40 Ways to Go Greener at Home (Besides Just Recycling)

Continuing our series during this final year of AoS of the top 12 published posts of all time (measured in simple traffic numbers), this one is number four. I wrote it ages ago, early in the blog’s life, and it still gets circulated frequently. And I still agree with it, so that’s nice!

xoxo, Tsh

The Countdown: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 / 4 / 3 / 2 / 1

Being eco-wise is about celebrating creation, being good stewards with what we’re given, and passing on those values to the next generation.

The thing I love most about practicing good green green habits? Nine times out of ten, they’re also the more frugal option. Being environmentally-friendly is also good economics—in our home and budget, and with the earth.

There are lots of little things we can do in our homes to play our small part in reducing landfill waste, cleaning the air, and preserving the natural landscape. But we double our efforts when we get our kids involved, helping them understand the why to our what.

When they get it, it’ll be second nature when they’re adults—and that much easier to pass it down to their children.

Here are some small, easy, green choices we can make in our homes. Choose three that you’re not already doing, and make them a habit this year.

1.  Plant a simple backyard garden.  It’s good to remember where our food originates, and it doesn’t have to be huge or complicated.

2.  Switch your lightbulbs to energy efficient types.

3.  Create a homemade compost bin for $15.

4.  When it’s time, replace appliances to energy efficient models (look for the “energy star” label).

From Flip & Tumble’s Instagram

5.  Stop using disposable bags. Get some reusable bags—my favorites are Flip & Tumble. Or, make your own—they’re insanely easy.

6.  Buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles. My favorite is the Kleen Kanteen with the sport cap for everyday use and the foldable Vapur for travel.

7.  Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.

8.  Turn off lights when you leave the room.

9.  Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can — open your curtains and use natural light.

10.  Drive the speed limit, and combine as many errands as you can in one trip.

11.  Even better, walk or ride a bike for errands two miles or closer.

12.  Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market.

13.  Find or start a Food Swap in your area (listen to my chat on the pod with the creator of the Portland Food Swap).

14.  Research whether you can sign up for local renewable energy from your utility company.

15.  Pay your bills online. Not only is it greener, it’s a sanity saver.

16.  Put a stop to unsolicited mail—sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.  While you’re at it, if you’re in the U.S., go ahead and make sure you’re on the “do not call” list, just to make life better.

17.  Reuse scrap paper.  Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.

18.  Conduct your own home energy audit.

19.  Read good natural living blogs—I like You Grow Girl, Zero Waste Home, The Good Trade, and The Sustainable Edit.

20.  Before buying anything new, first check your local CraigslistFreecycle, or Buy Nothing groups.

21.  Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.

22.  Fix leaky faucets.

23.  Make your own household cleaners.

24.  Line dry your laundry.

25.  Watch short movies from The Story of Stuff.

26.  Regularly learn about other countries or cultures, expanding your knowledge and worldview. (Fun fact: We do this with The WRLD at Home.)

28.  Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.

29.  Unplug unused chargers and appliances.

30.  Repurpose your kids’ artwork.

31.  Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.

32.  Switch to cloth diapers – or at least combine with disposables (even one cloth diaper per day means 365 fewer disposables in the landfill annually).

33.  Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade” label.

34.  Use a menstrual cup like this or this for your monthly cycles. I’ve used one for well over a decade now, and I don’t plan on ever stopping (plus, it makes travel a breeze).

35.  Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Repurpose old towels and t-shirts and cut them into small cleaning cloths.

36.  Use cloth napkins instead of paper.

37.  Read books like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Food Rules, and The Backyard Homestead and and be inspired.

38.  Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.

39.  Watch documentaries about the food industry and environment. A few good ones are Food Inc., Our Planet, Before the Flood, and The True Cost.

40.  Donate to—and shop at—thrift stores.  You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, you’ll be supporting your local economy, and you’ll be saving money.

Reading Time:

3 minutes





    • jamila

      i just wanted to say you were very helpful to me..these thoughts were not popping up in my head. i have a project to do that will help the community go green. i appreciate your solutions to going green. thanku!

    • Gage

      very nice tips!! need to start a herb garden asap

    • Nick Tedesco

      An improvement on #14 (signing up for green power) is to buy your own solar panels. Solar power is not only affordable now, it’s cheaper than conventional energy in many American states over the long term. I’m proud to be helping homeowners find truly affordable solar panel installers.

      • Kaitlin

        These are awesome tips on being green and make such a huge impact on our world. I believe everyone should go green. I wish we had solar panels but I don’t. Although i am starting my own challenge. I am not longer using plastic bags. I will see how i last for a week then i will try to make it a habit to not use a single plastic bag. It is harder than it looks. I have a website actually that explains more and hopefully inspires people to go green. Go to http://www.Echo-friendlychallenge.webs.com for more info. Thank you!

    • blackops2man


    • Jidapa Akkarathanaratthachai

      As you can see there is a ton of ways that you can go green. None of them are difficult, and anyone can use them to their advantage. If you care about the world and want to make a difference, know that you can, as proved with these 40 wonderful tips. You can make a difference in the world. Put these tips to good use and the many benefits that come your way will not disappoint you. It is so easy and so simple, why not go green?

    • Charlotte Baker

      I didn’t realize until I read this how much of this we already do as money is tight from my many surgerys and can’t work. So remember this all saves money too!

  1. Brianna @ Heart(h) Management

    It’s so exciting to me to see how I’ve grown in the past few years! I don’t do all of these things, but I do many. (Patting myself on the back–LOL.)

