• Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

  • Use both sides of a sheet of paper.

  • Use a cloth shopping bag and save the paper and plastic use for disposable bags.

  • Use a mug, rather than disposable cups, whenever you can.

  • Recycle everything you can: newspapers, cans, glass, aluminum containers and foil, motor oil, scrap metal, etc.

  • Seek out local recycling centers that take items your curbside recycling service will not pick up (scrap paper, plastics, appliances, etc.)

  • Save your kitchen scraps for the compost pile.

  • Use phosphate-free laundry and dish soaps.

  • Wash full loads rather than partial loads. Washing machines use 30 to 60 gallons of water for each cycle.

  • Install a clothes line in your backyard and let your clothes dry naturally.

  • If you must, dry clothes for 10 minutes in the dryer, pull out the items that can go on hangars and hang them on your shower curtain rod. The remaining clothes dry faster and the others air dry
    wrinkle-free and last longer.

  • Use recycled and rechargeable batteries. Disposable batteries contain toxic chemicals and manufacturing them takes about 50 times as much energy as the batteries produce.

  • Use old clothing and sheets for dusting and cleaning rags.

  • Avoid the use of household pesticides.

  • Clean your windows with vinegar and water instead of chemical products.

  • Replace paper products like paper towels and napkins with reusable cloth versions.

  • Make more foods from scratch, pasta, breads, yogurt, granola, cookies and salad dressings, with friends. Save money and unnecessary packaging by buying bulk ingredients, and have fun making
    tastier, healthier food.

  • For take-out food and drinks, carry a mug and plastic container in your tote bag, backpack or car. Many places give discounts on drinks if you bring your own mug.

  • Crumpled-up newspapers are great for washing windows.

  • Don't put hazardous substances down your drain or in your trash (paint, bleach, paint thinner, furniture polish, gasoline, etc.)

  • Re-use brown paper bags to line your trash can instead of plastic liners. Re-use bread bags, butter tubs, etc.

  • Store foods in reusable containers rather than plastic wraps and foil.

  • Save bottles and jars after use for storing small household items (pins, rubber bands, thread,) hardware (nails, screws, bolts,) or office supplies (staples, pencils, paper clips, etc.)

  • Reuse is a big part of the solution for tackling our waste problem. For example, think of repairing your shoes, bike or knapsack rather than buying new ones.

  • Recycle and stichy your clothes. Give old, no longer worn items to charity and thrift shops.

  • Have a clothes swap with friends and neighbors. Learn how to sew and darn repairable items.

  • Take unwanted, reusable items to a charitable organization or thrift shop.

  • If you can, buy up as much land around your property, so the developers can't get at it, and leave it be.

  • Don't try to make your property look like a French garden, but try to allow Mother Nature to do what she does best.

  • Don't pave your driveway with asphalt, use stones. Crushed stones, besides being cheaper, allows moisture and air easier access to the ground (where most of nature's chemical breakdown takes place.)

  • Don't think of your property as if it were your virtual playground, but as a integral part of our planet's ecosphere.

Household Cleaners

Many household products are hazardous
materials. Examples include paint and paint thinners, oven and drain
cleaners, mothballs, floor and furniture polish, antifreeze, rug and
upholstery cleaners, and pesticides. There are organic alternatives to
many toxic household products.

Instead of: Use:
ammonia-based cleaners baking soda & water
abrasive cleaners half a lemon in borax
floor/furniture polish 1 part lemon to 2 parts olive oil
silver cleaner boiling water, baking soda, salt, and a piece of aluminum
toilet cleaner baking soda and a toilet brush
disinfectants 1/2 cup borax in 1 gallon of water
drain cleaners 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of vinegar in boiling water
rug/upholstery cleaner dry cornstarch
mothballs cedar chips, lavender flowers
oil-based paints latex or water-based paints
furniture stripper sandpaper
dish washing soaps
ash and coconut fibre

Buy only what you need of these hazardous
materials and use them up so you won't have to worry about wastes. If
you do have excess, dispose of it properly.

What you can do in your garden gardening

  • Grow wildflowers and herbs that encourage beneficial insects.

  • Use organic methods of pest control. For example, put a mixture of soap and water on plants to fight garden insects). If every lawn owner did this, 2.5 to 5 million pounds of toxic chemicals would be
    removed from the environment every year.

  • Plant native grass, shrubs and trees in your yard. Trees not only provide food and animal shelter for birds and other creatures, they also provide shade and filter the carbon dioxide in the air. Since
    they are used to the local environment, they require less care (meaning
    less water and pesticides).

  • Feed the birds.

  • Put up bird houses and baths.

  • Pull weeds instead of using herbicides.

  • Learn about natural insect controls as alternatives to pesticides.

  • Ignore caterpillars and most native leaf chewing insects. Let birds and insect predators take care of them.

