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If you see restaurants, stores, or other types of companies that are incorporating sustainability, consider choosing these options and make your support for sustainability known. It encourages other businesses to become sustainable as well. You may also come across a nonprofit or community organization that you believe is doing valuable work. Why not donate or reach out to see how you can support their efforts? You can consider volunteering, even if it’s only for one day, to give back to the local area you’re visiting.

Carry and use washable, reusable utensils when possible.

Many airlines are now offering passengers the option to purchase carbon offsets when booking a flight, which means you can pay extra to fund a project that reduces GHG emissions, “neutralizing” your flight. Carbon offset projects include supporting forest conservation in California, capturing GHG emissions from landfills in South Carolina, or renewable energy in Texas. Airlines are also taking measures to reduce their own environmental impact such as making planes and fleets more energy efficient and looking for alternative sources of energy.

Find or become a mission-driven freelance to solve the world's toughest problems.

Using reusable bags (cloth, paper, or plastic) or hand-carrying items (if you’re only picking up a few things) both are ways to cut down on plastic waste. Many cities have banned plastic bags altogether, and some stores now charge for bags that just a few years ago were free. Even if your city hasn’t made the move on plastic bags yet, you can take matters into your own hands by remembering your reusable bags.

We tend to make too much food for parties. This is especially true during the holidays since it’s usually part of the holiday culture to make sure everyone has all the food and beverage they can handle, and then some. This excess is ultimately bad for the environment. However, tracking your RSVPs closely and keeping a headcount should help you avoid making this classic mistake that ultimately contributes to food waste. Of course, some extra food is not disastrous (everyone loves leftovers), but it is something to be mindful of.

Use for as long as possible before disposal. Unwrap items carefully, and rewrap new items using less adhesive material (in order not to tear large portions of the tissue, when it is opened next).

Wall-E is the tale of a robot left alone to clean up Earth after humans trashed the place and escaped to outer space. Vox calls it one of the finest environmental films of the past decade, a riveting picture of society’s insatiable need to consume and what happens when private industry’s drive for profit overtakes the public good.

In general, buy less furniture. Prioritize quality over quantity and buy second-hand instead of new, if possible.

Make sure that your snacks aren't completely dependent on refrigeration. A cooler will keep things cool, but it's nice to have hearty snacks that will keep over a couple of days. Some suggestions: Bananas, Apples, Peanut Butter, Bread, Hummus, Veggie Sticks, Jelly. If all else fails, you can always make yourself a PB&J or PB&banana sandwich. Apples in peanut butter is a really filling snack. Maybe even throw in some chocolate chips. You can mix the chocolate chips in with the peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth. Snacks that don't need to be refrigerated: Roasted Chickpeas, Oatmeal, Nuts, Granola. These items can easily be purchased from bulk bins and are very satisfying. Oatmeal makes a great, easy filling breakfast. Roasted chickpeas satisfy your need for something salty and crunchy.

Putting value back into our belongings is a huge step to keep clutter away. If we love and value something we keep a good eye on it, we take care of it, repair it, use it well, and it's something we want to even pass down to our future family.

Rethink how you move in the city. Check the available options you have such as bus, bike, etc

When it comes to killing bacteria, it doesn’t make a difference if you wash your hands with hot water or cold water; we wouldn’t be able to physically handle water hot enough to kill bacteria. Avoid the common misconception that warmer water is better, and use cold water at the sink – it will save energy and money.

Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water. You can then use the water to flush the toilet, to clean, or to water the house plants.

Opt for Certified Organic or Fair Trade flowers or pick up seasonal flowers from a local florist or farmer's market. You can also make your own arrangement from your garden or yard, if possible.

Instead of disposable cotton balls and make-up pads, consider buying reusable ones or make your own. Why? Growing cotton is energy and water intensive. In addition, cotton is considered one of the dirtiest crops due to its reliance on insecticides and other chemicals that decrease biodiversity and contaminate local water sources. Organic cotton is currently the most sustainable cotton available because it doesn’t rely on insecticides, soil nutrients and biodiversity are preserved, and it allows the soil to retain more water, thus needing less irrigated water.

Microwaves and toaster ovens can offer an energy-efficient option to heating up your food, particularly if you’re only wanting to warm up leftovers. Microwaves use a third of the energy required by conventional ovens, while small toaster ovens that are quick to preheat use just half.

Give away plants (also, landscaping rocks, fencing, irrigation piping, etc…) that you do not want anymore. Post them on the free section of Craigslist.

Many of us now realize that food waste is a big problem in the U.S. But did you know that a lot of that food is wasted in our homes—probably more than 40 percent in all. It may seem like just a little bit of leftover dinner going in the trash (or chilling away the guilt in the back of the freezer) but when all of us toss a little bit every week, it adds up to a tremendous amount of wasted food. Besides, there are other reasons up and down the food supply chain where food is wasted because of our bad food habits.

Not only is it healthier, but making your own meals doesn’t involve takeout containers or doggy bags. For those times when you do order in or eat out, tell the establishment you don’t need any plastic cutlery or, for some serious extra credit, bring your own food-storage containers to restaurants for leftovers.

We play a pivotal role in making the structural changes for sustainability possible and when we make conscious and informed decisions, we contribute to the shift toward a healthy planet step by step. Various organizations are addressing big issues and taking new and holistic approaches to the way we do things, but they can do more with our help. Beyond incorporating sustainability into our regular routines, we as individuals can take other steps to help our communities be more sustainable, signal to policymakers what we value, and spread sustainable habits to others. Sustainability not only offers a vital opportunity for us to change the way we interact with the environment but to also protect and enhance our own lives and communities.

When it comes to showerheads, look for the EPA’s WaterSense label or one that doesn’t exceed the WaterSense maximum flow rate of two gallons per minute (GPM). Although buying a toilet or sink doesn’t come up very often, if you or your landlord find yourself in that situation, ask for one with the WaterSense label, or one that meets the standard for water efficiency.

If you're doing a load of dishes, make sure the load is full. Using a dishwasher uses less water than hand washing. If you don't have a dishwasher, plug the sink. Fill it with a little water. Wash all of the dishes in the tub, and then rinse them.

Get 10 cents off your next coffee by bringing your own mug at any Starbucks.

Consider a menstrual cup or a reusable cloth pad.

They cost significantly less, usually come with dilution systems, and it is easier to find products that are certified, such as Green Seal (greenseal.org), Safer Choice (epa.gov/saferchoice), UL / Ecologo (https://industries.ul.com/environment/certificationvalidation-marks/ecologoproduct-certification), or listed on SF Approved (SFApproved.org).

Give those wet hands a shake and use one less paper towel. Or wipe your hands on your pants. We don't judge.

Buying in bulk is becoming super trendy. And rightly so. It prevents over-packaging, the ability to select the quantity you need to avoid wasting, and give a very authentic touch to grocery shopping. Here is a cool app to find bulk stores in your area: https://zerowastehome.com/app/

Plugging electronics (e.g., computers, printers) and small appliances (e.g., coffee makers, microwaves) into a power strip and turning the power strip off when items are not in use is a simple way to eliminate unnecessary standby power. This is especially true for turning on and off multiple electronic items at once, such as when you leave work for the day, or for outlets that are difficult to reach. Using a power strip helps you minimize energy use and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

There a lot of way to commute on a daily basis without using a car. The hardest part is just to do it. Maybe it's easier when you think about all the good it does: less cars, less pollution, less dangerous roads, more time to chill on your phone, or to read a book, less stress, and the list goes on.

In the past few years, social media has erupted with calls to participate in alternatives to Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), which is considered the biggest shopping day of the year. Opt Outside, initially a campaign by the outdoor gear company REI, advocates for people to spend the day in nature, not in stores, as the name suggests. Some state and national parks have even gotten on board by offering free admission on Opt Outside day. Another alternative to Black Friday is Giving Tuesday, which occurs on the Tuesday after Black Friday (and Cyber Monday). On Giving Tuesday, individuals are encouraged to donate to causes, groups, or organizations they believe in and want to support. These donations aren’t necessarily a large financial sum; individuals simply give what they can or give by volunteering their time.

Rain gardens are shallow depressions in the ground covered with plants that have similar functions as rain barrels by capturing rainwater runoff. If you are thinking about a rain garden, make sure to plant it at least ten feet away from your home to prevent water from seeping into the foundation of the house, and try to place it in a naturally occurring low spot where rain can easily be directed. In addition, make sure your garden is at least six inches deep.

In general, buy fewer clothes. Prioritize quality over quantity and buy second-hand instead of new, if possible. Host a clothing swap, or resell your clothes at a local second-hand boutique or consignment store. The better the quality of the item, the better its resale value, and the longer its lifespan, whether it's in your closet or someone else's.

Bring your own containers to the store to turn fresh produce and items from the bulk bin into party appetizers. Swapping out the packaged food when it comes to appetizers helps you reduce waste at the source. It also means less packaging to deal with as part of clean up.

Patronizing local farmer's markets is one of the best ways to avoid food packaging and minimize the travel footprint of the food you buy. Not to mention, it just adds a new level of meaning and gratification to your weekly shopping. This app will help you locate farmer's markets near you! The app just works for iPhone users but also has a web page so that non iPhone users can utilize this wonderful tool as well.

Make sure that your snacks aren't completely dependent on refrigeration. A cooler will keep things cool, but it's nice to have hearty snacks that will keep over a couple of days. Some suggestions: Bananas, Apples, Peanut Butter, Bread, Hummus, Veggie Sticks, Jelly. If all else fails, you can always make yourself a PB&J or PB&banana sandwich. Apples in peanut butter is a really filling snack. Maybe even throw in some chocolate chips. You can mix the chocolate chips in with the peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth. Snacks that don't need to be refrigerated: Roasted Chickpeas, Oatmeal, Nuts, Granola. These items can easily be purchased from bulk bins and are very satisfying. Oatmeal makes a great, easy filling breakfast. Roasted chickpeas satisfy your need for something salty and crunchy.

Use washable cloth napkins, and use handkerchiefs or tissue books instead of paper. When you do buy paper napkins or tissue, look for 100% recycled content and/or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified.

If you are in the market for a new electronic device, check to see if the product has an ENERGY STAR or EPEAT label, or check the applicable websites to see if the model you are interested in is listed. ENERGY STAR-certified products meet energy efficiency criteria and EPEAT goes a step further by requiring products to meet other environmental standards related to environmentally sensitive material, packaging, and what happens to it when it comes to the end of its life cycle. You can also do your own research on the manufacturer to see what they are doing when it comes to sustainability. Supporting companies that are reducing the negative environmental impact of their products and using energy-efficient electronics are 2 great ways to incorporate sustainability into school or work.

1,000's of bananas are thrown out each year just because they don't have friends. If you have a heart... and you're at your local grocery store... buying bananas... look for a lonely banana and bring it home.

Between households and businesses, packaging and containers made up 30% of the waste Americans sent to the landfill in 2015, and only 50% of recyclable packaging and containers were actually recycled. Packaging is usually made from plastic, which is made from fossil fuels and may not be recyclable. Worse than that, oftentimes this packaging is unnecessary and can be avoided altogether. A number of companies are rethinking packaging and we can all encourage sustainable packaging through our purchasing decisions. This is one aspect that has immense potential to minimize the pressure society puts on natural resources, and can help companies and individuals alike be more sustainable. So next time you go grocery shopping, check for the less packaging possible and you'll make nature a big favor. Nice!

Although fans don’t actually cool the air as A/Cs do, they do help by moving air around that cools us down. Check to make sure ceiling fans are programmed to run counterclockwise in the summer for cool downward airflow and open windows at night to bring in cool air and ventilate the house.

Loads of laundry can quickly get filled up with towels that are not dirty. Try reusing a towel for a week before washing it, hanging it somewhere dry to let it air out in between showers so it doesn’t get mildew.

It will help to reduce drag along the road.

Natural solutions like mulch, cover crops, vinegar, and a little elbow grease will help keep the chemicals out of your garden—and your body.

In 1968, treasure hunters discovered a Civil War-era steamboat at the bottom of the Missouri River. Among the items recovered were several intact cans of food. Six years later, scientists opened the cans to find perfectly edible peaches, oysters, and tomatoes. They had stayed unspoiled for over a century. So why do modern canned foods claim to expire in a matter of months?

Make your own cleaning products with common household items instead (e.g., baking soda, white vinegar).

By keeping only one set of trashes in your kitchen let's say, you will force yourself to sort all your waste every single time. Also, who needs all these trashes in your beautiful place? Same when at work, you don't need to have a bin under each desk. it's good for people to walk a bit and throwing a wrapper is a perfect opportunity.

If for some reason the restaurant says no to you using your own cup, go topless and strawless. Or just walk away as I sign of protest for their lack of flexibility.

Find someone driving to the same place as you.

- Restrict their use to high-touch surfaces, such as door knobs, communal keyboards, faucets, common area telephones, refrigerator handles, etc. - Clean off all dirt, oil, and grease from surfaces before applying.

