Looking for a few simple ways to cut carbon? Earth Guardians has been recognized publicly for this comprehensive yet accessible little list. Pretty soon we’ll be launching a campaign that incentivizes folks to collectively commit to taking on one of these items for a week straight. Our goal is to track the carbon our global tribe is cutting. Meanwhile, scope out the list and get a head start on your carbon-cutting practice.
- In the winter, turn down the thermostat and wear warmer clothes instead.
- In the summer, avoid using the air conditioning. Consider getting an evaporative cooler instead.
- Avoid using the clothes dryer, hang your clothes out to dry whenever possible.
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater (130 degrees is hot enough).
- Put a brick or rocks in your toilet tank to conserve water each time you flush.
- Minimize toilet flushing – “if its yellow, its mellow, if its brown, flush it down”.
- Remember to turn off your lights whenever not needed, especially during the day.
- Put stereos and electronics on power strips and turn off when not in use.
- Replace your light bulbs with LEDs, which use a lot less energy.
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries for portable devices.
- Minimize printing of documents from the computer, go paperless.
- Eat vegetarian– or better yet: VEGAN! Remember to buy organic.
- Buy locally sourced food when possible.
- Eat organic food (pesticide and GMO free)— better for you and the planet.
- Shop at local farmer’s markets.
- Start a garden: grow some of your own food!
- Compost leftover food, yard trimmings, and organic matter instead of throwing it in the trash.
- Use all reusable plates, silverware, napkins, tupperware, etc. (Including when you get food to-go!)
- Decide what you want before you open the refrigerator, don’t leave the door open.
- Use a pressure cooker, especially for beans and grains.
- Avoid supporting fast-food restaurants and chains. Eat at local, community-oriented restaurants.
- Buy food in bulk! Plan ahead and bring reusable bags and containers to the market or store.
- Cut your shower time by 20% or take one fewer shower per week.
- Turn off the water while shampooing or washing your body.
- Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth or shaving.
- The cooler the water, the better. Turn it down a few degrees.
- Use rags or hand towels instead of paper towels or napkins.
- Use non-toxic, environmental-friendly products for cleaning.
- Minimize use of aerosols. Don’t buy it if halons or CFCs are listed.
- Local, local, local! Consider paying a little extra to support a local store or restaurant.
- Shop at second-hand / thrift stores.
- Organize clothing swaps & trade days with your friends / community.
- Do some research– get good at distinguishing between greenwashing and legit sustainability standards.
- Keep an extra reusable bag in your purse / backpack / bike / car.
- Buy carrots, onions, potatoes, and other produce loose – no need to use a plastic bag.
- Buy products made from or packaged in recycled materials.
- Make your own! DIY!
- Walk, rollerblade, skateboard, unicycle, or ride a bike.
- Carpool and ride-share whenever possible.
- Use public transportation (bus, subway, train) instead of a personal car.
- Drive a fuel-efficient, hybrid, or electric car.
- If you own a car, avoid using the air conditioning.
- Be an eco-driver (slow acceleration, gradual deceleration, smart parking, etc.).
- Keep your trunk clean, extra weight decreases gas mileage.
- Make sure the tires on your car are properly inflated and balanced.
- Keep your car tuned up and clean.
- Replace screen time with socializing, creating, learning, art, and exercise.
- Pick up litter when you walk; participate in (or start) litter pick-up days in your neighborhood.
- Start or help with a community garden
- Get outside every day. Get into the habit of regularly spending time in nature.
- Buy a living Christmas tree and plant it somewhere after the Christmas season.
- Plant trees in your community.
- Adopt a street or trail, and keep it clean
- Organize a clean up at a beach, lake, river, or creek.
RECYCLE AND REUSE
- “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” – in that order!
- Start by not buying something you’ll wind up recycling. If you buy it, reuse it before recycling it.
- Print off the “recyclables” list for the facility in your area. Post it on your fridge & refer to it when you’re not sure.
- Recycle old cell phones, mobile devices and batteries.
- Donate to thrift organizations and shop at thrift stores.
- Use, and re-use cloth napkins instead of paper.
- Use containers to store food in your refrigerator. Minimize aluminum foil, plastic wrap and bags.
- Mend and repair rather than discard and replace.
- Before you throw away plastic six-pack holders, cut each circle with scissors.
- Visit / request a tour of your local recycling center.
- Buy yourself a cool reusable water bottle. Carry it with you at all times.
- Avoid using styrofoam and plastic as often as you can.
- Bring a thermos or coffee mug from home to the cafe instead of using disposable cups.