22 April 2008

100 small changes = 1 big impact

Calling all readers of this blog and citizens of Earth:

If you do nothing else for Earth Day today, please leave a numbered comment with ONE suggestion for greener living. Brief comments are welcome, as are full DIY instructions or links to such.

Let's see if we can make it to 100 before midnight. No new posts until we meet our goal, so get creative and go green!

100 comments:

Meema said...

1. Choose not to take receipt printouts from ATMs, gas pumps, etc.

Nancy M said...

Paper not plastic, or better yet, recyclable grocery sacks.

Meema said...

3. Keep car tires inflated to proper pressure. (My dad is laughing at me right now.)

Cate said...

4. Make recyclable bags out of t-shirts! Gotta Love Martha!

http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.3a0656639de62ad593598e10d373a0a0/?vgnextoid=37b1b744dd165110VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&xsc=eml_crd_2008_04_16

Cate said...

5. Sign up for paperless billing.

stellaG said...

Turn down the water heater and take shorter showers-time them!

ponka said...

7. Carpool!

Knitting Linguist said...

8. Shop at your local farmer's market (and, 8a. bring your own bags!).

deb said...

Turn down the heat, knit a sweater, wear the sweater.

If you're still chilly, practice piano, fold some laundry using big arm motions, wash a sinkful of dishes.

deb said...

10. Get a shredder and put it in a central location (in our house, the dining room). Sort the mail directly into the shredder and then recycle. Very motivating, and less in the landfill.

Cate said...

11. Only communicate via iPhone

Meema said...

12. Telecommuting - ooh, that would be nice.

Scott R said...

13. Take all paper recycling in your home to someone who has a shredder.

Scott R said...

14. Change the way you drive: accelerate more slowly, brake more gradually, and coast whenever possible. One tank of gas may go up to 50% further

Scott R said...

15. Park in the first space you see, rather than continuing to look for a better one. Yes, even if it means walking a longer way.

Scott R said...

16. Elect a Democrat to the White House.

Scott R said...

17. NEVER buy bottled water.

Meema said...

18. Mass transit.

Meema said...

19. Turn off the lights as you leave a room.

Meema said...

20. Compact fluorescent bulbs. Crazy energy savings for a teeny change.

Scott R said...

21. Books from the library. And walk there.

deb said...

22. Elect a Democrat to the Senate, and the House, and the county board, and the school board, and city hall, and city council, and the Waste Water Treatment District Board, and park board, and dog catcher.

Vote vote vote vote vote.

Meema said...

21. For those in Minnesota, join the MN Engery Challenge
(www.mnenergychallenge.org)

If you don't have a team to join, feel free to join mine - St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Minneapolis. All are welcome!

Scott R said...

21. Open your windows. Turn off the air conditioner. In your home and in your car.

Meema said...

25. Turn off the faucet when you're scrubbing dishes or teeth or whatever.

Meema said...

26. Fill a 1/2 gallon jug with water, and place in your toilet tank to reduce water usage.

Meema said...

27. Before shopping for yarn, read this great post:

http://hookandi.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-action-day.html

Meema said...

28. When comparison shopping, consider the amount of packaging you're purchasing, as well as the product itself.

Meema said...

29. Sign up for daily greening tips via e-mail at http://earth911.org.

Eric said...

30. Manage office equipment energy use better. Office equipment and electronics use energy even when idle or on stand-by. To save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at work, always activate the power management features on your computer and monitor, unplug laptop power cords when not in use and turn off equipment and lights at the end of the day. Consider using a power strip that can be turned off when you're done using your computers, printers, wireless routers and other electronics.

Eric said...

31. Change 5 lights. Change a light, and you help change the world. Replace the conventional bulbs in your 5 most frequently used light fixtures with bulbs that have the ENERGY STAR and you will help the environment while saving money on energy bills. If every household in the U.S. took this one simple action we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from nearly 10 million cars.

Eric said...

32. Did you know that about one-sixth of all the electricity generated in the U.S. is used to air condition buildings?

Eric said...

33. You can get tax credits under the Energy Policy Act for reducing your home’s energy use associated with lighting, windows, heating and cooling, thermostats, drafts, insulation, attics, and roofs. Google "Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency" for more info.

Eric said...

34. The water you save every year by purchasing a new ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washer instead of a new non-qualified model is enough to do 300 loads of laundry.

Theresa said...

35. When sent a package that uses bubble wrap bring it on to the local UPS store where they will gladly re-use it.

Meema said...

36. Twin Cities drivers: check out car sharing at

http://hourcar.org/index.html

Meema said...

37. If you are redecorating or thinning your wardrobe, consider donating items to a thrift store; you get a tax write-off, and someone else finds recycled treasures.

Meema said...

38. Compost your food and garden waste.

Meema said...

39. Save a tree or three - use rags/cloths/sponges instead of paper towels.

deb said...

40. Use an electronic claims clearing house to file your insurance claims, thus eliminating paper and paper cuts.

Cate said...

40. Use a reel or electric mower instead of a gas powered one.

deb said...

41. Receive your EOBs in the electronic format, thus eliminating more paper and more paper cuts.

deb said...

42a. Hire/enslave a billing helper, thus eliminating the touching of paper, paper cuts, and suffering.

Meema said...

44. Read online magazines. (again, no touching the paper = no cuts)

Cate said...

42. Instead of giving stuff for gifts for bdays and Xmas, donate to a charity in their name.

Heiffer Project. Donate a cow, goat, rabbit to a village.
This is a good start.

Meema said...

46. Recycle your icky plastic bags! Don't throw them in the trash; they. never. die.

Many stores now receive them for such purpose.

Cate said...