Use 100% recycled and unbleached toilet paper individually wrapped in paper

Fish and other seafood are another group of natural resources that is at risk due to unsustainable human practices. According to a study published in the academic journal Nature in 2016, we may have been seriously underestimating overfishing. In the 60-year period between 1950 and 2010, it’s estimated that the number of global catches were 50% higher than originally thought (due to inaccurate accounting of catches). In order to avoid eating fish that may be under threat of being over-exploited or illegally fished, being conscious of where your fish comes from is one way to be supportive of sustainable fishing. Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch provides a helpful app with straightforward information on which types of fish and seafood to avoid eating in your state.

...with over 100 unique chemical ingredients. Although most of the chemicals are harmless, some have been linked to serious health problems. Avoiding certain chemicals helps safeguard your health and the environment; if a chemical isn’t good for humans, it’s probably not good for our waterways either.

subway, taco bell, Wendy's use compostable paper

Aerosols can cause eye and respiratory irritation. Trigger sprays are safer, but make sure you spray directly onto the cloth.

The best way to reduce the spread of germs is washing properly your hands and staying home when sick.

Opt for seasonal, organic, and/or local produce.

Putting a heavy item in the tank of your toilet cuts down the amount of water used per flush by half a gallon. Since bricks break down in water over time, other heavy items are recommended such as a plastic beverage bottle filled with sand or rocks.

Dropped a few ice cubes on the floor? No worries, just place them in your plants.

Planting in containers is perfect if you don’t have a backyard or only have a small space, since they don’t take up much room. You can turn a crate, barrel, or any other item you can get your hands on into a mini garden. Container planters like EarthBoxes or GrowBoxes are also an easy way to get started with vegetable gardening. These self-watering container planters make it simple to grow vegetables with minimal input.

Those little plastic scrubbers found in so many beauty products—facial scrubs, toothpaste, body washes—might look harmless, but their tiny size allows them to slip through water-treatment plants. Unfortunately, they also look just like food to some marine animals. Opt for products with natural exfoliants, like oatmeal or salt, instead.

If you are doing dishes by hand, make sure that you turn the water off when soaping and keep the water flowing to its minimum. If you are using a dishwasher, don’t rinse dishes first and only run it when the dishwasher is full. Although studies show that a dishwasher is more water efficient than washing by hand, rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher defeats the purpose of using a dishwasher for water efficiency’s sake, as does running a dishwasher when it’s below capacity. Bonus: use cold water when you can. Just as with laundry, heating water is a major contributor to your energy bill. If you are using a dish- washer, look to see if there is a setting for a “cold wash” or a similar equivalent.

Make your office literally green with plants! They absorb airborne pollutants (which are rampant with off-gassing office furniture), and emit healthy negative ions and oxygen into the air. Having some green plants in the office also reduces that "sterile" look, making it more comfortable for everybody.

Use natural, biodegradable shampoo and soap, especially if you are going to a region that lacks water treatment facilities. Your local health food store probably sells all these items: just look for plant- based, raw, or organic ingredients. Many developing countries, and especially the more rural areas, have poor infrastructure and sewage systems, meaning wastewater may go straight into the ocean or the ground. Soaps that contain phosphates can reduce the oxygen available in bodies of water, which then can kill plants and fish through a process of eutrophication. Toxins like this can accumulate, so to make sure you are traveling in a sustainable manner, ingredients like these should be avoided.

Use for as long as possible before disposal. When you do buy wrapping paper, opt for recycled content and avoid shiny paper. You can also use cloth, expired newspaper and paper grocery bags.

If you’re looking at getting rid of some extra wire hangers, you can always donate them to your local dry cleaner. Many dry cleaners gladly accept the offer to take them off your hands as they can always use more. Dry cleaning businesses go through 3.5 billion wire hangers each year.

Yes, you read that right! You don’t need to flush the toilet after every use because the toilet is the biggest consumer of water in your house, using around 3 gallons (new toilets around 1.6) every time you flush. If you live alone, or can get family members or roommates to do the same, not flushing is a great way to reduce water use.

Use reusable dish towels instead of paper towels. If not ready for the switch, buy paper towels made of 100% recycled content and/or that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified.

Only buy and replace electronics when absolutely necessary and purchase refurbished and secondhand options if possible.

Opt for Certified Organic or Fair Trade flowers or pick up seasonal flowers from a local florist or farmer's market. You can also make your own arrangement from your garden or yard, if possible.

Nothing taste better than tea in bulk with a reusable tea infuser. You will prevent so much waste and the tea can then directly go to your compost. Try it!

Bring a reusable container.

Although the opportunity to purchase new appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers doesn’t come often, if it does, look for the ENERGY STAR label, which signals that the product is energy efficient. ENERGY STAR covers a wide range of electronics and appliances, and it is common for utilities and local programs to offer rebates for the purchase of these products. Check also for rebates. They can help offset the upfront cost of purchasing energy-efficient products and make payback time even quicker.

Consider reading online instead of receiving in hard copy. For unwanted magazines or advertisements, call or email companies directly to request to be removed from their marketing list. You can also opt out with CatalogChoice.org or DMAChoice.TheDMA.org

Prioritize quality over quantity, consider wooden toys instead of plastic, and buy second-hand instead of new.

Consider reusing it! Save it in the refrigerator, then add a little bit when cooking potatoes, eggs, or vegetables to enhance flavor.

you want neither skin cancer nor vitamin D deficiency

Use Q-tips and swabs without a plastic stem.

Save water and money by taking your shower with this Apple-like shower head.

Keeping your refrigerator at this range keeps food optimal and also minimizes energy use. If the temperature is too warm, food can go bad faster, while if it’s too cold, you could be using unnecessary energy.

Set a company policy that disallows the use of screen savers. Instead, set monitors to power off after the same amount of time; it's just as easy.

Use for as long as possible before disposal. Unwrap items carefully, and rewrap new items using less adhesive material (in order not to tear large portions of the tissue, when it is opened next).

Make sure all taps have low-flow aerators installed to reduce water wastage.

Why not get some healthy exercise while also doing the environment a favor? Biking or walking to where you need to go gets your blood flowing and reduces your environmental impact. Cities across the US are investing in making their cities more bikeable and walkable. A lot of cities now have bike-sharing programs which make biking possible even without owning your own bike. Sustainable infrastructure like sidewalks and bike lanes are getting more attention, but residents must also continue to advocate for these changes. We know that in most cities it isn’t realistic (yet) to bike or walk everywhere, but if the opportunity does arise, take it.

– and save hundreds of gallons per day. Important reminder: Tenants should immediately report leaking plumbing fixtures to property manager.

If you have a dishwasher with a “fast,” “quick,” “economy,” or “eco” wash cycle setting, take advantage of it. Don’t worry about it not being able to clean as well since machines that have these settings are designed to perform well while also saving energy and water.

Use your library to read business magazines and books, sell your books or donate them to your library for other people to enjoy.

What goes up must come down. Unfortunately, when balloons come back down they are often mistaken by animals for food. In 2015, after more than a hundred balloons were collected at a cleanup of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge located along the Atlantic coast of southern New Jersey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) made a public request for people to stop releasing balloons. More than just a beautification project, the FWS made it clear that many animals in the wildlife refuge had died due to ingesting the balloons.

Although we can sometimes get by with natural light, we still turn on lights out of habit. By being mindful of whether turning on a light is necessary, you can conserve the lifespan and energy of your bulb in the long run. When leaving a room, incandescent bulbs and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) should be turned off. Typically, lights in the hallway, closet, or pantry are the ones that are left on unnecessarily. If you use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs, the ones that take a little longer to warm up and turn on), the general rule is that if you are going to be out of a room for 15 minutes or less, go ahead and leave them on.

Over 80% of all dirt enters a building through the entry ways via foot traffic. Proper matting can help reduce dirt and maintain floors without using any cleaning product.

Some products need to be mixed with water. Adding the right amount of water will help you use less product and save money.

This is an easy way to reuse water that would have otherwise gone down the drain. It takes some coordination, but it’s worth the extra effort to minimize water use.

Particularly if you have a garden. Using the household food scraps and other biodegradable materials, you can create natural fertilizer for your garden. You don’t need a garden to compost: Add your composted material to potted plants or your lawn, or look into community or city compost programs.

Crostinis, Croutons, dressing, french toast, Breakfast Casserole

The more grip a vehicle has, the less the brakes need to be applied before a turn. Using the vehicle's momentum to carry you through a turn burns less fuel

If your work schedule allows, plan your commute to peak avoid rush hour traffic. If you stagger your hours, you can spend less time stuck in traffic and use less fuel.

Ziplock bags are convenient to keep food items from going bad or stale, but at the end of the day, they are made from plastic and are usually not recyclable. So, the most eco-friendly thing to do is reuse them multiple times before discarding them. Reusing them also saves money because you won’t have to purchase them as frequently. Other small plastic bags such as the ones used to hold produce from the grocery store can be rinsed out and reused as well.

Use reusable cups, plates, and utensils instead of compostable. When you do buy single-use items, look for 100% recycled content, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified or paper or wooden options.

Buy milk in a reusable glass bottle, if available. Ask your grocer for alternative packaging (e.g. glass).

Litterati is a free app to join the community to identify, map, and collect the world's litter. Your input will be used to work with companies and organizations to find more sustainable solutions.

Compact fluorescent bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they last about 10 times longer. So you'll save on energy costs, replacement bulb costs, and reduce waste by using them. They come in all sizes and wattages, and offer soft sheens that aren't as garishly fluorescent as their previous counterparts. No conversion of equipment is necessary; any light that uses an incandescent bulb can immediately take a compact fluorescent bulb.

Here is a cool app to find bulk stores in your area: https://zerowastehome.com/app/

Whether it’s at the beach, river, hiking, camping, or a picnic, whenever you enjoy the outdoors, be sure to leave everything you came with, especially food wrappers or other packaging, to be disposed of properly once you get back. Although this may sound simple, the amount of trash we leave behind on our trips to the outdoors can be staggering. When volunteers all over the world help to pick up litter from their beaches for Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, in total they usually collect over 2 million cigarette butts; more than 1 million food wrappers and containers; 1 million plastic bottles; and 1 million plastic bags. Proper disposal of the things you bring with you ensures that you are not contributing to water pollution, and keeping the land and waterways free of trash helps nature retain the beauty that we go there to enjoy in the first place.

Ask for the minimum packaging, no cutlery (especially if plastic), no napkins, no bag. Ideally, you should have your own container as well.

Opt for wine with a natural cork instead of plastic. You can also subscribe with local vineyards and wineries from which you can buy wine in bulk and take back the bottles once you're done with them.

For unwanted magazines or advertisements, call or email companies directly to request to be removed from their marketing list. You can also opt out with Catalog Choice (catalogchoice.org) or DMA Choice (dmachoice.thedma.org).

Try as we may to go digital, we still need paper, so try to go with the least of the evils. Insist on chlorine-free paper, and look for high amounts of post-consumer recycled content. You can also look for paper that has been made with more sustainable substances like bamboo, hemp, or organic cotton.

Artificial lighting represents 40 percent of electricity consumption in a typical office building, and almost a quarter of allelectricity in the States. And so often this is unnecessary. Open the blinds and let daylight in wherever possible. And of course, don't leave the lights on at night when everybody is gone.

A site that provides tips on living a toxic-free and sustainable lifestyle. It can help you make eco-friendly decisions for food, family, life, and the home.

Make your own popsicles with metal or silicone reusable sticks and holders.

It is a fact well known now, most of our environmental footprint as individuals comes down to consumption. Using and purchasing less, whether it’s energy, water, gasoline, and so on offers the greatest opportunity to reduce our footprint and also save money.

Avoid eating fish under threat of being overexploited or illegally fished by referencing Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for information on which types of fish and seafood to avoid eating in your state. Additionally, look for certifications such as Marine Stewardship Council, Friends of the Sea, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, or Best Aquaculture Practice.

Meet your new Travel Companion to find the resources you need for your Zero Waste Lifestyle

Not only will this optimum temperature prevent you from freezing half the stuff at the back of your fridge, it will reduce your electrical consumption. The same goes for the freezer: set it at 0F – no one likes freezer-burned ice cream.

In general, buy fewer appliances. Prioritize quality over quantity and buy second-hand instead of new, if possible.

For every ten minutes your engine is off, you’ll prevent 1 lb of carbon dioxide from being released. Cars only need a few seconds of idling time before driving so turn your key and go, and try to get into the habit of turning your engine off as soon as you park.

Do you walk, bike, take transit, or carpool to work in San Francisco? San Francisco Environment supports you. If you experience a personal emergency at work—such as you or a loved one getting sick— San Francisco’s Emergency Ride Home program will cover the cost of your ride home up to $150. That's one more reason to not use your car to work.

We definitely eat too much meat for our own health and for our planet's good. Just to give you an idea of the impact meat has on the planet. Did you know that producing 1kg of beef takes 30x more land area than 1kg of grain? That's not even counting the water, the co2 emissions, etc into account. So try to eat less meat when you have to, or just avoid it altogether some days of the week. A lot of delicious sources of protein exist out there (chick peas, eggs, lentils, etc).

