Getting Started: Green About Going Green

Here is a list of small changes that will make a BIG difference! You don’t have to be extreme to be GREEN! What will you try to incorporate into your lifestyle?

  1. Make the time to walk or bike to one location you would normally drive to in an average week
  2. Grow your own food even if it is a pot of herbs on a window sill
  3. Change out one electrical device in your home for a manual or wind up (ex: wind up alarm clock, eggbeater, hand crank blender, push mower, pruning shears, light a candle etc.)
  4. Go “off grid” in one room in your house or choose not to use any electricity once a month
  5. Collect grey water for a specific use (catch water from the sink to flush the toilet or water plants use water from boiled veggies to make gravy or a soup stock)
  6. Compost food scraps and yard waste
  7. Vermicompost
  8. Learn to cook from scratch (make your own condiments, butter, cheese, pizza, bread etc.)
  9.  When you cook casseroles and the like, make two and freeze one for a busy night to avoid buying prepackaged foods or wasting gas to go eat out
  10. “If it is yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down” save water flush less
  11. Turn off lights more often, unplug devices not in use. If you cannot remember, put them on a timer
  12. Turn down the temperature on your hot water tank, chances are you do not need it that high
  13. Make sure your house does not leak. In the winter you do not want to lose your heat and in the summer you want to keep the heat out
  14. build raised beds, greenhouses or cold frames to extend your growing season
  15. Grow heirloom vegetables and avoid GMO
  16. Buy local food. Once a week choose not to buy one imported item and buy one locally made or grown item
  17. Eat a vegan dinner at least once a week, the same goes for a vegetarian meal
  18. Avoid processed food by scratch cooking, if you do buy processed choose real food ingredients
  19. Buy food with little or no packaging
  20. Buy eggs from a farm that treats their chickens well
  21. Give up one food that is bad for the environment or find an alternative source that is sustainable and responsible (ex: palm oil, chocolate, coffee, factory farmed meat)
  22. Make something by hand rather than buying it (make soap, learn to crochet)
  23. Learn to make your own toiletries (deodorant, soap, shampoo, conditioner) or buy handmade ones that contain less chemicals
  24. Get rid of the chemicals you use in your house and opt for environmentally friendly alternatives such as vinegar and baking soda
  25. Make your own laundry soap
  26. Chose to replace the liquid soaps you use such as dish soap and hand soap with castile or other biodegradable soaps
  27. Give up dryer sheets  and fabric softener, use wool dryer balls and vinegar or baking soda instead
  28. Skip the dryer and hang clothes to dry on a line or an indoor rack
  29. Learn to ferment (make kombucha, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi)
  30. Go paperless for your bills
  31. Skip the grocery bags and bring your own reusable ones from home
  32. Buy bulk and bring reusable bags to get dry goods
  33. Get unwrapped bread and skip the disposable bag for a cloth one
  34. Get rid of your microwave it is not healthy and usually leads to unhealthy food choices
  35. Don’t use teflon coated cookware. Instead use stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic or glass
  36. Buy lidded glass bakeware to avoid needing tinfoil when cooking or saran wrap when storing in the fridge
  37. Find ways to use up food before it goes bad. Freeze it, can it, eat up leftovers, trim bad spots and still use fruits and veggies, dehydrate, or buy less so you don’t waste
  38. Chose not to use plastic whenever possible. Use cloth shower curtains, mason jars or stainless steel instead of tupperware
  39. Refuse paper napkins and plastic straws when out
  40. Bring a reusable coffee mug when grabbing a bevvie on the go
  41. Bring a reusable container to take home leftovers in when dining out
  42. Use a handkerchief instead of kleenex
  43. Opt for cloth diapers over disposable
  44. Use cloth pads or silicone cups instead of disposable feminine hygiene items
  45. Grow enough veggies to share or trade with a neighbor
  46. Forage for food like apples or blackberries
  47. Learn how to use homeopathic alternatives to chemical based medicines
  48. Pee in your compost
  49. Stop using one make up item or go makeup free once a week
