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Around the House

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Around the House

Keep reusable shopping bags in your car and in every pocketbook.

Replace your light bulbs with CFL’s or LED lights.(see Environmental Working Group's best list)

Insulate your water heater and turn your water heater temperature down to 120 degrees.

Turn off lights when you're out of a room.

Use a power cord and turn off all computers, stereos and TVs if you do not use them for longer than an hour. Buy only rechargeable batteries.

Dry your clothes on a clothes line.

Avoid buying toxic household products (detergents, cleaners, paint, etc.).

Use cold water in the washer when possible.

Ask your utility company for an energy audit.

Use a programmable wall thermostat.

Keep your refrigerator's coils clean. Store cold water in fridge (and freezer) to help it stay cold.

Use the air dry option on your dishwasher or open the door.

Carry stainless steel water bottles, and refill with tap water.

Recycle everything possible. Donate reusable items to charities or list them on online (

Put a brick in older toilets.

Coat older windows with reflective "low-e" film. Weatherstrip around windows and doors. Or replace old windows with insulated windows.

Invest in ceiling fans, not air conditioners.

Insulate your attic.

When you upgrade your appliances, buy Energy Star.

Install solar panels. Buy a wind turbine.

Ride a bike.

A small oven is much more efficient than a large oven.

Make low-impact food choices. Local, low on the food chain, organic.

Avoid overexploited fish and non-recyclable packaging.
The Rocky Mountain Institute estimates the average single family American home emits 26,028 lbs of carbon dioxide per year.
Around the Yard

Plant vegetable gardens, not lawns !

Compost as much as possible.

Pull weeds or kill with something natural like orange oil or vinegar.

Apply only organic fertilizers.

Harvest rainwater from your spouts to water your plants.

Green your roof !

Use mulch to conserve water in your garden.

Use an old-fashioned manual push or electric mower.

Take plastic pots back to the nursery.

Plant native dense shrubs close to your foundation to help insulate your home.

If you live in a hot climate plant native shade trees.

Install outdoor solar lights

Consider porous paving stones for driveways, etc...
Lawn mowers and other gas-powered lawn care equipment contribute to 10% of the nation’s air pollution. EPA
Articles that might inspire you.....What you can do....
"Why Bother?" Great article by Micheal Pollan from the NY Times, April 20, 2008.   ***
Rocky Mountain Institute.  "Cool Citizens: Everyday Solutions to Climate Change: Household Solutions Brief" describes how homeowners or renters can lighten their impact on the earth's changing climate by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from households. PDF.
Around the Yard
Native Plant Database. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center offers a searchable database of more than 7,000 native American plants.
NRDC. You can help keep bees healthy by making your yard and garden colorful, diverse and pesticide free. Here are some tips from NRDC on how you can be Bee friendly.
"Turf War" Americans can’t live without their lawns—but how long can they live with them? Excerpt from book
by Elizabeth Kolbert
Rain barrel instuctions-make your own.
"Why Mow? The Case Against Lawns" by Micheal Pollan.
NY Times Magazine.  May 28, 1989. Old but appropriate.
Safe lawn's mission is to educate society about the benefits of environmentally responsible lawn care and gardening. How to videos and tips.
Cleaning Tips
Earth Easy. Non-Toxic Home Cleaning Tips, Substitutions and Safe Formulas to make from scratch.
Monthly Challenge Program provides one new thing to implement into our lives each month, slowly guiding us along a path toward sustainability.  For even the busiest of folks.  A "one step at a time" approach.
Throwplace is a site where global users may list goods they wish to give away to others. Registered Charities, Businesses or Individuals are able to search the site and make requests for items of interest. Items listed on Throwplace are not for sale— they are to be donated.
Simple Living Network, newsletter, community forums, study circles, tips.
Center for a New American Dream, non-profit works with individuals, institutions, communities and businesses to conserve natural resources, counter the commercialization of our culture and promote positive changes in the way goods are produced and consumed.''
Freecycle Network is made up of 4,682 groups with 6,459,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.
Stop the Junk Mail: is a centralized service to accept and process requests from consumers to "Opt-In" or “Opt-Out” of firm offers of credit and/or insurance.
Catalog Choice is a sponsored project of the Ecology Center. It is endorsed by the National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and funded by the Overbrook Foundation, the Merck Family Fund, and the Kendeda Fund.

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