Perhaps our most powerful tool of change lies within our pockets and in our wallets. Consumerism is the driving force behind virtually everything. The forces of supply and demand ultimately begin with our consumer choices. The following resources offer tips and advice to help you give preference for products that are the least exploitative, least toxic and least harmful and steer clear of products linked to environmental, social and health injustices. There is virtually a healthier and more sustainable counterpart to all products and services in the market today, many of which are provided by the Good Guide and Energy Star. More than just conscious consuming, it's about conscious living that connects us to the world we live in through consideration, compassion, care and love in all we do.
"I feel more confident than ever that the power to save the planet rests with the individual consumer." ~Denis Hayes
Use Less Plastic
Avoid purchasing plastic bottles and other plastic materials as best you can. Plastic can be toxic and fatal to humans and wildlife, is polluting the marine and terrestrial environment, poisoning the food chain and lasts virtually, forever. By using just two less plastic bags a week, you'll throw away at least 100 fewer bags per year. Plastic Pollution.
Steer Clear Of Planned Obsolescence
Research items before buying them to ensure long-lasting quality. Most products nowadays are made to break within 18 months forcing you to purchase or upgrade the same item again. Learn more.
Purchase A Water Filter Instead Of Bottled Water
Tap water is regulated many times a day and at least 100 times a month by local municipalities and the EPA. Bottled Water, on the other hand, is not regulated nearly as much due to its privatized nature. Back2Tap states that tap water can be 1000 times cheaper than bottled water ($.02 versus $1-$20 per gallon), between 25%-44% of bottled water is simply tap water and people prefer tap over bottled water 4 out of 5 times in blind taste tests. Also, in bottled water, plastic additives can leach bisphenol-A, which is a toxic component of the polycarbonate, into the liquid they contain. Tap water should be filtered and is easy to filter at home or in the office, much more affordable, just as safe or safer, and always present. Top rated filters include Brita, Pur Water, Crystal Quest and Aquasana.
This will reduce your health risks from toxic exposure to pesticides, growth-hormones in conventional meat, promote sustainable farming practices, prevent lowering the IQ of your children and send a strong message to those in your life and farmers across nations that you are aware and refuse the erected norm of oblivious acceptance to toxic consumption and products, which act like a slow poison. Freedom from harmful pesticides is a right worth fighting for. You can lower your exposure to pesticides by 90% just by choosing organic fruits and vegetables. See the dirty dozen to know which fruits and vegetables should be bought organic and the clean 15 to understand which are safer. However, other products, such as health and beauty products can be toxic and harmful to your health as well. Learn more.
Buy Your Bread Fresh From The Grocery Store Bakery
This will save energy used for transporting and freezing the shelf brands and you can even recycle the paper wrapper. Plus it usually tastes better! If you do buy sliced bread from the bread aisle, try to find loaves that are packaged in a single plastic wrapper.
Avoid Pre-Sliced, Individually Wrapped Cheese
The energy used to make the plastic wrappers for each slice of American cheese equates to more than 13.8 million gallons of gasoline per year. Instead, buy blocked cheese and leave the cheesiness of plastic surrounding your every slice behind!
Use Microfiber Cloth
These environmentally friendly cloths require no cleaning products or chemicals to use and absorbs 600% its weight in dirt, liquids and other elements. Microfiber is excellent in collecting both dirt and dust and only requires a little bit of water to function properly. Microfiber cloths can also be used to wash cars and are far superior than cloth towels in quality and duration.
Use Chlorine-Free Post-Consumer Recycled Paper Or Electronic Invitations For An Event
CFPR paper costs about the same as primary fiber paper and electronic versions eliminate the need for paper altogether. Paper bleached with chlorine is harmful to humans, wildlife and the environment.
Buy Locally Made Toys With The Least Amount Of Packaging And Plastic
80% of toys are made overseas and 71% are made in China. Support locally produced toys and reduce the fuel costs and pollution used to ship the products overseas. By choosing toys that are made from natural products, such as organic cotton and sustainable wood, you will reduce your baby’s exposure to harmful toxins and conserve the energy used to make the plastics. Many plastic toys are made with PVC, which contains toxins that can be harmful to children and the environment.
