Wednesday, July 14, 2010

175 new green habits

"Some people say to me, ''What about the people who say climate change doesn't exist?''
The way I look at it is: if 98 out of 100 doctors say you have a broken arm,
and two doctors say you don't - who would you believe?

If climate change doesn't exist, the question I ask you is: how does cleaning up our environment and spurring economic development toward new ''green'' industries harm us? "
- Arnold Schwarzenegger

1. Hang laundry to dry
2. Don't use plastic bags - use reusable fabric bags or string bags. (Have a couple too many with you at all the times, so that you can give one to someone who doesn't have any, at the grocery store. ;-))
3. Make some simple netting bags for vegetables and fruits. Don't use plastic bags.
4. If you buy coffee from a café, ask to get it in your own cup ;-)
5. Get an aluminium water bottle, and fill it from your tap at home. If you don't like the taste of the water, fill a jug with it the previous evening and put it in the fridge over night. It will taste better in the morning. You can also add a twist of lemon juice in it to improve the taste. Use this bottle to drink water from the whole day. If you prefer a glass, use the same glass the whole day.
6. Don't buy ready-made foods, "tv dinners" and "half fabricates"
7. Don't buy light products
8. Don't buy soft drinks (soda, pop, what ever you call it)
9. Wash dishes in a washbowl and rinse them in another. Save the water to water the plants with. Dishwater has nutrients and the soap will not harm the plants, but all possible bugs ;-)
10. Soak pots and pans, don't scrub them under running water.
11. Turn off water when you soap yourself in shower
12. Turn off water when you brush your teeth
13. Turn off water when you soap your hands.
14. Wash only full loads, use water save program, don't use drying when washing dishes, or prewash when washing clothes, don't wash clothes with warmer water than +40°C (107 °F) and use eco friendly washing detergents. Don't use softeners or rinses.
(Homemade nature-friendly dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent)
15. Don't wash clothes like jeans and sweaters after every use. It is enough to just air them.
16. Change your clothes when you get home and air the clothes properly after use.
17. Use aprons, overalls and arm covers to protect your clothing.
18. Reuse your towels.
19. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse ;-) (But do this intelligently. Most things are not to be recycled. You should invent your own reuses to most of the things, like newspapers and plastic bags.)
- how to make organic planting pots of old newspapers
- make "wicker" out of old newspapers
20. Don't flush after peeing, but only after pooing ;-)
21. Put some waterfilled bottles in to the toilet water tank to save water
22. Don't flush garbage, like used tissues, cotton balls, Q-tips etc. Put them in the garbage bin in stead.
23. When you change your pet's water, don't pour it down the drain, give it to plants instead.
24. Don't have an ice machine. Have ice trays in the freezer in stead.
25. Wash your pets on lawn, so you don't need to water it, nor waste the pet washing water :-D
26. Don't throw away the water you have boiled or steamed your vegetables, rice or pasta with. Use it for soups.
27. Don't dump ice cubes in trashes or in a sink, but on closest plant
28. Pick a piece of garbage a day, even if it's not your garbage
29. Turn off light when you are not using it
30. Don't thaw food with hot water. Let it thaw in fridge by itself.
31. Wash your fruits and vegetable in a bowl and use the water to water the plants.
32. Give your old things to goodwill, second hand shops or so, don't throw it away.
33. Use cloth handkerchiefs
34. Use dishcloths
35. Use washcloths. Keeping a moist washcloth in a zip-lock bag in your pocket or handbag replaces moist napkins.
36. Use cloth napkins and napkin rings, and don't wash the napkins after each meal.
37. Print on both sides of the paper, and don't print everything - think before you print out, and print only what is necessary
38. Unplug appliances after use. Don't use stand-by.
39. Grow your own herbs and vegetables. One can do much on windowsills only!
40. Don't use a hair dryer. Get a good haircut that will look nice air-dried.
41. Get your books and movies from a library instead of buying or renting them.
42. Clean with baking soda, salt, lemons and vinegar :-D
43. Make your own food
44. Bake your own bread
45. buy in bulk to avoid packaging material
46. Use loose leaf tea, not teabags. (Make your own reusable teabags and coffee filters)
47. Use reusable menstrual products; washable pads, cups etc.
48. Use public transportation, carpooling, bicycle and your own feet when possible
49. Don't use cars to drive around without a reason. No joyrides, "I need to be alone", "I need to think" etc.
50. Lower the temperature in your home; +18°C is quite adequate. It can be even cooler during the nights and when the house is empty. Use sweaters, socks and woolen blankets to keep you warm if need be.
51. Follow the seasons with your food, preserve greens when in season, eat as much locally produced as you can.
52. Eat less.
53. Don't make more food than as many servings as there are eaters. If you do, freeze the other portions.
