74 Things You Can Do to Reduce Waste and Save Energy and Money

Try some of these ways to save energy and resources. Make it a family activity with the kids. Check off the practices you already do, then try one new practice every week!

  1. Recycle plastics, aluminum, steel cans, cardboard, glass and paper. Never throw garbage in a recycling container.
  2. Properly dispose of hazardous waste, including oil, batteries, and electronics.
  3. Drop your plastic grocery bags back off at the grocery store to reuse and recycle.
  4. Better yet, use a canvas grocery bag! Many grocery stores will give you a small discount for using your own bag.
  5. Turn off lights and appliances when you’re not using them. If you leave the room for more than a few minutes, you should turn off the light.
  6. Turn your thermostat down 2 degrees in the winter.
  7. Turn your thermostat up 2 degrees in the summer.
  8. Fans use a lot less energy than the air conditioner. Use them as much as possible in the summer.
  9. Use rechargeable batteries.
  10. Take your favorite mug to your favorite coffee shop. Many cafés offer a few cents off your drink purchase.
  11. When your cell phone, iPod, or PDA is done charging, unplug it, and unplug the charger.
  12. Buy used items when appropriate.
  13. Sell, give away, or donate reusable items.
  14. Buy products that use less packaging.
  15. Rent or borrow items you won’t use often.
  16. Drink tap water instead of bottled water. Buy a water filter if you don’t like the taste of the water.

green-homeAt Home

  1. Line-dry your laundry as much as possible.
  2. Turn off your electric blanket if you’re not in bed.
  3. When no one is home, turn the air conditioner up or the heater down.
  4. Make sure your fire-place damper is shut when not in use. It will prevent warm or cool air from escaping.
  5. Only run the dishwasher or washing machine with a full load.
  6. Install low-flush toilets.
  7. Install low-flow shower heads.
  8. Use a shorter cycle and minimize added “sanitize/heated” options on your dishwasher.
  9. If washing dishes by hand, fill one side of the sink with soapy water, and the other with clean. This saves more water than leaving the faucet running.
  10. Change out your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent energy saving bulbs, and properly recycle spent fluorescent bulbs, they contain mercury and are hazardous waste.
  11. Take a shorter shower.
  12. Reduce your junk mail. Cancel subscriptions to mail outs you don’t want anymore. Try to be put on an e-mail list when possible.
  13. Insulate your home.
  14. Fix leaky faucets and toilets.
  15. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  16. Turn your water temperature down to 120 degrees.
  17. Close curtains and blinds on cold days.
  18. Take showers, not baths. A five-minute shower will use about 7.5 gallons of hot water, while filling a bathtub can use up to 20 gallons.
  19. Don’t leave the refrigerator door open. Every time it’s opened, up to 30% of the cooled air can escape.
  20. Don’t open the oven to check what you’re baking. Turn the light on and look through the window to prevent hot air from getting out.
  21. Use lids on pots and pans to reduce cooking times, and don’t put a small pan on a large burner.
  22. Make your own cleaning products. White vinegar and tea tree oil do the trick without using harmful chemicals in your home.
  23. Change your furnace filter every 1-3 months.

mulch_shredded_yard_wasteAround Your Yard

  1. Use a push or electric mower instead of a gas mower to mow your lawn. It’s also great exercise.
  2. Create a compost pile in your backyard for compostable waste from your kitchen and yard work.
  3. Reduce the amount you water plants in cooler weather. In the winter water your lawn even less when it rains.
  4. Practice “grass-cycling.” Leave the grass clippings on your lawn after you mow.
  5. Use a broom to clean off sidewalks rather than a leaf blower.
  6. Install water saving pool filters.
  7. Solar heat your pool or spa.
  8. Reduce your use of pesticides and herbicides.
  9. Use a rake to gather up leaves and clipping off your lawn rather than a leaf blower.
  10. Use organic fertilizers.
  11. Plant a garden that you can eat from.
  12. Don’t plant invasive plant species.
  13. Water your lawn or garden before 9am or after 7pm to minimize evaporation.
  14. Layer mulch on the soil surface around your plants to trap in moisture and reduce the amount of time you need to water.

recycling_containersIn the Office

  1. Refill your ink-jet cartridge rather than buy a new one. Most office supply stores offer this service.
  2. Use motion sensor switches in less-used areas of the office such as the bathroom, and storage rooms.
  3. Use task lighting instead of overhead lighting.
  4. Print everything double sided.
  5. When replacing office equipment, buy energy efficient models.
  6. Consider having employees use lap top computers since they use up to 80 percent less energy than a standard desktop computer.
  7. Turn off printers and peripherals such as monitors, copiers, and other electronic equipment when not in use. They still use energy in standby mode.
  8. Always recycle reports, documents and office mail when possible.
  9. Turn your computers off at night, and sleep functions are set during the day.

Travel Time To Go Frog Luggage Farewell Fig Cute

On the Go

  1. For shorter trips, try walking or riding your bike instead of driving if possible.
  2. Look into purchasing a hybrid car.
  3. Take public transportation to work if feasible.
  4. Carpool with other employees that live in your area.
  5. When driving, accelerate and brake slowly, quick starts and stops decrease gas mileage.
  6. Avoid rush hour traffic when possible to reduce stops and starts.
  7. Keep your tires properly inflated to get better gas mileage.
  8. Reducing your speed is one of the simplest ways to save energy on the road. The EPA says that for every one mile-per-hour that you drive above 55 mph, a vehicle loses about one percent in fuel economy.
  9. Avoid making special trips. Plan accordingly so you can run all your errands at once.
  10. One of the simplest energy saving ideas is to get in your car, adjust the mirror and fasten the seat belt, and then start the car. Millions of gallons of gasoline are wasted each day by starting the car before drivers are ready to go.
  11. Turn your engine off rather than idling.
  12. Park and go inside, don’t use the drive through if the line is long.
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