Sell Your Old Albums
Instead of tossing your old records in the trash or even recycling them, you can probably sell them for about $10 each at a nearby used record store. Although they are recyclable, it takes more energy to recycle it than drop it off at a used record store or sell it to a friend to prolong its life.
Purchase Energy Star Qualified Computers And DVDs
This will reduce your computers energy consumption by up to 75% and make the computer last longer and run cooler. An Energy Star qualified DVD will save you about 30 kilowatt hours of energy a year.
Choose Sustainably Harvested Wild Fish Over Farmed Fish!
Fish farms are considered a threat to endangered populations of wild fish species and contains higher levels of heavy metals. Farmed fish live in very crowded spaces, which leads to an immense amount of waste and are fed in an unhealthy and unsustainable manner that can be harmful to the consumer and marine environment. Learn more.
Use Refillable Pens
Pens are often tossed in the garbage and not recycled or reused. Despite their small size, their improper disposal adds up. A pens components and packaging is made from nonrenewable resources and environmentally damaging chemicals. Pen refills cost as little as $1 each, which is almost the same as disposable ones. Learn more.
In Cafeterias, Take Out And Fast Food Restaurants, Take Only What You Need
This includes napkins, straws, condiments and plastic drink tops and silverware you plan to use. Otherwise, tell the server no thank you!
Buy Recycled, Antique Or Vintage Diamonds Or Jewelry
You’ll be saving mining and energy costs associated with bringing new diamond and jewelry to market. You would help reduce mining waste, conserve thousands of gallons of water and tons of cyanide-laden mine sludge. Learn more.
Consider Feeding Your Pet Vegetarian Meals And Buying Them Recycled Pet Toys And Treats
Whether it's a full fledged vegetarian diet or just one veggie meal a week, feeding dogs a vegetarian diet uses less energy to manufacture the food, can help your pet alleviate allergies, embrace a longer life span, have fewer issues similar to coronary heart and kidney situations, and fewer risk of significant illnesses reminiscent of cancer. Also, try to buy pet toys made from recycled materials to save virgin materials and treats in packaging that can be recycled or with no packaging at all to reduce the amount of plastic and waste going to landfills.
Choose Notebooks Or Laptops Over Desktops
Laptops and notebooks require less energy to produce, fewer materials to create and use a fraction of the electricity to run. This choice can save you about 220 kilowatt hours per year. They are also less expensive than many desktops.
Buy Clothes Made From Organic Cotton And With "Natural" Colors
By purchasing just one t-shirt and one pair of jeans made from 100% organic cotton, you would eliminate almost 150 grams of pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides from the environment, preventing further pollution of ecosystems, freshwater bodies and wardrobes. The largest amount of waste-water produced by the textile industry is in dyeing fabrics - if you can, choose natural colors!
Try To Look For Old Fashioned Toys That Don't Require Batteries
Purchase A Refurbished Computer
You would be saving between 10-30% of the original price, supporting recycling, reducing e-waste, conserving earth minerals and more. Learn more.
Share That Popcorn!
Instead of buying multiple cartons or bags, save money and packaging by sharing. Also, popcorn is quite unhealthy and certainly expensive, so maybe you should just reconsider it altogether!
Faucet Aerator Benefits
These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high. Heating water is one of the most energy intensive processes for a home, and it usually goes largely unnoticed. Installing low-flow faucet aerators can reduce the amount of water coming out of your faucet by 50%, saving about 2,000 gallons of water a year for two faucets while still providing a great stream of water. Equipping your sinks with faucet aerators can significantly reduce the amount of water and energy wasted while rinsing dishes, washing your hands, or brushing your teeth.
Seek Out Energy Efficient Laundry Machines
These front-loading laundry machines will wash and dry your clothes faster saving plenty of water and money. The average American family washes almost 300 loads of laundry each year. A full-sized ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers uses 14 gallons of water per load, compared to the 27 gallons used by a standard machine. That's 50% less water, per load. Over the machine's lifetime, that's a savings of 43,000 gallons of water! Learn more.
Buying A New Car? Consider A Hybrid/PZEV Car!
