21 Practical Ways to Help the Environment

Concerned about the environment but feeling overwhelmed by all the issues out there? Feeling discouraged about how you as an individual can really make a difference? Not to worry. Here, we’ve compiled a short list of easy and practical ways that you can help the environment.

The great thing about these tips is that in most cases you really won’t have to change your lifestyle radically to have an impact on the environment. One thing we do encourage is more reliance on human power in your daily life. We hope that some of these tips will help us move one person at a time towards a society that is more responsible and less reliant on convenience.

For example, things like walking to the grocery store and using a reel mower will reduce air pollution and energy use, while also reducing the time you spend at the gym! Additionally, if you get your kids to follow your example by using human power more, you can do your part to help reduce child obesity and diabetes!

Please note that this is by no means a comprehensive list. In fact, we’re looking for help in expanding these tips with things that have worked for you that don’t appear on the list!

Have you made a simple change in your life that you feel has helped the environment? Do you know of other ways that an average person can move towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle? What are your favorite ways to help the earth? Have you used cool, eco-friendly products you’d like to recommend? Let us know! See the bottom of the page for the comment option. No spammy links please, they will be removed!

In this list are things you can implement both indoors and outdoors to help save the environment. And don’t forget, you can add to the list! Just submit a comment at the end of this page! It’s that easy to share your environmental tips with the rest of the world. Try it out!

1. Prevent energy leaks at home.

Check this out: Did you know that heating and cooling can make up to 50 percent of your energy bill each month? If you heat and cool your home more efficiently by fixing leaks, you’ll save money and reduce your impact on the environment.

Plugging up those energy leaks is simple. Insulating your home will keep your house warmer in the winter and help to cool things off in the summer. Sealing all your ducts can help as well. This Energy Star website will help with simple techniques for sealing your ducts.

Weatherizing your home is also critical. Want to learn how to weatherize to prevent energy leaks? Read more at this U.S. Department of Energy website!

2. Lower your home thermostats!

That’s right, thermostats, plural! Most people have their heater, hot water heater, and refrigerator thermostats set at unnecessary temperatures.

Try this out for a few months: Set your heater at 68 degrees F or lower in the winter and 78 degrees F or higher in the summer. Programmable home thermostats are an even better way to heat and cool your home responsibly.

Next, adjust the temperature on your hot water heater to 140-degrees F or lower if possible. Most people keep the temperature on the hot water heater much higher than they really need. Try it out!

And finally, make sure to use the energy-saving settings on your refrigerator. Better yet, try switching to a more modern, energy saving frig. Look for new refrigerators with the Energy Star label.

What’s with all this Energy Star Business? Check out the U.S. government’s Energy Star program homepage to find out more about how you could be saving money on energy costs and help the environment at the same time. It’s win-win, baby!

3. Switch as many bulbs as possible in your home to compact fluorescent bulbs, or LED bulbs.

Good news! Compact fluorescent bulbs are really going mainstream nowadays, which means they’re cheaper and easier to find than ever. That’s great, because the California Energy Commission reports that lighting can make up to 25 percent of the average home’s electricity consumption. When you switch your incandescent light bulbs to ultra efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, you’ll be making a big difference in your energy use.

A while ago, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration stated that when the average cost of a fluorescent bulb was around $11.00, your energy savings would be around $20.00 for each bulb over a three year period. Now that Walmart and other stores are selling these bulbs at about 2 bucks each, think of the savings you’ll have from switching! Additionally, compact fluorescent bulbs generally last up to seven years each. LED bulbs last even longer, use even less energy, and are finally starting to hit the brightness levels and price points where you can use them throughout the house.

4. Use a low-flow shower head.

You may associate a low-flow showerhead with one that reduces your shower to a frustrating trickle. Thankfully, technologies have improved so that you can enjoy a high pressure shower while saving water at the same time!

Another benefit is that with a low-flow showerhead, you will not only save water, you’ll also save energy! Why? The California Efficiency Partnership says that about 73 percent of the water you use in your shower is hot water, and you use a lot of energy to heat that water for you shower. They go on to say that the use of low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators can reduce your water heating costs by around to 50 percent! This website has great information about low-flow showerheads and other ways to save water in the bathroom.