54. Don't be scared with "best before" dates. It is a recommendation, not an order. Most foods are quite ok even a couple of days after that date. Trust your nose, eyes and mouth to inform you whether food is ok or not.
55. Don't throw food away - compost it
56. Make yourself a lunch bag. Don't go to a restaurant to eat.
57. Eat more veggies, less animal products.
58. Give homemade, vintage or "green" gifts
59. Make your own gift wrapping. Reusable shopping bags and furoshikis are a good alternative for gift wrapping.
60. Leave the television, tv games and computer and go out, play games, read a good book.
- 365 days without the television
- 43 things to do without the television
- 25 ideas on how to entertain yourself and your family without the television
- 101 things to do this summer
61. plant a tree
62. plant any plants (like seed bombs...)
63. work a couple of hours every week at animal or homeless shelter
64. Use rewritable discs and reuse them
65. Leave your old gadgets to a proper recycling center
66. Use house plants to clean the air
67. Use an evaporative cooler instead of an air conditioner. Use ceiling fans.
- how to make a simple swamp cooler
68. Use simple water bowls in stead of humidifiers and bowls of salt instead of dehumidifier.
69. Start composting. You can have a compost even in an apartment.
70. Use metal, glass and pottery to storage food instead of plastic
71. Don't buy anything that is packaged in "single size"
72. Make your own snacks
- some recipes
73. Use washable plates, mugs, cutlery etc.
74. Take your own popcorn to movies
75. Use eco-friendly insect "repellents"
- cockroach kill
76. Try to use as much "green power" as possible - change your energy provider, use things that are powered with dynamo or hand crank, solar cells etc.
- Free energy at home
77. Don't use plastic straws.
78. Learn from Depression
79. Don't throw your old things away, but give it to someone who could use it.
80. Stop junk mail.
81. Stop shopping and buying things you don't necessarily need. Window shop in stead.
82. IF you subscribe to a magazine (it would be better if you read them in a library instead), here's some suggestions on what to do with the old ones: Reusing magazines
83. Chuck your microwave oven. At least, don't buy frozen microwave-meals. You could use the microwave to warm up homemade snacks though.
84. Eat with family and friends. The more you cook for, the cheaper economically and environmentally the food gets.
85. Run many errands at one go and carpool with friends.
86. Learn to fix simple things
87. Switch to energy saving light bulbs.
88. Don't use make-up and perfumed cosmetics. Wrinkle creams don't work, so don't waste money and resources by buying them.
89. Use potpourris and baking soda instead of air fresheners. Boiling citrus rind freshens the air too. Dust the walls helps as well. Air often.
90. Dispose medicine properly, don't just whack it in the garbage.
91. Turn off your computer monitor when you leave the office for the day
92. Don't fly. If you must, take as straight flight as you can. Combine trips. Try to use alternative traveling methods, like ship, train and buses. Vacate locally :-D
93. Insulate your home properly. See that there is no draft.
94. Put aluminium foil behind the radiators to make the warmth reflect into the room instead of getting absorbed into the walls.
95. Get curtains. In winter close them at night to keep the warmth inside, in summer, keep them closed on the sunny side of the house, while the windows on the shadow side are kept open, to keep the house cool.
96. Use solar powered lights in your yard, if you want to have lights there.
97. Unplug electric chargers when your batteries are charged.
98. Get rechargeable batteries.
99. Make sure your faucets don't drip and your toilet doesn't leak.
100. Use always proper size pans and kettles when you cook and don't boil more water than you need. Boil water in an electric water kettle, not in the cooking pot on stove.
101. Keep the fridge against outer wall, away from direct sunlight and stove and make sure the air circulates around it freely. Vacuum behind the fridge weekly and defrost it once a month.
102. Defrost your freezer too, once a month.
103. Open the fridge door as rarely as possible and don't keep the door open for a long time. Decide what you are going to take out before you open the door and act quickly.
104. Let the leftovers cool properly before you put them in the fridge. Never put warm food in the fridge.
105. Learn to drive smoothly. Don't sweat. Plan your driving routes beforehand.
106. Don't change a car just to change it. Use your old car as long as it's comfortable, and when you need to buy a new car, buy a "green" one.
107. Keep your tyres pressured.
108. When waiting in a queue for more than a couple of minutes, switch the engine off.
109. Take off the roof racks and boxes and other accessories when you don't need them.
110. Get your car checked regularly.
111. Don't use black garbage bags. Try to find biodegradable ones.
112. Calculate how much paint you need to paint a room, if you need to paint a room, and buy just the amount of paint.