You can conserve 20 gallons of gasoline, which is an entire tank, than the average vehicle per month. Furthermore, partial zero-emission vehicles run at least 90% cleaner than the average new car, which greatly reduces smog-causing emissions and increases efficiency. Learn more.
Shovel Instead Of Using A Snow Blower
It's a good calorie burner, can help your body make vitamin D, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, is a good cardiovascular and anaerobic workout that also benefits muscle tone and development and of course, doesn't cost more than the shovel itself! Learn more.
Choose LCD Panel Televisions Over Plasma Screens
This will save you 275 kilowatt hours of energy per year if both options are compared at the same size.
Consider Using Biodiesel Fuel For Your Diesel Engine
Biodiesel fuel is non-toxic, renewable, more energy efficient, biodegradable, cleans your engine while extending its life and is free of sulfur pollutants that traditional petro fuel has. By switching to biodiesel fuel, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint by 30% and conserve an average of 50 gallons of petroleum per year, saving you money and improving air quality. Learn more.
Buy Eggs In Cardboard Cartons Instead Of Foam Packaging
Cardboard is much more recyclable than styrofoam cartons, which don’t decompose for 100 years!
Wash Clothes In Cold Water Whenever Possible
85% of energy used to machine-wash the clothes goes to warming the water. Unless your clothes have oily stains, washing with cold or warm water will clean your clothes just as effectively. Hot water can cause clothing to shrink or fade, so washing in cold can also prolong the life of your clothing items. Also, on warm days, use a clothesline or drying rack to dry the clothes and save energy and money.
Shop At Vine.com
The green equivalent of Amazon. Visit now. Also, check out buygreen.com!
Reinvent Your Kitchen Appliances As A Modular System
The manufacturer says that this system, which consists of a collection of four sleek white appliance cubes - kettle, toaster, coffee maker and juicer - is "compact and symmetrically stylish. Due to the small size of the Compact4All it will be most appealing to stylish starters, singles and students." Learn more.
Buy Recyclable Toilet Paper
According to the EPA, if every household traded one roll of regular toilet paper for a recyclable roll, the U.S. could save 470,000 trees, 1.2 million feet of landfill space, and 169 million gallons of water. That's just for one roll each. Imagine we all made the permanent switch to recyclable toilet paper and expanded it to tissues, napkins, trash bags and beyond! Learn more.
Take Home What You Don't Eat
Whether its a nice surprise for your companion pet or used as compost for your lawn or garden, ask for a little packaging and take it home. 40% of food produced in the United States is wasted and 12% of landfills are food scraps. Leftover food always has its uses and don't forget to recycle that packaging!
E-Waste Is The Fastest-Growing Segment Of Municipal Waste
40% of the heavy metals, including lead, mercury and cadmium, in the U.S. landfills come from improperly discarded electronic waste, which can contaminate the air and groundwater with toxic pollutants. Sell, donate or seek out an e-waste collector or recycling service. E-waste is piling up around the world at a rate of 40 million tons per year, and growing - try not to be a part of the statistics.
Buy A Reusable Mug & Bag
The amount of disposables consumed daily is astonishing. Try to be different and mindful! Stores such as Starbucks give coffee at a discount for using a reusable mug and CVS offers a money-back program for having your own reusable bag. Purchase a reusable mug with Green Your, Zazzle, or Green Feet. Buy a reusable bag with Reuseit, ECOBAGS, or Earthwise Bag Company.
Energy Star is the among world's best in helping save the environment and your pocket through products and practices. You can save up to $600/year with Energy Star products. Start your savings and take action with Energy Star!
Purchase An Organic Pet Leash Or Collar
In the production of nylon collars and leashes, nitrous oxide is emitted contributing to global warming and air pollution. By purchasing a leash or collar made from organic canvas materials, you would be contributing to a cleaner environment to breathe and live in. Every time you grab that leash to take your pet out for a walk, you can smile knowing you did a good deed - that's one or two extra smiles a day!
Drink Coffee And Help Save The Rainforests Simultaneously!
When purchasing whole-bean or ground coffee, look for products with fair trade, organic, rainforest alliance or bird friendly certification seals on them. These seals represent sustainable coffee farms whose agriculture practices restore or preserve rainforest ecosystems, promote fair treatment of workers, help alleviate poverty and more. Learn more about rainforests and the many benefits they provide and challenges they face.