5. Compost!

Return your organic waste where it belongs: the soil! Rather than sending banana peels, grass clipping, etc. to the municipal dump, start a compost pile instead. The Environmental Defense Fund says that around 18 percent of the waste an average family in the U.S. produces comes from the yard and garden. If you recycle your yard and garden waste, you’ll reduce the amount of energy used to send this waste to the dump. Add your organic kitchen scraps to your yard waste and you’re significantly decreasing your waste.

Compost also makes your plants stronger and healthier, reducing the need for fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Don’t forget that many cities have municipal composting programs for your yard waste. Need more info about the benefits of compost, how to compost, and what to compost? Check out our guide to garden compost for lots of tips, or get a composter.

6. Use drip irrigation systems in your garden.

Drip irrigation systems, also known as micro-irrigation systems, are designed to deliver water directly to your plants, with minimal waste. According to Colorado State University, drip irrigation systems are around 90 percent efficient, whereas traditional sprinkle systems are only around 50-70 percent efficient. The Colorado State University Extension Service has a great website on the benefits of setting up a drip irrigation system in your garden.

7. Plant trees in your yard and community.

Everyone knows that planting trees can help the environment. Trees sequester (trap) CO2 emissions, minimizing the effects of global warming. They also have many other beneficial effects. Trees cool your home, reducing the energy used for cooling. Trees improve mental health. Trees increase property values. Trees reduce urban runoff and capture dust particles from the air. Trees reduce noise pollution. The list goes on and on!

Need more reasons to plant trees? The U.S. Forest Service has a great page about the benefits of trees. The trees to plant are those native to your area. Why plant native trees? Because native trees use less water, support native wildlife, and are better adapted to your area. You can plant native trees in your yard or if you don’t have a yard, contribute to community tree planting efforts.

8. Go “mostly organic” in your lawn and garden.

Using organic gardening products and techniques is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. You don’t necessarily have to go 100 percent organic either. Try out a few organic pesticides or fertilizers and see what works for you! By going mostly organic in your garden, you’ll help to stimulate beneficial soil organisms, reduce harmful wastewater runoff, and create a healthier place for your pets and children to play.

9. Use a reel or electric lawn mower.

If you have a small yard, consider using a manual push reel mower. Why? Here’s a testimonial from Lars Hundley, one of the writers for this blog:

“People who use gas mowers put up with ear-splitting noise, headache- and nausea-inducing fumes and mechanical problems,” says Mr. Hundley, Chief Gardening Evangelist at Clean Air Gardening. He prefers the serenity and simplicity of old-fashioned reel mowers. “There is a real element of pleasure to using a manual mower,” he says.

Today’s reel mowers are a far cry from the one your grandfather used. “Reel mowers are light, quiet, and virtually maintenance-free,” notes Hundley. The mowers are environmentally friendly, and also better for your grass. “Rotary mowers tear the grass — reel mowers cut grass like scissors, leaving a fine spray of clippings as mulch for your yard,” he explains. They do take some effort, but they aren’t any harder to push than an 80-pound gas mower that isn’t self-propelled.

Reel mowers aren’t necessarily practical for really big lawns, so think about switching that gas mower to a clean, non-polluting electric mower.

Want more information about reel mowers? Here’s is a fun article by the Christian Science Monitor all about the benefits of reel mowers.

10. Replace your single-paned windows with double-pane windows.

This can be an expensive home renovation, but it will make all the difference in the world in terms of saving you energy during the cold winter months. The American Council for Energy Efficiency has a website on selecting the best energy efficient windows for your home. In addition to double panes, energy efficient features to look for on windows include tinted glass coatings, low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, and multiple layers of glazing.

11. Turn off lights and electronic devices when you’re not using them.

We all know it’s important to turn off the lights when you leave a room to save energy. How about turning off your T.V., radio, computer, etc.? We’re not talking about simply turning the off switch. Many electrical appliances continue to use a small amount of energy when turned “off.” This energy will add up over time.

