100 ways to live (and die) green

Conservation and marine science education are two primary themes on BCS. And, since I’ve been dedicating a lot of time to marine science education the past few months I indulged myself with this list 100 of ways to live (and die) green. It’s a list of fun suggestions – beyond recycling day-to-day – and is appropriate since this weekend is Earth Day and this week is National Environmental Education Week! Please don’t hesitate to email info@beachchairscientist.com with any questions or comments. Feel free to comment and add to the list. I love new ideas.

  1. Install a dual-flush conversion kit.
  2. Use  water bottle (they even come with filters!).
  3. Make sure your faucets do not leak.
  4. Plug the sink to collect water for rinsing dishes.
  5. If you do have a leak, why not make it count and use the water wisely for something else.
  6. Pre-rinse your dishes for the dishwasher with a squeegee instead of rinsing in the sink.
  7. Why not install a low-flow showerhead?
  8. Filter your water from the tap.
  9. Turn off the water when you brush. (It will save about 8 gallons of water a day!)
  10. Take shorter showers.
  11. Only do full loads of laundry.
  12. Do not dump hazardous materials (e.g., oil, grease, antifreeze, pesticides, fertilizers, paints).
  13. When it’s dirty, take the car to a professional car washer. (Doing it yourself in the driveway wastes about 150 gallons of water.)
  14. Use pet-safe deicers when it snows.
  15. When your feisty pet chews the squeaker from his toy, why not put it back in and sow it up for another round of tug-o-war?
  16. Consider natural pet products for your furry little buddy.
  17. Give the wire hangers back to the dry cleaner.
  18. If you dry clean do it less often so they can bulk up more and skip on more plastic wrap.
  19. Xeriscape (i.e., plant natives to reduce the need to water).
  20. Use a rain barrel in the garden.
  21. Consider using alternatives to pressure-treated wood in your garden.
  22. Use some elbow grease to pull weeds or use a natural herbicide to get rid of weeds.
  23. Use a library. (Here I could also suggest switch to an ebook reader, but since my mom is a librarian and I know she loves her job I’ll promote a little community citizen interaction.)
  24. Buy local produce for your dinner.
  25. Switch to fairtrade coffee or tea for the morning beverage.
  26. Use a reusable bag when shopping. (You might remember the ‘Majestic Plastic Bag‘ series from last year.)
  27. Skip the meat in the dinner for a night each week.
  28. Jazz up the garden with some illuminating beautiful solar lighting.
  29. Make sure your exfoliating facial scrub doesn’t have harmful plastic beads that do not dissolve when they go down the drain.
  30. Know what ingredients are in your beauty products.
  31. Ask your workplace to consider carbon offsetting.
  32. Go ahead and send the electronic birthday card. After all, it’s the thought that counts, right?
  33. Pack your shorty’s lunch in a reusable bag.
  34. Pack their lunch items in reusable containers, too.
  35. When you use plastic cutlery, try a biodegradable option.
  36. Choose an organic version of the fabric of our lives.
  37. Try a DEET free bug repellant.
  38. Compost!
  39. Make your own cleaning products or use some natural ones that won’t harm the local watershed.
  40. Skip the paper towel and try cellulose cloths.
  41. Make certain to maximize the way you wash dishes.
  42. Wash your clothes is cold water.
  43. Get a home energy audit.
  44. Use a non toxic paint.
  45. Install Energy Star appliances.
  46. Hang dry clothes.
  47. Wear a sweater.
  48. Generate your own energy and install a DIY solar panel kit.
  49. Generate your own energy and install a DIY wind power kit.
  50. Install ceiling fans.
  51. When you’re going to leave a room for more than 15 minutes – switch the lights off.
  52. Install efficient lighting throughout your home.
  53. Donate your electronics  properly.
  54. Pay your bills online (and, ask your boss to direct deposit that obscene paycheck you don’t really need).
  55. Ask your neighborhood association to install solar lamp post lights.
  56. Go natural with your products when you’re about to have a little one.
  57. … And, after you have a little one.
  58. Decorate with plants to increase the air quality in your home.
  59. Be a little unconventional with your online shopping.
  60. Be creative in your gift wrapping and use some newspaper or magazines!
  61. Keep your car in tip-top shape to save on gas mileage (and/or go hybrid).
  62. Try to use public transportation or carpool when possible. (Or slug, DCers!)
  63. Consider rechargeable batteries.
  64. Be conservative in what you decide to print off the computer and when you do need to print do it double-sided.
  65. Find the people to call to cancel your phone book delivery.
  66. Skip the ATM receipt.
  67. Turn off the computer monitor at night.
  68. If you’re looking to buy a new computer, purchase a laptop instead of a desktop.
  69. Use recycled paper for your creative needs.
  70. Check out your neighborhood to see if there are proper bike or walk lanes and bike or walk when possible. (Check it out – May is National Bike Month!)
  71. Stop junk mail! (Did you know that the average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year?)
  72. Choose a green hotel when traveling (or, my favorite – VHBO).
  73. Buy bulk. (It’s nuts – packaging makes up more than 30% of our waste!)
  74. Rock a green hosting company for your next website.
  75. Rent, borrow, or Freecycle!
  76. Save the take out container and use it as tupperware or to hand out cupcakes at your shorty’s birthday party.
  77. Bring your own mug to the local coffee shop so you don’t have to use one of theirs.
  78. Telecommute.
  79. Skip the CD or DVD purchase and download online.
  80. Stray away from imposing balloon releases unless you know they’re latex.
  81. Stray from using 6-pack rings (or cut them).
  82. From time to time use one less napkin.
  83. When fishing always be an ethical angler.
  84. Eat sustainable seafood.
  85. Skip the produce in additional plastic wrap.
  86. Participate in local clean-ups.
  87. Rock a new TV as they’re a little more efficient.
  88. Keep the freezer at least 3/4 full.
  89. Once a month bake a loaf of your own bread.
  90. Once a month why not roast your own chicken and stock up some homemade chicken broth afterward.
  91. In winter, keep the shades drawn when you’re away.
  92. When purchasing furniture find products that are earth-friendly and organic (e.g., cotton, wool, hemp, natural rubber latex).
  93. Plant a tree.
  94. Rock some vintage jewelry.
  95. Clothe diaper.
  96. Make your own play-dough with the kids.
  97. Blow your nose green. (Ewwwww … what did she say?)
  98. Recycle toner.
  99. Stay informed and educated.
  100. Be buried green.

