Going Green Tips - Environmentally Friendly Habits

Updated on December 06, 2011
R.B. asks from Northridge, CA
8 answers

I am part of a group trying to put together a "Tips for Going Green at Home and Work" List. What are your favorite helping the environment tips, tricks and techniques. How do you get your kids to create environmentally friendly habits? What can we do to make it easy to help adults create New Green Habits?

We are trying to teach the concept that, as my youngest likes to paraphrase Kermit The Frog, "It IS Easy Being Green!"

Thanks for your help.

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answers from Dallas on

I try as much as possible not to use plastic bags in my daughter's lunch box - resusable plates/snack/sandwich holders. Plus resuseable utensils.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Don't buy disposable paper goods. Paper towels, napkins, plates, cups, notepads. If you want to be really gung ho about this, you can install a bidet and give up "tp" as well. You can swap out a sponge, cloth napkins, crockery, glasses, and scrap paper in a binder clip makes a really good notepad.

Much like snackfood, if it isn't around, you won't have the propensity to use it.

Good luck to you and yours.
F. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

When the bread or buns are gone, I shake out the crumbs from the bag and stash it to use later for storage. I wash out the store plastic produce bags, hang them to dry and reuse them. I will wash and reuse baggies (although I try not to use them in the first place). Kids use sandwich containers in there lunch, reusable juice bottles and real silver ware. They also know to bring their yogurt containers back home so we can rinse them out and recycle them (the school would just trash them). We reuse Christmas cards as gift tags, reuse ribbon, different containers to put presents in. Reuse scrap paper for drawing. I clean with mostly vinegar and water. No water running while brushing teeth.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I line dry my clothes (and my son's). It saves a ton of energy and is way better for the clothes. If you need that little extra softness - toss them in the dryer once they are almost completely dry - 5 minutes will do it.

Use those reusable bags instead of plastic. They are everywhere now - I keep a stack in my car so I try to be prepared.

Turn down the thermostat when you leave the house (or get a programmable thermostat) - mine turns the temperature down in the non-sleeping side of the house at night and turns it back up 15 minutes before we start breakfast.

Buy local and what's in season. I try to cook from what's at the market rather than the reverse. It also helps to make a list of needed basics and pick them up when on the way to or from somewhere else (avoid making separate trips).

Walk when possible.

The avoid bottled water recommendation is HUGE. I always order tap water in restaurants and if there is a comment card (or if the owner is making the rounds of the tables to see how we are enjoying things) I always mention how much better for the world it is to use local tap water.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

We got the cloth bags for grocery shopping, so we use a heck of a lot less plastic that way.

We also leave as many light off as we can all day. Our house is pretty well lit with the windows an all so we don't need to have any lights on then.

We don't run the dishwasher without it being a full load, same with laundry.

That's about all I got. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You can save a half gallon of water everytime you flush - that adds up over the course of a year - by filling a half gallon jug with pebbles and sinking it in your toilet tank.

Seal all the windows of the house with heavy plastic and duct tape, fix molding and weatherstripping around the doors to stop air leaks. Change air filters often for max efficiency on ac

Hand wash dishes instead of using dishwasher - save, electricity and water. Electric company has an option to buy green energy, usually costs 1c more per kwh, but the power is more wind, solar, and hydro energy created.

Switch to green house cleaning supplies, rather than chemical varieties. Most stores sell it. Trade out vingar and water as a cleanser when practical.

Leave a barrell to catch rainwater in your back yard. Use that water for plants, and jobs where you need water, but not drinking water quality.

No more plastic bottles. Plastic water bottles are one place we can make an impact. Buy a water filter for your tap or save milk jusg and refill them at the store. Buy sports bottles to refill with waterm rather than grab another bottle of water.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

No paper plates, minimal paper towels usage, green cleaning supplies (baking soda, washing soda, vinegar, etc.), the obvious recycle, compost if you have a garden, rain barrels if you water outside plants in the spring and summer, wash clothes in cold water, hang clothes out to dry or on a rack, turn your thermostat down in winter/up in summer, use shades/curtains to your advantage, go meatless, no bottled water...that's all I can think of at the moment.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Let's see, we do the following:

don't use paper cups, plates, etc. at home or work (bring a mug to work)
diligently recycle
diligently compost
we have chickens which help with composting, gardening & eating healthier
we buy local as often as possible
we use reusable containers in our lunches
we use only 'green' cleaning products and/or make our own
we have solar power on our house
we bought an electric car (powered by the solar on our house)
we re-landscaped our yard to be drought tolerant
we bring bags to the grocery store rather than use paper or plastic
we don't buy bottled water EVER. We have a reverse osmosis pitcher that we use & when we have parties, we fill up pretty dispensers with water & lemon rather than provide bottled water
our compost containers are also rainwater catchers that we use to water our garden
our backyard will be re-landscaped with as many edibles as possible. Planting grass is anti-green - it uses about 43 inches of rain per year to keep it green and doesn't give back anything sustainable like food.
only run dishwasher/washing machine with full load/utilize quick wash mode if possible and run both late at night
we are looking into setting up a grey water system as well
That's all I can think of for now.


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