So, we recommend connecting several appliances to one of those surge suppressing power outlet strips that has an on/off switch. When you leave for work in the morning, flip the switch and your devices will be completely turned off. Try that for a few months and see how much energy you save!

12. Fix water leaks in the bathroom, kitchen, landscaping, etc.

You know those tiny leaks you’ve been meaning to fix inside your house and in your landscaping? Guess what? That water loss adds up over time and can cost you big money. Not to mention all that wasted water! Protect our freshwater resources and save money by fixing those leaks! It’s another of many great ways to help the earth.

13. Consider switching to a low-flow toilet.

According to the U.S. Government’s Environmental Protection Agency, about 41% of our indoor water use in the home goes toward flushing the toilet and 33% goes to bathing! Modern low-flush toilets are designed to use water efficiently. Here’s a website that has lots of information on reducing water use with a low-flush toilet and other simples changes in the home.

Want to get extra fancy? Well, the EPA has a new WaterSense label for toilets that use even less water than a standard low-flow toilet. These models are based on extensive studies of fluid dynamics over the last several years, so they work, and they work well.

If you don’t switch to a low-flush toilet, you can also use low-tech methods like putting a brick or a small milk jug in the tank to reduce water use. You can also take this sage advice, “If you pee, leave it be, if you strain, pull the chain!”

14. Use ceiling fans to cool off in the summer.

If you use ceiling fans during hot summer days, you can create a cooling effect similar to “wind chill.” A few ceiling or regular fans strategically placed in your home can reduce the amount of time you spend with the air conditioning on. There are even Energy Star certified ceiling fans out there that use even less energy than typical ceiling fans!

15. Use solar energy to dry your clothes!

Here’s something you can do that is easy, practical, and won’t cost a penny to implement. In fact, it will save you money! No matter where you live, the sun has to come out eventually. When it does, hang your clothes out to dry. If you live where I do, in the Desert Southwest, the sun is almost always shining. Except at night. Ha ha.

So, take advantage of this natural energy to dry your clothes! It may take you 10 extra minutes out of your day to hang up your clothes, but that’s a small price to pay in the long run.

Of course, there are days where drying outdoors on the line is not practical. That’s fine. Use your drier! Don’t feel guilty! However, you should read some of the suggestions on the Energy Star website about washing and drying clothes to make more efficient use out of your drier.

16. Invest in solar energy.

There are many ways to invest in solar energy. Unfortunately, some solar energy products for the home can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and have a payback period of a decade or longer.

However, there are lots of inexpensive solar gadgets out there you can try out. For example, solar-powered landscaping lights can help you reduce how much energy you get from the grid. How about solar cell phone chargers?

If you can afford it and you’re going to be living in the same spot for many years to get the payback, outfit your home with a few solar panels. Additionally, there are many forms of passive solar energy out there as well that can help you take advantage of the sun. See this U.S. Department of Energy website for more information about solar energy, and for rebate information on your particular state.

17. Rethink transportation.

This tip encompasses several different ideas. It involves a lot of thinking, some basic planning, and finally putting your plans into action. Yes, hybrids are great. Yes, biofuels are cool. Yes, using public transportation is important. Yes, you should get out and walk and use your bicycle more often. A bike that fits is much easier to ride.

However, don’t feel bad that you don’t make enough money to buy a fancy hybrid. Don’t feel bad that public transportation sucks in your city (as it does it mine!). Don’t feel bad that you had to take a job with an hour commute to make ends meet!

Just sit and think about a few practical and environmentally friendly ways you can get from one place to another. Can you car pool to work? Can you take a bus when you go to the movie theater? Can you walk or bike to the corner store? Brainstorm and put at least a few of these ideas into action. Even if you don’t buy a hybrid car, walking instead of driving to the grocery store is a great way to help the environment!

18. Use small, efficient devices to cook food.

You love to cook and you’ve got a big fat oven that you use to cook everything. Cool. But consider that toaster ovens, pressure cookers, crock pots, microwaves, and electric grills are efficient and won’t heat up your kitchen in the summer. Less heat, less energy to cool your home. On that note, bake lots of cookies and casseroles in your big fat oven in the winter!