Choose 100% Beeswax Or Soy Candles
Traditional paraffin wax candles are created from petroleum and release the equivalent to diesel exhaust when burned. By purchasing 100% beeswax or soy candles, you can improve your indoor air quality, save fossil fuel resources and reduce your exposure to carcinogens. These candles are not only made from renewable resources, but burn 50% longer and 90% cleaner. Learn more.
Buy Recycled Paper
In comparison to other paper, it takes a lot less energy and water to make and thanks to increased demand, manufacturers are now able to match quality, price and performance. You can purchase recycled paper at many retail stores, such as Staples, or online. One ton of 100% recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7000 gallons of water, 4100 kwh of energy, enough to power the average home for 6 months, 60 pounds of air pollution and 2.5 cubic yards of landfill space. Learn more.
Discover 5 Ways You And Your Dog Can Go Green, Improving Both The Health Of Your Dog And The Planet
Switch to biodegradable dog waste bags, replace old dog toys with new, earth friendly alternatives, choose a dog bed made from recycled fiber, switch to organic dog treats and choose healthier, more sustainable dog grooming products. Learn more.
Think About What You Are Buying And What Happens To The Discarded Packaging
Try to buy items with the least amount of packaging, that have recyclable packaging, are truly biodegradable, compostable or can be reused, like an empty pickle jar to organize and hold household items.
Try To Avoid Plastic, No Matter How Small It May Be!
Do your best to avoid purchasing plastic bottles, using plastic bags or any other plastic material. Despite our recycling efforts, 10% of the world's plastic ends up in the oceans every year and only a very small percentage is actually recycled, such as 8% in the US. Most plastics end up in landfills polluting water sources, may be incinerated polluting the air or is mistaken as food by countless marine and wildlife.
Line Your Trash Bins With 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Bags
Search for brands that offer sustainable trash liner bags, which requires less energy to manufacture than the same products derived from virgin plastic.
Purchase An Electric Or Hybrid Motorcycle
There 4-stroke engines save about 9 gallons of oil per year, improve your fuel economy by 25% and halve your emissions over a 2-stroke model engine. Standard 2-stroke motorcycles emit up to 25 times more pollution per mile than passenger cars.
Try Purchasing Secondhand Clothing And Shoes From Recycled Materials
Every year, people around the world throw out tons of old clothes, Americans toss over 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person every year to be exact, to buy shiny new ones instead of considering the alternatives. The next time you're done with an article of clothing, considering donating it to your local shelter or Goodwill. On average, Americans purchase 48 articles of clothing a year. More than half a gallon of gasoline could be saved just by purchasing one secondhand clothing a year due to the energy used to manufacture and transport new clothes. As for shoes, look for soles made from recycled materials canvas made from old jackets or jeans or insoles made from foam cushions. Then go out and tell your friends their shoes are unsustainable and email me their responses!
Try To Rent, Borrow Or Buy Used
Avoid buying new products as best as you can. If done intellectually, from reliable sources and with good research - you can save yourself money and lessen demand for new materials, which all ultimately stem from raw, virgin natural resources.
Purchase Adjustable Strollers
In doing so, you will avoid having to buy multiple carriages that fit the growing size of your baby which can cost you up to $150 and prevent the use of the environmental resources used to produce the additional strollers.
Purchase A Single All-In-One Model Printer, Scanner, Copier And Fax Machine
This will conserve office or home space from having to buy the individual counterparts and save manufacturing waste and power. This will save you about 400 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
In The Market For New Tires? Consider Retreads
Retread tires are just as effective in performance and safety, except they save up to 70% of the oil and materials needed to make a new tire and also save 50% or more over the price of a truly comparable new tire. Save money. Save resources. Go retread!
Buy Items You Use Frequently In Bulk And Products With Minimal To No Packaging
By buying items you use often in bulk, you save on trips you have to make for those items and by purchasing items with less packaging, you will save on costs since $1 of every $11 you spend in a supermarket pays for the packaging of the product. Furthermore, if just one out of ten products you bought had little to no packaging, you would eliminate more than 50lbs of waste in your household per year. Also, if you want to stock up on many items for the week or month, try to buy a few larger versions rather than many smaller ones. For example, if you plan to buy several cans of the same product, look to see if a larger can is available or buy a single gallon jug of milk as opposed to purchasing multiple smaller containers. This can save you up to 50% of the price and reduce waste and on a volume basis.
