!
15. Buy bamboo based products for housing and clothing.
16. Stop water flow when you’re washing dishes, teeth, etc.
17. Unplug electronics and appliances when not using them. (Many people don’t realize that even things like cell phone chargers are consuming power when not being used. Keep your sockets empty when not in use and reduce, reduce, reduce!)
18. Wash clothes in cold water.`
19. Check your tire’s air pressure.
20. Buy recycled paper products. (Post-consumer recycled paper requires 44% less energy to produce, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 37% and producing 48% less
21. Cut down on solid waste. Look for post-consumer recycled fiber file folders as well.
22. Swtich to recycled toilet paper. (We can save 5 million trees and 17,000 garbage trucks full of waste by replacing just one 12-roll pack in every household with tissue made from recycled paper.
23. Get a DivaCup instead of standard feminine hygiene products.
24. Print on both sides of paper.
25. If you bake, open the oven after to heat your home.
26. Buy organic fruits and veg, and support sustainable farming as much as possible.
27. Register for Green Energy with your city.
28. Drive under 60mph.
29. Compost! Worms are neat!
30. Use less garbage bags.
31. Steer clear of pesticides on your lawn or garden, and even put a little bug picture or sign stating that you don’t use these things so that others will be inspired to follow suit.
32. Give your car a tune-up, so it drives more efficiently.
33. Convert your car to vegetable-oil based fuel!
34. Avoid buying things in dollar stores that are made for instant disposal.
35. Offer gifts that come from the heart. Natural crafts, homemade cards, or wild flowers, love letter.
36. Announce to your family that Christmas gifts will be from the heart this year!
37. Seal your home. In the winter, some people put plastic along the windows
to better insulate the house.
38. Eat foods in season and as locally grown as possible.
39. Start an eco-challenge!
40. Sign up for online, paperless banking and paperless statements from phone companies, etc.
41. Cancel phone book delivery.
42. Install a ceiling fan to promote heat circulation.
43. Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
44. Support conservation agencies and donate to a green cause! We love Greenpeace!
45. Use a power strip (when in the “off” position, they don’t consume energy.)
46. Don’t charge your cell phone overnight.
47. Get involved in green politics.
48. Use a push lawn mower.
49. Buy plants, lots of them!
50. Grow indoor sprout gardens.
51. Buy products made from recycled materials.
52. Support eco-sensitive home decorations. Go for water-based and low toxic paints.
53. Go bulk, and bring your own container when you refill on soaps, detergents, etc.
54. When moving, pillage the local supermarkets and liquor stores for boxes instead of buying moving boxes.
55. Plant a garden, even an indoor herb garden! Anything!
56. Buy glass storage containers for food, instead of plastic, or even better, use old jars from pasta sauce (grab them off your neighbors if you don’t use them yourself!)
57. Rewash your Ziploc bags, if you use them.
58. Regularly do the fridge tour to reduce unnecessary waste of fruits and vegetables. Better yet, meal plan and buy accordingly.
59. Use rechargeable batteries.
60. Bring a lunch in reusable containers.
61. Avoid buying food with excessive packaging by buying fresh as much as possible.
62. Fix those drippy taps which can waste up to 50L of water per day.
63. Donate clothes, furniture, extra paint, etc. to charity.
64. Support organic cotton designers and ecologically conscious, ethical fashion!
65. The fuller your freezer the less energy it uses. Freeze those extra bananas!
66. Spend more time outside. (So you remember what we’re trying to protect!)
67. Install dimmer switches in your home.
68. Use organic beauty products.
70. Never leave your car idling.
71. Go vegetarian or vegan. If you do feel best with meat in your diet, support organic or ethical-ecological meat producers.
72. Use aromatherapy, instead of synthetics for perfume and body care.
73. Trade: ebay.com, craigslist.org, freecycle.org
74. Use concentrated, biodegradable and ecologically friendly soaps.
75. Pick up litter when you see it.
76. Find a Green Mutual Fund.
77. Buy fresh and dried herbs in bulk to make your herbal teas, or better yet, grow them yourself in pots in your house.
78. Investigate eco-architecture and sustainable housing.
79. Use toxin-free traps if you’ve got critters.
80. Climb a mountain and look out at the world. Hold a vision of a civilization without war, criminality or insanity. Think green thoughts!
81. Go LCD: An LCD flat panel uses as little as a third of the electricity of conventional tube-based models, saving you on power bill the equivalent of leaving a 50- watt bulb on all year. LCD’s use half as much energy as plasma TV’s.
82. Cook less. Eat more raw food meals and keep your food choices as local as possible.
83. Hang your clothes to dry!
84. Use greener cleaning productsers. Good ol’ baking soda with a splash of essential oils goes a looong way!
85. Avoid buying dry-clean only clothes. If you do dry-clean: bring your own garment bag and find a green dry-cleaner.
86. Skip the dry cycle on your dishwasher, or wash by hand.
87. Shut your computer down for the weekend. Just turn that thing OFF!
88. Go veggie oil for your car!
89. Join a food co-op. Did I say “co-op”? That’s the secret word: co-operation. It’s the only way we really can make a difference out there is when we work together to make things go right!
90. Buy used books or join a book-swapping club.
91. Avoid buying plastic water bottles and get your own re-usable water jug! www.greenpowerjug.com
92. Remove your name from junk mail lists.
93. Avoid Styrofoam peanuts and use shredded paper, instead.
94. Avoid packaged supplements, buy the real thing in fruit and veggie markets.
95. Install Energy-Efficient, double-pane windows
96. If you have a pet, buy organic pet food.
97. Buy energy efficient appliances.
98. Recycle your electronics. Anything with a screen: computers, cellphones, etc. Electronicrecyclers.com
99. Make your own baby food! All those little glass jars and containers make for an enormous amount of energy consumption.
Remember to print this list and put it in a place where you will constantly be reminded to implement more and more conscious choices about your consumption.
Oh, and just for the sake of even numbers:
100: Skip the wrapping paper and excessive ribbons. Find a roll of recycled paper. use old magazines and newspapers and get creative when wrapping your consumer-conscious gifts this year!