19. Use some Xeriscaping principles in the garden.

You may have heard about Xeriscaping from your friends who live in arid regions of the U.S. However, Xeriscaping is not just for those who live among cactus and sage brush. Xeriscaping simply means that you use water wisely in your garden and landscaping. Some concepts of Xeriscaping are: using efficient irrigation systems, using low-water use plants, reducing turfgrass, and creating thoughtful water-wise garden designs. Texas A&M has a great site about basic Xeriscaping principles.

20. Use some native plants in the garden.

Why grow native plants in your garden and landscaping? First off, native plants are better adapted to your area. This means that they require less maintenance and less water. They are also more resistant to pests and diseases. That translates to water savings and reduced use of pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, native plants attract native wildlife and native beneficial insects. You don’t have to plant 100 percent natives to make a difference, consider just planting a few.

When you grow native plants, you help blend your landscaping with the native landscapes you find outside of your town or city.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has an excellent program that encourages the use of native plants for home landscaping called Greenacres.

21. Get involved locally!

Sometimes I just have to turn off the T.V. and forget about all the bad news concerning the Earth’s environment I see on a daily basis. It can be too much for one person to handle. When I’m feeling overwhelmed by issues like dying coral reefs, species extinction, etc., I try and look towards what’s happening in my community.

For example, I recently started volunteering at a local organic farm. This is a small operation run by some very devoted people. Agricultural land in my city is unfortunately being quickly eaten up by housing developments. There are all kinds of issues at stake here: losing aquifer recharge zones, additional urban runoff from new developments, gentrification, etc.

So, by helping this group of farmers a few hours a week, I feel like I’m making a difference in my little corner of the world. And I also get a big bag of organic veggies for my efforts! Look for small ways to help the environment in your community!

So, there’s your list of easy and practical ways that you can help the environment.

But wait. There are obviously more than 21 ways to make a difference, right? Of course there are. That’s where you come in!

We want your ideas, your creativity, and your ingenuity. Share with us what you’re doing to help create a more sustainable future!

216 thoughts on “21 Practical Ways to Help the Environment”

  1. hey website is tooo cool and has superb ideas to help save our environment. i have launched a community called greenovators which s a team to create environmental awareness about people and save our environment….thanks for this website it gave a lotz of informations…….

  2. hey every1, i’ve gone thru ur posts and it realy makes me wonder that when such small kids can work out ideas for saving earth, y cant the adults implement them.well keep it up guys,earth surely needs citizens lyk u! all da best young warriors!

  3. if you need to wash your hair only you can do it over the sink instead of in the shower.

  4. i agree we need to help the earth heal itself because its sad to say that humans really are the cause of everything. i am going before congress soon in hopes to support laws to protect the enviorment more. Hopefully, people can start realizing that the earth will not heal itself and beofore we know it fish populations, weather patterns and oceans will change, lets all stick together and change the world!!

  5. i agree with lauren because we are the main cause of the earth’s harsh conditions that are happening now and the population is over earth’s population compacity if we don’t stop harming the environment soon the poles are likely to shift (flip the poles south would be north and north would be south) which can lead to a possible new generation ice-age if we start cleaning our mess by following the steps on my website which tells you how to go green i am still working on my website but write the steps down don’t print them because (a) the ink cartridge is likely to go into a landfill (b) you waste our fossil fuels that are burned to make the electricity for the printer (c) you do not want to use the computer/laptop for more than 1 ad a half hours otherwise you expose yourself to radiation which is a cance causing hazard and you use up alot of electricty which will come back to haunt us all. Sincerely,
    Lawren Y.

  6. Hey! I’m Riley-Jo. I’m an eleven-year-old enviornmentalist and animal activist. I’d just like to let you know that there is a site called http://earthpreserve.webs.com and I would reallyreallyreallyreally love it if you would check it out. If you like lists like the one above, check out the “Get involved” page, or the “facts” page. There’s also a chatroom – “Earth-Chat” page and many others, including several articles. PLEEEEEEEEEZE check it out!!!