    I didn’t know about the opt-out option for credit card offers. I hopped right over and did that for my husband and myself. Whew. I hate getting that junk that goes immediately in the trash can.

    I DO wish that our town had a recycling program. Growing up, pretty much everything got recycled. (I lived in a town in Ontario, Canada.) Then I moved to a small Southern town in Georgia. It *killed* me to throw paper, glass jars, and tin cans away!

    I probably need to be a bit of an activist and see what *I* can do to help our little town get started in this direction.

    By the way, Stephanie at Keeper of the Home just released her new e-book today that jives very nicely with this topic. It’s called Healthy Homemaking: One Step at a Time. The subtitle is A 52 Week Journey of Baby Steps to Help You Move Towards More Natural, Nutritious and Sustainable Living. Now couldn’t we all use a book that baby steps us along?

    I’m not affiliated with Stephanie in any way (other than being a dedicated reader of her blog). I just wanted to share a GREAT resource!

    Brianna @ Heart(h) Management´s last blog post…Getting Motivated–It’s a REAL Job! Series #6

    • Eclectic Visions

      We live in a very small rural community that does some recycling, but does n ot recycle plastics. It kills me to throw away something that is so easy to recycle, so we save our plastics and when we make a trip to the city we bring it with us.
      .-= Eclectic Visions´s last blog ..Green(er) Living =-.

  2. Miko's Girl

    When it comes to being more ecologically responsible, I find that I need to focus on the steps that I must take in my home instead of focusing on the big picture. It is somewhat like the pennies make dollars mentality. If I focus on the big picture, I feel that I cannot make much of an impact. So, one thing at a time.

    My one thing this spring may be the compost bin.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this information together.

  3. Sherri (Serene Journey)

    Hooray! I do many of what’s on your list already. I need to get better at turning the computer off at night and I want to do a lot more line drying of our clothes this summer. Thanks for all the great ideas on how to go green at home!

    Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post…Ask The Readers: YOUR Top Book Selection

  4. Nicole

    I love these tips. I don’t turn off the computer completely every night-something we could easily do.

    Here’s a few more:
    We buy frozen juice instead of bottled (saves a lot on plastic waste).
    We also buy powdered mix for gatorade instead of the bottled stuff (cheaper option too).
    We wear clothes more than once before washing, (when not covered with baby dirt)

    A while back, I blogged about a compost bin for my marriage. You might find it interesting. It’s here: http://burningbushes.org/?p=238

    Nicole´s last blog post…Try This Idol Instead

  5. Allegra

    What a GREAT list — I want to print it out and put it up on my fridge!

    Allegra´s last blog post…Awesome Item of the Day

  6. Sara (MamaGoesGreen)

    Thanks for the mention Tsh! This is a great list of things to do, and many of them are frugal, and healthy tips as well! One thing we are doing is going through all of our bills and statements and making them all paperless. This takes a little effort, but most banks and utility companies have the option if they have an online pay system. Talk about simplifying filing day in the office!

  7. MelissaS

    I love these tips! We do many of them, and are teaching our 5yo son why we do them, but we can always do more. I’m guilty of leaving the computer on most nights 🙁
    I am looking forward to your Cloth Diapering 101 as we are expecting baby #2 in September and I’m having the cloth/dispoasable debate in my head.
    Thanks for reminding us it really is easy to make a difference, and that small differences add up to larger ones!

    MelissaS´s last blog post…A Bright One Just Because

    • Mackenzie

      I don’t know what OS you’re using, but with Kubuntu Linux, I have options like:
      – It’s plugged in, the lid’s closed, and it’s been that way (not in use) for an hour, so {shutdown|suspend|hibernate}
      – It’s unplugged, and the lid’s closed, so {suspend|hibernate|turn screen off}
      – It’s plugged in, the lid’s open, but I haven’t done anything in 2 hours, so {shutdown|suspend|hibernate|screen off}

      It allows a wonderful level of detail regarding how to handle power management.

  8. Onna

    What great ideas!! Some I do already, some I will start to do!! I have been talking with my children about the environment and ways to be green. We have been working on crafts this week that are from recycled items in our home (you can find them on my blog this week.) I am highlighting other blogs that are giving ideas for going green this week-so I will be adding this post there!! I would like to have all the ideas together.

    Onna´s last blog post…Earth Day Activities

    • Onna

      I forgot to tell you to come on over to http://toddlercraft.net/396/earth-day-activities/ and if you have an earth day post -add your link to mr. linky- I’ll be posting all the sites I find on Wednessday, but the Mr. Linky will be available all week, so there should be new sites there everyday to check out!

      Onna´s last blog post…Earth Day Activities

  9. Kirwin

    What a great, comprehensive list! I’m feeling pretty good about myself, as we do many of these. Some of them just seem like good old-fashioned common sense! The new ones I’m going to commit to are:

    ~ doing an energy audit
    ~ doing nightly computer shutdowns
    ~ doing all laundry with cold water

    Thanks Tsh!

    Kirwin´s last blog post…Edit, Add, and Appreciate

  10. Meghan

    I think I need to seriously consider the 5-minute shower goal, but it doesn’t sound fun! Otherwise, I think my family is doing pretty well. It is interesting to see how many of these suggestions have gotten ingrained into our way of doing things without much effort.

    Does anyone have any thoughts about composting in a condo with very limited yard space?

    Also, how about when two green behaviors cancel each other out–as in the case of cloth diapers? They require hot washes. (But maybe we’ll cover this during Cloth Diapering 101 ).