If You Need A Phone At Home Or Work, Buy One With A Cord
These phones consume little energy in comparison to cordless phones, which are constantly sucking up power in a state of recharging 24/7, as can many other appliances. Corded phones can even work when the power supply to your home is cut off in a storm or other emergency and can save you 28 kilowatt hours of energy a year.
Buy Loose, Unwrapped Candy From A Store Bin
Candy wrappers contain chemicals that make them water and stain resistant and tough to recycle. If possible, satisfy your sweet tooth at a store that offers a variety of candy in containers that you can pick and choose from. Better yet, avoid candy altogether and eat healthy!
Use Rerefined Motor Oil
The production of 5 quarts of high quality rerefined lubricating oil uses only 2 gallons of used oil whereas refining and producing 5 quarts of virgin oil requires 2 barrels of crude oil. U.S. drivers alone produce about 1.3 billion gallons of dirty used motor oil annually and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates 200 million gallons of it is dumped illegally each year. Discover rerefined, recycled motor oil! Learn more.
Use Cloth Diapers Over Disposable Diapers
Cloth diapers, preferably made from organic cotton, prevents the addition of 3000lbs of diapers to landfills over the course of 8000 diaper changes for each baby. Also, cloth diapers are softer against your baby’s skin and are free of the many chemicals contained in disposable diapers, which can cause dryness and rashes.
Try A Spending Freeze
For one month, only purchase food and items that are absolutely necessary. Save gas, money and consume less "stuff." See how you feel, see how you cope and discover how much less you can live without and perhaps how much more you can live with, such as more time spent with friends and family!
The Choice Between Paper Or Plastic At Checkout
Although a reusable cloth or canvas bag is most ideal, if you must choose - choose paper. Paper has a higher chance of being recycled, can more easily be reused and can typically hold more items than plastic bags, but has a larger environmental footprint. The solution - choose whichever bag you are more likely to recycle or simply, bring your own reusable bag!
Download Music Instead Of Purchasing Physical Copies
Each month, more than 45 tons of CD's become obsolete, outdated or unwanted and end up in a landfill. The average price of a CD is $15, whereas the online album is $10. Virtually all CD's are now available online.
Shop For One Of The 7 Least Toxic Laundry Detergents
"Of the 271 general purpose laundry detergents the Environmental Working Group evaluated, only 7 scored a rating of A." Discover.
“Reducing our levels of consumption will not be a sacrifice but a bonus if we simply redefine the meaning of the word ‘success.’” ~David Wann
In The Market For A New Toilet?
Either upgrade your current toilet or purchase a new one for viable water and money savings. If you're looking for a new toilet, Foremost, Stealth, Water Sense and Signature Hardware are great choices. Also, many large retailers, such as Home Depot, offer eco-friendly toilets. If you're looking to upgrade your current toilet to conserve water, look no further. Finally, for toilets without sewer or septic systems, help yourself to a compost toilet.
Buy Movie Or Event Tickets Online And Print Them At Home
This will save you time and paper waste. The paperboard used to print tickets at a theater are more difficult to recycle than plain copy paper used at home. See tip #117 to learn more!
Check The Covers Of Plastic Containers For The Recycle Symbol
Sometimes the covers are recyclable, even if the bottoms are not or vice versa.
Use A Digital Camera Instead Of A Disposable Camera Or One That Uses Film
Hundreds of millions of films are processed each year, which often contain hazardous chemicals and require special disposal and despite disposable cameras being recyclable – more than half end up in the trash.
Buy Adjustable Sprinkler Heads
This will maximize the water coverage and watering efficiency of your lawn by reducing a half circled sprinkler head to about 1/3 of a circle without losing water coverage. This will save you about 200 gallons of water a year and decrease your watering time. Learn more.
