Conserving Inside your Home:
* Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving.
* Take a shower instead of a bath.
* Install a water-saving shower head.
* Put a water dam or a refilled plastic bottle in your toilet tank to use less water per flush. * Don’t buy dyed toilet or tissue paper. The dyes contribute more toward water pollution.
* Use glass dishes and cups and metal silverware instead of disposable plastic or paper.
* Separate your food waste and other organic materials from the rest of your garbage–recycle and compost.
* Whenever possible, buy returnable bottles and cans.
* Bring home groceries in the fewest number of bags possible or bring bags of your own from previous trips to the store.
* Buy food and other products wrapped in the least amount of packaging possible.
* Shop at farmers’ markets or co-ops that support local farms and low-impact agriculture. Eat more organic foods, they’re good for you and the planet!
* Don’t toss used batteries in the trash. Save them in a box on a shelf and wait for a toxic garbage pick-up.
* Buy rechargeable batteries whenever possible.
* When purchasing appliances, select ones which are most energy and water efficient.
* Buy a front loading washing machine–it uses 40% less water than a conventional machine.
* Always use low-phosphate or phosphate-free cleaning products in clothes washers and dishwashers.
* Avoid unnecessary use of toxic household cleaners there are many safe, eco-friendly ones on the market.
* Switch to fluorescent light bulbs. They last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, produce more light, and are three to four times more efficient. Just using one fluorescent bulb in your home rather than an incandescent bulb will save one ton of coal over the life of the bulb.
* Turn off lights in rooms that not being used.
* Weatherize your house–add insulation to doors, windows, attic floors, and ceilings.
* Use a sweater to keep warm and turn down the thermostat.
* Don’t place lamps or television sets near your air conditioning thermostat.
* Keep your fireplace damper tightly closed except when it is in use.
* Use drapes or thermal curtains to keep heat from escaping through windows.
* Lower your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees.
* Save energy when you go away–turn down the thermostats for air conditioner, furnace, hot water heater.
* Don’t buy tropical wood products. Skip the teak, mahogany, rosewood and ebony, and instead use oak, pine, cherry, birch or maple.
Conserving In your Backyard:
* When gardening, plant vegetation that is suited for your particular climate and environment.
* Adopt a program of integrated pest management to avoid using toxic chemicals.
* Don’t use bug zappers. They indiscriminately kill all insects, both good and bad, they use electricity and they’re not healthy for people.
* Mow your lawn only as it needs it. Set your lawnmower blade high–higher grass retains moisture and needs less water and weeding.
* Use an electric or solar powered mower. Gasoline powered mowers produce as much pollution in an hour as a large automobile traveling 100 miles.
* Don’t wash off sidewalks with water-sweep them clean instead.
* Don’t dump leftover toxic chemicals onto the street where they can get into the sewer.
* Remove part of your grassy lawn and replace it with a native wildflower garden.
* Be responsible for your pets’ health and behavior. Be sure to have them spayed or neutered and keep their shots up-to-date.
* Plant native trees and shrubs: they can lower the indoor temperature by 10 degrees. You’ll use less energy and save money!
* Build a backyard pond. You’ll attract toads and frogs which are the most effective insect-exterminators available and they work for free!
Conserving On the Road:
* Drive a fuel efficient car, and drive it more efficiently: have your car tuned as needed and keep the engine filters clean.
* Install the most efficient tire available on the market. This improves fuel economy by 1 to 3 miles per gallon; make sure your tires are properly inflated.
* Buy a light colored car and have your windows tinted; it will need less air conditioning and be more fuel-efficient.
* Observe the posted speed limits. It’s safer for you and will save you money on fuel.
* Use public transportation, car pool, ride a bike or walk whenever you can.
Remember…You and your family can make a difference!
All of us working together, doing simple things in and around our own homes will add up to a greener world for everyone, including our children and their children.