  7. Helping the environment is a HUGE thing. and think about it this way would you want your family and friends to see your room/house if it was really really dirty, than why would you want people seeing your city or town with trash and garbage, and smog everywhere

  8. hi, i think its a good idea to get young people interested in helping the environment, so i have started art projects in my school on the topic. there are many ways to recycle rubbish and then turn it into art.. and then put it somewhere where people will see it..

  9. wow i can’t believe how much trach there is out there, today I saw a girl on the side of the free way picking up garbage and lets jjust say there was alot! I am soo proud of that girl and i look up to her and am now walking around all day tomorrow picking up garbage! (not now cause it’s too late and too dark and i went around my street just now and felt someone following me! so did my dog Molly, and no ones home at my house)

  10. You can help the envioment by just recycling. Insted of getting a new waterbottal you can just use the same one. Also money try to save as much as you can. They use big machines when they make money and big machines develop smoke which is bad for the envioment.

  11. I tried to see if someone had mentioned this but I havent seen it. My husband and I have decided that if we leave the house for more than an hour or two we should shut certain breakers off in the house. This way there is no “phantom power” being used up. We just make sure the breakers that the fridge and the chest freezer are on arent touched. It cuts WAY down on our bill. You would be suprised at how much phantom power is in your home.

  12. we definatly have to do something and not just when we feel like doing something. we need to do soemthing now. ill definaltly spread these ideas on. If we all work together we can save the earth

  13. After I saw what was happening to the polar bears up in the Artic I think we need act now and not put it off for tommorow. There are only 25,000 polar bears left in the world and they are dying out rapidly.

  14. Fos some people….. your face will wrincle before you see change. you will see change but bad changes. I believe that there has to be a time when we see a chenge for good. Government is wasting all the money in equipment for the war and if there weren’t any wars, they would have the time and things needed to take care of the environment. : )

  15. Another tip is to turn off the water when you are soaping down in the shower.

  16. I really like this website! Of course i know a lot about helping the environment, but I wanted some ideas about actually how to help. And this website really helped me out. I also have as suggestion on another way to help the environment. I’m not sure if it was already said in this article, but here it is: Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth! I know a lot of people who don’t do this. So here’s a fact you should know: People are wasting gallons and gallons of water each day around the world. So turn off faucets, etc. so you won’t waste you water! My name is Leila S. and even though im still a young teen i feel that helping the environment is really important! <3

  17. thank you for whoever put up these tips and for everyone acctually trying to save our wonderful home planet!! 🙂 it doesnt matter how old you are Leila, its a group effort. im only 16 afterall. but thank you everyone and keep it up!!

  18. Hey everybody,
    I take hot water to work in a “thermos” pitcher-about 2 quarts almost every day. I keep different flavors of tea bags in one drawer and use my ceramic cup at work for tea during the day – I’m a tea-drinker – especially green tea. I clean out the cup every day with a towel and some of the hot water. This way, I do not use a disposal cup every day – as I see so many people do – for coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon. Compared to some others, I am saving up to three disposal cups a day! I have a large bag in which I take my lunch (sometimes) with the pitcher of hot boiled water. By sharing this, I hope others could do the same. We would save so many disposal cups! And I really enjoy drinking from a ceramic cup instead of paper or plastic. Though sometimes I forget the pitcher or am in a hurry but in this little way I know I am contributing to less trash in our landfills. Happy day to you all!

  19. Another way to keep the environment clean is to use both sides of the scrap paper and also recycle

  20. we should all take a part to every thing i am just a kid i cant do much

    That isn’t true! I’m a kid, too and there are lots of easy ways that you can help, too. Some of my friends and I created a website about the environment and a lot of kids in my school became more eco-friendly

  21. 1. Turn off your computer at night. Don’t leave it at standby.
    2. Get on your bike.
    3. Avoid eating these fishes
    4. Clean leather shoes with banana skin.

    These are just some of the tips that you can do right now.

  22. Hello everybody my name is sammy. I am 8 years-old, and I help the eviroment by collecting cans. And that’s how I help the eviroment all. Thanks to my mom and the Internet.