Unplug Electronics Or Purchase An Energy Saving Outlet
Many of the electronic devices in your home stay on, even when they're "off." This is known as phantom energy. You can take simple steps to reduce the financial and environmental impact from these "vampire" electronics by unplugging the devices all together or plugging these devices into a surge protector. Unplug your T.V. when it's not in use to save money and energy. 10-15% of a TV's energy is still used when it's powered "off." TV use accounts to more than 10% of household electricity bills. Innovative and eco-friendly outlets include the Modlet, Belkin Energy Saving Power Outlet and the 10 Outlet Smart Strip Energy Saving Surge Protector.
Save Big On Christmas Lights
By replacing incandescent holiday lights with LED bulbs, you will save 90% electricity than regular Christmas lights. A box of regular incandescent lights use 40.8 watts per 100 light strand (0.0408 kW) while the 100-light strand of LEDs use only 8 watts (0.008 kW). This will save you energy and money all the nights you use them from Thanksgiving to New Years. Learn more.
Give A Gift That Saves You Headaches, Is Eco-Friendly And Still Awesome
Concert tickets, gift cards, movie vouchers and store certificates are excellent alternatives to heavily packaged and wrapped holiday gifts. By choosing these gifts, you’ll reduce the energy, time and stress associated with crowds, traffic and long checkout lines and save plenty on packaging waste.
Rent DVDs Instead Of Buying Them
The average DVD sells for about $16, while the average rent price for a DVD is $4. Depending on how much you plan to watch the DVD, this will most likely save you money, even if you were to rent it three times. According to the EPA, 100,000 DVDs and CDs are thrown away each month. Instead, look for DVD recycling centers or donate them to a local thrift store or library. Learn more.
Buy Locally Grown, In-Season Food
By buying locally grown, in-season food, you are consuming food which is fresher than anything in the supermarket, purchasing GMO-free food (genetically modified organism), preserving genetic diversity, eating better tasting and healthier food, supporting a cleaner environment, benefiting wildlife, preserving open space, supporting local farmers, and building community. On average, U.S. supermarket food travels 1,500-2,500 miles before it reaches your dinner table. Buying local food from a Farmer's Market can reduce the amount of petroleum used to transport your dinner by up to 95% and even save you money, especially since rising gas prices are driving the price of conventional grocery foods up even more! Also, try to limit your purchases of canned fruit and substitute it for fresh fruit whenever possible. You'll reduce food waste, conserve resources and save money. Find your local farmers market, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.
Buy Zero-Emission Lawn Mowers
In 2007, the EPA announced that lawn mowers contribute 5% of U.S. gas emissions that we inhale as we yank the pull-cord every weekend. Purchase a lawn mower that emits zero-emissions, is cheaper and quieter. Robomow, MTD, People Powered Machines and Earthwise offer eco-friendly, innovative, more affordable and healthier lawn mowers.
Purchase Paper-Wrapped Soap Instead Of Plastic Bottles Of Body Wash
Mild soap and warm water work wonders on cleaning the body just as well as expensive body washes. This is also applicable to babies and saves on money and packaging.
Reuse Paper Materials To Wrap Gifts
Stand out from the crowd and reuse newspapers or other materials hanging around to wrap gifts. You can tell your recipient it's a gift not only for him or her, but for the Earth as well! If you get any funny looks, blame me ;) Of course, this also saves you a few in purchasing wrapping paper. You can also reuse other bags and baskets you may have. If you prefer the wrapping paper, try to find a brand with recycled content.
If disposable plates and silverware are a must, use Vegware whose products are biodegradable, made from plants, recycled material, renewable components and is also compostable!
Buy Used Or Digital Books, Visit The Library Or Borrow From A Friend
3 billion new books are sold each year requiring 400,000 trees to be cut down. If you read a lot, consider buying a Kindle!
Purchase Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable batteries save money as well as valuable resources, have a lower cost of use and environmental impact than disposable batteries. A single rechargeable battery can replace up to one thousand single-use alkaline batteries over its lifetime. Most rechargeable batteries are available in the same sizes as disposable batteries. Although rechargeable batteries have a higher initial cost, they can be recharged very cheaply and reused as much as 1,000 times and you can avoid adding to the 15 billion batteries that are thrown away each year. The use of 4 rechargeable AA batteries replaces the need to buy and dispose of about 100 conventional batteries. This will save you about $40 and 8lbs of hazardous waste. Duracell, Only Batteries, Mega Batteries, Green Batteries and Batteries Plus are among many companies that offer rechargeable batteries.
