50 Earth-Friendly Ways to Conserve More

  1. Eat Fair Trade chocolate, and support small farmers. Learn more about Fair Trade certification and get a list of Fair Trade products at fairtradecertified.org.
  2. Recycle everything you can. To find recycling centers in your area (along with lots of great information on recycling in general), visit recyclingcenters.org.
  3. Use the dishwasher—most newer models save water. For more information on energy-saving dishwashers (along with a range of eco-based information), go to treehugger.com.
  4. Skip the cardboard coffee cup sleeve. Check etsy.com for adorable cotton and knitted reusable coffee cup sleeves.
  5. Make yarn from plastic bags (aka plarn). You can find details, along with other plastic bag online at plasticbagcrafts.com.
  6. Whenever possible, wash laundry in cold water.
  7. Donate your old electronics. See budgetdumpster.com for options.
  8. Invest in solar-powered lights/lamps in outdoor spaces.
  9. Shower, don't bathe. You'll save about three gallons of water.
  10. Buy organic. For a list of most updated Dirty Dozen list (fruits and vegetables containing the most pesticides), see ewg.org.
  11. Stop junk mail. Visit dmachoice.org to clean out your mailbox.
  12. Give old furniture a face-lift. Add cushions or a fresh coat of paint. For nontoxic paint brands, go to treehugger.com (search "No-VOC Paint").
  13. Use rechargeable, not disposable, batteries.
  14. Choose green dry cleaners, and skip the plastic bags.
  15. Join a ride share program. To find one in your area, try icarpool.com or rideshare.org find one in your area.
  16. Turn everyday items into fun craft projects. E.g., repurpose empty tin cans as pencil holders or flower vases. Visit creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com for endless ideas.
  17. Pack goods in old newspapers when shipping, never Styrofoam or packing peanuts.
  18. Stay at eco-friendly hotels and discover great ecotourism vacations at greenglobaltravel.com.
  19. Wrap gifts in linen napkins or colorful scarves, or use a basket or clay flower pot. For ideas, search pinterest.com.
  20. Catch rain in buckets to water your garden.
  21. Use bars instead of liquid soap in plastic bottles.
  22. Choose cloth-napkins, towels, diapers, and rags.
  23. Shred non-glossy paper and use to mulch plants.
  24. Make your own non-toxic cleaners. Try our essential oil cleaning recipes.
  25. Precycle: buy only what you absolutely need.
  26. Bake in glass instead of metal, and lower the temperature by 25 degrees if possible.
  27. Buy organic cotton balls.
  28. Go electronic. Scan and email invitations, cards, and letters.
  29. Shut off computers and other office equipment overnight.
  30. Refill travel-sized cosmetics and body care products.
  31. Invest in glass storage containers for leftovers.
  32. Buy juice concentrates or powdered drink mixes to save on packaging.
  33. Get nonstop flights. Takeoffs and landings use more fuel and release more emissions.
  34. Avoid single servings. Buy large containers and pack your own.
  35. Never buy Styrofoam. Polystyrene is an environmental nightmare.
  36. Choose "1" and "2" containers. They're easier to recycle.
  37. Buy a water filter, or carry a stainless steel or glass bottle. Try newwaveenviro.com or lifefactory.com.
  38. Hold virtual meetings and work from home whenever possible to avoid driving and air travel.
  39. Buy recycled office paper and recycle all office paper. Place a bin next to a trash can.
  40. Build a compost bin for food scraps.
  41. Choose eco-friendly detergents. A few of the best: GrabGreen 3-in-One Laundry Detergent Pods, Earth Friendly Products ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent, Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent, and Biokleen Laundry Liquid Detergent.
  42. If you're renting a car during travels, choose a hybrid rather than a gas guzzler.
  43. Boil only as much water as you need to make one cup of tea.
  44. Buy produce in season and support restaurants that serve locally grown food. Visit localharvest.org to find restaurants and farmers' markets in your town.
  45. When you mow the lawn, skip bagging and leave grass clippings to nourish the soil.
  46. Replace water-hungry grass with succulents and desert plants.
  47. Wash full loads. Half loads waste energy.
  48. Hang clothes to air dry when possible.
  49. Use recycled tiles for flooring.
  50. Go to bed early, and save on electricity from lights.

Written by Lisa Turner for Better Nutrition and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

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