LEDs are the most efficient light bulbs, followed by CFLs, and then incandescents, but that doesn’t mean you should replace all your lights with LEDs in one fell swoop. Extending the life of a light bulb as long as possible (regardless of the type of bulb) is the key to minimizing our impact from sourcing new and disposing of old bulbs. When your lights finally go out, make sure they are disposed of properly and consider LEDs or CFLs as replacements.

Great to clear out your sinuses with just water and sea salt.

Many products we buy come from multinational companies, most of which release information on their environmental footprint, as well as information on how they’re working with communities to address social issues. Although it can be tricky to gauge if efforts are “good enough” or how they compare to other companies, it’s important to see which companies are taking the initiative to clean up their practices. Keep an eye out for companies that are integrating sustainability into the way they operate through sustainable purchasing policies, reducing packaging, and working to ensure their workers receive a living wage and have adequate working conditions. Other resources available for you to get familiar with companies’ efforts to green their supply chains include Greenpeace’s “Detox Catwalk” and the Ethical Consumer’s guide to ethical shopping. The industry that makes the products we enjoy is weighed down by negative environmental and social impacts, and it’ll take more than a few companies and time to change this. By expressing interest in what companies are doing, demanding more transparency, and pushing for more sustainability, we can signal to these companies that these issues are important to us and support the shift.

Not every industry permits this, but if you can, set a business casual policy for the office. Not wearing suits means much less dry cleaning, which is not only better for the environment, but also your health and everybody's finances.

If you are in need of new lights for your backyard, look for energy-efficient lighting, such as LEDs or motion-sensing or solar- powered lights. Solar-powered lights are a perfect (and often inexpensive) way to add a sustainable touch (and even a conversation starter) to your yard.

Water hoses and sprinklers can be a source of wasted water if they have holes or leaks in them. Be sure that your irrigation systems or water hoses are working properly so that the water you do use is used in the most efficient way possible.

Consider starting your own compost in your yard, and use it as fertilizer to grow your own food and flowers.

If you have space or have access to a community garden or plot, growing your own organic vegetables and supplying yourself with your favorites (instead of buying them at the market) can be very rewarding. Heirloom vegetables are ideal because you can save the seeds to replant for next year. Having your own vegetable garden can also help you learn what is easiest to grow in your area, as well as what grows seasonally, and which months are best to plant certain foods.

Real-time air quality to check how your city is doing to prevent too much air pollution.

Find a bulk store nearby

Use for as long as possible before disposal. When you do buy wrapping paper, opt for recycled content and avoid shiny paper. You can also use cloth, expired newspaper and paper grocery bags.

Rain barrels, which are storage tanks situated to collect the rainwater that comes off the roof, are beneficial for several reasons: they provide high-quality water to be used for your garden; they protect the foundation of your house by keeping gutter rainwater from hitting and potentially flooding the ground; and they reduce runoff from stormwater that ends up in sewer systems. Diverting stormwater from storm drains and sewage systems is essential because it reduces the pollutants that would ultimately enter local rivers and streams. It also reduces flooding of sewer systems by limiting the amount of water entering the sewers during peak flows.

Buying organic food supports a food system that causes less environmental impact and is not dependent on substances that cause pollution such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Conventional (nonorganic) farming damages the land and requires intense processes that degrade soil fertility, release GHGs, and that pollute nearby waterways. Unfortunately, the environmental costs of conventional agriculture are not factored into the prices we see at the store. This is why organic food (e.g., meat and produce) is often more expensive than conventional. However, the markup for organic products is often minimal. As more people support organic farming and as the real price of conventional farming gets factored into its price tag, the price difference between conventional and organic food is expected to go down. Let's make it happen together!

If your city has a compost collection program, participate in it. If not and if you have space, start your own compost. Compost can then be used as fertilizer to grow your own food and flowers.

Try a reusable razor. Steel safety razors are generally considered the most sustainable.

So many advantages! Where to start? First you eat really tasteful, and healthy food. You also help your community by buying locale. Which also means no crazy transportation energy wasted. The seasonality is a fun aspect too. You always get surprised by what's harvested for every season. But the best of all is that you buy food that's not over-packaged. Bonus: it's also cheaper   So if convinced find where and when is your farmer's market and get an habit to go there once a week for instance. Enjoy!

Presented by the California Academy of Sciences, PlanetVision is a science-based plan that inspires individuals, communities, businesses, and governments to put environmental solutions into action. Join the PlanetVision community online and discover how we can reinvent our food, water, and energy systems to build a healthier, more sustainable future for our planet.

Opt for an edible cone instead of a cup, or dine in if possible.

Upgrade: Low flow toilets, low flow shower heads, gray water tanks, and changing up your landscape, there is so much you can do to make your home more efficient when it comes to water.

Tune-ups ensure your car is running as efficiently as possible and helps extend its life. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test will give you on average 5 more miles every 100 miles.

A lot of charities accept cloths and other donations. You can even get some tax deduction.

offCents provides real time, automated tracking and calculation of your carbon emissions from transportation.

Use Q-tips and swabs without a plastic stem.

The short movie ROOTS shares the daily work, hope, and perspective of one professional female tree-planter in Oregon. From an early start with coffee, through planting countless saplings in the Willamette River Valley with her team, we learn about why reforestation matters to Meichen personally, and how it affects the local ecosystem.

Cloth diapers are much cheaper and much better for the planet.

With hundreds of millions of people in the world suffering from vision impairments, the demand for used eyeglasses is extremely high. Luckily, organizations like the Lions Club have glasses recycling programs that collect and distribute glasses to those in need around the world to help mitigate this problem. The Lions Club also has a program for helping those who are hearing impaired by refurbishing used hearing aids and giving them to people in need. By choosing to donate items like these, you are knowingly supporting programs that drastically change peoples’ lives and are eliminating clutter from your home–it’s a win-win! Check out the Lions Club’s website for more information on how to donate your used eyeglasses and hearing aids.

Avoid eating fish under threat of being overexploited or illegally fished by referencing Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for information on which types of fish and seafood to avoid eating in your state. Additionally, look for certifications such as Marine Stewardship Council, Friends of the Sea, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, or Best Aquaculture Practice.

Not using a bag is best. However, you can use a certified compostable bag, paper bag, or newspaper to line your kitchen compost bin if you want a barrier.

Although coffee pods are convenient, they usually end up in the landfill. If you’re making coffee with a machine that uses coffee pods, take advantage of any drop-off or mail-in pod recycling or composting programs available. Another option is to use the refillable and reusable pods that are widely available as an alternative.

We have a problem with Stuff. We use too much, too much of it is toxic and we don’t share it very well. But that’s not the way things have to be. Together, we can build a society based on better not more, sharing not selfishness, community not division.

If you have a small backyard, consider setting up a system. Here is a great resource for starting your own backyard composting system: http://www.ecocycle.org/backyard-composting

If you only listen to a track a couple of times, then streaming is the best option, if you listen repeatedly, a physical copy is best.

By using light wall colors and high-gloss sheens, daylight is more easily reflected off the walls, and less artificial light is necessary.

Replace fluorescent light bulbs with more efficient, energy saving, LED bulbs.

500 billion disposable cups are produced every year. Most of them can't be recycled because they're lined with plastic. Ask for your coffee or drink cup in a real cup (if you're staying and if the establishment even has them). Or Bring your own cup for them to refill.

The screen will catch debris and reduce the need for drain cleaners.

Bring a reusable container to dinner if you think you may have leftovers.

Buy from the bulk section using a reusable bag or container to avoid useless packaging and get exactly the quantity you need. There are many things you can usually buy in bulk, such as flour, rice, sugar, cereals, and much more.

One of the most polluting foods is beef. Producing 2.2 pounds of beef emits the same amount of greenhouse gases as driving 64 miles in the average passenger car. The majority of these emissions come from producing the feed to give to cattle as well as enteric fermentation (i.e., cow burps), which emits methane. Beef takes also a large amount of natural resources and other inputs to be produced; lots of energy, land, and water are all required to raise cattle, let them graze, and finally produce the product you see in grocery stores and restaurants.

The premium for more sustainable personal care products is usually minimal and worth it to safeguard your health and the environment. However, it’s easy for companies to take part in greenwashing to make products seem more natural than they actually are; the research to determine which products and ingredients are “natural,” bad for the environment, and/or bad for your health can be complicated. Luckily, there are a number of resources to help you make informed decisions when it comes to choosing personal care products. GoodGuide, ThinkDirty, and the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database have each rated around 100,000 personal care products. Products that don’t contain toxic chemicals are increasingly accessible, and supporting the companies that don’t use any harsh chemicals shows the industry that consumers care about what we put on our bodies.

This is important for keeping your engine running cleanly and smoothly. The cleaner your engine runs, the less emissions your car produces.

What's your carbon footprint? Use this interactive calculator to find out—and take action.

SUVs and crossovers are the superstars of the road these days, but your best bet is to embrace a body style that's a bit of throwback. Massie recommends buying a station wagon if you need a little more room than the average sedan offers.

Food waste is an issue we cannot afford to ignore. To combat food waste at work or school, ask about what happens with leftover food from events such as meetings, conferences, or meals in the cafeteria/dining hall. Cafeterias and catered events can end up with a lot of leftover food that may make its way to the landfill where it will emit GHG emissions and contribute to climate change. Instead, if your workplace or campus doesn’t already donate the food to those in need, find out if it’s a practice they would consider implementing. It’s easy to load up on food in the cafeteria, but only put food on your plate that you’ll be able to finish. One way to make sure you aren’t taking too much is to avoid using trays. If you do end up with leftover food, put it in a container to take with you instead of throwing it out.

Either refuse by asking it when ordering or bring your own.

Serve smaller portions when you cook. And reserve more often. This way it's easier to manage the quantities and avoid wasted food at the end of the meal.

Compost marketplace

We discussed the benefits of going to cloth napkins and towels in the kitchen, but even in the bathroom you can use cloth towels or hand dryers.

Avoid straws or invest in a reusable one, e.g. metal, glass, bamboo.

These are energy vampires that consume electricity when plugged in, even if not in use. The amount of energy the device draws after it’s 100% charged varies significantly by the type of device and model. As an example, an Apple MacBook drew 27W of power when it was plugged in and fully charged, compared to 48W of power when plugged in and charging. That's a lot!

Consult the owner’s manual for your hot water heater for proper instructions. A temperature of 120 degrees will optimize gas consumption while keeping your showers warm.

Replace fluorescent light bulbs with more efficient, energy saving, LED bulbs.

Buy cereal from the bulk section using a reusable bag or container.

Underinflated and overinflated tires reduce your car’s gas mileage costing you money on gas and releasing unnecessary GHG emissions. Proper pressure is defined in PSI and you should be mentioned in your car’s manual. Underinflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 PSI drop in the pressure of all four tires. You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure.

Buy tea from the bulk section and use a reusable tea infuser.

Turning off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving can save about a gallon of water for each activity.

By keeping only one set of trashes in your kitchen let's say, you will force yourself to sort all your waste every single time. Also, who needs all these trashes in your beautiful places?

Ask for the minimum packaging, no cutlery (especially if plastic), no napkins, no bag. Ideally, you should have your own container as well.

Offset your CO2 balance

Avoid buying personal care bottles (e.g. shampoo, conditioner, soap) by using bulk refill stations or making your own. If you do purchase these items, consider buying in bulk and keep an eye out for options without packaging or paper packaging which can be composted.

Coral reefs are some of the most dynamic and diverse ecosystems in the world, providing habitat for up to nine million species. They are also vulnerable ecosystems highly sensitive to pollutants, including oxybenzone, which is commonly found in sunscreen. According to a 2015 study, all it takes is one drop for this chemical to begin bleaching, damaging, and eventually killing a coral reef. About 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in coral reefs around the world each year, and most contain oxybenzone. Researchers have even found an uptick in the amount of oxybenzone in areas known to be frequented by tourists, specifically in coral reefs around Hawaii and in the Caribbean.3 Coral reefs face many other challenges to their survival that are not exclusively related to sunscreen, but are related to human activity, such as a warming and acidifying ocean due to climate change and other harmful substances that end up in ocean. President Obama made great strides during his time as president in his efforts to protect coral reefs and marine biodiversity. In August 2016, in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service, he created the world’s largest marine protected area (and actually the world’s largest ecologically protected area in general) by expanding the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the Hawaiian Islands to include more than half a million square miles.4 Yet these mea- sures only go so far: coral reefs can be affected by the products that we wear in the water, even if we may not be swimming that close to them. You can also do your part in protecting these fragile ecosystems no matter where you swim or snorkel by avoiding sunscreen with oxybenzone in it. Look for sunscreens that have zinc oxide or titanium oxide instead. These alternatives are just as protective from the sun as oxybenzone. For example, Badger, a healthy body care company, offers zinc oxide sunscreens that are produced with the goal of being safe for coral reefs and other vital ecosystems.

