Green and other sustainable Tips

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What can you do to live more sustainably, be more socially responsible, and minimize your impact on our precious Earth? The following are some simple tips that anyone can incorporate into their daily life with minimal additional effort

Around The House
Consumer Tips - Out and About
Food and Health
Home and Garden
Other Sustainable Tips

    Around the House

  • Reuse plastic containers instead of buying tupperware or using plastic ziplock bags. I reuse salsa containers and things like that all the time. Great for putting leftovers or extra sliced vegetables and things like that.
  • Reuse plastic bags for garbage bags. I have never actually bought garbage bags in my life. More than enough plastic bags make their way into my home from other things. Even things like a plastic bread bag can be used for many things
  • If you NEED plastic bags, there are products out there that made from corn byproducts that are exactly the same as plastic, yet will decompose in a matter of weeks if composted. Great alternative for picking up dog poo, then it can naturally decompose instead of fossilizing the waste. See the shopping page for recommendations.
  • This might be a stretch for many people, but I reuse coffee filters. I dump the coffee grounds out and let the filter air dry, the next day it is reused. This cuts in half the amount of paper I use, and doubles the amount of time before I need to buy new ones.
  • Put a full quart size or bigger water bottle into your toilet tank to take up space and prevent the full tank from flushing each time. Many toilets use upwards of 2 gallons per flush. This is not necessary, you could probably reduce that by 20-40% without any functional impact. That is what I have done.
  • RECYCLE! This should go without saying. Almost every neighborhood has city sponsored recycling programs. If not, usually a local rec center will have bins where you can bring paper, glass, and plastics to recycle. Check in your area. Also, remember that you can and should recycle and/or properly dispose of batteries and electronic waste! See my blog post here for more information.

    Out and About and Consumer Tips

  • This should go without saying, but don't take paper or plastic when shopping. Bring your own! See the shopping page for canvas shopping bags.
  • When shopping for clothes, it is becoming more and more common to see organic clothing. This is an often overlooked thing, but cotton is a crop just like anything else, and the production of clothing uses a huge amount of chemicals and bleaches. Buying organic keeps these chemicals out of the ecosystem, as well as saving your skin from absorbing any byproducts of chemical production
  • Another great tip is to shop thrift stores. I have found name brand clothing that is for all intensive purposes brand new for a fraction of the price. In a way this even beats organic because you are reusing instead of using new materials.
  • Food and Health

  • Buy as much organic and local food as you can! Most markets and grocery stores offer a great selection of organic produce these days
  • Buy organic and fair trade teas, not only does this help your health and the environment, it also helps the farmers and the growers, often from third world countries, by ensuring that they get paid a fair price for their products.
  • Join a Community Supported Agriculture program. Support local farmers, minimize the need for food to travel, and get fresh organic produce. I belong the the Be Wise Ranch here in San Diego.
  • Try to use as many vegetable based products as possible. This increases the likelihood of being biodegradable and having less chemicals, also reduces the need to have so many petroleum based products. For example, my hand soap, dish soap, shaving cream, moisturizer are all vegetable based and have no petroleum in them.
  • Home and Garden

  • Compost! If you can, this can save a large amount of household waste. Because I am in an apartment I use a plastic bin and only put select waste that I know will break down quickly. But if you have a yard, you could easily compost all your fruit and vegetable waste AND end up with top notch gardening soil.
  • Grow your own vegetables. With the rising costs of food and gas, growing a few plants is a very easy way to reduce the amount you need to purchase, as well as reducing the need for food to be transported long distance. Obviously grow it organic! Can't be beat.
  • Reduce the amount of chemicals need in your house. Vinegar is amazing and does many things that most people use chemicals for. Check out 1001 vinegar tips here.
  • Unplug unused appliances when not in use or when away on vacation. I ALWAYS unplug my TV, DVD, Cable, as well as my computer equipment when I go out of town. Once while gone for a week, having these appliance unplugged instead of turned off saved somewhere near 10% on my electric bill.
  • Money/Investing

  • Invest in socially responsible stocks and funds. This is an often overlooked option, but is great, you can invest your money, and know that you are supporting something inline with your beliefs. If you can't invest, vote with your dollars. Pass on products made by companies who destroy the environment or exploit laborers. Consumers CAN make a difference.
  • Other Sustainable Tips

  • Walk or ride a bike when able. This should go without saying. Saves gas (the environment and your bank account) and then you can cancel your gym membership!
  • If you have the option, try to get your home electricity from green power. Many cities allow you to choose to have your electricity come from wind or solar. Unfortunately for me, in San Diego I don't have that option.
  • If you run a website, try to find a host that uses green power and/or is carbon neutral. (No, this site is not. I intend to switch, but right now it is not financially viable.)