Get Involved! It's up to us to save our planet, so get involved in an environmental organization. Check with your local zoo, chamber of commerce, or an environmental publication to find one that's right for you. Be an Environmentally Conscious Consumer! You can cast your vote to save the environment each time you open your wallet. Buy products that use recycled materials and less packaging. Buy products in bulk. And try never to buy single use/disposable items.
Check Your Bulbs! Don't waste energy by using a light bulb that has higher wattage than needed. You can also save energy and money by installing more efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs and turning them off when you're not in the room.
Get Rid of Hazardous Waste Safely! Batteries, antifreeze, pesticides, paint, paint thinners, drain cleaners, mothballs, and many other household products are considered hazardous waste, so don't pour them down the drain or throw them in the trash. Contact your municipal waste facility or local government information center to find out how to dispose of hazardous substances properly. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle! From newspaper, to egg cartons, to organic materials such as leaves and yard clippings, lots of things can be recycled. Even coffee grounds can be used as fertilizer for some plants. So don't throw away what you can use again!
Save Water by Checking the Location of Your Sprinklers! Save water by not watering your driveways or sidewalks. Make sure sprinklers are properly located and are turned to a moderate level. And water your lawn in the evening to prevent evaporation.
Supermarket Tip! Here's a tip on how you can exercise your Power as an environmentally concerned consumer: avoid single-serving and multi-pack food items. Their excessive packaging is extremely wasteful. Buy food in bulk and store it in resealable containers. And of course, bring your own reusable bag to carry home your groceries, or ask for papers bags rather than plastic. If you do get plastic, be sure to recycle it.
Camp Safely! If you're planning a camping or hiking trip into the wilderness, pay attention to how you clean up. Try washing with soapless hot water and sand -- even the mildest soap puts a strain on the environment. If you do use soap, use a biodegradable one. Since there are no bathrooms, be sure to dig your latrine as far as possible from water sources to avoid contamination. Remember, your campsite belongs to others, too (like animals and plants). Leave the site as you found it - or better!
Non-toxic Alternative! Instead of using a commercial drain cleaner, which is highly toxic, you can use a solution of baking soda and vinegar to take care of a drain clog. Simply pour a handful of baking soda down the drain followed by a half a cup of vinegar. Cover the drain with a heavy pot or stopper, as this will force the pressure down and clear the clog instead of allowing the mixture to fizz up out of the drain.
Choose Air-Friendly Products - Many products you use in your home, in the yard, or at the office are made with smog-forming chemicals that escape into the air. Here are a few ways to put a lid on products that pollute:
- Select products that are water-based or have low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Use water-based paints. Look for paints labeled "zero-VOC."
- Paint with a brush, not a sprayer.
- Store solvents in air-tight containers.
- Use a push or electric lawn mower.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Replace energy hungry incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lighting.
- Replace switches in rooms with low use with occupancy sensors that will automatically shut off.
- Check with your utility company for energy conservation tips, like purchasing energy saving appliances.
- Use a thermostat that automatically turns off the air conditioner or heater when you don't need them.
- Add insulation to your home.
- Use a fan instead of air conditioning.
- Use an EPA-approved wood burning stove or fireplace insert.
- Heat small meals in a toaster oven.
- Insulate your water heater.
- Install low flow showerheads.
- Choose recycled products or products with recyclable packaging.
- Recycle paper, plastics, and metals.
- Reuse paper bags.
- One cup hot beverage appliances
- Purchase Energy Star Appliances only!
- Avoid using leaf blowers and other types of equipment that raise a lot of dust. Use a rake or broom instead.
- Don't smoke. Send smokers outside.
- When possible use earth friendly products.
- Use safer products, such as baking soda instead of harsher chemical cleaners.
- Don't heat your home with a gas-cooking stove.
- Have your gas appliances and heater regularly inspected and maintained.
- Clean frequently to remove dust and molds.
- Change out your screens in your HVAC