Green Tips Towards Reduction
Use cleaner transport
- Walk, bike or take public transit when possible.
- Avoid allowing your car to idle. If you’ll be waiting for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine (except in traffic). Don’t take the drive-through – park the car and walk inside instead.
- Have your vehicle serviced regularly to keep the emission control systems operating at peak efficiency. Check your car’s air filter monthly, and keep the tires adequately inflated to maximize gas mileage.
- Avoid short airplane trips – take a bus or train.
Add energy-saving features to your home
- Install compact fluorescent bulbs in all your home light fixtures but remember to look for low-mercury models and dispose of old bulbs safely.
- Weatherproof your home. Make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated, and consider double-pane windows. Eliminate drafts with caulking, weather strips and storm windows and doors.
- Insulate your water heater. Even better, switch to a tankless water heater, so your water will be heated only as you use it.
- Choose energy-efficient appliances.
Adopt energy-saving habits
- Keep thermostat relatively low in winter and ease up on the air conditioning in summer.
- Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters.
- Unplug your electronics when not in use.
- Dry your clothes outside whenever possible.
- Defrost your refrigerator and freezer regularly.
- Choose green electricity. Many utilities give you the option to purchase electricity generated by wind and solar power for a small rate surcharge.
- Purchase carbon offsets to make up for the energy use you can’t eliminate.
Reduce your Housing Footprint
- Choose sustainable building materials, furnishings and cleaning products.
- Explore green design features for your building.
- Choose efficient appliances, including low flow shower heads, faucets and toilets.
- Choose furnishings that are second-hand, recycled, or sustainably produced.
- Plant drought tolerant plants in your yard.
- Use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products.
Adopt water-saving habits
- Take shorter, less frequent showers – saves water and the energy necessary to heat it.
- Don’t use the garbage disposal. Compost instead.
- Run the dishwasher and the laundry machine only when full.
- Wash cars rarely, or better yet, take them to a carwash. Commercial carwashes use less water per wash than home washers, and they are also required to drain used water into the sewage system, rather than storm drains, which protects aquatic life.
- Avoid hosing down or power-washing your deck, walkways or driveway.
- Regularly look for and fix leaks.
Reduce your Food Footprint
- Eat more local, organic, in-season foods.
- Plant a garden.
- Shop at your local farmers market or natural foods store.
- Choose foods with less packaging.
- Eat lower on the food chain – going meatless for just one meal a week can make a difference. Globally, it has been estimated that 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions are associated with meat consumption.
Reduce your Goods and Services Footprint
- Buy less! Replace items only when needed.
- Recycle paper, glass, aluminum and plastic.
- Don’t forget to recycle electronics too!
- Compost food waste for the garden. Garbage that is not contaminated with degradable waste can be more easily recycled and sorted, and doesn’t produce methane gases when stored in a landfill.
- Buy recycled products, particularly those labeled “post-consumer waste.”