47. Crochet those plastic bags into another plastic bag. Here are lots of ideas. http://www.needlepointers.com/ShowArticles.aspx?NavID=593

Cate said...

48. Sign up for paperless paystubs.

Cate said...

49. Sign up for direct deposit.

Cate said...

50. Cut down the time you take in the shower.

This would be extremely difficult for me. I love my shower in the morning.

Cate said...

51. Buy local.

We buy lots of good food through Whole Farm. Yummy everything!

http://www.wholefarmcoop.com/

Meema said...

52. Take your lunch to work/school in a reusable bag, use reusable containers and utensils, and a cloth napkin. Look ma, no trash!

Meema said...

53. Have a monthly book exchange with friends.

Meema said...

54. E-purchase music and books.

Meema said...

55. Take only one paper napkin at a time - better yet, use up the stash in the glove compartment.

deb said...

56. from phil (who knows a bicycle could be a good idea too): ride your motorcycle to work.

deb said...

57. Never throw anything away, thus reducing landfill use by becoming a satellite waste station.

Don't ask me how I know.

Mary Lou said...

Buy lots of silverware at goodwill and use it instead of plastic when you have potlucks and parties.

Cate said...

59. Become a member of public radio (MPR) and tv (TPT).

incaknits said...

60. When you receive packaging such as bubble wrap in the mail fold it up and take it back to the local UPS store. They will reuse it and give you a big thank you as well.

incaknits said...

61. If your house is like mine and you have tons of scratched beyond repair CD's and DVD's donate them to s preschool or church where they may use them for projects. I have a few very cute CD frames with my kids pictures in them.

incaknits said...

Get yourself a rain barrel for the dry months. It may not water your lawn (and do we really care?) but it may help with gardens through the summer months.

Meema said...

63. Open the shades and use natural light.

deb said...

64. Close the shades and keep out the harsh heat of the sun.

Scott R said...

65. Resist the urge to print out online articles to read. You can balance your laptop on your knees in the bathroom. I would guess.

Scott R said...

66. Really commit to bringing your own bag to the grocery store. My new rule: if I forget to bring my bag, I can only buy what I can carry in my hands, and I can't make another trip with a car to go back to the store. (Fortunately for me, Rainbow, Lunds, and the Wedge are all within walking distance).

swtrknttr said...

67. Instead of buying that paperback, borrow it from your local library - after, of course, you have walked there to get it.

Cate said...

68. Stop throwing your cigarette butts out the window...

Cate said...

69. and pop bottles

Cate said...

70. and beer cans

Cate said...

71. and fast food wrappers

Scott R said...

72. Walk to Jp's for dinner and cocktails. Or somewhere in your neighborhood. If you live in a neighborhood where you can't walk anywhere, to dinner, or even to shop, you should move. Seriously. That means you, ridiculous suburban sprawl people.

Meema said...

73. If you know someone who doesn't have access to home recycling (read: suburbanites), volunteer to incorporate their recyclables with your own.

Meema said...

74. Keep a bag in your vehicle to collect drive time recyclables - filling stations and car washes rarely separate trash.

Meema said...

75. Ask a schoolteacher if they need plastic containters for class projects. With budget cuts, teachers are often looking for creative solutions.

Meema said...

76. Use the coolest water setting you can when laundering clothes.

Meema said...

77. Skip the dry cycle when using the dishwasher.

Scott R said...

78. Change your furnace filter regularly.

Scott R said...

79. Plant stuff.

Meema said...

80. Eat stuff you plant.

Meema said...

81. Wear stuff you make.

deb said...

82. Get yourself set up to make your quarterly or monthly estimated federal tax payments via EFTPS over the phone. Type the confirmation number directly into the the Quickbooks Pro database entry, instead of printing it out.

As an aside, once a month is a little easier nut to cover than quarterly.

deb said...

83. Use the e-FILE website to make your estimated tax deposits for the state of Minnesota.

Type the confirmation number directly into the Quickbooks Pro database, don't print the page.

deb said...

84. Pay your Minnesota State Provider tax (2% of gross revenues) at the e-FILE website.

Enter the confirmation number in the Quickbooks Pro database.

While you're at it, send Tim Pawlenty an email stating in extreme terms that the Provider Tax should only be used to fund health care for low income Minnesotans, and should NOT, under any circumstances, no how greedy the Republicans get, should NOT become part of the general fund.

Meema said...

85. Fix the dripping faucet.

Meema said...

86. Likewise the poorly running loo.

Meema said...

87. Use your cell phone or PDA for writing notes to yourself, rather than pesky pieces of paper.

Scott R said...

88. Eat the delicious, locally sourced, perfectly preferred food at La Chaya, the new bistro in south Minneapolis (in an old KFC), that uses recycled resin to make beautiful dividers and windows.

Scott R said...

89. Read today's feature in the StarTribune, Living Green: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/17745479.html

Scott R said...

90. Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm.

Scott R said...

91. If you're a gardener, plant extra seeds, and give the small plants to friends and neighbors.

Scott R said...

92. If you're planning a wedding, think very seriously about the "must-haves". Many of those things aren't necessary, and definitely aren't green.

Mark said...

93. Try to implement one green thing into your life today. Cate

Mark said...

94. Try to conserve gas by mooching rides from your friends and neighbors. Cate

Mark said...

95. Make your son wear girl clothes. Cate

Mark said...

96. Rechargeable batteries - Cate

Meema said...

97. Plan and cluster your errands so you drive as little as possible in the most direct path.

Meema said...

98. Buy a motion-generated flashlight. No batteries needed.

Mark said...

99. use cloth hankies - Cate

Meema said...

100. Bookmark this blog post and incorporate some of these ideas into your life!

http://themeemafiles.blogspot.com/2008/04/100-small-changes-1-big-impact.html