  • Use beer traps for slugs instead of baiting with poisons.

  • Is your lawn larger than it needs to be? Consider returning a portion of it back to its natural state. Birds and wildlife will appreciate it.

  • Leave your grass clippings on the lawn instead of in a garbage bag.

  • Use a push mower for your lawn instead of a gas or electric mower. It's good exercise and saves energy.

  • Plan landscaping to create shade in the summer and warmth in the winter.

  • Water your lawn or garden early in the day to avoid excessive evaporation. Watering deeply and infrequently instead of sprinkling makes better use of water.

  • Use soaker hoses and drip irrigation for the most efficient watering.

  • Use organic fertilizers. Simple manure helps condition your soil and fertilizes at the same time.

  • If you use pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, don't throw leftovers in trash, down your drain or into a storm sewer.

  • Compost your leaves and yard debris or take them to a yard debris recycler. Burning them creates air pollution and putting them out with the trash is a waste of landfill space.

  • Use mulch to conserve water in your garden.

  • Plant things that don't require so much water.

  • Take extra plastic and rubber pots back to the nursery.

  • Large expanses of lawn are not good habitat for other creatures and they usually must be maintained with chemicals and extensive watering. Dig up some of your grass and plant native shrubs or
    trees instead.

  • Plant short, dense shrubs close to your home's foundation to help insulate against cold.

  • Start a compost pile.

Compost those leaves

People throw away approximately 24
million tons of leaves and grass a year; so much that leaves alone
account for 75% of the solid waste in the fall. For a green alternative
to throwing away your leaves and organic kitchen garbage, try

70% of the lawn and kitchen garbage create is compostable. Why
not put this waste to work for you? By composting, you'll help the
environment by reducing solid waste and help yourself by producing a
compost for you garden. In fact, compost beds both inhibit weed growth
and improve soil, so you'll also be keeping your yard and soil healthy.

How to compost:

  • Start with a six inch layer of sticks and twigs to circulate air beneath the pile.

  • Add a layer of dry organic materials (leaves, grass clippings).

  • Add a layer of organic kitchen waste.

  • Continue steps 2 and 3 until pile is at least 3 feet high.

  • After 6-12 months, the compost is ready to be used in the garden.

u can save water faucet

  • Don't leave any water running needlessly. Wash dishes with a basin of water rather than under a running faucet.

  • Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth. If you just wet and rinse your brush instead of letting the water run, you will save 9 gallons of water each time you brush. When shaving, filling the
    basin instead of letting the water run will save 14 gallons of water.

  • Use a bucket rather than a hose for washing the car.

  • Install a water saving shower head. Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators are available from most hardware stores. Installing a low-flow shower head reduces the flow of water by 50%. Energy use and
    costs may also drop by as much as 50%, because it requires less energy
    to heat less water. A low-flow faucet aerator combines air with water as
    it comes out of the tap. An aerator can cut water consumption by 50%,
    which cuts water use by 280 gallons a month.

  • Make a habit of turning on the cold water tap, rather than the hot one, whenever possible.

  • Make sure water faucets don't drip. A dripping tap can waste two gallons of water (nine liters) every minute.

  • Install low-flow shower heads to use less hot water.

  • If you have to water your lawn, doing so in the early morning can save gallons from disappearing into thin air, since water from sprinklers evaporates 4-8 times faster at midday than in the early

  • Use cold water for the wash cycle whenever possible and always use it for rinses. As much as 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes goes to heating water.

  • Check your toilets for leaks. A leaking toilet can waste over 7,000 gallons (33,000 liters) of water every month!

  • Flushing your toilet uses up to 7 gallons of water. 40% of the pure water in your home is flushed down the toilet. Of course you have to flush your toilet, but you don't have to waste this much water
    while doing it. Simply put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank to take
    up space that would go to excess water. This can save 1 to 2 gallons on
    every flush! Follow these steps:

    • get a dishwashing soap bottle or a laundry soap bottle
    • soak off the label fill the bottle with water and put on the cap
    • place it in the tank (make sure it doesn't interfere with the flushing mechanism)

  • Toilet dams are also available from some companies. Although they are a little more complicated to install, they can save 4 gallons every flush.
What you can do in your school bus

  • Use scrap paper for informal notes to yourself and others.

  • Print and photocopy only when necessary, only the number you really need, using both sides of the paper.

  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • Don't open outside windows for more than a few minutes when the outside temperature will trigger heating or cooling.

  • When buying school supplies, purchase reusable products. A solar calculator, refillable pen or pencil will last longer than disposable supplies and will produce less waste.

  • Help your co-students learn how to carpool to school.

  • Reuse is a big part of the solution for tackling our waste problem. For example, think of repairing your shoes, bike or knapsack rather than buying new ones.