Although it may seem like a better option to buy new rather than fixing broken things, it is often not the case when the environmental costs are considered. Buying used keeps items out of the landfill and deters the use of natural resources to make new products. The value of buying used items extends to all types of products such as furniture, clothing, and common household items. Craigslist, garage sales, thrift stores, local papers, and putting the word out through your personal network are all cost-effective strategies to finding used versions of the goods you are looking for.

By not packing your fridge full, the air circulates more and your refrigerator doesn’t have to work as hard, which then minimizes energy use. It’s also nice to be able to see all of your food and make sure you don’t forget about something in the fridge, just to find it later after it has gone bad.

Most produce lasts longer if it’s dry, but sometimes fruits and veggies from the grocery store have moisture on them when you get home. By taking a second to dry these products either by airing them out or with a towel, you can help them last longer. Also, store veggies and fruits separately, and keep fruits like apples, bananas, and pears away from everything else. These fruits emit ethylene gas that will make other produce get ripe and go bad faster, leading to increased food waste.

Soil composition is the basis for plant health and longevity. Some plants require high acidity levels while others prefer more alkaline environments. This is controlled by the composition of organic (peat and compost) and inorganic (sand and lime) material within the soil mix. There are a number of simple tests you can do to better understand the soil that you use.

If you do forget your soap and shampoo, use the hotel's. Just make sure to bring the leftovers home, so you can use it on your next trip. If you open it, don't waste it!

Growing cotton is energy and water intensive. It can take 2,700 liters of water to produce enough cotton for a single t-shirt. To put that into perspective, that same amount of water could supply one person with drinking water for 900 days. In addition, cotton is considered one of the dirtiest crops due to its reliance on insecticides and other chemicals that decrease biodiversity and contaminate local water sources. Organic cotton is currently the most sustainable cotton available because it doesn’t rely on insecticides, soil nutrients and biodiversity are preserved, and it allows the soil to retain more water, thus needing less irrigated water. By choosing clothing made with organic cotton, you’re signaling that you value efforts to make the production of clothes and textiles more responsible. Also, look for brands that support The Better Cotton Initiative, which seeks to improve the social and environmental issues associated with cotton. Alternatives to cotton are slowly gaining traction and include hemp, tencel, bamboo, and even recycled plastic bottles.

Buying used furniture is one of the best ways to make sure your backyard furniture has a minimal impact. Check out Craigslist, garage sales, thrift stores, local papers, and putting the word out through your personal network to find something that might fit your yard. If you want to buy something new, consider furniture made from recycled materials or sustainably harvested wood. Consider chairs and tables that are made from recycled plastic or plastic lumber. If buying new furniture made of wood, make sure it is FSC certified.

Find your Sustainable Accommodation

People often advocate for disposables; because, washing dishes wastes water. Which couldn't be more false. It takes 8 gallons of water to make one paper plate. Do you think it would take you 9 gallons of water to wash a cup and a plate?

It reduces the engine’s effort and overall carbon emissions.

In the United States, we consume more than 15 billion pounds of tissue each year—more than 50 pounds per person. It’s taking a major toll on forests like the Canadian boreal.

Fresh herbs 🌿 are like cut flowers 💐 in that they should both be stored in a vase with some water. 💧 Note: We cannot guarantee that fresh herbs can substitute for flowers on a Friday night date.

Pay attention to leaky or dripping faucets. Leaky faucets left unfixed can waste up to 100 gallons of water per day! If you rent, let your landlord know that you have a leak because it’s also in their best interest to reduce water use. If you own or pay for your water use, you’ll definitely want to take care of leaks as it will reduce how much you pay on your water bill. Toilets and showers may leak as well so keep an eye out. If you can’t get leaks fixed, or your water takes a long time to heat up, don’t let it go down the drain – instead capture it in a bucket or bowl and use it for your plants or garden.

Wash your reusable containers and undies in the hotel with Dr. Bronners. Can be used for everything!

Whether you are into buying new boxes when your wax runs low or just don’t have use for the extra stragglers lying around the house, you can donate worn-down crayons to programs like Crazy Crayons. These programs gladly accept old crayons that might otherwise unnecessarily make their way to a landfill, or just take up valuable space in your home. You might think that the difference a few crayons make in a landfill is negligible, but recycling them can save thousands of pounds of waste!

Not using a bag is best. However, you can use a certified compostable bag, paper bag, or newspaper to line your kitchen compost bin if you want a barrier.

Carry and use washable, reusable utensils when possible.

Choose tablets (pain reliever, for example) in a glass or at default a plastic jar (usually a recyclable #2), instead of the tablets individually wrapped in aluminum/plastic.

Aside from adding a colorful touch to your yard, flowers provide food for local pollinators such as birds, butterflies, and bees. Native plants are preadapted to your local climate, so they will naturally thrive and should be preferred over other nonnative species. Planting native plants can also help attract native wildlife such as owls and songbirds. The Wildflower Center has an extensive online database that can help you find out what plants are native to your area. If you are adding mulch, try native mulching as well by using pine needles, oak leaves, and green mulch.

Have your own workspace in the office or at home? Move your desk around to capture the most natural light. Also, look into light dimmers or desk lamps to make sure you’re only using the amount of light you need.

Choosing locally owned and operated accommodations as well as restaurants and activities can help keep funds in the area you are visiting, contributing to the local economy. Local accommodations that are smaller in size also tend to have a smaller environmental footprint and purchase goods and services from other local businesses.

Very easy recipe to make your own zero waste lip balm.

Pinterest is another great place for inspiration. You can find many wonderful DIYs, How-Tos, and recipes for beginning a zero waste life. Want to find a recipe for zero waste toothpaste? There's about a dozen or more on this site alone from all of your favorite Zero Waste bloggers! Pinterest makes it easy to "pin" these articles that you find useful and return to them later for quick reference.

There is no easy way to put this, but as you may have guessed, baths consume a lot of water. The average bath takes about 36 gallons of water to fill up. Limiting the baths you take can really help reduce your water footprint.

"Staying away from roof racks, bug deflectors and externally mounted weather shields reduces drag, so fuel economy is improved,

Includes vodka and lemon.

Overall, public transportation options such as metros, trains, buses, and ferries are a more sustainable choice than driving. Their accessibility, reliability, and cleanliness vary significantly by city, but don’t be too quick to write it off or afraid you’ll make a mistake and go the wrong direction. It takes a little proactiveness and getting used to, but using public transportation can be rewarding. Not having to worry about finding a parking space or paying for parking are big wins too.

Filled with used items sold at massive discounts, the Worn Wear marketplace classifies its recycled products as Excellent (like new), Great (small signs of wear) or Good (some visible use scars), and prices them accordingly.

Cloth diapers are much cheaper and much better for the planet.

With lists for your freezer, fridge and pantry, you can easily check what food you have left, see what food you need to use first, plan your meals, create a shopping list, avoid unnecessary purchases, reduce food waste and save a bunch of money.

Whether you're washing you're hands, face, or brushing your teeth. Turn off the faucet while it's not in direct use.

With all the programs for virtual meetings, flying and traveling for meetings has become less necessary. Though virtual meetings can’t always replace in-person interactions, they are certainly an attractive alternative in many cases, especially since you can avoid the environmental and financial costs associated with transportation.

Don’t forget to always turn off the lights behind you. This little habit adds up pretty quickly to make a difference in your effort, but also on your bill.

Planes require a lot of fuel to fly, which means a lot of GHG emissions. The aviation sector accounts for around 2% of global GHG emissions and air travel is usually an individual’s biggest contribution to climate change. One transatlantic flight can “add as much to your carbon footprint as a typical year’s worth of driving.” Headway is being made at the international as well as at the national level to reduce the impact of flying, and although it is difficult to cut down on flights, we can still help to make flying more sustainable.

Although you don't want to make your employees blind, reducing the font size in documents can save reams of paper each week. 14 px is usually more than enough for body copy.

Learn to love your tap water

There is a lot of value of keeping the office supply cabinet under the direct supervision of one or two people, such as the office manager. In doing this, employees won't be as wasteful of supplies as they may otherwise be. You can take this one step further by explaining to employees how it's not only a way to go green in the office, but there's also cost savings in so doing. And to sweeten the pot, you could set up a program that uses the money saved in conserving office supplies to throw office parties or lunches for everybody. Make the process transparent, and people will take ownership of their own contributions to going green in the office.

Buy juice in bulk and serve in reusable glass or metal cups and bottles.

Opt for reusable gloves if possible and use for as long as possible.

A Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money By Wasting Less Food

Absolutely need to buy something? Check first on your local classifieds such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, etc. This way you don't create more demand to produce stuff. You reuse what's already there. It also helps your community by keeping the money flowing in it. But the best of all, It helps your wallet. You can usually find some very good stuff for cheap ;) This also means that by selling your old stuff you are also helping the cause. And make some extra bucks while freeing up space in your place. Win-Win-Win!!! 😁

Free, easy-to-use ridesharing for short and long trips

Instead of buying individual packets of coffee, creamer, sugar, pepper, salt, jam, and other consumables, buy these items in bulk instead. Think creatively about using jars or dispensers for these items that make it easy — and sanitary — for all to use.

Instead of plastic plates, forks, and containers that are made from fossil fuels, use items made from stainless steel, glass, ceramic, or wood. Reducing plastic may be better for your health as well: Many plastic cups, water bottles, and containers contain bisphenol A (BPA), an additive that leaks a synthetic hormone.

When your needs a good cleaning, consider visiting an eco-friendly car wash or doing it yourself using environmentally friendly cleaning products. You can even try some of these “green” car washing tips. http://www.organicgardening.com/living/easy-cheap-and-eco-friendly-car-washing-tips

Foods that require a lot of water to produce can be problematic for water scarcity, especially in drought-prone areas. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, lamb, and lentils make the list of water-intensive foods. The production of beef is also water intensive: around 850 gallons of water produces an eight-ounce steak; that’s equivalent to a 340-minute shower.

Urge your elected officials to follow the lead of those in San Francisco, Chicago, and close to 150 other cities and counties by introducing or supporting legislation that would make plastic-bag use less desirable.

Before turning on the stove or oven, make sure you have everything prepped to keep the appliance on only as long as needed. This includes chopping and thawing frozen food before putting it on the stove or in the oven. It can also be efficient to prep while your stove or oven preheats, but be mindful that it’s not switched on for longer than necessary.

Use, Reuse and Request recyclable paper packing material when shipping (incl. paper tape), print postage and addresses directly on your envelopes, use surface mail, use a return address stamp instead of stickers.

It’s common to see clothes at a good price and be tempted to buy them, even if you don’t need them. But in thinking about the environmental costs associated with producing that shirt or pair of pants, it is likely that this low price does not reflect the price of the natural resources that were exploited to make it. Environmental factors associated with the textile industry include the use of large amounts of water, pesticides for cotton farming, toxic dyes and cleaning chemicals that pollute waterways. All these factors negatively impact Nature. So really think about it.

Avoid buying personal care bottles (e.g. shampoo, conditioner, soap) by using bulk refill stations or making your own. If you do purchase these items, consider buying in bulk and keep an eye out for options without packaging or paper packaging which can be composted.

Buy from the bulk section using a reusable bag or container.

Yes, solar energy systems can be expensive, and aren't always practical depending on your office location and setup. But you can reap some long-term savings from your initial investment, and many states now offer incentives (like rebates and the ability to sell excess energy to the power company) for solar energy users.

so they don’t bring waste into your home

The difference between producing one aluminum can from recycled material versus producing the same can from virgin material is quite dramatic. It takes 95 percent less energy to produce the same can from recycled material, and it emits only 5 percent of the CO2 compared to when making the can from aluminum’s virgin material.

Wash your reusable containers and undies in the hotel with Dr. Bronners. Can be used for everything!

Online shopping is so easy. That makes it really hard to get out of our coach and buy stuff in a real store. But the real price of this convenience is tons of packaging waste, carbon emissions due to transportation, and the collapse of local shops. Moreover, by buying local you can help your community thrive and reduce your impact big time. Ready to stop Amazon Prime?

Once you've replaced your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones, and maximized the daylight in your office, you may actually be able to reduce the number of desk lamps you have in the office. If you must buy new lighting though, consider LED lamps, which use even less power than compact fluorescent bulbs do.

All too often we print a document to discover that the last page only has a web address at the bottom, or other printable space is wasted. GreenPrint and EcoPrint2 are software programs that identify these areas of waste in printing, alert the user of possible wasted space, and recommend how to eliminate it. The user can then decide whether or not to accept the program recommendations before printing. GreenPrint claims to save businesses 17 percent on printing materials and $100 — per user — annually.

Stop receiving junk mails

Understanding the water needs of your plants allows you to use water efficiently, and even lower the maintenance involved. When arranging your garden, place plants so that the ones with similar water needs are next to each other, in order to make the most of your water. Talking to an expert at a local nursery, someone you know with a green thumb, or doing a quick Google search can provide insight into watering according to your plants’ needs.

Although it is tricky to say which type of accommodation is the most environmentally friendly, there are all different types of accommodations these days with less built infrastructure than hotels and that allow you to interact with your surroundings in different ways. Look into camping, or renting a local room, apartment, or house.

