Go Green Ideas

 

Here are some ideas we found to help you Go Green. Have an idea of your own?
Click here to read other listener ideas and submit your own.

 

Go Green with your Landscaping: Watering lawns, gardens and landscapes in the U.S. adds up to 8 billion gallons of water every day. If you must water, only water once a week and give it a good soak early in the morning or after the sun goes down. Check the forecast andlet Mother Nature handle the chore for you!

Go Green with your Electronics: That standby light on your electric toothbrush charger, stereo system, and or computer adds about $70 a year to your electric bill and creates up to 190 pounds of unnecessary greenhouse gases. Instead of leaving the tv, coffee maker or batterycharger plugged in to consume power when it’s not being used; put all of those electronics on a power strip and turn off and on when you need them. (Fact Source: page 42 of the book, “True Green.”)

Go Green with your Laundry: Did you know that electric clothes dryer generates more thank 6.5 pounds of greenhouse gases per load? A solar clothes dryer – a clothesline-, on the otherhand, generates none! If it rains consider it nature’s fabric softener. (Fact Source: page 30 of the book, “True Green.”)

Go Green with your Painting: It’s true! Indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air; with conventional paints being the main contributor of the unhealthy air. Buy natural paints, stains and finishes, or water based paints. They’re better for the environment and better for you! (Fact source: page 37 of the book, “True Green.”)

Go Green in the Shower: If you spend more than five minutes in the shower you’re wasting water. If your showers are ten minutes or longer you could waste enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool while creating 2,200 extra pounds of carbon dioxide emissions just from the energy used to heat the hot water. Cut your shower time in half from 10 to 5 minutes and you’ll save more than 4,200 gallons of water a year and lower your utility bill too! (Fact source: page 16 of the book, “True Green.”)

Go Green with your Trash: It’s a fact, the United States is the world’s most wasteful society; on the average every person generates 4.5 pounds of trash per day. To cut down on all that garbage we can simply extend the life cycle of the products we use. Can that wrapping paper be saved? That machine fixed, that container refilled or that pair of shoes be repaired? Ask those questions before you throw away and you’ll help to save 236 Million Tons of solid waste to the landfill each year! (Fact source: page 13 of the book, “True Green.”)

Go Green with your Water Usage: Did you know the average American family uses 102, 000 gallons of water every year and that toilets use the most water in the home? 9,000 gallons of water per person a year to be exact! If you don’t have one of those new high efficiency toilets, do your part to conserve water by filling one or two empty plastic soda bottles with water and place in your toilet tank. You’ll save water and recycle the bottles at the same time. You can save about one third of your water in the tank this way - that's 3,000 gallons of water per person!! (Fact source: the book “True Green” page 18.)

Go Green with your Home: Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer. You’ll save 2000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $98 per year. For more, visit www.biggreenpurse.com.

Go Green with your Car: You can help stop global warming by changing your air filter. Check your car's air filter monthly – when it’s dirty, change it. You’ll Save 800 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $130 per year. For more, visit www.biggreenpurse.com.

Go Green with your Cleaning Supplies: Many common cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals that impact our health and the environment in three ways: when they're manufactured, when they're used, and when they're thrown away. You can buy alternative, eco-safe cleansers, or you can make your own. Water, plus a little baking soda, vinegar, and plant-based soap, will clean up almost every surface in your home. For more, visit www.biggreenpurse.com.

Go Green with Your Fertilizer: Every 40-pound bag of synthetic lawn fertilizer is manufactured with the fossil fuel equivalent of 3 gallons of gasoline. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, are often recycled biproducts such as corn meal, animal manure, fish emulsion or seaweed. For more, visit SafeLawns.org.

Go Green With Your Mower: Gas-powered lawn mowers collectively contribute up to 10 percent of the air pollution in the U.S. Each summer. Electric mowers are far less polluting and the newer reel push mowers don't pollute at all. For more, visit SafeLawns.org.

