Earth Day Celebration: Tips 31-40

April 21, 2010

In celebration of Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary here are 40 great tips on how to live and work a little more sustainably each day. Try them out this week and see if you can make a few of them work all year.

Tips 31 – 40

31. Throw a sweater in your drawer at work. Try to regulate your own temperature without having to mess with the thermostat in your office or house. By keeping the building a little cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer we can make substantial reductions to our energy usage.

32. Find out more about your electricity. Does it come from coal, nuclear, gas or renewable resources? What is your utility company doing to use more renewables? Are they building wind turbines, solar panels or exploring other sustainable approaches? Contact them and let them know what you think about their efforts. Push the utilities to do more to provide clean energy quickly, and ask what you can do as a consumer of that energy. Need some help in how to reach out, check out some of the Letters on this blog for more ideas.

33. Tell your children. Explain to your kids, or your friend’s kids, why Earth day is so important. Tell them that we all have to do our part to take care of our natural resources, and show them one way that they can help. Need some ideas on activities to do with your kids. Check out the rest of this list and some of my other posts.

34. Visit a park. Cities, States and the federal government all manage parks for our shared use and enjoyment. Take some time outside and check out one of the local parks in your area. Say hello to the rangers or parks operators and ask how things are going. There are often opportunities for volunteers to come and help out. If you enjoyed yourself at the park, see if you can give an hour or two to help them out and pay it forward.

35. Insulate. Make a commitment to check and add some insulation to your home and office. Adding insulation is like putting on a coat in the cold. It keeps us all a little warmer by keeping the warm in and the cold out.  It also works in the reverse by keeping the cold air in during the hot seasons. It may be spring now, but this is a perfect time to do upgrades to your home and make things a little more comfortable for the extreme seasons.

36. Reduce the amount of plastic you purchase. Buying kids toys, how about wood blocks instead of Legos. Looking for a new DVD, get the one with the paper box instead of the jewel case. Just bought a pair of shoes, take the box but tell the clerk to keep the plastic bag. Almost every purchase we make has some bit of plastic in it. Most plastics are made from petroleum, i.e. oil. See how much you can cut out of your shopping list. 

37. Host a swap. Do you have old clothes that don’t fit anymore? What about appliances or dishes that you don’t use? Any old tools that you just don’t have any use for? Why not call up a few friends and host a swap? Have everyone bring a few things that they just don’ t need, but thing you might. Instead of trying to sell stuff on Ebay or having a garage sale it is a fun way to see friends and recycle things we would probably all throw away.

38. Save your rainwater. Next time it rains, put a bucket outside. When it is sunny use the water you collected to water your plants or wash your car. If you want to really get good at this add rain barrels to your building’s storm gutters. At most single family homes you can collect 10-30 gallons of water with only a 1/2″ of rain providing lots of water to keep those daffodils blooming in sun.

39. Tell your story. Share the ways you are making your home, your office and your life more sustainable. Post a message here and share your ideas with the world. If we all do a little something, we will have made a huge change together. 

40. Earth day is every day. Start by celebrating all week and see if you can keep up these tips all year!

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