With some 70% of waste in the cosmetics industry coming from the plastic packaging, Lush is making strides to reduce their impact on the environment. Beyond not testing on animals and creating 100% vegetarian products (80% vegan), Lush ensures all its packaging is 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable wherever possible - and that’s if it has any at all! They also offer a line of ‘naked’ products with zero packaging. Customers can bring their own reusable containers to pick up their soaps, bath bombs, butters and other skincare products so they can be zero-waste too (online orders with minimal biodegradable packaging).

Environmentally friendly cleaning products protect the health of not only your cleaning staff but also your employees, by eliminating harmful substances and odors from the office.

Would you believe that the majority of office power is consumed by machines that are off, but still plugged into a live outlet? Standby power (or phantom power) is a huge — and hugely unnecessary — environmental culprit and expense. You can improve this process and automate it with programs like Surveyor, which automatically powers down company computers at night.

Even big hotels are making efforts to reduce water use by giving you the option to reuse towels and sheets. Make sure you take advantage of these programs or simply use your “Do Not Disturb” sign so your sheets and towels aren’t changed out. Keep an eye out for the Green Seal label, which signals that your hotel meets their sustainability standard. If there isn’t enough information to tell if your accommodations minimize their negative environmental impact, ask them about their efforts to be more sustainable; guests showing they care may be the spark the place needs to begin looking at the impact of their operations.

Although it sounds counterintuitive, the stronger environmental argument is actually for real Christmas trees. Most real trees are grown and harvested on farms specifically for the purpose of being a Christmas tree. Although real trees are associated with some pesticide or fertilizer use, the land these trees are grown on does get preserved and remains green, thus avoiding its conversion to agricultural land or for development. This forested space also provides other benefits such as generating oxygen, providing habitat, and protecting the soil. In addition, real trees can be recycled after and are biodegradable. The best option is to get a real Christmas tree from a local farm and make sure to recycle it after the holidays. If you do decide on an artificial Christmas tree, keep in mind that it should be used for at least 10 to 20 years in order to offset the impact of producing it. Moreover, artificial trees are usually made of PVC or petroleum-derived plastic that produces carcinogens during manufacturing and disposal, which also don’t biodegrade and will sit in a landfill for a long time after being thrown out.

Is it necessary to print out a meeting agenda for every member? Or can you incorporate it into a slide show, or simply send it via email? How about posting employee manuals and other materials online rather than distributing — and onerously updating — print copies? Increasing numbers of digital storage devices and systems for businesses make going digital very easy to do.

When it comes to showering, time really is money. The average showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute causing showering to account for about 20% of indoor water use. Efficient showerheads still use around two gallons per minute but cutting even 30 seconds off of your shower makes a difference: that’s a whole gallon!

Single-serving yogurts, travel-size toiletries, tiny packages of nuts—consider the product-to-packaging ratio of items you tend to buy often and select the bigger container instead of buying several smaller ones over time.

Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers often run off into waterways, contributing to water pollution and impacting aquatic life. Compost material is a natural alternative that can be used in place of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Instead of using harmful or toxic weed killers, try a homemade mix like vinegar or boiling water. Other options include pulling the weeds out, using mulch to keep invasive species out, or keeping native weeds in the ground and finding a creative way to landscape around them.

Bring a reusable mug or canteen instead. Many coffee shops will give you a discount if you use your own cup.

We can reduce our environmental impact just by dedicating one day out of the week to not eat meat. If everyone in the US ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be equivalent to not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road! Eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables also has health benefits including helping you avoid the problems associated with excess meat consumption, which include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, and premature death. Definitely a win-win situation.

For most situations, cleaning with soap, water, and a microfiber cloth is good enough to remove 99% of germs.

Not only do remanufactured cartridges cost about 15 percent less than brand new ones, but each reused cartridge saves about 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic and about half a gallon of oil, all of which is wasted in the manufacturing process.

Some companies don't respect our private space and try to reach it by any means. Junk mail is an unfortunate symptom of it. But you can stop it by simply asking. Some services exist out there to make it quick and easy.

This is a small but effective tip; by ensuring your mailing lists are up to date, you avoid sending out unnecessary letters, thus saving the paper, printing, and postage.

"Go green by picking white," says racing champ and auto enthusiast Brian Massie. "The lighter the hue, the less work that has to be done by your AC system. On a moderate summer day, the interior of a black car can heat up 10 degrees hotter than an identical white car. White cars tend not to show dirt as much as many other colors, so you'll [have less of a need] to wash the vehicle."

Make your own toothpaste or purchase toothpaste in a recyclable or reusable glass container.

To minimize water use, cut down on washing your car, and when you do wash it, be mindful of water use. Be sure to not let the hose run when it’s not being used. If you wash your car at home, park your car in grassy areas if you can in order to avoid soap ending up in storm drains or sewers, and empty out buckets of soapy water in the sink instead of on the street. Self-service or hand-wash car washes are generally more efficient than drive-in, machine-operated car washes. If you go to a car wash, try to find out if they capture and recycle the water, which is more common with newer car wash facilities.

Paper made from recycled material is easy to find and is usually comparable in price to paper made from virgin material. Recycled paper not only leaves forests in place, but it also requires less energy and water to create than paper made from virgin material. If your paper is less than 100% recycled content, look for the FSC label to ensure that the nonrecycled percentage at least came from a forest that is managed responsibly.

they are not good for you anyways. Do your research.

Bar soap is often environmentally preferable compared to liquid soap because it usually comes in less packaging. There are other opportunities to choose products that minimize packaging, such as deodorant and shampoo, so keep that in mind for other personal care products as well. #tips #eco #ecofriendly #ecotips #greentips #ecology #savetheplanet #ecofriendlyfashion #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #zerowastehome #zerowastelifestyle #zerowastelife #plasticfree #nomoreplastic #environment #noplastic #shower #bathroom #bodywash #bathroomideas #shampoo #deodorant #shampoobar #naturalproducts #naturaldeodorant #zerowastetips #sweaty

You should be able to wear what you believe without compromising on style. Welcome to the site for fashion that is good for you and the Earth.

A DINNER PARTY CALCULATOR THAT ESTIMATES HOW MUCH FOOD YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR GUESTS FULL & HAPPY

Opt for an edible cone instead of a cup, or dine in if possible.

Don’t be afraid to use the parts of food that many people throw away such as broccoli stalks or bread ends. Cut up those stalks and throw them in the dish or make vegetable stock out of them. Bread ends make great croutons when toasted or sautéed with olive oil and garlic.

Want to support the transition to clean energy but not in a position to install solar panels? Some utilities give individuals the option to contribute a small premium each month toward new wind and solar installation projects, increasing the contribution of renewables to the energy mix. The generation of energy from renewable sources increases its competitiveness with dirty fossil fuels. Ask your utility where your energy comes from and what options you have to support clean energy.

In general, buy fewer appliances. Prioritize quality over quantity and buy second-hand instead of new, if possible.

Don't throw your food away, help pair them up with other lonely foods for a perfect match in simple, tasty meals.

If you’re in the market for a new car, consider the benefits of a hybrid car. If hybrids aren’t for you, check out the DOE website www.fueleconomy.gov and the ACEEE website www.greenercars.com to help you pick a fuel-efficient car that meets your needs and is good for the environment.

Ninety percent of the plastic items in our daily lives are used once and then chucked: grocery bags, plastic wrap, disposable cutlery, straws, coffee-cup lids. Take note of how often you rely on these products and replace them with reusable versions. It only takes a few times of bringing your own bags to the store, silverware to the office, or travel mug to Starbucks before it becomes habit.

Share your ride with others to minimize your impact

U.S. citizens alone throw out over four million disposable pens — daily. Consider stocking the office with reusable pens instead. Stock the supplies cupboard only with refills for these pens. This creates incentives to keep track of and use their pens, and they're actually cheaper in the long run and usually much nicer to use. (You can even make the pen game fun by putting each employee's name on theirs. If they leave it lying around where it shouldn't be, another employee can snag points for "stealing" their pen!)

Although paper napkins are convenient and cheap, using cloth napkins when hosting is the way to go to avoid unnecessary trash. Although washing them means water and energy use, washing cloth napkins instead of throwing out disposable napkins is still the sustainable choice. To be even more sustainable, hang-dry your cloth napkins instead of putting them in the dryer.

Use reusable cups, plates, and utensils instead of compostable. When you do buy single-use items, look for 100% recycled content, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified or paper or wooden options.

– and save about 15 gallons per minute.

Whether they’re on the tree or the ground, leave your leaves where they are. During autumn, despite what you may have been taught, don’t rake and bag the leaves that are in your yard. The layer of leaves on the ground is part of a natural process that provides a habitat for wildlife like chipmunks and butterflies that spend their winters hibernating in the fallen leaves. Fallen leaves also protect tree roots during winter, and recycle nutrients into the soil as part of a natural fertilization process. If you live in a place where leaves don’t change color and fall off trees, and for instance, palm trees are more common, the same tip still holds true – the best thing you can do for them is to leave them alone. Don’t cut, trim, or prune your palm fronds – keeping these leaves on the tree, particularly the brown ones that may look dead, encourages wildlife and aids in the health of the tree as these leaves’ nutrients will go toward generating new leaves.

A new democratic, honest and transparent food supply chain which creates a direct link between the consumer and the producer.

Employees can be just as — if not more — productive when working from home. Most also consider it a perk to telecommute, even if only for a few days per month. The environmental effects of commuting are reduced, employees save the expense (and time), and even air quality and road maintenance takes less of a hit.

Opening the curtains of any south-facing windows during the day and closing them at night will make the temperature in your home more comfortable during the winter. Incoming sunshine will contribute to the warmth and closing the curtains at night will keep the house from losing heat. Consider swapping your bedsheets out seasonally, using flannel sheets with down or synthetic down duvets to keep warm in winter and sheets with natural fibers like cotton during summer.

Bar soap is often environmentally preferable compared to liquid soap because it usually comes in less packaging. There are other opportunities to choose products that minimize packaging, such as deodorant and shampoo, so keep that in mind for other personal care products as well.

It’s time to get more flavor and less waste out of meal prepping. Whether you’re a prepping pro or just starting out, here are the tools you need to make a shopping list, portion your meals, and maximize what's in your fridge.

A percentage of what you buy going on this site will go to the charity of your choice

Styrofoam, or expanded polystyrene, has long been known as one of the most harmful packaging materials for the environment. Made from fossil fuels, the manufacturing process of Styrofoam releases 57 chemical by-products, including hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs), a potent GHG. Unfortunately, most recycling facilities do not recycle Styrofoam, so it will typically sit in the landfill for hundreds of years (or even worse, it gets blown away due to its light weight where it then contaminates land and waterways). Look for egg containers made from paperboard and try to avoid single-use products in general.

Some of the ingredients in foods may come from unsustainable sources, and because of the complicated and nontransparent nature of supply chains, it is often difficult to determine which ones are harmful and which ones are not. For instance, some of the ingredients you may find in your food are associated with deforestation, including palm oil, cocoa, and soybeans. It’s hard to completely avoid these ingredients as palm oil in particular is used in about 50% of all packaged food products in supermarkets today and can also be found in your personal care products. However, you can keep an eye out for companies or products that have reputable certifications like Rainforest Alliance Certified or Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified, which lets you know they source responsibly. You can also check to see if your preferred food brand signed onto a zero-deforestation policy, and how they are faring in achieving this goal with Greenpeace’s Company-Scorecard guide.

Use reusable coffee pods.

Create your own from old shirts and towels, and use for as long as possible before disposal.

Bringing your own water bottle when you are out-and-about is not only cheaper than buying bottled water, but it’s also convenient and helps you reduce your use of plastic. A to-go coffee mug is great too, and sometimes coffee shops will even give you a discount. Either way, you won’t be contributing to increased waste. Keeping a reusable bag (cloth, paper, or plastic) in the car or in a larger personal bag, backpack, or purse, is also a simple way to avoid extra plastic bags from an unexpected stop at the store or for a container of leftovers from a restaurant.

In most climates, different fruits and vegetables are grown and harvested naturally depending on the season. For instance, winter foods include kale, oranges, and pumpkin, while strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini, and plums are typically summer foods (unless you are lucky enough to live somewhere where they are grown year-round). At the grocery store, we can find foods that aren’t in season because they are either transported from faraway regions where they are in season, or they are produced in artificial conditions that require extra assistance such as energy or water (i.e., heated greenhouses). If produce is transported long distances, it is usually picked early before it’s fully ripened. This means that chemicals and waxes (such as ripening chemicals, preservatives, and irradiation) are often sprayed onto the produce to protect it during the trip. Eating seasonally means you are likely avoiding the chemicals, food miles, and the extra energy it takes to eat foods that aren’t in season. In addition, seasonal foods can be less expensive and taste better. Because it is picked only when it’s naturally ripe, seasonal produce retains all of the nutrients and flavor that is lost when food is harvested prematurely.