    Meghan´s last blog post…in need of the truth

    • Tsh

      We’re going to give composting another go this week – and we’re in an urban highrise with a tiled balcony. Last year it didn’t go so well, only because we were doing it wrong. I’m going to try again, this time using my guest poster’s homemade compost bin how-to.

      And yes, that is a major issue with cloth diapering – for us, it only took simple math for us to see that CDing is definitely cheaper for us (even with the extra laundry). Since frugality is my main motivation – and going green is a secondary – that’s why we went that route. We still do disposables for going out for long periods of time (in this country, it just works better) – but I’ll go into these details more in a few weeks.

    • Leslie

      I’ve been reading lately that we don’t *need* to wash diapers in hot water, especially if you use a neutralizing agent such as baking soda or vinegar. I haven’t stepped out on that limb yet – I’ve always learned that the dirtiest laundry should be hot-washed, but I’d be interested in hearing more facts and reasoning to back it up. I still feel great about cloth diapering, though, because we line-dry them most of the time and cut out so much waste.

      Leslie´s last blog post…Just another magic Monday

    • Anitra

      Personally, we live in an area where water is abundant and cheap, but land isn’t. The price we pay for garbage hauling keeps going up… In my mind, it’s still better to use water & energy to wash cloth diapers than to be taking up landfill space with disposables. In theory, you could use greener energy to heat the water, and the water can be treated at a sewage plant. On the other hand, most disposables from 50 years ago still haven’t broken down in landfills….

      • Andi

        A lot of people don’t realize that TONS of water is used in the production and distribution of disposable diapers. A family washing 2-3 medium hot loads a week to diaper 1-2 kids is most likely a lot less water than would have been used just to produce enough disposables and wipes to diaper 1-2 kids. We actually use less water now, even with cloth diapers, than before we had 3 little ones.

  11. Kristin

    A great list….we already do some of the things on this list but I’m going to try to add a few items into mine and my husband’s lives.

    I’m so glad you mentioned the Diva Cup, it doesn’t get much press but it’s really a great option for women. A roommate in college turned me on to the Diva and I’ve been using it for about 3 years (and I love it!). I love that it’s a frugal alternative to disposable pads and tampons, but it’s also an environmentally-friendly option since you cut down on the amount of waste.

    Also, I’m glad that you mentioned the idea of being green as a way of being a good steward of God’s creation. My husband has a tendency to make fun of my desire to be green and I always point this same thing out to him!

  12. Amanda @ Mommy's Idea Book

    What a great list! I do many of these things already. I’ve been using the CFL lightbulbs for a while and love them. Last time I purchased appliances I made sure they were energy efficient, and I always use cold water for washing clothes.

    I’m just getting into making my own household cleaners. I’ve been trying to find a good homemade cleaner for my laminate flooring, but for some reason what I’ve tried seems to make my floors sticky, and the instructions for my floors say not to use anything with a soap base on the floors. If anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate them.

    Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book´s last blog post…A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno

    • Green Guy

      Nice article, one comment on driving the speed limit. Of course we should all drive safely, but the best way to save energy is to keep your RPM’s low. If you drive a manual stick shift, try to keep the RPM’s under 2000. If you drive an automatic keep the tachometer under 2000 RPM’s. This will reduce the amount of gas you are burning and help save the environment. I try to add tips like this at http://www.gogreenblog.net. Thanks for the tips!
      .-= Green Guy´s last blog ..Jill Buck and the Go Green Initiative =-.

  13. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home

    Thanks for the green blog links. I always love to find new blogs on topics that interest me, and this is definitely one of those areas!

    I love that you tied this in to our stewardship of what God has given us, because that’s my main motivation for learning to “go green” as well. I consider it just as much of a stewardship issue as anything else- money, time, talents, etc.

    Brianna, thanks for the sweet plug for my eBook! I’m blushing! 🙂

    Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home´s last blog post…Introducing Healthy Homemaking: One Step at a Time!

  14. Liz

    We do most of these…but I’m sorry, I have to draw the line at the Diva Cup and making play pants out of my worn out track t-shirt! Last month we got an energy star dishwasher, switched all of our standard-size lightbulbs and set our thermostat up to 78 and down to 65…we shaved almost $50 off of that energy bill alone! It was great! For my husband, ‘eco’ is only the first part of ‘economical’ so he was hooked! =)

    Liz´s last blog post…Tunica Hills!

    • Tsh

      Liz, I honestly thought the Diva Cup sounded gross before I used it. But now, I find the idea of pads definitely grosser, and the DC right along the same lines as tampons. I am shocked – shocked – at how much money I’ve saved using it over the past three years. It only cost me $28 up front. Definitely worth giving it a shot, I say.

      • Aimee

        Like Liz, I am dragging my feet at this one, too, but you almost have me convinced, Tsh!Maybe that will be one of the three things I add to what I am already doing.

        Aimee´s last blog post…One For the Babies: Sweet Potato Pancakes

        • Meghan

          I’m also a satisfied DivaCup customer! Takes some practice, but it’s definitely more pleasant than pads, and it’s non-absorbent, and so helpful for avoiding yeast infections.

          Meghan´s last blog post…i saw it first

          • hi

            Tips of the Day

            Give your computer a nap: Ask your IT department to set your computers to go to sleep when not in use. Creating short energy breaks can cut energy use by up to 70 percent.

      • Misty

        There’s more work to be done convincing people that bodily functions are not disgusting, there’s a lingering mentality that menstruation is dirty and should be hidden at all costs and I think it’s a tragedy.
        The only problem I have with the Diva Cup is that you should not use it if you have an IUD because it can cause it to come out.

