mike‎ > ‎


50 Ways to Save the Planet

50 Ways to Save the Planet

Reduce | Reuse | Recycle | Live Healthily | Give | Other

No styrofoam Be sure to cross styrofoam cups off your shopping list. With the amount of foam cups we use each year, we could circle the earth 436 times.
Buy in bulk Buy products with less packaging or buy in bulk. And always choose paper or cardboard, which biodegrade, over plastic.
Home water filter Instead of loading up on bottled water, install a water filter on your home faucet. That $5 filter will give you 40,000 8-ounce glasses of purified tap water.
Low-flow showerhead Save water by taking shorter showers and installing a low-flow showerhead. Low-flow showerheads can reduce the water flow up to 50 percent.
Low-flow toilet Don't flush money down the toilet. A low-flush toilet uses half the water but still does the job.
Support local farmers On average, your food has traveled 1200 miles just to get to your plate. Shopping at farmers' markets, co-ops and CSAs allows you to buy directly from the people who grow the food. (See 100 mile diet)
Reduce your junk mail An estimated 4 million tons (34 pounds per person) of paper junk mail are sent each year in the U.S. and nearly half of it is never opened. If 100,000 people stopped their junk mail, we could save up to 150,000 trees each year.
Make your office green We use so much office paper that we could build a 12-foot-high paper wall from New York to Los Angeles every year. Make your office greener by making double sided copies, sending office memos over e-mail and shredding waste paper for packing material.
Limit your brochures When you consider the number of visitors hosted at popular tourists attractions every year, you can see what a waste of paper one brochure per person really is. Don't take a brochure unless you really need one. Then return it so someone else can use it.
Eliminate pesticides Home gardeners use up to 10 times more toxic chemicals per acre than farmers. Use organic alternatives and beneficial insects instead.
Use natural cleaners Replace chemical cleaners with non-toxic products. Most ingredients can already be found in your kitchen.
Build a greener home Ensure your family's health while living in a beautiful home that sustains the environment.
Switch to solar energy In one day, the sun provides more energy than our population could use in 27 years. Make the switch to sunlight &#151 it doesn't pollute and it's free.
Plant shade trees Shade trees outside your home can reduce the temperature inside by 10 to 20 degrees, and save you $100 to $250 a year in electricity.
Buy a mulching lawnmower To take care of your yard without bagging or burning leaves and lawn clippings, get a mulching lawnmower that spreads the grass clippings back on the lawn, where they decompose and feed the soil.
Share a ride Most cars on U.S. roads carry only one person, leaving enough room in our cars for everyone in western Europe to ride with us. Consider car-pooling and public transportation.
Keep your car tuned Keeping your car in good working condition will not only make your car last longer, it will make it more fuel-efficient.
Drive a hybrid When in the market for a new vehicle, consider buying a hybrid. A hybrid can reduce smog pollution by 90 percent compared with the cleanest vehicles on the road today.
Use compact fluorescent bulbs They last 10 times longer and use only one-fourth of the energy compared to incandescent light bulbs.
Turn ups, turn downs Turn your thermostat down three degrees in the winter and up three degrees in the summer. You can prevent the emission of nearly 1100 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Use a notebook computer Save energy in your home office by switching to a laptop. Notebook computers are 90 percent more energy-efficient than desktop computers. They run on rechargeable batteries, and have energy-saving features like low-energy display screens and automatic sleep modes.
Get unplugged TVs and VCRs that are turned "off" cost us nearly a billion dollars a year in electricity. Unplugging them is the only way to ensure that they are not using any energy.
Wash in cold water When it comes time to do the laundry, you can cut your energy use and washing costs in half by switching to cold water.
Front-loading dryers You'll save even more money using front-loading dryers.
Buy reusable products Every year, we throw away 2 billion disposable razors and blades and we could circle the planet from end to end with the amount of disposable cameras we use yearly. Buy reusable items rather than single-use products.
Reusable coffee filters One cloth filter can replace over 300 paper filters, which means that fewer trees will be cut down.
Clean spills with cloth Twenty-seven million trees a year are destroyed to support our paper towel addiction. Clean up your spills with cotton kitchen towels or old clothes.