No, you don't have to ask employees to "hold it." Reduce the amount of water used per flush by putting a brick in the tank. If you are replacing toilets, look for low-flush models, or ones with a half-flush option. Toilet flushing is the largest water consumer in office buildings.

"While increasingly a rare option, a manual transmission is more efficient than an automatic at improving fuel economy," says Massie. "They also hold less fluid and require less frequent fluid changes."

thredUP is the best resource for high quality secondhand clothing, shoes and handbags for women and kids.

Consider a menstrual cup or a reusable cloth pad.

When ordering takeout or bringing home leftovers, ask if you can get the food in your own reusable container.

Changing our habits for a better future might seem hard and long, but remember that the big tree was a young sprout one day. Let's take this journey together. Are you in?

Make your own toothpaste or purchase toothpaste in a recyclable or reusable glass container.

Some energy consuming products such as electronics and small appliances use electricity when they are plugged in but not turned on. These products, which have been coined “energy vampires,” can cost you around $200 each year. Unplugging electronics and small appliances when not in use or plugging them into a power strip and turning the power strip off can eliminate this unnecessary standby power. Power strips are helpful for outlets that are difficult to reach, and for turning on and off multiple items at once.

Using lids when boiling water or cooking food on the stove can help in containing the heat, cooking food faster, and keeping the heat in longer. If multiple dishes need to be cooked in the oven, try to put them in at the same time.

Did you know that the dates printed on food packages are not associated with any regulated testing of food safety or science? The dates are included by the manufacturer to convey a subjective level of optimum quality, but the lack of standardization creates confusion and food waste because it makes us think our food has gone bad when it hasn’t. Support is growing to standardize these dates, but until then, trust your instinct and think twice before throwing out food that still looks and smells good.

Discover ideas to reduce your waste.

It’s easy to accumulate junk in your car as we all go about our busy daily lives. But, keeping the clutter to a minimum can actually reduce the weight of your car. When your car is lighter, you will have better fuel efficiency. This means you will save gas and reduce overall emissions. So clean out your trunk!

Buy herbs and spices from the bulk section.

Here are examples among others of things you can compost: - Fruit and vegetable scraps (both cooked or uncooked) Eggshells - Coffee grounds and filters - Peanut shells - Soiled paper products (paper towels, napkins, to-go food containers) - Paperboard (toilet paper rolls, clean boxes) - Tea bags and leaves - Dryer lint - Hair and fur - Shredded newspaper paper - Cotton balls - Leaves, weeds, plant trimmings, and grass clippings

download music and videos online.

It will help to reduce drag along the road.

Growlers are a cool way to not use bottles (cap not recyclable), or cans. You can refill at will. Ask your local brewery if they have it.

Any foodservice paper products are lined with petroleum-based plastics that contaminate our soils when composted!

In the winter, reducing inside temperature from 72°F to 68°F in the day and 65°F at night lowers your household energy consumption approximately by almost 5%. During the summer when trying to keep the house cool, maintain the thermostat at around 80°F when you’re not home: you can save 7% on your cooling costs for each degree set above 78°F. To maximize efficiency in the summer, make sure doors to all rooms are kept open in order to keep air ventilated and to prevent the system from working too hard and using unnecessary energy. If it isn’t extremely cold or warm out, simply turn the system off until you get back home.

Buy herbs and spices from the bulk section.

Get up to $5,800 for home energy upgrades. Take a step towards upgrading the comfort, safety and energy efficiency of your home.

The chemical used as a refrigerant in your car’s air conditioner is a type of HFC, a potent GHG. If your air conditioner is leaking it’s releasing HFCs into the atmosphere, so it’s important to confirm with your mechanic that this isn’t the case for your car.

Find opportunities that have a direct impact on reversing climate change.

One of the most GHG-intensive foods is beef. Producing 2.2 pounds of beef emits the same amount of GHGs as driving 64 miles in the average passenger car. The majority of these emissions come from producing the feed to give to cattle as well as enteric fermentation (i.e., cow burps), which emits methane.

Concentrated products are cheaper and easier on the environment, but can be hazardous if used incorrectly. Protect yourself by using automatic dilution systems, which mix the right amount of product for you.

The US is home to some of the world’s most beautiful wilderness, most of which is very accessible. These parks are special places because they conserve plants, wildlife, and waterways that we need for sustainability, but also because they give visitors a chance to feel a connection with the environment. Not only will a trip to one of these parks inspire awe and give you a new appreciation for nature, but your visit signals that you value the parks and support keeping these areas protected. The visitor fees also help with park efforts. Americans are catching on to how these parks contribute to enjoyment and well-being: More than 305 million people visited national parks in 2015, the highest number of visitors ever recorded. 2016 was also the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service, so it’s a great time to show some thanks.

and collecting the world's litter.

Fuel consumption can go up by forty percent with sudden breaking and acceleration so try not to start and stop too frequently. Stay focused on the road so that you can more easily adjusting to changing traffic conditions. The smoother your driving is, the less fuel you will use.

Using your space to plant flowers, trees, or a garden is a great way to make you feel connected to the place you live and with nature in general. Adding more greenery can also help restore soil nutrients, aid in slowing climate change, and provide a place for biodiversity. If you’re up for it, you can also supply yourself with your favorite seasonal and local produce.

It's not always possible, especially if you have appearances to keep up, but every time you buy something for the office that's second-hand, you'll save by-product wastage in the production of a new appliance (and you'll save money too). Don't use the lazy excuse that the new item was already produced so you may as well buy it; if you don't buy it, then they won't make as many in the next production round.

New styles are constantly coming in, as old styles are just as quickly fading away. Style crazes are often exacerbated by the cheap prices you can find at major retailers, and with just a small investment, you too can be walking around with threads from the latest trend. It’s not even too upsetting if an item doesn’t last that long – due to its cheap price tag, we can easily go out and buy a new replacement. This scenario is known as fast fashion, a culprit of the “throw-away” culture, which prompts individuals to buy more and more clothes. In turn, a lot of virgin natural resources are extracted and used to produce these clothes, and a lot of waste is created from quickly discarded clothing.

If you do forget your soap and shampoo, use the hotel's. Just make sure to bring the leftovers home, so you can use it on your next trip. If you open it, don't waste it!

Eat less meat and more fruits, vegetables, and alternative proteins.

Don’t hesitate to talk about the ways you are reducing your environmental impact with the groups you take part in, such as sports teams, walking groups, book clubs, game/paint night or any other groups of friends or peers. Not only can you help your friends and networks learn about sustainability, but this also offers a way to hear about other sustainable habits or tips. Starting sustainability initiatives in your groups or clubs is one of the best ways to raise awareness and spread information on sustainability.

Opt for a drink in a reusable bottle instead of plastic, and carry it with you.

Make your own popsicles with metal or silicone reusable sticks and holders.

Lead the way by example. The acceptance that climate change is happening has increased over the years, and slowly so has the willingness to talk about environmental issues. When chatting with peers, share with them how you’ve made efforts to reduce your environmental impact at the workplace or on campus. They are likely to appreciate your efforts and may incorporate the tips into their own lives, if they haven’t already.

RECIPES FOR EVERYTHING FROM OVERRIPE AVOCADOS TO CHEESE RINDS.

Use reusable dish towels instead of paper towels. buy paper towels made of 100% recycled content and/or that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified.

Eat less meat and more fruits, vegetables, and alternative proteins.

Buying secondhand is always a preferred plan A when needing something. Buying secondhand saves you tons of money and prevents new items from entering the waste stream. You can also utilize this app to sell or give away unwanted items. Here's a weird example of how great this app is, I recently found someone willing to give me free sawdust that I can use for my kitty litter boxes. No packaging and completely no cost!

We're big believers in yellow let it mellow.

If you have a lawn, don't water it every day. And, when you do, make it count. Do it early in the morning when it's not windy. You'll have less evaporation occur.

By sharing rides, you can help cut down the number of cars on the road decreasing overall emissions. It is easy to carpool with others and there are several websites that help you find other commuters in your area to share rides with. Check out this website to help you find carpools in your area. https://www.erideshare.com/

A fitbit for your car. Encourage you to drive better and reduce your carbon footprint by optimizing your driving.

Food travels an average of 1,500 miles from the farm to your table. Even though this number depends on where you live, it illustrates that our food often travels a long way to get to us and every mile means energy use and associated carbon emissions. The environmental impact of food transport depends on the mode of transportation (e.g., trains are better than trucks), but, in general, reducing the miles your food travels is a good thing. Nowadays it’s likely you can find locally sourced meat and produce where you live, and by buying locally, you support the farmers in your area and your local economy.

Only buy and replace electronics when absolutely necessary and purchase refurbished and secondhand options if possible.

Stop receiving junk mails

Use a bamboo toothbrush, one made of recycled plastic or purchase from a company that has a takeback program.

Many common disinfectants (e.g. bleach) can trigger asthma or cause other significant health concerns

As a rule of thumb, avoid using things that you'll use only once. It usually means that they are made of cheap plastic. Toxic for our environment and deadly for marine animals when they end up in the ocean, which tons do each day! When in a public place, ask upfront the bartender to serve your drink without straw. If you are lucky some places started using reusable or paper ones. But stil very rare unfortunately. If you can't live without a straw, get a reusable metal, glass, or bamboo straw. It looks way cooler too!

Make your own cleaning products with common household items instead (e.g., baking soda, white vinegar).

Grocery store paper bags, newspapers, boxes, packaging from a previous present, and other types of packaging you might have lying around the house are all great alternatives to wrapping paper. Most wrapping paper is not recyclable or compostable, so it’ll inevitably end up in the landfill. Going for one of these wrapping paper alternatives saves you money, and if you can pull it off, should help you impress others with your creative and personalized approach.

Some toothpastes, soaps, body washes, and cleaning supplies contain plastic microbeads for exfoliating or extra cleansing purposes that end up in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. Plastic microbeads don’t biodegrade, and because of their small size are eaten by fish and other marine life, which can kill them. To avoid contributing to water pollution, make sure that the products you use with exfoliants don’t contain plastic, but are rather made from biodegradable material such as pumice, oatmeal, or walnut husks.

On the weekends, combine your trips by making one long trip instead of several smaller trips in one day. If you can, go to shopping areas where you can park your car and walk in between your destinations.

Some people have physical reactions to fragrances.

Prioritize quality over quantity, consider wooden toys instead of plastic, and buy second-hand instead of new.

GoSolarSF is a city program helping residents and businesses install solar panels by lowering the cost of investment. To be eligible for a GoSolarSF incentive, customers must be enrolled in CleanPowerSF. Get a free estimate of how much can be saved by switching to solar.

Washing fewer dishes means using less water. While you don’t have to reuse dirty dishes, keeping one drinking glass for multiple uses is an easy way to reduce water use. When preparing meals, it’s also helpful to consider how many dishes are being used in order to cut down on the need to wash them later. This also helps free some time up that would be needed for clean-up.

CleanPowerSF is the Community Choice Aggregation program for San Francisco residents. This program is available to both homeowners and renters. Check out CleanPowerSF and its 100% renewable SuperGreen energy service.

Invest in reusable, rechargeable batteries to avoid useless waste. Once fully used be sure to sort them appropriately during disposal to avoid toxic waste ending up in the landfill.

Reusable coffee filters made of fiber are available for purchase or use a french press to avoid any filter use.

Carpooling is great for many reasons: it reduces your contribution to climate change by not driving alone in a personal vehicle (while still commuting within the comfort and ease of a vehicle), you get to drive in the carpool lane, you may be eligible for priority parking, and you may even qualify for reimbursement programs depending on where you live and work. If you’ve never looked them up before, you may be surprised at how many carpooling and vanpooling services exist. Take the time to see what’s out there, or you may find that setting up your own carpool with coworkers, friends, or family members is the way to go. Apps can help too. Try Waze Pool for instance.

Put leftover food in the freezer to keep it from going bad and provide a quick meal when you don’t feel like cooking or going to the store. Having a few frozen meals to heat up in a pinch is a great alternative to having food delivered, which often comes with unsustainable materials such as plastic and Styrofoam.

Hopefully you saved your travel size toiletry containers (e.g., shampoo, soap) from your previous trip, but if not, you can always start with the trip you’re about to go on. These little travel size toiletry containers are great to keep on hand to refill with the products you use at home when packing for the next adventure. This is a simple way to cut down on purchases and reduce waste.

There are lots of affordable options for dish soap these days that don’t contain toxic chemicals. It’s important to avoid chemicals such as phosphates because they end up in waterways, contribut- ing to pollution and harming aquatic life. Sometimes it’s difficult to decipher which options are good for the environment, so check GoodGuide or EWG to see the grade your dish soap receives when it comes to potential impacts on human health and the environment.

Most teabags are made from plastic. Use loose leaf tea instead.