  15. aimeesmom

    Homemade baby food is another way moms can go green. Not only do you have the option to use local, organic ingredients, but all the food is prepared and stored in reusable containers. I encourage everyone to check out NurtureBaby (also a sponsor of this site)….


    • Tsh

      Absolutely! You’re right about this – and I think Nurture Baby is an awesome site.

      • Aimee

        Too funny! I blogged abut NurtureBaby today! What a great resource that site is for mothers who want to start making their own baby food.

        Aimee´s last blog post…One For the Babies: Sweet Potato Pancakes

        • Alison

          I was very hesitant about the Diva Cup at first, and didn’t give it a try until after my twins were born. I have to say that it is so much more comfortable and effective then any conventional menstrual care products. The fact that it is healthier, more cost efficient, and better for the environment are just bonuses. I would recommend the testimonials page at the Diva Cup site if you still need convincing.

  16. Lauren

    I definitely need to work on turning off the computer at night and I’ve been wanting to make my own cleaners for some time now. No time like the present!

    Side note about cloth diapering: I’m a gDiapers user and would gladly answer any questions about the system. I’m not affiliated with them in any way – just LOVE their product.

    • Tsh

      We have two gDiaper covers, and I used two packages of inserts. I love them – and almost loved them as much as cloth diapers – except for the cost. I wish they weren’t so expensive!

  17. Rae

    Turning off the computer at night is something we’ve gotten terrible about. It was set to shut itself off after a period of inactivity, but when the hard drive crashed and was repaired, we haven’t set it back. I’m also starting seeds for a container garden this summer, as buying a home is our summer plan, and planting a full garden now would be wasteful.

    My mother laughs at how trendy ‘green’ has become, saying “We’ve been green since before it was trendy, and was called being cheap.”

    Rae´s last blog post…We Made it Monday: Original Art.

  18. Erin

    I have to give a plug for the Diva cup after a previous poster got the *ick* feeling.

    I have been using one for about 15 years, and it’s truly the best $50 I”ve ever spent. I can not ever imagine not using my cup! It’s the best thing EVER!


  19. Lisa

    What an amazing compilation of super easy ways to make a difference! Our family lives in the desert, so eating locally and gardening are a challenge. But I’m going to give the herb garden a go. Hopefully I’ll have more success than everything else I’ve tried to plant out here. I’m also committed to cloth napkins and plan to make that our next lifestyle change! Love your site. Thanks for the great tips.

    Lisa´s last blog post…keepin’ it green

  20. Steph

    Great tips! Along with the idea of using reusable bags, I’ve recently purchased some reusable sandwich bags that are machine washable and/or dishwasher safe. They are handmade by a company now called snack taxi (used to be happy sacks) and so far I love them! 🙂

    Steph´s last blog post…Crockpot and freezer menu planning

    • Tsh

      There are also lots of great patterns for free online – Craft Stylish has a good one.

  21. Angie @ The Creative Mama

    I was surprised to find we actually do many of those already, what a wonderful thing to realize! I think my fave most recent “switch” would be my reusable water bottle (aka: stainless steel bottle). I actually quite prefer it to the plastic water bottle as it keeps my water super cold! Love the $ we are saving now with this choice (and our Brita!).

    Great tips!

    Angie @ The Creative Mama´s last blog post…about the creative mama.

  22. Mandy

    Great list! The suggestions are both easy and manageable. Our Sunday School class was just discussing how in our grandparent’s day, items were replaced when they wore out. In our day, items are upgraded because we want the latest version.

    Mandy´s last blog post…Gluten Free Recipe for Chicken Tenders

  23. Jenn

    I’m going to plug “environmentally friendly” menstrual products as well! I use a “Keeper,” which is like a Diva Cup, but the Diva Cup is silicone, and the Keeper is laytex. I love it! Less odor issues, and my flow ended up reducing a lot. I spent $30 on it 10 years ago, and would not go back to pads/tampons for anything. I do use a panty liner with it, and during my most recent pregnancy I got to thinking that I really should buy some cloth liners to use with it. I guess I should think about doing that before my cycle returns…

    I was surprised at how many things on the list I am doing either fully or at least “sometimes.” Yay! 😉

    For me though, I draw the line at hanging out the laundry…sorry…with 5 kids, its just too much laundry, my time is valuable! I try to get the kids to wear clothes more than once before washing–I certainly do.

    Jenn´s last blog post…Manic Monday: School Registration, Sign Your Name…

  24. patti

    Great post! I started line-drying our clothes (lots of clothes…family of 5) last summer and we cut our PG&E bill by $75-$100/month. Just re-started last week. In addition to conserving energy and reducing expeditures, hanging laundry is a great mental break from the day!

    patti´s last blog post…Congress 2009

  25. Caroline

    Wow…great ideas! I feel like we do quite a few of these too, but realize there is always room for improvement. I like what one poster said that her family thinks it is funny how green is becoming trendy…and that she has always been green but it was called cheap” hahahaha! HOW TRUE my friend! I am a garage saler at heart and always have been 🙂 Caroline (momma of 2 *one with the missing tooth, one whom God healed from Eczema ~yay vidazorb~ and BOTH junior greenies!)

  26. minnesota:madre

    awesome list! thanks. i’m inspired to compost again this summer. and the diva cup. mmm…

    minnesota:madre´s last blog post…a morning walk

  27. Bridgette

    swaptree.com is also a great book trading website. I look forward to your coverage of cloth diapers. I do hope you mention g diapers in your write up. I think they are a great middle of the road option.