Go Green in Your Home: Turn off the lights. Turn off lights, tv’s and other electrical appliances when you're not using them. This is a no-brainer, but it's surprising how many times we forget.

Go Green with Appliances: Use your appliances more efficiently. Clothes dryers kept in warm areas work more efficiently. Clear the lint filter after each load, and dry only full loads. And don't forget that hanging clothing outside in the sun and air to dry is the most energy-efficient method of all.

Go Green with Your Car: If every American’s tires were properly inflated we could save approximately 2 BILLION gallons of gas each year, and remember junk in the trunk is only extra weight and lowers your gas mileage.

Go Green with Your Car: Cut driving miles and combine your trips. Each gallon of gas your car burns releases about 22 pounds of atmospheric-warming carbon dioxide. By reducing your driving by just five miles each day you could contribute to keeping tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air.

Go Green with Your Shopping: Carry a reusable tote bag or take bags to the store when you go shopping. There are attractive nylon mesh bags available that can be stored easily in the glove compartment of your car. Also durable canvas bags which take very little space totuck away when not in use.

Go Green with Baby Products: Disposable diapers are made of an outer layer of waterproof polypropylene plastic. Sandwiched in between the plastic layer and water-repellent liner is a thick later of an absorbent, cotton-like material made from wood pulp. It is estimated that 75,000 metric tons of plastic and 1,265,000 tons of wood pulp are used every year to make disposable diapers in the U.S.

About five million tons of dirty diapers are buried in landfills in the U.S. each year and consumers spend at least $100 million annually to dispose of these. Cotton diapers cost about one-fourth of the amount of disposable diapers during the diapering life of the child.

Go Green with Your Household Products: Annually, more than two billion disposable razors were bought in the U.S. alone. Today's disposable razors, made from plastic and steel, can occupy space in the landfill for many years. Invest in a quality razor and change the blade oruse an electric razor.

Go Green with Your Car: More than 200 million tires are discarded each year in the U.S. You can help reduce this amount by buying high-mileage tires and by maintaining proper air pressure in your tires. Remember to check your tire pressure every other time you fillyour tank.

Go Green with Your Paper Products: Minimize the use of paper towels, plates and napkins. Invest in cloth napkins for daily use and use reusable wiping cloths, towels and plates -- not paper "throw aways."

Go Green with Your Batteries: Batteries are recyclable. However, many find their way into landfills or into incinerators where they should not be. Shop for longer-lasting batteries (nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries) as batteries create a problem in disposal.

Go Green with Lighting: Consider replacing your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs can reduce energy usage per light by up to 70%.

Go Green with Furnishings: Vintage and second hand furniture requires no additional resources to manufacture and can be the most green purchase of all. Quality vintage and second had furniture can also have an excellent resale value. Investigate a flea marketor yard sale.

Go Green with Your Materials: Use recycled envelopes and paper that have been processed and colored using eco-friendly practices. Refillable markers and pens are also an eco-friendly choice, rather than disposable ones. Also, recycling printer cartridges is often free of charge and recycled replacements are cheaper than new ones.

Go Green with Water: A leaky toilet can waste up to 90 thousand gallons of water a month and a dripping faucet can use up to 20 gallons. Change the washers on yours sinks and showers or consider new washerless Faucets. Mantainence is the easiest and cheapest way to start conserving water.

Go Green with Gift Giving: A hand made gift or one grown locally has a story to tell; or give something you’ve discovered from your favorite neighborhood shop. You’ll save the environment from the emissions involved in shipping. Wrap your gift usingbrown paper grocery bags, then get artistic and decorate the package yourself.

Go Green with Brown Paper Bags: Instead of ordering new business cards, try this…get a rubber stamp made to include all of your Contact information, cut brown paper grocery bags into business card size then stamp away. It may take effort, but think of the money and trees you will save.

Go Green with Lighting: If you already have energy efficient lighting remember, it doesn’t make sense to have the lights on when no one’s in the room. Turn out lights in rooms or parts of the house that aren’t being used and teach family and friends to follow your lead. Fluorescent light bulbs are another energy saver when it comes to lighting you home.

