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50 Specific Actions of Green Living

written by: AngelaC•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 3/13/2010

When trying to go green at home, these 50 specific actions of green living can help you save energy, save money and save the environment. Find specific actions to take to live greener around the home, in the yard, in the kitchen, in the bathroom and in the laundry room! Let's begin to do our part!

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    Around the Home

    1. Use a power strip and turn off small-appliances and your computer completely at night.

    2. Install ceiling fans.

    3. Set your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter.

    4. Install solar screens on all your windows.

    5. Replace older incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

    6. Install skylights and energy efficient windows.

    7. Insulate your home with recycled insulation and use proper air sealing techniques.

    8. Make your own non-toxic cleaning products using items such as baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar.

    9. Choose energy efficient appliances with the Energy Star rated label.

    10. If possible, purchase renewable electricity such as clean power and green power from your energy company.

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    In the Kitchen

    11. Use cloth napkins.

    12. Build a compost bin out of garbage cans for food scraps.

    13. Replace your paper coffee filters with a reusable filter.

    14. Use bamboo, which is a more sustainable natural resource than wood.

    15. Use a water filter to purify your household tap water instead of buying bottled water.

    16. Buy food items from bulk bins.

    17. Keep your refrigerator temperature at 37° F and your freezer at 0° F.

    18. Purchase produce from your local farmers market and buy locally raised, organic meat, eggs, and dairy.

    19. When thawing meat or frozen foods, do not use running water. Instead thaw overnight in your fridge or use your microwave.

    20. To hand wash dishes, fill one sink with soapy water. Place washed dishes in the other side and then quickly rinse a whole sinkful of dishes at a time instead continuously running the water.

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    In the Bathroom

    21. Install low-flow showerheads.

    22. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.

    23. Install a faucet aerators.

    24. Fix leaky faucets and leaky toilets

    25. Install low-flush toilets.

    26. Insulate your hot water heater tank and hot water pipes

    27. Purchase a tankless water heater.

    28. When taking a bath, fill the tub only about 1/3 full and add hot water only as necessary.

    29. Do not let water run while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face.

    30. While waiting for the water to warm up for your shower, use the cold water to water your plants.

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    In the Laundry Room

    31. Wash in cold water as often as possible.

    32. Only wash full loads and make sure the water is set at the correct level.

    33. Use organic, non-toxic laundry soap or make your own.

    34. Instead of using fabric softer, add a half-cup of baking soda or white vinegar to your washer during the rinse cycle.

    35. Install a gray water system to irrigate your lawn or garden with water from your clothes washer.

    36. Purchase a front loading washing machine which uses less water and power than a top loading machine.

    37. Purchase clothes that do not need to be dry-cleaned.

    38. Line dry clothes or use a drying rack as much as possible.

    39. When drying clothes in your dryer, dry similar types of fabrics together.

    40. Dry two or more loads in a row to keep the dryer hot.

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    In the Yard

    41. Choose energy efficient landscaping with plants native to your region.

    42. Install a drip irrigation system instead of sprinklers.

    43. Collect the rainwater from your gutters and water your lawn and garden with it.

    44. Plant trees and shrubs strategically to help naturally shade your home.

    45. Plant a vegetable garden, herbs or fruit trees.

    46. Buy organic, non-toxic pesticides and fertilizers.

    47. Share power landscaping tools with friends or neighbors.

    48. Purchase a non-gasoline powered reel lawn mower.

    49. Do not use a leaf-blower, instead leave the grass clippings on your lawn to use as a natural mulch.

    50. Install solar-powered yard and patio lighting.

    Following even just one of these 50 specific actions of green living will help make a difference and keep your home happy, healthy and eco-friendly. Feel free to share your actions with others in our comment section.

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    U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons - Andrew Jameson