Purchase Locally Grown, Organic Flowers
Organically grown varieties of flowers do not require the use of chemicals and toxins that fresh flowers do, reduce the amount of pesticides and chemicals used and help prevent farm workers from contamination. Furthermore, look for outdoor flowers and shrubs for your garden with low water requirements, which can save yourself 550 gallons of water use a year. Learn more.
Pick A Green Christmas Tree
How? Go chop one down or purchase a real tree from your local farm. You may be asking yourself, "Is he serious?" Yes, I am! Artificial Christmas trees are usually made from PVC, the most toxic plastic on Earth, and although they can be reused year after year, the local recycling center most likely won't accept them since PVC is virtually non-recyclable. Real Christmas trees, however, are more sustainable and can be put to use after the lights go out by recycling it into compost, sinking it into a pond as a refuge for fish if the tree contains no chemicals or planting it in your backyard or at a neighbors. As Vicki from Helmig Tree Farms states, "A lot of people try to show how green an artificial tree is, but it just isn't. Christmas tree farmers practice sustainability on their farms and continue to improve these practices year after year. Using a cut tree is a green practice for both the environment and the economy as it provides a lot of jobs for a lot of people and families in the USA. If people continue to buy artificial trees, there are more fields that are going to be turned into housing developments, because a lot of tree fields are grown on land that often just won't support other types of agriculture." Learn more.
Subscribe To And Recycle Newspapers
Subscribing will save you 50% off the cover price and a trip to the news stand. Each year, 10 million tons of newspapers are tossed into landfills. If only half of these were recycled, it would save 75 million trees. Better yet, just read your news for free online.
Opt For Glass Bottles Over Aluminum Cans
The energy it takes to produce a single 12oz aluminum can is enough to produce nearly two 12oz glass bottles. Glass bottles are less taxing on the environment and you get the same kick for your buck.
Try Using A Ground Or Ceiling Fan Instead Of An Air Conditioner
Personally, I used to think that life without AC was a comical idea. However, since I began relying on little but wind in my face - my body and mind adopted, my pockets remained unscathed and my drive to save money, live healthier and lower my carbon footprint was appeased. Maybe this can work for you too or maybe not, try it out! You can also consider an ENERGY STAR certified air conditioner, which use 10% less energy than conventional models. Learn more.
Buy Soy Food Products
Soybeans have the highest quality protein of any plant and are high-yield. Growing soybeans requires much less water than that required to raise animals. By replacing just one pound of beef with one pound of soy every month, a household can conserve 20,000 gallons of water per year. “Soybeans are healthy for us, an efficient and environmentally friendly way to grow high-quality protein for the world, and they even build healthy soil. Eating more soybeans might just be one of the greenest things you can do for the planet.” ~Dr. Keith Ayoob, Registered Dietitian Learn more.
Purchase Pre-Owned Video Game Systems And Games
This will save on resources and energy used to transport new ones, prevent further plastics and hazardous materials from entering landfills and of course, save you money. Learn more.
Switch To Organic Wine
Organic wine is healthier, tastier and more affordable. A bottle of conventionally produced wine contains 250 different types of chemicals, but now you can choose from a wide selection of organic wines, all regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program, that come from vineyards that avoid using synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. 100% organic wines must contain 100% organically produced ingredients and have been processed using only organically produced aids and without added sulfites. Learn more.
Buy Eco-Friendly Shower Heads
Save water, energy and money with efficient shower head technology. For a small price, you can save an average of 2700 gallons of water and $75 or more a year and plenty of energy used to heat the water. Top rated brands include Evolve and Eco-Flow.
Discover The 40 Year Firefly LED Lightbulb
This light bulb cuts energy costs by 90% and as you already know, lasts 40 years! Learn more | Purchase
Learn Where You Can Purchase Meat Without Antibiotics
Visit Real Time Farms. Also, discover EWG's Good Food On A Tight Budget.