    Bridgette´s last blog post…Food! Specifically, Beef Bourguignon

  28. karoline

    re: #34

    LOVE LOVE LOVE my cloth pads from Party in my pants!!! (www.partypantspads.com) was a tampon user, but since the kids can’t wear disposable anything without severe irritation. found some of these reusable pads and tried them, meaning to try something like the diva cup. have a cup and still haven’t tried it because i actually love using the pads. Never would have thought i’d be a “pad” girl, but they’re easy, non-irritating, and just go in the wash with everything else. and i really never did think a pad would make me smile, but sll the fun prints do make me smile.

  29. tabitha

    I went to the opt-out program page and they want my ss#. Why? Hubby is wondering if it’s an identity theft scam.

    • Sandi in MN

      I did the same but DIDN’T give it. There’s no reason they need it. I didn’t give the birth date either. My husband used to work for our state’s Attorney General’s Office and said they should not be asking for that. SS # in our state are not allowed to be used for any medical, school or other identification numbers. We lived in another state for awhile and it drove me crazy that our health insurance there used it for our medical ID #’s. I’ve known too many people who’ve battled identity theft, it’s a mess to clear up so I want to avoid it. I never give out our numbers.

  30. Shannon

    I just purchased some mama cloth from our local cloth diaper store. They are absolutely fabulous! I highly encourage mamas to look into it. It’s expensive up front, just like cloth diapers, but will save so much in the long run.

  31. Aimee

    I’m so proud of how much we do already! Love this list, Tsh, and I am sending it around to all my peeps. I keep lecturing about how they need to stop drinking bottled water, but they don’t listen!

    I wash all my Zipock bags, hang them to dry and re-use them. Also almost never take a plastic bag when I purchase something. Going to start to bring my Tupperware containers to the butcher to replace the Styrofoam.

    Aimee´s last blog post…One For the Babies: Sweet Potato Pancakes

  32. Angie

    Thanks for sharing! I do many of these already but there are few I will adding to my list.

    Angie´s last blog post…Refreshed…

  33. PsychMamma

    We’re trying to do ALL of them on the list. Making our own compost bin this week, and I just switched to the Diva Cup.

    One thing we do that’s not on the list is to take the junk mail we still get (which is GREATLY reduced) and shred it to use for packing whenever we need to ship a package.

    PsychMamma´s last blog post…Maddie

  34. Tiff @ The Faery Inn

    Wow! I now have seven tabs open in Firefox that I have to go read! Thanks for such a great list. We already do many of these things, and are working on most of the others one at a time. 🙂

    Tiff @ The Faery Inn´s last blog post…Fairy Tale

  35. Casey

    One item I might add to the list is becoming aware of packaging at the grocery store. so much of our waste comes from food packaging, so buying in bulk is great, but choosing a box over a plastic container of the same item is also important. I’ll be a big cheerleader for cloth diapering week – we switched to them for my second child, and it CURED him of his terrible, reoccurring diaper rash!

    Casey´s last blog post…Happy Birthday, Max!

    • Jenn

      Oh, my, on the cloth diapers, I’m SO loving them!

      My first 4 kids we used disposables because I was working outside of the home, and hubby would not cooperate with cloth. But he is finding that it really isn’t as big of a deal as he thought it would be.

      I did buy some disposables for an out of town trip I took, and promptly put the unused ones on a high shelf in my closet when I got home. Then one night about 2 weeks later S. needed a diaper in the middle of the night, and my hubby didn’t want to run downstairs to get one, so he got one of the disposables. BAD choice. The next morning she had a poopy blow out of epic proportions AND she had developed a diaper rash. Just from one silly disposable. Sigh.

      I love the cloth!

      Jenn´s last blog post…Earth Day, what did you do?

  36. Kika

    A great list of green-tips and I feel proud that my family is already doing quite well. My three goals for the next couple months are to plant an herb garden (my daughter already plants containers of veg); to buy a Diva cup (I’ve been hesitant b/c a close friend doesn’t love hers); to figure out a new compost bin for our family. A problem area of ours is our long showers. The kids and I have timed ourselves and are nowhere close to 5 mins so we’ll work on improving in this area. Oh, and the opt-out option for credit card offers is not available in Canada.

  37. Valerie

    Great list, and so many of these things are soooo simple and easy to do, but can make a huge impact on the environment.

    Valerie´s last blog post…Treasure Box

  38. Leslie

    We try to buy food products in recyclable or biodegradable/compostable packaging, but better yet are the ones with reuseable packaging, such as glass jars, etc. One thing I’d had guilt about is the organic assorted lettuce I buy in bulk – and in plastic – at Sam’s Club. The container is locally recyclable now, but we’ve found they’re perfect for planting seeds in – poke some holes in the lid and you have a mini-greenhouse for early-season starters.

  39. Karen

    I actually do almost all of the items listed here. I guess living in California I’m ahead of the curve. One thing I would like to do is grow more of my own food (I get most of it from a CSA within walking distance). Also, I would like to find a way to get off central heating! A suggestion for mothers: the documentary The Great Mother. It’s both the story of the Dalai Lama’s mother (told through amazing interviews with the Dalai Lama), but a look at motherhood and mothering itself – and the archetype of The Great Mother. It’s a beautiful watch, there are trailers, sales, info, and PBS air times at that site.