113. Don't wash the paintbrushes in sink. Use a washing bowl and pour the dirty water, chemicals or what ever you use, straight in the ground, not the sewage. Ground will filter the harmful substances from the dirty water.
114. Don't use bleach! If you MUST, don't pour it down the sink, but go out and pour it on the ground. Use baking powder and vinegar to sanitize the drain.
115. Read the newspapers online or in a library.
116. Rake leaves and compost them. Don't use a leaf blower.
117. Use a man-powered or electric lawnmower, not a gas powered.
118. Let the cut grass lie.
119. In stead of lawn, think about other options, like clover and other groundcovers.
120. Shovel snow manually, don't get a snowplow. (You could pay for a teenager for this, if you cannot do it yourself.)
121. Change your stationary computer into a laptop.
122. Toast your bread in a toaster, not in oven.
123. Replace your existing showerheads with low-flow showerheads.
124. Take showers, keep them as quick as you can, take baths as seldom as you can
125. Re-use zip top bags.
126. Buy bulk food and package it yourself in reusable containers.
127. Use collected rainwater and "grey" waste water to water your garden.
128. Block up the chimney with newspaper when you are not using it - and don't forget to remove the stuffing when you do want to use it.
129. Switch on electric blankets no more than half an hour before you go to bed and switch off just before you get into bed.
130. Use warm water bottles and more blankets if your bed is cold.
131. Adding an unheated conservatory or sunspace to the south face of your house increases passive solar gains and provides an insulating effect.
132. Use recycled toilet paper and paper.
133. When cooking put the lids on your pots and pans to reduce heat loss.
134. Create a wormery. This uses worms in a sealed, hygienic, and non-smelling unit to compost your waste, which can then be used to fertilise your garden.
135. Avoid using patio heaters, as these produce enormous amounts of CO2. Put a jumper on instead!
136. Buy certified wood to ensure sustainable forest management.
137. Use domestic wood in furniture, decorating, building. It's a renewable material and when you support the domestic foresting companies, you will save forests!
138. Water your garden in the evening as this will save water.
139. Use recycled wood chips in your flower beds as they retain moisture resulting in less watering.
140. Take advantage of natural daylight as much as possible.
141. Don't carry unnecessary loads in your carboot or on the roof - it increases your car's fuel consumption.
142. Quit smoking
143. Buy good quality basic clothing and follow the fashion trends with accessories instead.
144. Buy only natural fibers.
145. Downsize your living.
146. Declutter. Give everything you don't need to those who might need it. Have only things that are beautiful and useful in your home.
147. Set up your bills for internet paying. Switch to an internet bank.
148. Invest in solar power in developing countries
149. Educate yourself and others
150. Ask your workplace to take actions for a greener day
151. Ask your politicians to take actions for a greener day
152. Ask your friends and family to take actions for a greener day
153. Now I can't find what it is called, but get together with the other families in the neighborhood and cook meals together. Food pooling? Meal swapping? Bulk cooking?
154. Buy the things you can pick from a canister or box, like delicatessen, coffee beans, loose-leaf tea, loose candy and so on, straight into your own can, canister, jar or box.
155. Don't buy ANYTHING in styrofoam.
156. Have potluck dinners with your friends, family and neighbors, often. Bring your own plates, cutlery and cloth napkins to the potluck.
157. Support your local enterprises, businesses, crafters and farmers.
158. Use "green currency" - exchange, swap and trade services and products.
159. Stop drinking coffee and tea. Change to something locally produced, like herbal teas. Try the Depression time coffee replacements ;-) (like "dandelion coffee", roasted corn and roasted barley)
160. Grow your own salad. It takes just a couple of weeks and lettuce grows everywhere. You can also grow things like cress.
161. Sprout
162. Don't accept freebies, giveaways and promotion merchandise. You don't NEED to take everything just because it's "free".
163. Get rid of every piece of clothing that requires dry-cleaning. Don't buy such clothes.
164. Breastfeed your baby. You won't need to buy bottles and formulas, but can feed your child for free with the best food for babies ever.
165. Use cloth diapers.
166. Don't get special babyfood in jars. Give your child what you eat, mash fruit and boiled vegetables. Learn to cook for your baby.
167. Recycle children's clothing. Babies don't wear out clothes, they just grow out of them.
168. Use bibs and aprons with sleeves on your child when he/she is learning to eat, or let him/her eat naked.
169. Use native plants in your garden.
170. Plant fruit trees, berries and nuts in your garden and harvest them.
171. Learn to forage and eat wild vegetables and mushroom.
172. Reuse glass jars
173. Reuse glass bottles
174. Make your own soft drinks
175. Have a bee hive on your yard or balcony


If you know any others, I'd be interested. I couldn't find any more :-(

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