  23. Hi everybody, I just wanna say anyone who thinks that they can’t do anything cause you are a kid, there is always something you CAN do to help our planet. I’m only 12, but I wanna start to help in any way possible, so if anyone has any suggestions please tell me.

  24. Another excellent tip is to buy an aluminum or stainless steel reuseable water bottle. Recycling plastic water bottles is ok, but it takes a large amount of energy, and therefore fossil fuels, to fuel the recycling process. Instead, try re-using by getting a reuseable bottle. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, you can always buy a filter. Also, the amount of money it will save on bottled water is huge!

  25. You have my two favorites – plant trees and compost! I tell people to do those two things all the time. 🙂

    I, also, reuse food containers instead of buying separate storage containers. Most food containers are designed to store food – so why toss them after consuming the product? Even recycling them takes up energy and uses precious resources.

    Reuse printed paper for notes – especially if you have a paper intense office. I recycled thousands of pieces of paper into note pads when I worked at a local university. There was so much paper going to waste and most of it was blank!! I cut off the printed section, cut to a convenient size and then stapled the pieces together as a note pad. The paper was reused before it was recycled – made me feel good.

    One of the things I do to save energy is close the curtains at night during the winter and open them during the day, especially when sunny. Curtains help stop radiant heat loss and drafts. This also works in reverse in the summer, by stopping heat gain during the day and releasing heat at night.

    There are also some excellent solar film products that reduce heat gain while letting the sun in for hot places like the southwest.

    Thanks for the tips – it does get over-whelming after a while.

  26. i don’t light fireworks on the 4th of July. I don’t want to celebrate by polluting the air. Unfortunatly, I’m only 12 years old and have almost no power, so I HID the extra fireworks!! They still haven’t found where they are yet and with the fireworks gone, no air pollution!

  27. Hello everyone, I’ve have always been concern for the environment, but I have always felt thier wasn’t much I could do. After reading some of the comments here, I can tell I was wrong. All your advice, and suggestions are extremely easy to do and while saving money, and our wonderful planet. I’m still very young, and I’m still learning, and I would like to thank all of you for inspiring me. I’ll be looking into my community for organisations and also school projects that will benefit in any way, in cleaning up our planet, or helping in some different way how to reduce, reuse, recycle. 😉
    Thanks again 🙂

  28. hello everyone, thank you for your ideas helping that people find ways to help environment.
    I am sorry,I am from Iran & my English is not so good
    I give my answers.thanks a lot again.

  29. Hello everyone, I’ve have always been concern for the environment, but I have always felt thier wasn’t much I could do. After reading some of the comments here, I can tell I was wrong. All your advice, and suggestions are extremely easy to do and while saving money, and our wonderful planet. I’m still very young, and I’m still learning, and I would like to thank all of you for inspiring me. I’ll be looking into my community for organisations and also school projects that will benefit in any way, in cleaning up our planet, or helping in some different way how to reduce, reuse, recycle.
    Thanks again :p

  30. i am 11 and a boy i try to help the enverment by throwing seed from are trees in the grsaas to shooting acorns withe my slingshot. iwant to recycle but my parents dont want the ggarbage in the house any ideas. it ry to turn the lights out when im not using them

  31. There are a lot of helpful tips here. I am glad to see so many younger people responding. It gives me some hope that the next generation of adults *does* care about the environment perhaps more than the current one (of which I am apart of).

    Many of the tips mentioned here are already accomplished around my home. I purchased a rural home that is on well water. This alone is very environmentally friendly. Sure, it takes some electricity to bring the water into my house via the pump, but think about how much more energy it takes to supply city water. As well as having to treat it. My well is very deep so I have very clear, fresh, natural water. No water processing and extensive pumping to deliver it to my taps. It comes straight from the ground.

    Naturally, I am also on a septic system although the configuration of mine requires a septic pump so a small bit of electricity is used in the function of it, but it’s still far better than a city sewer system.

    There is a special compost site run by a nearby city’s water company where the public can dump yard waste which they process and sell so I take my (very large amounts) of yard waste there.

