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Easy Steps To Become Environmentally Responsible In Our Every Day Lives

If each of us made small adjustments to our everyday lifestyles at home to be more environmentally responsible, we will make a huge impact in a positive manner for the environment.

In The Home

Recycle everything you can: newspapers, cans, glass bottles and jars, aluminum foil, motor oil, scrap metal, etc.

Investigate local recycling centers that take items your garbage hauler does not.

Use phosphate-free laundry and dish soaps.

Use cold water in the washer whenever possible.

Don't use electrical appliances for things you can easily do by hand, like opening cans.

Re-use brown paper bags to line your trash can instead of plastic liners. Re-use bread bags, butter tubs, etc.

Store food in re-usable containers, instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Save wire coat hangers and return them to the dry cleaners.

Take unwanted, re-usable items to a charitable organization or thrift shop.

Don't leave water running needlessly.

Install a water-saving shower head.

Set your water heater at 130 degrees.

Have your water heater insulated free of charge by your utility company.

Turn your heat down, and wear a sweater.

Lower your thermostat by one degree per hour for every hour you'll be away or asleep.

Turn off the lights, TV, or other electrical appliances when you're out of a room.

Get a free energy audit from your utility company.

Burn only seasoned wood in your woodstove or fireplace... and don't light them as often.


Start a compost pile.

Put up birdfeeders, birdhouses, and birdbaths.

Pull weeds instead of using herbicides.

Use only organic fertilizers... they're still the best.

Compost your leaves and yard debris, or take them to a yard debris recycler. (Burning them creates air pollution, and putting them out with the trash wastes landfill space.)

Use mulch to conserve water in your garden.

Take extra plastic and rubber pots back to the nursery.

Plant short, dense shrubs close to your home's foundation to help insulate your home against cold.


Turn down the heat and turn off the water heater before you leave.

Carry reusable cups, dishes, and flatware.

Make sure your trash doesn't end up in the ocean... don't litter beaches.

Don't buy souvenirs made from wild or endangered animals.

Watch out for wildlife... give consideration to all living things you see crossing the road.

Build smaller campfires, and make sure they're completely out before you leave.

Stay on the trail... don't trample fragile undergrowth.


Keep your car tuned up.

Carpool, if possible.

Use public transit whenever possible.

On weekends, ride your bike or walk instead.

Buy a more fuel efficient model when you're ready for a new car.

Recycle your engine oil.

Keep your tires properly inflated to save gas.

Keep your wheels properly aligned to save your tires. (It's safer too.)

Don't litter our roads and highways... save trash and dispose of it at a rest stop.


Recycle office and computer paper, cardboard, etc. whenever possible.

Use scrap paper for informal notes to yourself and others.

Print things like in-house memo pads, etc., on recycled paper.

Print or copy on both sides of the paper.

Use smaller paper for smaller memos.

Re-use manila envelopes and file folders.

Hide the throw-away cups, and train people to use their washable coffee mugs. Use washable mugs for meetings too.

Route around the office or post non-urgent communications ... instead of making multiple copies.

Use the stairs instead of the elevator on trips of less than three floors... it's better for you too.

When You're Shopping

Avoid buying food or household products in plastic or styrofoam containers whenever possible. (They can't be recycled, and don't break down in the environment.)

Think twice about buying "disposable" products. (They really aren't disposable and are extravagant wastes of the world's resources.)

Buy paper products instead of plastic if you must buy "disposables." They break down better in the environment and don't deplete the ozone layer as much.

Check the energy rating of major appliances you purchase. Buy only the most energy-efficient models.

Ask questions... don't buy products, such as styrofoam, that are hazardous to the environment or manufactured at the expense of important habitats such as rain forests.

Buy locally-grown food and locally-made products when possible.

Don't buy products made from endangered animals.


Join a conservation organization.

Volunteer your time to conservation projects.

Give money to conservation projects.

Switch to a vegetarian diet. (Raising animals for food consumes vast quantities of natural resources, including water, land, and oil; destroys habitats; and generates a tremendous amount of water and air pollution.)

Spread the Word

Convert by example... encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to save resources too.

Learn about conservation issues in your community or state... write your legislators and let them know where you stand on the issues.

Teach children to respect nature and the environment. Take them on hikes, or camping. Help them plant a tree or build a birdhouse. Teach them by example.

Back to "Being Environmentally Responsible" page


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