  40. Sheena

    Go Veg! It’s one of the easiest, cheapest, and healthiest ways to help the environment! You’d be amazed at how negatively the meat market affects the environment! Read the article here:

    I also do a ton of other things on your list. I <3 cloth diapers. I need to get better at turning my pc & lights off as well. As we’re about to move into our new house, we’ll also be much more careful with the AC/Heat settings. I’m also planning on line drying most if not all of my laundry. =)

    • gail ostrander

      i’m glad someone mentioned going veg! people just don’t know how eating meat negatively affects the environment.

  41. Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com

    Some of these are really great tips! We try to do most of them (although not all), but there’s always room for improvement. Thanks for the nudge =)

  42. Loretta

    I’m doing a lot on the list, but still have more to work on. I just got a collapsible clothesline and as soon as my husband digs the hole for the post I’ll be line drying as much as I can!

    I used to use a lot of ziploc sandwich bags, but I switched to just using little containers for on-the-go snacks and packing lunches and haven’t bought sandwich bags in almost a year.

    I try to limit packaging whenever possible. I shop in bulk when I can and bring my own containers. I love the fact that for a family of 4 we average only 1 or 2 bags of trash a week (and that is including my home office).

    Loretta´s last blog post…Love, Like

  43. Jill

    If you have any tips on how to get your spouse to participate — would love to hear them! I cannot get my husband to do even the simplest of things, such as turning off the lights when he leaves the room. I also try to recycle all our junk mail, plastic bottles, cans, etc. I have a hard time getting him on board. The sad thing is that we have a single-stream recycling bin “sponsored” by our trash pick-up company so it isn’t like it is hard! argh men!

    I have almost always used cold water for all my laundry. Aside from being more eco-friendly, I also feel like it isn’t nearly as hard on my clothes and helps them last longer. All about that! 🙂

    Jill´s last blog post…Fashion Friday: 3rd Edition

    • Georgette

      I’m not sure if this would work in a home, but at my office they installed motion sensors on the lights in all of the shared spaces (i.e. meeting rooms, lunch room, restrooms, etc.) and they’re great. Turn off after no activity for 10 minutes. Occasionally we’re in the middle of a big serious meeting where no one is moving and the lights go off, but that is usually more of a tension breaker than anything else. 🙂

  44. J.J.

    I gotta say that wearing gently used clothing items has got to be one of the best ideas for saving $ and for recycling. I am also amazed with how much of our stuff was good quality stuff that was purchased off of ebay and craigslist. I am including big ticket items too, like cars and furniture. Using vinegar to clean with was also a huge life change for the better! I hope to keep incorporating more green/frugal changes every year. Thanks fot the additional tips!

    J.J.´s last blog post…I just kept….running.

  45. Scott

    I’ve been wanting to start a compost bin, thanks for reminding me that I need to get off my lazy but and just do it!

    (the other tips are good too)

    Scott´s last blog post…Women Are Wired Differently

  46. Jenn @ Beautiful Calling

    Oh, I wa just doing some baking and thought about another one…buying spices etc. in bulk and reusing the containers you already have!

    Jenn @ Beautiful Calling´s last blog post…John and Baby Wooo-Chisss

  47. Rachel

    This was a great list. Already doing a lot of these, but there are some things I just simply forget. I am gonna print this and put it on my fridge!

    Rachel´s last blog post…tweet tweet

  48. Kika

    A question: what do people do about lining garbage bins in the house? Before switching to cloth bags I’d use the grocery store plastic bags for this purpose… now what?

    • Tsh

      I actually still grab a few plastic grocery bags at the store and use these as our garbage bags. We fill one about every other day (a small, normal-sized grocery bag). I haven’t bought garbage bags in years. Even though I hate using plastic bags for groceries, I figure I still need something for the garbage – so we grab only what we need.

      If anyone knows of a creative, frugal, eco-friendly option for garbage bags, please chime in!

      • Santhi

        I too have been trying to figure out a solution for the same predicament. Rely less on the plastic bags (from grocery shops) for lining garbage bins. The closest I have come to a satisfactory solution is to line the plastic bags in the bins, with layers of old newspapers. For dry trash in bedrooms, the papers are good enough to collect the rubbish to be discarded. The wet garbage in the kitchen is collected in a small pot (double lined with plastic bag and then newspapers) and is changed frequently throughout the day. Of course, rethinking about what we throw will greatly reduce waste (easier said than done, methinks)
        .-= Santhi´s last blog ..Inspiring Blogs that Motivate-2009 =-.

  49. Cammy

    This is a fabulous list. It made me feel really good about the changes that I’ve made in our house over the last couple of years and gave me some ideas to make further improvements.

    Cammy´s last blog post…Ten Things I Want to Teach My Son

  50. Erin

    What a thorough list! I am doing many of the items, but not all. Even adding just a few more to the household would lessen our impact. Great post.

  51. gloria

    Thanks for all the useful information.

    I don’t think I will ever go with cloth napkins or using rags instead of paper towels. I am single and don’t use them that often and I simply can’t see how using more water, detergent and electricity is anymore wasteful then using the paper product.

    gloria´s last blog post…Bra-Buying 101

    • tiffany

      Wash the rags or napkins by hand and ang dry. It’s quick and easy and much better than paper. Plus they are softer on the skin

  52. Aaron

    This is an excellent post. There are other simple things that almost anyone can do to be more green and conserve energy, like installing a ceiling fan or a Programmable Thermostat that can adjust the temperature automatically for times when it is not needed, or cleaning or replacing their Furnace Filter or Humidifier Filters with something like Aprilaire Furnace Filters that are more energy efficient. Also, installing Refrigerator Water Filters instead of drinking store bought bottled water, cuts down on waste. Just some ideas that might help the cause.