    I have about 3/4 acre I have to keep mowed and a dozen trees to clean up after (pine mostly plus several gumball) so a reel mower or electric mower wouldn’t be at all practical for me. It would take me a week to mow it all where as I can mow it all in about 2 days (taking it easy) with a self propelled walk-behind mower, which uses much less gas than a riding mower. I can mow everything with probably about 3/4 gallon.

    My home already came with low water usage toilets and double pane windows when I bought it. I installed a cheap $6 1.5gal/min shower head in one of my showers and I love it. My water pressure is pretty low vs city pressure being on well water so the shower head is great. I barely even have to open the valves with that shower head.

    I make extensive use of ceiling fans and CF bulbs throughout my home. My house is surrounded by so many tall trees that it gets shaded very well (although, my roof suffers for it due to falling tree limbs). I don’t have a programmable thermostat at the moment but it is digital and I generally keep it around 77-78 which is usually plenty cool, even through this 100+ degree summer days.

    I like to recycle metals when I can which is about the only thing you CAN recycle around here. But of course, all these pluses I have/do are probably offset by the fact that I just bought a (used) v8 pickup. But it’s what I needed for my daily needs. I do also have a 250cc Honda scooter which gets about 50-55mpg, but probably puts out as much pollution as the truck since it wasn’t made with any sort of emissions control system.

  32. Also — on the subject of the truck .. I live 15 miles from the edge of the city where most services and shopping are located. I do live about 2 miles from a tiny town with a few small stores but you can only buy so much at those stores.

    Therefore, for me it’s not practical (or even possible) to bicycle or use mass transit. It wouldn’t make much sense to drive to town, park and get on a bus which has * very* poor service. There is one bus per hour on each route (so if you miss the bus, you wait an hour). And the city is too big to bicycle around mostly and too unsafe with the crazy drivers! (I used to bicycle around Sacramento CA and I felt safer riding there than I do in a city 1/10 it’s size. At least they had bike lanes or sidewalks in Sacramento on many busy roads.)

    Nor do I have the legs like Superman to be able to bicycle a total of 45-50 miles round trip… especially up some of those very big hills between here and there. After the 15 mile trip to the edge of the city I’d be too exhausted for the trip home, much less also to ride around and get things done once I got there.

    Unfortunately, fossil fuel burning vehicles are a necessary evil of the world. While I could have gotten a more fuel efficient vehicle, it wouldn’t have been what I wanted and needed. I guess you could say I do my own cap and trading, I do so much good around my house with energy saving, well water, septic, etc that it helps offset the vehicle I drive (sparingly).

  33. I am at that point where I am pretty consistent with doing the “normal” stuff like recycling, composting, saving water, turning off lights, etc.

    My newest devotion to helping the environment is committing to be a Merit Badge Counselor for Boy Scouts trying to do the badges relating to Environmental Science, Energy, Nature, etc.

    I think helping others find the knowledge and inspiration to protect our planet and it’s resources is something we should all be striving to do where-ever we have the opportunity. 🙂

  34. Keeping the shades closed and drapes drawn, especially during the summer on my unshaded south facing windows kept the sun out of my house and kept it cool enough that I often didn’t have to turn on the A/C when I got home from work. When I’m home, I open them up for natural light eliminating the need to turn on lights in my house.

    Conversely, leaving them open in the winter heats up the home and reduces the workload on my heat pump.

    With heat pumps, a programmable thermostat that is designed for work with heat pumps keeps it from using the Auxilliary Heat feature, that keeps the resistive heating coils from turning on (resistive heating is a huge drain on power…just look at your hair dryer’s specs!). If you don’t have a programmable thermostat (like me), when you’re using the heat pump push it up to the point when the system comes on and find out when the indicator light for AUX HEAT comes on, then back it down until the light goes out. If that’s not enough, give the system time to rest after shutting off, then push it up a little bit more without using AUX HEAT. It make take longer to heat your home to the desired temperature, but its saves quite a bit on those electricity bills.