The question around what to do with your food waste can be tricky. Here is a list of ways to reduce its impact: 1. REDUCE: Obviously, the best way is to reduce the amount of food you need to throw away. But it's not always easy to get the right amount of food you'll actually need when doing your grocery shopping. Changes of plan gives life its spiciness I guess. 2. GIVE AWAY: So then you second best option is to give it to someone that may use it either to eat it or to feed their pets or chickens, if you are lucky enough to live in a rural area. 3. COMPOST: Also depending on where you live, your city may collect food waste for compost. Please participate in that program if this is the case. You can also start your own composting if you have an external space. There are also in-home options, but with smaller capacity. 4. GARBAGE DISPOSAL: if you have one (many older sinks do not) can be used to dispose of food. The food that you put down will likely end up in a wastewater treatment plant where food waste can be recycled and used to fertilize crops, which is why it’s better than going to the landfill where the same food waste will emit strong greenhouse gases, such as methane. The following items are known to clog the drain, so avoid to put them your garbage disposal: greasy items, such as butter or oil, pasta or rice, egg shells, celery, potatoes, orange or banana peels, or seeds. 4. LANDFILL: And last but not least, the least environmentally friendly option and last resort for disposing of food waste is putting food in the trash bin to go to the landfill.

In general, buy less furniture. Prioritize quality over quantity and buy second-hand instead of new, if possible.

You get the same sweetness as roasting them with the added bonus of a smoky kick. Mmmmm. Also, mega bonus points for killer char marks.

Pursuant to the point above, instead of using central air conditioning, you can save lots of power and money by using portable air conditioners. Traditional cooling costs up to $3,000/month for a measly 1,200 square foot office, and a lot of that is spent cooling empty boardrooms or otherwise unoccupied spaces. Cooling only the areas that need it with portable air conditioners allows employees to set comfortable temperatures for each area.

The process of growing and producing coffee is plagued with negative consequences on the environment, most notably intensive water use (it takes an estimated 37 gallons of water to produce a cup of coffee), water pollution, and deforestation. Large volumes of wastewater are generated when separating the coffee bean from the cherry, an essential process in coffee production. Although no chemicals are used in this process, the wastewater is a main source of water contamination in coffee-producing communities when it’s not treated. This affects the entire community whose livelihoods are frequently dependent on coffee production. In addition, coffee wastewater generates a considerable amount of greenhouse gases, particularly methane, if the organic matter in the wastewater is untreated and left to decompose. In order to minimize the negative impact that our beloved cup of coffee may have on the environment, look for coffee that has either a Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, or Organic label on it to ensure your next coffee purchase goes toward reducing your footprint and supporting sustainable production processes. For the most environmentally friendly option, look for shade-grown coffee. Shade-grown systems, where coffee is grown under the forest canopy, are highly beneficial to biodiversity conservation in tropical forest ecosystems, have a lower carbon footprint as they store more CO2, and use lower chemical inputs than conventional coffee because the natural vegetation reduces plants’ susceptibility to pests. Shade-grown coffee can also often be associated with reforestation efforts and provide communities incentives to not cut down trees. To find shade-grown coffee keep an eye out for packaging that specifically states shade-grown, or look for the Bird-Friendly certification label.

Aim to repair or upgrade your devices instead of buying new ones. Sell gadgets and computer parts, or find a facility where you can turn them in for recycling.

Buy juice in a large container and serve in reusable cups or bottles rather than buying individual juice boxes.

When you start to switch out items in your home for more natural or reusable items, the kitchen is a great place to start! Containers like mason jars are a great start, but sometimes you need something like cling-wrap to wrap leftovers up like an avocado half, part of a cut up fruit or vegetable, the rest of an uneaten sandwich or to use as a cover for a bowl or cup in the fridge. Discover how to make them. Super easy and fun!

one that offers a reusable garment bag and non-toxic cleaners

Incorporating vegetarian dishes helps reduce the carbon footprint associated with your food. It’s also almost always less expensive. Veggies are a great opportunity to go local, seasonal, and/or organic.

Give your A/C a break! Close the curtains or blinds in rooms that aren’t being used to keep the house cooler in the summer. Blocking direct sunlight from entering through windows will go a long way in keeping rooms cooler without using energy.

Be mindful of your use of technology.

Host your website or blog with clean energy

Doing laundry means using quite a bit of water: laundry makes up about 22% of the total water used by households. According to ENERGY STAR, the standard front-load washing machine uses 23 gallons of water and top-loading washing machines use around 40 gallons. Doing a load of laundry in top-loading machines uses almost the same amount of water as taking a 20-minute shower! Because doing laundry also means using energy, doing laundry more efficiently reduces your environmental impact and saves money on your bills. Besides ensuring that your washing machine is full before starting a load, here are some other tips to take into account next time you do laundry.

Opt for wine with a natural cork instead of plastic. You can also subscribe with local vineyards and wineries from which you can buy wine in bulk and take back the bottles once you're done with them.

Items such as dental floss, feminine products, disposable diapers, and expired medication shouldn't be flushed down the toilet because they may have difficulty passing through the pipes and can negatively impact marine life.

Use reusable coffee pods or avoid coffee pods altogether by choosing a more sustainable coffee-making method such as using a french press.

Invest in a zippered fabric bag and request that your cleaned items be returned in it instead of sheathed in plastic. (And while you’re at it, make sure you’re frequenting a dry cleaner that skips the perc, a toxic chemical found in some cleaning solvents.)

Rather than purchasing something material, how about experiencing something new? Giving unique gifts, such as tickets to a concert or comedy show, cooking lessons, or planning a trip to go camping or some other outdoor adventure are all thoughtful presents that don’t put significant stress on natural resources. Not only will you avoid unnecessary consuming, but giving the gift of an activity is extra motivation to do something out of the ordinary. And it doesn’t have to be an out-of-town adventure either, check out what local options are available first. Sharing a new experience is said to strengthen relationships, and it has also been proved recently that buying experiences brings us more lasting happiness than buying material things.

More and more utilities are providing customers with energy use data in accessible and easy-to-understand formats, either through their own platforms or partnering with outside companies. Over 100 utilities have partnered with the technology company Opower, which specializes in providing utility customers with in-depth home energy analyses, as well as information on how their energy use compares to their neighbors.

Absolutely need to buy something? Check first on your local classifieds such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, etc. If you need to buy on Amazon check for items that have already been used. Usually they are just refurbished Meaning they are new, but the box might be opened for instance. It's also way cheaper.

Taking the stairs avoids the energy use needed to power the elevator, and also lets you get some exercise. "Burn calories. Not coal" is a cool slogan to remember when you are climbing these stairs.

Bay Area Sunshares program leverages group buying power to obtain lower prices for solar installation and electric vehicles. Get a free solar assessment and find Bay Area participating car dealerships offering the group purchasing discount for EVs.

cool your oven, warm your house

Beef takes a large amount of natural resources and other inputs to be produced; lots of energy, land, and water are all required to raise cattle, let them graze, and finally produce the product you see in grocery stores and restaurants. But where do these cattle graze, exactly? Cattle ranching for beef is one of the main drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, which means it contributes not only to biodiversity loss but also to climate change. Beef produced on recently deforested land can result in “up to 25 times more greenhouse gas emissions than beef produced on established pastures.”

Try a reusable razor.

Opt for reusable gloves if possible and use for as long as possible.

Don’t let the time and money you use for buying food go to waste. Try to make the most of the food you buy by coming up with creative ways to eat it, particularly when you sense that your food is going bad. Fruit and veggies are one of the biggest culprits of food waste due to the relatively short shelf life. Stir-frys, smoothies, and casseroles are great ways to use up food before it goes bad.

Even though we are less likely to face life-threatening indoor air pollution in the US compared to developing countries, air quality is still a key issue that we should be aware of, especially since we spend a good amount of time inside our home and office. Common household items such as furniture and particle board can release low levels of formaldehyde while plastics, paints, and furniture release benzene. These types of air toxins can lead to health problems such as itchy eyes, drowsiness, respiratory and sinus congestion, headaches, allergies, and even cancer with long-term, high exposures. Letting fresh air in to ventilate and filter out stale, dusty air can go a long way, but there are a few other things that you can do to improve the air quality of your home.

Always ventilate the space by opening doors and windows, and wear rubber gloves.

The most fuel-efficient vehicle in the world won't be very eco-friendly if you'll need to replace it in a few years. Do your research and choose a car that's projected to stay on the road for years to come.

Create your own from old shirts and towels, and use for as long as possible before disposal.

Reduce food waste by meal planning, freezing food, proper storage of fruits and vegetables, and making sure to consume items before they go bad.

Similar to other cleaning products, laundry detergents can contain harmful ingredients. At a minimum, check to make sure your detergent doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate or phosphates, which have a detrimental effect on marine life. Some big companies are already taking the initiative to cut harmful chemicals from their products, but it’s a good idea to double check the ingredients list or refer to GoodGuide or EWG to gain insight into what your laundry detergent contains. If you see the Green Seal label, you can be sure that your product does not contain harmful chemicals.

ECOLOGO® Certified products, services and packaging are certified for reduced environmental impact. ECOLOGO Certifications are voluntary, multiattribute, life cycle-based environmental certifications that indicate a product has undergone rigorous scientific testing, exhaustive auditing or both, to prove its compliance with stringent, third-party, environmental performance standards

Not only it's clearly bad for you. It's also very bad for the environment and other people around you. The smoke released contain very toxic.

Reduce food waste by meal planning, freezing food, proper storage of fruits and vegetables, and making sure to consume items before they go bad.

1,000's of bananas are thrown out each year just because they don't have friends. If you have a heart... and you're at your local grocery store... buying bananas... look for a lonely banana and bring it home.

Consider reusable make-up pads.

Leverage its proprietary network of charitable and recycling partners to repurpose and recycle obsolete branded items in an ethical and affordable way.

Buy milk in a reusable glass bottle, if available. Ask your grocer for alternative packaging (e.g. glass).

Buy reusable coffee filters or use a french press to avoid any filter use.

If you can read something or fill out a form on the computer, do it. It’s a great way to reduce your contribution toward deforestation and it saves you or your organization money by not having to buy paper as often. Even if paper is made from recycled content, using less is still the best way to reduce your impact. Printing double sided is an easy way to cut down on paper use as well – next time you go to print, explore settings and check the box for “print double-sided” and “flip on long edge.”

Flower arrangements sold for events are sometimes grown in Central or South America using pesticides that may be banned in the US. Make your flower arrangements more sustainable by looking for Certified Organic or Fair Trade flowers, picking them up from local florists or farmers who use native and seasonal flowers, or by making your own from flowers you have in the garden or backyard. Another alternative to using cut flowers as decor is using potted flowers or plants that can be kept or planted after the event is over.

Opt for a drink in a reusable bottle instead of plastic, and carry it with you.

To cut down on items that need to be recycled in the first place, sign up to get your bills and other correspondence via email instead of sent in hard copy. Each time you see a bill in your email inbox you’ll know you are saving paper, and reducing emissions caused by transportation.

Instead of purchasing and throwing away disposable paper towels and napkins, use reusable and washable cloth napkins and towels. The fewer paper products you buy is a direct savings for you and also reduces waste and unnecessary paper use. If you do buy napkins and paper towels, try to purchase recycled and/or chlorine-free bleached to show the paper industry your support for using fewer chemicals. Chlorine is the main bleaching agent used by the paper industry and when released into the waterways as part of industrial wastewater it acts as a harmful pollutant.

We know recycling some other items can be a little confusing sometimes, but paper is pretty straightforward. Paper should always be recycled, and by doing so, we maximize its economic value and keep landfill space open for items that can’t be recycled.

Since the average passenger vehicle emits around 400 grams of CO2 per mile and in smaller amounts, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the ideal way to reduce your impact from driving is to drive less. Because this may not be very practical where you live, there are other tips to adopt when it comes to lessening the environmental impact of driving.

as opposed to a healthy varied diet

While it may not be as convenient as paper or plastic, using the dishes you already have in your cabinet or borrowing some will cut down on the waste you create. Single-use products, in general, are not compatible with sustainable living. If you can’t commit to using reusable plates, using 100% recycled or compostable paper plates is the next best option.

Instead of sending your stuff to the landfill, give them to someone you know, sell them, or donate them. Swapping clothes with friends, siblings, or coworkers is another great way to share and get “new” clothes without actually purchasing anything. Donating extends the life of each item and prevents it from going down the sad road that leads to the landfill. Some retailers such as H&M and Levi’s have launched take-back programs to recycle your old clothes. This is an area of sustainability where momentum is growing. Be part of the movement!

Consider reading online instead of receiving in hard copy. For unwanted magazines or advertisements, call or email companies directly to request to be removed from their marketing list. You can also opt out with CatalogChoice.org or DMAChoice.TheDMA.org

Use a bamboo toothbrush, or one made of recycled plastic. If not available, purchase from a company with a take-back program.

In the U.S, the energy you use at home is likely to come from the combustion of a fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, and petroleum) at a power plant. However, the mix of energy sources varies depending on where you live and even at different times of the day. Electricity from power plants makes its way to your house through a grid and transmission lines, while natural gas (used by gas stoves and heaters) is transported via underground pipelines. In 2015, the U.S. Energy Administration estimated that about 80% of the energy consumed in the United States was from fossil fuels, almost 10% from renewable energy, and 8% from nuclear power. Although solar, a renewable energy source, still makes up less than 1% of energy consumption in the United States, solar installation continues to increase at an impressive rate.

