Do your part, and do it every day. Remember, the accumulation of a lot of little things isn't little. We can all leave a lighter environmental footprint through our everyday actions. Taken directly from the back of the Positively Green cards, here are some simple ways you can help the environment.
- Green Tip #1:
When you're in the market for a new computer, consider a laptop. It saves space, goes anywhere and uses five times less energy than desktop models.
- Green Tip #2:
Instead of sending old rugs to the landfill, check with local animal shelters to see if they can use them. Old towels, blankets and sheets are also appreciated.
- Green Tip #3:
Buy shade grown coffee. It's grown naturally right under the rain forest canopy, preserving forests from clear-cutting and leaving more trees to absorb CO2.
- Green Tip #4:
Start a program where you buy in bulk and share the extras with friends and family. All participants will save money, and reduce packaging and gas costs.
- Green Tip #5:
Take your own reusable coffee mug each time you go get coffee. Think of all the paper cups you'll prevent from ending up in landfills.
- Green Tip #6:
The power of one: If every U.S. home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star bulb, we'd save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year.
- Green Tip #7:
Heroes wanted! Volunteer for a local conservation organization. Volunteers really do make a difference. The place you are in needs you today.
- Green Tip #8:
Washing clothes in cold water eliminates 2 lbs. of CO2 per load. Also, wash clothes less frequently - only when they really need it.
- Green Tip #9:
Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket and you'll eliminate 1,000 lbs. of CO2 a year. Eliminate another 550 lbs. by lowering the thermostat to 120°F.
- Green Tip #10:
During sunny months use a clothesline. Line-drying makes your clothes smell fresh and clean, and can prevent 600 lbs. of CO2 over six months.
- Green Tip #11:
Unplug all electronic devices when not in use. If you don't unplug them from the wall socket, they will continue using energy even when switched off.
- Green Tip #12:
Use power strips to conserve. One flick of the switch cuts off energy to several different electronic devices - as if they were all unplugged at once.
- Green Tip #13:
Buy recycled products. By buying recycled, you'll consume 55% less energy for paper products, 33% less energy for glass and 90% less energy for aluminum.
- Green Tip #14:
Can you figure out how to drive just 10 fewer miles per week this year? If so you'll personally prevent 500 lbs. of CO2 from polluting the atmosphere.
- Green Tip #15:
Use a push mower to cut your lawn. Some old two-stroke gas mowers spew as much pollutants as 40 cars. A push mower is clean and helps keep you in shape.
- Green Tip #16:
Give your car a tune-up. It improves mileage and reduces wear and pollution. Every 100,000 people who get a tune-up this year will eliminated 60 tons of CO2.
- Green Tip #17:
Put green plants in your office. Plants cheer the place up, improve air quality, absorb toxic gasses from office equipment and maintain humidity.
- Green Tip #18:
Landscape with native plants. Native plants typically cost less, use less water, and are easier to care for. Plus, your yard will look right at home.
- Green Tip #19:
Buy a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature while you're at work. A two degree adjustment can prevent a ton of CO2 a year.
- Green Tip #20:
Paying bills online saves time, postage and trees. If everyone switches to online banking, we'll cut 1.6 billion tons of waste and 2.1 million tons of CO2 a year.
- Green Tip #21:
Install rain barrels to collect rainwater from your roof and awnings. Use the rainwater for your garden. Plants love it and you'll conserve water.
- Green Tip #22:
Wash your car at a commercial car wash instead of at home. A modern car wash reuses water and prevents oil and road grime from entering drainage systems.
- Green Tip #23:
For household cleaning, use vinegar, baking soda and biodegradable soap products. They work fine and keep chemicals out of the water supply.
- Green Tip #24:
Don't let your car idle. If stuck in traffic or the drive-thru lane, turn off your engine. Idling cars spew much of the 1.7 billion tons of annual auto emissions.
- Green Tip #25:
Reuse cloth grocery bags. Over 500 billion petroleum-based plastic bags threaten wildlife, waste energy, pollute oceans, and clog our landfills each year.
- Green Tip #26:
Ninety billion pieces of junk mail are delivered each year in the U.S alone. You can go online now and quickly remove your name from nearly all junk mail lists.
- Green Tip #27:
Save energy and increase the life of your computer by putting it to sleep during the day instead of using screensavers. At night turn it off completely.
- Green Tip #28:
Did you boil some corn in a pot, or wash ome fruit in a bowl? Instead of pouring leftover water down the drain, keep it in a watering can for later use on plants.
- Green Tip #29:
Plant shade trees for your house. They will help keep your home cool in the hot weather, absorb CO2 , look beautiful and invite birds and other wildlife.
- Green Tip #30:
Drive green. Save 55 gallons of gas a year and prevent 1,200 lbs. of CO2 by maintaining a steady driving pace and choosing routes with the least idling.
- Green Tip #31:
Flying cross-country produces almost a ton of CO2 emissions per passenger. Instead of flying to your next meeting, participate by teleconference or e-mail.
- Green Tip #32:
Buying Energy Star-certified appliances saves you money, conserves water and energy, and eliminates large amounts of greenhouse gases and pollutants.
- Green Tip #33:
Recycle! If every U.S. citizen recycles half of their annual waste, we'll recycle a 280-million ton mountain of trash - the equivalent of 550 Empire State buildings.
- Green Tip #34:
Install ceiling fans to keep you cool in the summer. When winter rolls around, run the fans in reverse to push warm air down and conserve heat.
- Green Tip #35:
Millions and millions of plastic water bottles end up in landfills each year. Break the habit by switching to filtered tap water and a re-usable container.
- Green Tip #36:
Switching to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) eliminates 300 lbs. of CO2 a year. If everyone switches to CFLs, that's like eliminating 7 million cars from the road.
- Green Tip #37:
Hand wash your dishes. An automatic dishwasher pollutes at the rate of 175 lbs. of CO2 a year. When you do use a dishwasher, air-dry rather than heat-dry.
- Green Tip #38:
Plant lots of trees. Every tree you plant absorbs one ton of CO2 and becomes a life-affirming gift to the birds, your home and your community.
- Green Tip #39:
Properly inflated tires roll easier, last longer, reduce engine wear, improve gas mileage and prevent 250 lbs. of CO2 a year from polluting the atmosphere.
- Green Tip #40:
Use 100% post-consumer copy paper. It saves five pounds of CO2 per ream. A ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees - and those trees absorb 60 lbs. of CO2 a year.
- Green Tip #41:
Support your local farmer by buying locally grown fruits and vegetables. This eliminates fuel emissions caused by long-haul produce trucks, trains or planes.
- Green Tip #42:
Cuddle up this winter. You can eliminate up to 1,000 lbs. of CO2 emissions this year by simply putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat.
- Green Tip #43:
Replace your old toilet with a low-flow version. This conserves 23,000 gallons per year - the equivalent of three swimming pools - for a 4-person household.
- Green Tip #44:
Use reusable containers to pack your lunch. Reusable containers keep disposable plastic bags and packaging out of our landfills, oceans and animal habitats.
- Green Tip #45:
"Green power" is renewable and comes from non-polluting sources such as wind and solar. Check with your utility company to explore your options for signing on.
- Green Tip #46:
Invest 2-3 hours to caulk or weather-strip the leaks around your windows and doors. With $25 in materials you can save $600 in heating costs over four years.
- Green Tip #47:
Your vote counts! We really can save our lakes, rivers, oceans, forests and skies - but only if individuals and government work together. Vote wisely every time.
- Green Tip #48:
Support "green" companies. Look for and purchase from companies that are striving to create environmentally-friendly products and services.