Comments

  1. From LA Edwards “I thought that your list was great, but I have a few items that could be added. I wanted to send it to you in an email rather than post it as I felt it was a bit lengthily. As a fellow scientist, I would suggest using glass products whenever possible instead of any form of plastic product especially when coming into contact with food. When plastics heat by either the sun, microwave, dishwasher, etc, plastics leach from their containers into the food. This has been shown to cause cancers and hormone mimicking disorders that are hazardous to your health, especially in children. Stay clear of non stick surfaces and non-stick pans as they contain chemicals like Gortex or Scotchguard, also have been shown to cause certain forms of cancers and hormone mimicking illnesses. Stay away from microwave popcorn it is the worst. Stay away from fast food restaurants, not only do they use less than wonderful meat products and other non Eco-friendly products, they typically use plastic to store their food in and paper bags. the best message is to stay away from anything plastic. Think back to before we had all of the conveniences, and use glass and stainless steel. Keep junior safe by keeping him/her away from plastic lunch pails and bags to put his or her food into. Eco-friendly totes are also great. Keep kids away from any product that contains plastic or that they would put in their mouths. Use glass baby bottles, try to find the eco- friendly nipples for the bottles. Stay away from carpets that have been treated with stain protectors, or any product that boasts it is stain resistant. These chemicals have been shown to cause cancer and other health related issues. Opt instead for cork or bamboo flooring or another form of renewable resource. Stay out the sun use protective layers in lieu of sunscreen as sunscreen has been proven to cause certain forms of cancer, especially in young children. These are but a few of the more important additions to living a green life. It is a challenge especially considering everything now days is made from one of these horrible products. It is also why we have seen an increase in many diseases, allergies, cancers, etc. I hope this helps you. Again, I think you did a fabulous job putting together the list. I enjoy reading your blog a lot because there is always something to take home from reading it. You have a gift in that you can communicate your ideas in a way for the average non-scientific mind to understand. That is not an easy task. Great job. I look forward to reading your blog. Keep up the great work keeping people informed.”

  2. Here is another one to add to the list: Paint your roof white. It could offset 150 billion tons of CO2. http://news.discovery.com/earth/cool-white-roofs-a-big-help-120417.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it#mkcpgn=rssnws1

  3. plasticfreebeth says:

    Thanks for including my post about skipping plastic produce bags. I agree with LA Edwards above: avoid products and packaging made from plastic, no matter whether it’s advertised as “safe” or not. All plastics are fraught with environmental and health problems.

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