Go Green with Appliances: Appliances are the second biggest users of energy in your home. When in need of new appliances, look for the most energy-efficient models. Look for the EnergyGuide label and Energy Star rated products.

Go Green with Heating: Try using less hot water by aerating your faucets - they will enhance spray while minimizing your water usage, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater or purchase a new, more energy efficient one.

Go Green with Your Gadgets: Consider getting a solar powered charger for all of your portable electronic devices. Your cell phone, camera, laptop, MP3 player and PDA can all be charged with solar energy.

Go Green with Water: Turn the shower off while soaping up and shampooing, or consider installing water saving, low flow shower heads. Some models feature a “pause button” to let you stop the water while soaping up or shampooing.

Go Green with Lighting: The best source of light is the sun and it’s free. Make the most of daylight by keeping your window blinds open. If building or renovating a home you will benefit by installing as many south facing windows as possible if you live in the northern Hemisphere.

Go Green with Your Wardrobe: Buy vintage or used clothing or donate your old clothing. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! You’ll be giving your unwanted clothes a new life and possibly support charity at the same time.

Go Green with Heating Your Home: A well positioned and slow-rotating fan can help ensure that heat doesn’t drift up to your ceiling but spreads throughout the room.

Go Green with Water: Get drinking water from the tap by attaching a filter to the faucet or use a filtered pitcher Instead of bottled water. Not only is most bottled water more expensive per gallon than gasoline, it is packaged in not so eco-friendly plastic bottles.

Go Green with Your Meals: Grow your own fruits and vegetables. In the window box, garden, or greenhouse. You’ll be surprised what you can “produce” with not a lot of space.

Go Green with Renewable Energy: Your utility company may offer a green power option. Using this program, the local company buys renewable energy (solar power, wind power, etc.) and passes it along to you, their customer. Cost is sometimes a bit higher, butnot much, and it helps support clean, green power supplies.

Go Green with Your Car: Institute a "no idle" rule when waiting to pick up someone from work, school, home or a trip to the store. Turn off your engine while you wait.

Go Green with Water: Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving and always wash a full load of laundry or dishes. When hand washing dishes, fill up the sink – one side with soap for washing, the other side without soap for rinsing.

Go Green with Your Wardrobe: Take care of your clothes. When you get home, change out of work clothes and into your comfy clothes. Don’t do dirty work like check the tire pressure or cook in the Clothes you want to wear in public. Learn how to sew on a button or get the name of a good tailor or seamstress for big jobs.

Go Green with Heating Your Home: Most heat loss occurs through and around windows so draw your drapes, especially at night. During the day leave North facing windows uncovered to take advantage of Winter sunshine. You can buy insulated drapes or line your drapes with old bed sheets or other material.

Go Green with Lighting: Dimmer switches can give you just the right amount of light, timers can be programmed to turn electric powered devices on and off and motion sensors can be a convenient and efficient way to turn on and off lights when needed.

Go Green with Gift Giving: The packaging might be part of the gift itself, or utilize reusable wrapping like gift bags, the comics page in the newspaper, or use a brown paper grocery bag instead of commercial gift wrap.

Go Green with Water: Be alert! Report open hydrants, broken pipes and excessive waste. Don’t be shy about pointing out leaky faucets and drips to your family and friends, they may have tuned out that dripping sound a long time ago.

Go Green at Work: Bring your lunch to work in reusable containers, it’s the healthiest and greenest way to eat at the job. If you order out, place a large order with co-workers and bring in reusable utensils, plates, and napkins.

Go Green with Your Meals: Buying seasonal, local food cuts back on the climate-change impacts of transportation, generally uses less packaging, is fresher and tastier, and supports local growers.

Got a great idea of your own? Want to check out what other Summit listeners are doing to Go Green?
Click here to read and submit Go Green ideas.

True Green - published by National Geographic "True Green" is published by National Geographic. For more information or to order click here.