  50. Take shorter showers
  51. Don’t let the water run when you are brushing your teeth
  52. Choose to reduce the amount of plastic in your bedroom that means choose linen, wool, cotton, hemp or bamboo over polyester and plastic filled items
  53. Ask grocery stores for near expired items or overripe fruits and veggies they have  pulled off the shelves. If they already offer such items marked down, buy them so they do not get thrown out
  54. Don’t throw out food because it is past the best before date. Smell it and taste it, if it is still good use it up immediately before it spoils
  55. Get a rain barrel to water plants outside
  56. Don’t use pesticides or any poison bait around your home. Rodents are eaten by larger animals and pesticides harm beneficial insects and pollute our soil and water
  57. Use rags or newspaper to clean windows
  58. Opt for cloths or rags instead of plastic sponges or paper towel
  59. Don’t use artificial air fresheners, if you have to use something use essential oils
  60. Open a window to air out your house or car instead of using air conditioning
  61. Use shade either from growing a vine on a trellis or installing a sunshade or just using heavy curtains to keep your home cooler in the summer
  62. Sleep in the backyard on hot summer nights
  63. Dress warmly in winter or add another blanket instead of turning up the heat
  64. Buy local, yes things made in China are cheap, but that is just it, they are cheap
  65. Buy used or borrow rather than buying new
  66. The thrift store has tons of items that are affordable and package free and buying them usually helps nonprofit organizations and diverts goods from the dump
  67. Find out if local farmers allow gleaning
  68. Ask farmer’s markets at the end of the day if anything is getting tossed so you could have it or buy it for cheap or free
  69. Don’t throw stuff out, try to repurpose it
  70. If you cannot repurpose an item make sure you recycle it
  71. Don’t buy items that come in packages that will end up in the landfills, heck, don’t buy any single use items that will end up in the landfills themselves
  72. Donate items you no longer have a use for
  73. Don’t have so much stuff that you need to buy a bigger home or that you need to have a storage unit. Minimalize
  74. Work close to where you live, keep commuting costs down by taking transit or carpooling
  75.  Know where your household power and water come from. Choose to use less or make wiser choices such as having a solar panel or if you have more than one method of heating your house, chose the one that has the least negative impact
  76. Don’t water your lawn. Scratch that, don’t have a lawn and plant a vegetable garden or fruit trees and shrubs instead
  77. Keep mason bees or make habitats for wild bees to be able to live
  78. Mulch your garden to reduce the need for watering
  79. Plant native plants or perennials
  80. When you run errands, plan your route as well as your shopping list to avoid wasting gas or buying impulse items
  81. Join a Community Supported Agriculture box
  82. Eat in season rather than consuming imported foods
  83.  Buy bulk and bring your own bags
  84. Choose food that use less water to produce ex: tea vs. coffee
  85. Plant a tree
  86. Avoid battery operated everything
  87. Play outside, go for a hike, go for a walk, unplug from electronic devices
  88. Drive less
  89. Wash only full loads in washer or dishwasher
  90. Put a full jar in the back of the toilet to displace water
  91. Have indoor plants known for naturally purifying the air
  92. Use a water bottle or diaper sprayer as a bidet alternative to use less toilet paper (use cloth paper to reduce biosolids even more)
  93. Choose sustainable seafood that is caught in a way that does not harm the environment
  94. Start your own aquaponics tank
  95. Use solar to cook with or dehydrate with
  96. Avoid antibiotics when you don’t really need them. Use tea tree oil or oregano oil. Honey is antimicrobial too and great for sore throats and topical treatments
  97. Make changes to your lifestyle to avoid dependency on prescription drugs
  98. Utilize your local library
  99. Limit the light pollution you produce in the evening. Do you really need all those outdoor lights on?
  100. Plant and irrigate according to your climate
  101. Learn to barter and exchange goods and services instead of buying what you need

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