Every minute, people around the world buy about 1 million plastic bottles. Only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the US. Carry a reusable bottle in your bag, and you’ll never be caught having to resort to a Poland Spring or Evian again. If you’re nervous about the quality of your local tap water, get a water filter.

Invest in reusable, rechargeable batteries, but be sure to sort them appropriately during disposal.

Through the consumption of natural resources such as water and energy, household consumption contributes to more than 60 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It also makes up 70 percent of total global land use and more than 80 percent of global water use.

Not only does washing your clothes in cold water prevent them from fading as quickly (and thus reducing the need to replace them), it also helps reduce energy use. The energy it takes to heat water accounts for 90% of the energy it takes to operate a washing machine. In addition, heating hot water makes up ovr 10% of the typical U.S. household’s energy bill, so do your clothes and your wallet a favor by switching to cold water.

It can be easy to rely on single-use plastic items such as water bottles, cutlery, plates, and cups, but it creates a lot of waste that will most likely end up in a landfill. Similarly, try to use reusable containers to transport your food or snacks instead of ziplock bags or aluminum foil. When planning your next picnic or camping trip, think about bringing reusable cups and silverware and encourage others to do so as well.

For unwanted magazines or advertisements, call or email companies directly to request to be removed from their marketing list. You can also opt out with CatalogChoice.org or DMAChoice.TheDMA.org

Reuse empty votive tins (and the wick base) to make new votive candles for company with bulk beeswax and lead-free wick.

Instead of heating or cooling an entire house or apartment, limit it to the rooms that are most used. When using space heaters, use them sparingly, and make sure doors are closed to avoid heat from escaping.

Bathroom items such as plastic shampoo and soap containers, toilet paper rolls, and paperboard containers (e.g., the ones that some toothpastes come in) are often accepted by recycling facilities. Rigid plastic containers are often #2 plastics that can be recycled into new bottles, plastic lumber, playsets, buckets, containers, and stadium seats. Toilet paper rolls can be turned into new cardboard, paperboard, and paper bags. Keeping a separate small recycling bin in the bathroom may be a helpful way to remember to recycle these items.

It’s illegal for pharmacies to refill them in CA, but your state might allow it.

Swap Fashion in your local area

When washing produce, do it in a bowl or a tub, so you don't have to keep the water running. You will save water and will do so further by watering your houseplants with the remaining water.

Most offices could stand to raise the temperature a few degrees. In fact, look at how many people in the office (usually women) keep sweaters and extra clothing at their desks at the height of summer because the office is so much colder than the outside temperature. Instead of setting the thermostat so only those in full suits are comfortable, find a happy medium. (This is another great reason to set a business casual office policy).

Think of new uses for old items rather than discarding them or buying new ones.

Regular maintenance of your vehicle is critical for reducing your car’s impact on the environment. Routine oil changes can help boost your fuel efficiency up to 30%.

Hanging clothes outside or inside on a movable rack by a window or heating source eliminates the energy needed to dry clothes. It also makes your clothes last longer by treating them more delicately.

halves the cooking time!

Adding succulents to your outside area, even if it’s only on a window sill, adds some nature to your life and are easy to take care of because they don’t require much water. Due to their resilience to drought conditions and ability to grow quickly, low-growing groundcover succulents are a great option for landscaping. As groundcover, succulents help prevent erosion and can be a cost-effective alternative to grass or other thirsty options.

Of course, no packaging is the ideal option, but for a lot of items we consume, this unfortunately is not a choice. When deciding between comparable products, choose the one that uses less packaging, or packaging that you can reuse at home, like glass jars and containers.

Planting certain trees or bushes in strategic areas around your house can help maintain a moderate temperature inside your house by shading it from the sun during the summer. For instance, deciduous trees planted south of your home can help shade it from the summer sun while also not blocking the breeze, while trees that are lower to the ground can help shade your home from a low, afternoon sun when planted to the west of your home. Shading is the “most effective way to reduce solar heat gain in your home and cut air conditioning costs.”

We use a lot of paper products including toilet paper, tissue, and paper towels. Making paper takes trees, lots of water, and chlorine (or its derivatives) that bleaches paper products to get that common white color that we’re used to seeing. Reducing our use of these paper products ensures that we cut down on our contribution to the paper production process that often results in water pollution and deforestation.

Opt for seasonal, organic, and/or local produce.

Ecotourism continues to grow in popularity and is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.” Similar to sustainability, the definition is broad and is implemented in many different ways, from simple accommodations that minimize environmental footprint to organized hikes and outings that explore unique ecosystems. Be careful of greenwashing, as some groups take advantage of the popularity of the “ecotourism” label. In addition, increased tourism to fragile natural areas can threaten ecosystems if not managed properly, so try to do a little research before you book an eco-trip to be sure of its credibility. To make sure that your trip has a low impact on the environment, learn how conservation is being promoted in the area and what ecotourism companies are doing to counter the effects of increased visitors.

Take a walk around your office and notice how many offices and conference rooms have lights on despite nobody using the space. Instead of leaving it to employees to turn off lights as they leave rooms, install motion-activated light switches. They'll turn the lights on for a designated period of time (eg: 15 minutes) whenever somebody passes in front of the switch or moves about the room.

If you’re thinking about using decorative candles, go with beeswax instead of paraffin wax. Paraffin is a by-product of fossil fuels and is made with toxic chemicals that are released when it’s burned. Beeswax uses no harmful chemicals, doesn’t drip as much, and burns longer than paraffin.

Make purchases based on functionality, repairability, and durability. Less, but better.

Great personal care products don't have to come at Earth's expense.

Some small kitchen appliances use electricity when they are plugged in, even if they are not on. Unplugging all the “energy vampires” in your house can help save you 10 % and more on your monthly utility bill.

During warm summer days, use the oven in the evenings or at night in order to prevent extra heat in the house. Same for heat-producing machines such as dishwashers and dryers. Summer is also the perfect time to grill or barbecue, keeping the heat outside.

Each piece of office equipment you buy produces heaps of toxic substances in both the manufacturing and disposal stages. So the fewer office machines you buy, the smaller your footprint will be. Consider using multi-purpose machines that handle copying, scanning, faxing, and printing, as well as other multi-tasking machines.

It is important to note and apply instructions for all cleaning products. For instance, note proper dwell times, dilution rates, application and rinsing procedures when using disinfectants.

Though we can make a difference through our own habits, corporations obviously have a much bigger footprint. If you believe a company could be smarter about its packaging, make your voice heard. Write a letter, send a tweet, or hit them where it really hurts: Give your money to a more sustainable competitor.

Ensure the photocopier and printer defaults back to single copies after somebody has used it. You may also want to set them to print double-sided by default. Use the draft printing mode whenever possible (which is more than you think), and avoid color printing.

Use washable cloth napkins, and use handkerchiefs or tissue books instead of paper. When you do buy paper napkins or tissue, look for 100% recycled content and/or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified.

In general, buy fewer clothes. Prioritize quality over quantity and buy second-hand instead of new, if possible.

If you have to use sprinklers, make sure they are adjusted to turn on in the morning or evening when it’s cooler to avoid evaporation. Adding mulch to your garden can also slow the evaporation process.

Setting up clearly labeled bins for landfill, recycling, and/or compost helps keep your items separate for proper disposal. It helps your guests be more sustainable too and is much easier than sorting it later. Placing the bins all together in one “sorting station” is a great strategy to maximize effectiveness.

Helps you save money by saving energy.

Limiting the use of aluminum foil and extending the life of the foil you use by reusing it several times reduces your overall environmental footprint in the kitchen. Although aluminum foil is often recycled, the extraction process required to make new aluminum products degrades the environment and can contribute to a wide range of environmental issues including water pollution, deforestation, and soil erosion.

With the plunging price of solar power, and an increasingly diverse group of companies such as Tesla and Forward Labs offering new products, the toughest decision may not be whether to install, but which style and color panels to place on your roof.

electricityMap is a live visualization of where your electricity comes from and how much CO2 was emitted to produce it.

Think of composting as nature's natural cycle of zero waste. Breaking down decomposed organic materials into rich soil. By doing this, you're returning nutrients back into the earth in order for the circle of life to continue.

With only 3 natural ingredients.

Keep my showers short, sweet, and to the point. Put on one of your favorite 4ish minute songs and get everything scrubbed and clean by the end. And it’s more relaxing than setting a timer.

This is important for keeping your engine running cleanly and smoothly. The cleaner your engine runs, the less emissions your car produces.

In addition to providing a better steady-state fuel economy than gas-powered counterparts, diesels often generate more low- and mid-range power than gas engines as well, making [the car] feel more sporting. Diesels are also built with closer tolerances, so they last a lot longer. A long service life means a reduced environmental impact

As a reusable bottle and water filter company, Soma’s way of giving back is straight-forward: ensure people around the world have access to clean drinking water by donating a portion of their proceeds to a charity building wells in developing countries. But selling reusable water bottles also has an environmental angle, so Soma focuses on using post-consumer recycled materials and invests in tree planting and forestry projects to give back to the planet. And, as a certified B Corp, they meet some of the highest standards of sustainability and transparency.

Buy coffee from the bulk section in a plain paper bag or reusable container. Look for a Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, or Organic label.

Instagram is a wonderful source for inspiration. There are several individuals that post easy tips and tricks on how to implement easy zero waste changes in your life. Go to the hashtag "#zerowaste" and have fun surfing through all of the wonderful accounts!

Do not put your compost scraps in plastic bags! Especially if you have curbside composting in your area. It makes it a lot of work to pick through the compost and rid them of plastic bags. If you have to wait to bring your compost somewhere (like a local farm, neighbors, or community garden), you can store you compost a few ways: - Use a certified compostable liner to store your scrapes in for delivery - Bowl in the freezer - Compost counter container

In the late 1980s, NASA conducted a study on the ability of plants to reduce indoor toxins in an effort to learn more about purifying the air in space stations. They discovered that certain plants are very effective at absorbing the harmful gases and toxins that often linger from furniture, paints, and plastics. Plants like Boston fern, Palm trees, and Rubber help to filter and purify the air.

Host a clothing swap, or resell your clothes at a local second-hand boutique or consignment store. The better the quality of the item, the better its resale value, and the longer its lifespan, whether it's in your closet or someone else's.

Buy coffee from the bulk section in a plain paper bag that you can reuse multiple times or a reusable container. Look for a Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, or Organic label.

Offset your carbon footprint through a monthly subscription.

If for some reason the restaurant says no to you using your own cup, go topless and strawless. Or just walk away as I sign of protest for their lack of flexibility.

Ride an electric scooter in San Francisco

Coffee cups even if recyclable or compostable still needs a lot of trees to be produced. Make the greener choice: bring a reusable mug or canteen instead. Many coffee shops will give you a discount if you use your own cup. And also it looks way cooler if you ask me ;)

The California Green Business Network leads the state and nation in working with small to medium sized businesses to create a vibrant green economy. Led by a coalition of cities and counties, the organization contribute by helping to make our communities healthier and more livable while also conserving resources and saving money.

An INTERACTIVE STORAGE GUIDE - WITH TIPS, TRICKS, AND INFO TO KEEP YOUR FOOD FRESH AND TASTY FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

Consider a worm composter for liquid fertilizer, a separate pet composter for your dog’s feces.

veggie scraps, fruit scraps, egg shells *some commercial composting facilities will except some meat/cheeses, check with your local compost center first! , hair / lint, paper (untreated - no receipts!), plant material (ask your local facilities about yard waste!)

Get your meal in a reusable, returnable GO Box container from over 80 vendors. Only in Portland.

Read up on the social and environmental issues, history, and any other characteristics pertaining to the place you are visiting. The understanding gained from a little research will support your ability to interact with the environment and locals in a positive way, and can also guide you toward ongoing, local sustainability efforts. For example, in your research you may find that your destination is prone to droughts, which would make you pay closer attention to water use, or you may read about illegal logging of rare trees, which would make you more aware of what to avoid at the souvenir market. Because where we stay shapes our entire trip, sustainability should also be factored into our accommodations. There are a number of ways to do this and it’s becoming easier and easier as more hotels are realizing the importance of minimizing negative environmental impact and communicating these efforts to their guests.

Trees can act as windbreaks, lowering the wind chill around your home and acting as an insulator, all while reducing the cost of heating your home. One strategy to create a windbreak is to plant evergreen trees and shrubs on the north and northwest sides of your home.

The manufacturer’s setting for hot water heaters is often at 140F, but most households only need it to be set at 120F. Turning down the temperature to 120F saves $25 to $60 per year and helps the water heater and pipes last longer. It also does not impact the enjoyment of a hot shower.

Consider reusing it! Save it in the refrigerator, then add a little bit when cooking potatoes, eggs, or vegetables to enhance flavor.

Always think "if everyone was doing the same".

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