    If you have disposable filter cartridges for your furnace, check and replace according the manufacturer’s specs on your furnace. The dirtier the filter, the harder the furnace works, and restricts air flow over the heat exchanger potentially leading to costly repairs. Also, that much less air is being dispersed into the home. The denser filters, restrict air flow more, consider your needs before buying the most dense filters.

  35. Hi. I am Nick who is just starting to become an environmentalist because I heard about the oil spill and all the fires there are. I am 10, but your never, ever to young to change the world. I met up with some friends at lunch today and we were gonna start planting trees, plants,and grass at our school. It was amazing because I wasn’t the only one who wanted to do something about it. I love this planet we call home so much, I just dont want it destroyed. I absolutely wanna do something. For instance, recycle, don’t run water when you brush your teeth, all because it really helps the environment. The end of the world is critical to happen, unless we all join together around the Earth to save the environment! Go green people! Please please please do the best you can to help. And kids around the world, follow me if you wanna do something. Please try.

  36. Hello everyone!

    I just love these sites where people are helping each other for the benefit of the environment as well as the destiny of all living creatures!
    I’ve always been a “pack rat”, I guess I picked it up from my dad…but anytime that I’m doing home repairs or creating a new object I end up finding what I need without having to run off to the nearest hardware store…like most people do!
    I’ve created quite a number of useful items from things that I find in the garbage; last year I made a lovely outdoor birdbath from a beautiful large glass platter…unfortunately I broke it while picking up unwanted ceramic fragments from the backyard!! Shame, shame, double shame!
    I am now in the process of creating a lovely small table with parts that I found in the garbage; if all turns out well I will offer it to my daughter and son in law. The base consists of a rectangular silver-plated platter, to which I applied wheels for easy moveability…then I put some long screw pointing upward, placed 2 plaster statues (each about 60cm tall) inside the platter, twisted some wire fencing in there so that the concrete paste can cling on more solidly…it’s looking amazing…I will give the white statues a light shade, will paint the concrete base with an interesting/appropriate color, and will have to invent a solid support above the statue’s heads that will hold a round glass table top (about 60 cm across) on top! It will be fantastic if I’m able to invent the right sustaining devices…this is exciting!

  37. Hello people but I am from India. I sure found these tips interesting but there are none of environment saving programs here.

  38. Hello my peeps! I am not so huge on reusing stuff and cleaning up butt my mom is. we bring our plasic bags home after lunch and keep em in our luchbox (not sandwich 1s bcuz the mayo and mustard gets all yucky) and my science teacher is huge on picking up trash and recycling shtufff. so she puts 2gether a team from my class and we help nature preserves around our area and pick up trash and other shtufffffffffff so ya 🙂

  39. Hello everyone! I just wanted to say that in my school, we use re-usable bottles (plastic) everyday for our drinks. W hen you go home, all you have to do is wash it, and it’s ready to refill! I think other people should do this, and that would help the environment in at least a small way!

  40. It’s really a Problem.[ The Enviorment]. Tim Cole [the manager of a componoy that helps schools be more eco-freindly]told me that In 1960 there was around 3 million people. Now,about 6 million people. In 2050,there is going to be around 1 billion people.That is not enough water for everyone if we keep being non eco-freindly. We should start using less water. And screw-on bottle caps are NOT RECYCLABLE! do not recycle them they will just get put right in landfills. Collect them and send them to a buisness that specializes in those caps. Sorry about the spelling!

  41. My teacher died in october it was horrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiibbbbbbblllleeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. She told me about the oil spill and i want to help soooooo bad!those poor penguins!teehee i wish to follow in her footsteps and you should too. There are tons of ways to help and my favorite part is coming up with your own. so fun! Gifted schools really take time to think about that I go to a gifted school [tht’s how i know] and my home school DID NOT CARE AT ALL! to find out more ways to help the enviorment go to Old Donation Center.com Coming Soon!

  42. Hello my name is Lydia and I am eleven years old. I am in a green club at my school and I was looking around for some ideas to bring to the club and thanks to the list and all these great comments I am sure our green club will do AWESOME!!!

    peace love and recycling, Lydia

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