Rechargeable batteries We buy 5 billion batteries every year. Trouble is, they're not biodegradable and they're full of toxic heavy metals that could leak into landfills. What's the answer? Rechargeable batteries. Each rechargeable battery can replace between 50 and 300 throwaway batteries.
Reuse greeting cards Even greeting cards can be reused. Cut off the fronts and use them as postcards, or send the fronts to St. Jude's Ranch for Children. The kids re-mount greeting cards and sell them to raise money for college.
Recycle your cans Every month, we throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet. Recycled, that aluminum would be worth $600 million by year's end.
Look inside the triangle Plastic can only be recycled a limited number of times. Plastics labeled with #1 or #2 are most easily recycled, so look for a number inside the triangle on the bottom of most plastic containers.
Recycle the news Americans throw away 44 million newspapers every day. That's 500,000 trees a week, which is a good reason to recycle your paper or read it online.
Recycle your bicycle Keep your bicycle in shape the way you would your car. When it's time to get rid of it, recycle. You'd be amazed at what is being made out of recycled bicycle parts.
Live Healthily
Use glass instead of plastic Especially for short-term food storage. Plastic packaging leaves chemical residues on foods stored or heated in it.
Clean the air with indoor plants The air in the average home is far more dangerous than the air outside. Open your windows or clean the air with plants that eliminate airborne toxins.
Walk or bike Twenty-five percent of all car trips are less than a mile long. So get in gear and get some pollution-free exercise.
Wet, not dry cleaning As for dry cleaning &#151 red alert. Clothes are doused with a cancer-causing chemical called "perchloroethylene." Look for a wet cleaner instead. These companies use delicate soaps, liquid carbon dioxide or silicone to wash your clothes.
Buy organic food Organic foods are grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers &#151 a healthier option not only for you, but also the planet.
Hold on to your balloons At children's parties, don't let mylar balloons fly away. They can end up in a lake or ocean, where a sea animal might choke on them.
Eat fish carefully Sea life around the globe is being threatened by everything from pollution to over-fishing. We are quickly running out of seafood in general and in the process, destroying the ecosystem in which they live. Choose your seafood responsibly. Excellent choices: mahi mahi, Pacific cod
Plant a school garden By planting a garden, students can learn about the connection between what they eat and where it comes from, while getting hands-on experience in planting, digging and cultivating.
Buy carbon offsets Air traffic is a prime contributor to global warming so, when you fly, give some money to a company that invests in projects to reduce carbon dioxide &#151 like planting trees.
Go on a service vacation Take a vacation that's good for you and the environment. These volunteer vacations are offered at unique destinations around the world. You can help maintain trails, remove invasive plants, and even assist with wildlife habitat preservation.
Donate with a credit card You can also donate money to charity simply by using your credit card when you shop. Select service organizations have agreements with credit card companies where each time you use that card, a small donation goes to their organization at no charge to you.
Donate old paint cans Most paints contain metals that are hazardous to the environment when thrown away. Donate your leftover paint to your local theater company instead. Your neighborhood recycling center can also suggest drop-off points.
Donate your car to charity Your car doesn't even have to be running and part of the proceeds will benefit the cause of your choice.
Donate your cell phone Cell phone technology changes so rapidly that it's hard to keep up. But what do you do with your old phone? Don't throw your old cell phones away and don't let them sit in the bottom of your junk drawer at home. Here's the best thing to do with an unused cell phone: donate it.
Donate your computer Giving away your old computer can do a lot of good, too. Not only does it keep potentially hazardous materials out of landfills, it also puts a computer in the hands of someone who needs it.
Green Investments Here's a way to make a difference, and maybe make some money, too. Invest in socially responsible funds and companies. These investments perform as well, if not better than alternative investment options.
Spread the word You've altered your house, your car and your lifestyle. Think you're finished? Well you're not... because there's still one more thing that you can do: Spread the word.
From fineliving.com

100 Mile Diet When the average North American sits down to eat, each ingredient has typically travelled at least 1,500 miles. Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon lived for a year on food produced within 100 miles of their home. Could you?