25 Ways to Honor Earth Day

April 4th, 2010

April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, but it’s not just a daylong kind of thing. Grow new green habits to honor Earth Day each day.


To help celebrate Earth Day, pick a few things you aren’t doing right now from the list below. (Click on words in bold to learn more.)

  1. Pick up litter, especially pesky plastic bags.
  2. Make a PDF of online shopping receipts instead of printing them.
  3. Skip the fast food. Pack your lunch in reusable containers instead.
  4. Make your own eco cleaners.
  5. Opt for online bill payments when available to save paper and gas.
  6. Eat a meatless meal, which saves water and other resources.
  7. Take your own bags when shopping. (Plastic bags require petroleum!)
  8. Enjoy a green hour each day with your kids.
  9. Reduce or give up paper towel usage.
  10. Make some meals from scratch to avoid packaging.
  11. Go to the farmer’s market for local food.
  12. Talk to your landlord about greening your rental.
  13. Choose at least a few organic items on each grocery shopping trip.
  14. Pick recycled paper.
  15. Use cloth napkins.
  16. Recycle #5 plastics too.
  17. Make your windows more energy efficient.
  18. Give reusable bags instead of paper gift bags.
  19. Reuse greeting cards or send ecards.
  20. Choose a good skylight for your home.
  21. Take a nature walk instead of driving to the movies.
  22. Turn your monitor off if you’ll be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes.
  23. Use an eco-friendly dish detergent.
  24. Avoid greenwash by reading ingredients and fine print.
  25. Attend the climate change rally in Washington, DC on April 25.

(image via sxc)

Reduce Paper Towel Usage

February 18th, 2010

One thing you can do to change your habits in honor of upcoming Earth Day is to take a long, hard look at your paper towel usage. And maybe stop using altogether.


Sure, paper towels can be handy for things like cleaning up kitty vomit or patting the grease off the top of bacon, but do you really have to use them for every little mess?

I cut down on my paper towel usage by following a few easy routines:

• Dry your hands with a clean towel that you reserve for that purpose: a hand towel in the kitchen. You may wish to buy some different ones for this purpose so they can be identified as hand towels for the kitchen, not for cleaning.

• Clean messes with a dish towel. Replace it daily (or more often if needed) to reduce the spread of germs.

• If you’re cleaning something particularly gross, go ahead and use a paper towel if that makes you feel better. Or just use a cloth towel once.

If you follow those tips, you may be able to cut your paper towel usage down to just one roll or less a month. Lots of folks don’t use any paper towels at all.

Imagine the money and trees you’ll save.

(Image via Etsy)