50 Tips for Going Green to Celebrate Earth Day

April 21st, 2011

Until a few years ago, the term Going Green didn't mean much; today it's a standard by which many of us try to live our lives. Going Green is not all or nothing, it simply involves the choices you make in how you live on a day-to-day basis, and you'll be surprised at the impact it makes on the environment, and in many cases, your wallet too. Additionally, Going Green means bringing back traditions that your parents and their parents used to do, so if these tips below aren't enough, ask them! The positive impact you can make on the environment by implementing even a few of these will be profound if everyone joins the cause. Without further adieu, on to the tips: 1. Plant a Tree - It's good for the air, can keep you cool and can increase your property value. 2. Don't Pre-Heat the Oven - Unless needed, just turn the oven on after you put the dish in it. Also, to see if it's finished, just look through the glass instead of opening it. 3. Adjust Your Thermostat - Every degree lower in the winter or higher in the summer is a 10% decrease on your energy bill.  4. Stop Paper Bank Statements - Why waste paper getting your bank statement mailed to you when you can just check it out online. 5. Use Rechargeable Batteries - Even though it will take a good investment to buy these, you will find yourself gaining your investment back in no time. 6. Purchase Local Produce - Consider how much energy it takes to ship the produce around the country or the world. If you have the option to buy local, do it. 7. Energy Efficient Windows - Installing the right windows in your house can reduce energy consumption and energy costs. 8. Reusable Bags - Next time you are at the gas station or local retailer, tell them you don't need a bag for your purchase or bring your own reusable one. 9. Use Less Napkins - When dining out, only take napkins you will use. Too many people throw away unused napkins when they are done eating out. 10. Donate Food - Go through your pantry once a month and collect what you will not use that will be expiring soon. Donate the food to a local food pantry or homeless shelter. 11. Change to Fluorescent Bulbs - If every house in the United States changed all of their light bulbs to fluorescent bulbs in their house, it would be equivalent to taking one million cars off the streets.  12. Don't Rinse - Skip rinsing your plates before putting them into the dishwasher. On average you will save 15 gallons of water per load. Plus, you will save time. 13. Hang Clothes Outside to Dry - Get a clothesline or rack to dry your clothes. Your clothes will last longer and you will save money. 14. Turn Off Computers at Night - You will save an average of four cents a day which adds up to $14.60 a year. Even better, unplug electronics before you go to bed at night to save even more. 15. Use Both Sides of Paper - If you have a printer with a double sided print option then you should use it. You will save half of the amount of paper you would have normally used. Then when you're done, take it to the recycle bin. 16. Get Rid of Baths - Instead of baths take showers. On average you will save about half the amount of water that you would have if you were taking a bath. 17. Don't Get Bottled Water - Instead of bottled water, get a reusable container to carry your water. Also, you can get a filter to make your home tap taste more like bottled water.  18. Turn the water off when you brush your teeth or shave. 19. Shorten Your Shower - Every minute you cut from your shower is roughly 5 gallons of water. 20. Recycle Glass - If you do not recycle glass, it will take a million years to decompose. 21. Use the Warm or Cold Setting on the Washer - instead of the hot cycle. This will save a lot of energy each year. 22. Turn Off Your Lights - when you are not using them, especially in the daytime when you can simply open a window. 23. Get Rid of Junk Mail - There are many services that can help you get rid of junk mail responsibly. That will lead to a lot less trees being cut down to take up room in your mailbox. 24. Use Matches Instead of Lighters - Lighters are usually considered disposable so they will most likely end up in landfills. Instead, use the cardboard matches which are much more eco-friendly because they are made of recycled material. 25. Don't Get a Paper Phone Book - Instead of getting a paper phone book, use an online directory instead. 26. Give Things Away - Take things that you are not going to wear or use and give it to a charity or someone who will use it. Post it at craigslist.com or freecycle.org. Especially during this recession, there are many families in need of items you may be throwing away. 27. Go To a Car Wash - Going to a car wash is a lot more water efficient then washing your car at home. 28. Pay Your Bills Online - If every house in the US did this, we would save 18 million trees every year. 29. Get a Reusable Bag - You can't recycle plastic bags, instead get yourself a reusable bag so that you won't have to worry about carrying your groceries. 30. Do Errands in Bulk - Make a list of the things you have to do and see if you can fit a couple of those things together in one ride. 31. Inflate Your Tires - If your tires are inflated to their recommended levels at all times your fuel efficiency will increase. 32. Wrap Presents Creatively - Without going out to get wrapping paper, you can use newspaper or an old map. Just get creative! 33. Walk or Ride Your Bike When You Can - If you have to go somewhere close, consider riding your bike or walking there instead of your car. It's better on the environment and healthier. 34. Install Solar Panels, Fuel Cells, or Wind Turbines - Produce renewable energy for your home or business. Many states offer tax credits. 35. Install a Water Runoff System - Collect runoff from rain and reuse it to water your landscape or garden. 36. Buy Hybrids or Electric Vehicles - When buying your next vehicle, consider fuel efficiency or an electric option. Prices are dropping for these eco technologies. 37. Get a Recycle Bin - Place a recycle bin next to your trash. If your trash service does not take recyclables, find a recycling center near you. 38. Reuse - Find items around your house to use in art projects or redecorating. There are many creative ways to reuse. 39. Reupholster Furniture - Find a company to reupholster your furniture instead of buying new. You're current furniture may be built better than newer furniture and will save you money while giving your room a new look. 40. Plan Your Meals - Cook only what your family will consume or make enough for leftovers. Avoid throwing away food. Consider the amount of energy it takes to get all those items on your plate. Fertilizers, fuel for growing and harvesting, fuel to transport to your local grocer, fuel to drive to and from the store and fuel to cook your food. 41. Use Towels or Cloth Napkins - Clean up your mess with a cloth towel instead of paper towels. Use cloth napkins while dining at home instead of paper towels. 42. Buy Cloth Diapers - It may be messier and more of a hassle, however, a newborn will use close to 3,000 diapers in their first year of life. 43. Buy Green - When considering purchases of similar products, go with the company with a green initiative. 44. Alternative Transportation - Plan your next vacation using a train rather than a plane. Trains use less fuel per person than a plane and can be cheaper. 45. Public Transportation - If you live near a subway or bus stop, use it instead of your car. Also consider the health benefits of walking.  46. Are They Open? - If you think a store might be closed, make a phone call or check online first before driving there. 47. Condiments - When the cashier at a restaurant asks if you would like condiments, tell them how many packets of the condiment you need rather than being given more than is needed. 48. Avoid Paper/Plastic Plates/Cups/Silverware – Use reusable utensils and dish-ware to save on resources. 49. Stop Smoking - It takes energy and resources to grow, manufacture, package and ship tobacco. Plus cigarette butts take time to decompose, filling our landfills. 50. Grow Your Own Food - Build a garden. No fuel needed to transport across the country or the world. Besides, it just tastes better and costs less. How many of these are you already doing? More importantly, how many do you plan on incorporating into your life? Please add your tips in the blog comments below or on Facebook. With an established commitment to Going Green, IOGEAR wants to reward you for the choices you make, and give you a chance to win a $50 prize! Currently IOGEAR has planted 400,000 trees, nearly half way to their goal of 1 million trees to help better our environment. We need your help to plant many more trees. Entering the sweepstakes is simple and IOGEAR will plant trees because of it, so what are you waiting for, enter today.



About the Author

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IOGEAR enjoys long walks on the beach and romantic getaways. While not traveling, IOGEAR enjoys a great game of shuffle board whilst playing the banjo.