  53. Andrea

    Great tips! You mentioned a lot of things I haven’t heard of/thought of before! Thank you!

    Andrea´s last blog post…Green Moms!

  54. Monet

    the diva cup – that will work so good.

  55. Aline

    This works for me, my friends, and relatives!
    Hang clear plastic bags filled with clear water ; place them inside and outside to be rid of house flies.

  56. Rachael

    I am really into going green and I agree these are really good tips!!!

  57. Dena: Scrap Copper NJ

    Great list. I know that this is obvious, but I have to mention it because I am in this field.

    Recycle metal, especially non ferrous metals like aluminum, brass, copper and nickel. You can actually receive money and go green!

    End of plug.

  58. sd


  59. Santhi

    Tsh, just when I think I have learnt almost there is to learn from your site, you spring another pleasant lesson. I am proud to be familiar with most of the tips. Nevertheless, this will be printed and kept as a green to-do monthly tips. And thank you for sharing those green blogs- just what I have been looking for! ;D

  60. Amber

    I do probably 90-95% of these already. The blog suggestions are fantastic. Thanks! It’s a great reminder from you to not buy anything new before checking craigslist, freecycle, or even the thrift stores.

  61. uli

    what’s your take on mp3 players, because you have to use your computer to charge them!

  62. Kara

    I feel pretty good knowing I do all but about 10 items (and some are because of my apartment, hot water heater temperature cannot be changed, or because they don’t apply to my life, cloth diapers aren’t useful if you don’t have a baby). To top it off, I’m further along on this list than the first time I read this post a few months ago. 🙂

  63. Xan

    33 out of 40. I used to make my own household cleaners, but good green cleaning ingredients are becoming harder to find, oddly. One of the big problems with making good household cleaners is that you can no longer find washing soda (essentially, a coarser and cheaper version of Baking Soda), which used to be available in every grocery and drug store, and now cannot be found for love or money. (Well, it can be found for money- available on line for the low low price of $13 incl shipping for a 3 lb box.
    .-= Xan´s last blog ..Talking to the butcher =-.

    • Tsh

      I saw some at Whole Foods this weekend. Granted, it’s not the cheapest place in the world, but if you live near one, it might be cheaper than buying online and dealing with shipping.
      .-= Tsh´s last blog ..40 Ways to Go Greener at Home (Besides Just Recycling) =-.

    • Kara

      Ace Hardware, if you have one, allows you to make an online purchase that ships to their store. When you choose to ship to the store, you don’t have to pay the shipping fees.

      • Xan

        Tsh and Kara– thanks! I tried the ship to store thing with True Value they would only do it if I ordered $100 worth of stuff; forgot that there’s an Ace nearby; I’ll go check them out, maybe they have it on the shelf. At any rate, their price is good, so shipping to me wouldn’t be that bad. I’m a Whole Foods hater, but washing soda might get me through the door. At any rate, this is more info than I’ve found on it in years! Thank you!
        .-= Xan´s last blog ..Talking to the butcher =-.

        • Kara

          You’re welcome. I can guarantee that Ace doesn’t have a limit like that too.

  64. Nikki Moore

    I got 22/40. Some don’t apply to me though because I don’t have kids, or because we live in an apartment with no say over appliances/energy purchases.

    Still, this is a really good list, with lots of things I intend to do when feasible! I think it’s interesting that most of these things I wasn’t doing just to be earth-friendly, but to be frugal. It’s kind of a bonus that they happen to be “green” too.
    .-= Nikki Moore´s last blog ..Growing up and needing new stuff (and orange furry monsters) =-.

  65. Trina

    This is a great list, and I was really happy to see that we already do so many things that are “green.” As few other replies noted, our intention wasn’t to be “green” but to be frugal.

    One way that I really cut expenses this year, and went green, is by using reusable swiffer covers. My mom and sister knitted some covers for me because I can’t knit to save my life. However, I’ve recently found a crochet pattern for the same thing. The savings really is tremendous in my home, as we have a large, sheds-every-moment-of-day pup and I was swiffering the tile floor twice a day.

    A Tip Nut link to making your own via knitting, crocheting and sewing: http://tipnut.com/make-your-own-swiffer-cloths/
    .-= Trina´s last blog ..Fiesta!: Aguas Frescas =-.

  66. Rae

    Line drying clothes not only saves energy, but also makes your clothes last SO much longer! I have been wearing the same American Apparel tank tops for over two years thanks to line drying them — they’ve hardly faded or changed shape at all.
    .-= Rae´s last blog ..Spring Cleaning Week: Moving List =-.

  67. Satakieli

    This is great!

    We do nearly all of these, it’s honestly because of our move from the states to Germany 2 years ago. They make it so easy to recycle almost everything, we even have roadside pickup for biodegradable waste. I will miss all of this when we go back to the states.
    .-= Satakieli´s last blog ..Chicken with Mushroom and Tarragon Cream =-.

  68. MB Squared

    My husband and I just watched Food, Inc. on PBS tonight, what an eye opening experience. I definitely going to start shopping at my local farmer’s market.

  69. Caleigh

    There are some great ideas there but I do find it strange that as an environmentally astute person you are choosing to have at least 3 children. I love children, I have worked with children all my adult life but each of those children that you have will a carbon footprint. The original earth day very pointedly encouraged ZPG as the only rational long term approach to humans creating less damage to the earth. Why don’t we have less children and leave them more of an earth to grow up in?