  • The Environmental Choice Ecologo was created to help consumers find products which ease the burden on the environment. When doing your school shopping, look for paper with the three doves Ecologo.

  • On average, a family uses 13 shopping bags a week. Carry a reusable cloth bag when you go shopping to reduce the number of plastic and paper bags that are thrown out each year.

  • Encourage prioritize vegetarian diets instead of meat diets in the cafeterias.

  • Pack a green lunch at school! A thermos for hot soups, a refillable beverage container, and a reusable sandwich container will reduce the amount of waste you throw away. Less garbage means less waste
    going to landfills.

  • Need a new wardrobe for back to school? Why not swap your clothes with a friend or siblings -- you'll get a new wardrobe and keep usable clothes out of the landfill.

  • You can help reduce waste by sending the clothes you have outgrown to a local charity instead of the landfill.
What you can do in your office

  • Make your workplace environmentally sound. Establish a green team to assess your company's social and
    environmental responsibility policies and incorporate environmental

  • Encourage your workplace to purchase from green vendors.

  • Use staples, paper clips and white glue rather than more toxic adhesives. Use soy-based inks and chlorine-free paper.

  • Keep plants in your office. They help cleanse the air.

  • Make environmental education a priority at every level of the organization.

  • Start an office recycling program for office and computer paper, cardboard, etc. and educate the staff to its purpose and uses.

  • Use recycled paper for printing, photocopies, stationery and business cards.

  • Use scrap paper for informal notes to yourself and others.

  • Print and photocopy only when necessary, only the number you really need, using both sides of the paper.

  • Turn on PC printers only when needed and turn them off after completing the task.

  • When using computers, use less paper. Get into the habit of seeing and proofing everything on-screen before you print.

  • Turn off PCs when leaving the area for an extended time, especially at the end of the business day.

  • Buy only toner cartridges (for printers and photocopiers) that are recyclable and never throw those away. Many toner manufacturers give a rebate for returned and recycled toner cartridges.

  • Use smaller paper for smaller memos.

  • Save and reuse whatever packaging material comes with your computer boxes and accessories.

  • Minimize use of plastic styrofoam. It takes over 500 years for styrofoam to break down in a landfill.

  • Re-use manila envelopes and file folders.

  • Hide the disposable cups and train people to bring reusable mugs to meetings and lunch. Many beverage vending machines will also accept a reusable mug in place of the machine's cups.

  • Route things around the office or post less urgent communications on bulletin boards rather than making multiple copies.

  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • Most businesses use fluorescent lights which do save energy, but they often leave them on when not needed. Switch off lights whenever they are not needed. Take advantage of natural daylight
    whenever possible.

  • Keep lights off in copier rooms, conference rooms, and storage areas until light is actually needed.

  • Clean or replace air conditioning filters once a month.

  • Office air conditioners are often set too cold. If there is a controllable thermostat in your work area, set it for minimum energy use -- 68 degrees Fahrenheit / 20 Centigrade in the winter; 78 degrees
    Fahrenheit / 25.6 Centigrade in the summer.

  • Don't open outside windows for more than a few minutes when the outside temperature will trigger heating or cooling.

  • Switch off your computer monitor when not in use or at lunch time.

  • Use electronic mail instead of paper.

  • Minimize travel and meetings wherever practical by using electronic mail, telephone, voice mail, and fax. (Small amounts of fax paper are often less destructive than burning gasoline.)

  • Help your co-workers learn how to carpool to work, and when using company cars or company-rented cars.


  • Put a plastic beverage container filled with water in your toilets' water tanks to save water and money. (People have used bricks for the same purpose but some bricks will erode and harm your plumbing.)
    Adjust the size of the container until the right amount of water is

  • Arrange for your office cleaning people to use environmentally friendly cleaning products.

  • Tinted glass, venetian blinds and curtains will save energy and reduce air conditioning costs.

  • Office building landscape need not be limited to sterile lawns and bedding plants. Plant trees and shrubs that birds will like.

  • Put a bird feeder outside your office window. It's a great conversation piece

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Comment by Shriranjani . L . Iyer on December 5, 2010 at 12:09pm
Frankly most of these are from an organistion I work with !
Comment by Jay אריה משה on September 18, 2010 at 10:20pm
Good job! You must have spent a lot of time compiling this list!
Comment by Natalie Lerman <3 on August 16, 2010 at 10:29pm
These are ahmazinggg tips!!! You are a huge help to this site! Keep up the fantastic work!
Comment by Emily Angelise on August 12, 2010 at 6:51pm
Wow I told my neighbor (she loves to garden) about what she can do to make her garden better for the environment. I told my mother what she can do for her office and I will try to make my school experience a little more green. Thanks for these great ways to help the Earth! You Rock!!!


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