    • Tsh

      This is a big issue, for sure, and maybe (maybe) I’ll discuss this in a separate post some day, but just to state for the record — I disagree with that “theory.” You can be an environmentally responsible person with a large family. 🙂

  70. Morgan

    What a great list! I shared the link to this post on my Earth Day post today!

  71. semmmm

    What a great post! I did want to throw out there that, unfortunately, “The Story of Stuff” is actually quite political and contains a fair amount of erroneous information. I do love your opening paragraph regarding good stewardship. That’s how I’ve explained it to my boys. We make these choices because it is honoring to God to respect and care for His creation.

    • Tsh

      Yes, I agree, TSOS is pretty political, and that’s the one thing I really don’t like about it. I feel like the good outweighs the bad, though. Their short film about bottled water is much better, in my opinion.

  72. Kelly Cook

    I love the list, but have to disagree with #2. The contents of CFL’s are poisonous and I won’t bring them into my home. What I’ve heard from people that have tried them is that they don’t last even as long as a standard bulb and cost a lot more. Doesn’t make much sense to me. Poisonous bulbs that cost more and burn out quicker-how is that green?
    .-= Kelly Cook´s last blog ..Udder Amazement =-.

    • Sarah

      Once these hybrid halogen-CFL bulbs come out, you may be interested. They have a much lower mercury content than current CFLs. Don’t know about the pricing.

      Overall, I’m pleased to see safer developments like these hybrid CFLs and consumer-grade LED lights.

    • Sandi in MN

      I’m up in the air about these too. I’ve have bought so many to replace standard bulbs and they’re all burning out! Then to dispose of them is a pain because it’s a separate trip to the recycling center. In fact I have a bag of them hanging on my closet door that need to be disposed of….ugh! I would love to start replacing with LED, which are expensive but they use much less energy. Not sure what to try. Plus, my kids have accidently broken two, which is a danger to them and a huge clean up mess. Have decided that they will NEVER be in the kids’ rooms again.

  73. Ashley Spillius

    Another tip is to try going vegetarian/vegan for at least one day a week.
    One of the most carbon dioxide emitting industries is that of the meat and dairy.
    And if it seems fit, it’s greener just to go vegetarian/vegan altogether. 🙂
    Green+Health Benefits=Awesome
    I’ve personally been a vegan for a little over a year now and I feel the best and the most helpful (towards the environment) I’ve ever been.

  74. Add4Green.com

    I just came from a blog post about 10 ways in going green. Now I’m looking at 40? Oh my!

  75. Ben

    Got #s 8, 15, 17 down

    not sure how #19 helps

    and there is no chance I do #39.

  76. Dillon Randall

    Hey great tips. These have really helped me out. I will bookmark this for sure!

  77. cahyady Wijaya

    Really nice ways to be people who want care with our crying world. Let’s we start now. so do i.
    Thank’s simplemom. Really i will bookmark for sure!

  78. Kris

    I keep a 1/2 gallow pitcher by my bathtub. Whoever takes the first shower of the day uses it to catch all the cold water that’s usually wasted while we wait for the hot water to make it’s way upstairs. Then we use the pitcher of water to help fill the toilet tank the next time we flush. It may sound like a bother, but its really no biggie!

  79. Lupe

    it’s great to see so many ideas. I already do most of what is on your list, but I do see 7 new ideas I need to work on.
    I especially appreciate the suggested book on item 37, now on my “to get” list.
    This is definitely is one page I am bookmarking. :0)

  80. San Diego Home Inspection

    Good tips here. One I like to do often is light a few candles and go completely off grid for a couple hours in the evening. Gives one time to chat with family, read a book, or just sit and think. Very powerful and I suggest everyone tries this simple green tip.

  81. Mary

    Going green is actually easy you just have to make up your mind. Eat healthy foods, walk, bike instead of driving everywhere and choose non toxic cleaners. I am a cancer survivor so green lifestyle is everything for me.

  82. Shayna

    Going Green is easy! i agree with Mary! It’s all about getting into the mindset of living a healthier life in general. If you eat healthy and live healthy so many things start to fall in place. I began my go green initiatives by eating healthier, doing yoga, and also trying to shop green. I found sites like this that help with great tips and have gone on go green search engines. My newest venture is replacing items in my home with Eco Friendly items. Changing bulbs to LED bulbs, recycling more fervently, and finally using eco friendly cleaners! I have been recently shopping on the EcoDirectStore.com and have found tons of items to help me shop green!

  83. Colette

    LOVE LOVE love the tips!

    Shayna!!! just went to the ecodirectstore.com and they have so many eco friendly products. I bought a cleaning kit and two eco lunchboxes for my twins. (they always have to have the same thing.)

    From another ecofriendly shopper to another THANK YOU!

  84. Deep cleaning

    It is my great pleasure to greet all of you inside this blog. Thank you for sharing

  85. fundraising

    There are some awesome tips both in the original post and in the comments. I’d like to add a suggestion to check out eco friendly fundraisers. They are a simple way to not only green your own home, but also share the green message with other families as well.

  86. Bill Brikiatis

    If you are an organic gardener, note that the new compostable packages like the Frito-lay SunChip bag should not be put in the compost pile. It is not organic and is made of a polyester derived from corn and other plants. These plants are grown with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and are not organic.

  87. Science news

    Composting is great for our garden. We spread out our beautiful black soil onto our garden in the spring and watch how lush and fruitful our yields are. We are able to grow our own organic veggies for the summer and… then we are able to keep all our hearty root vegetables in the garage for up to six months without the hefty price tag organic foods can command.

  88. Lindsay

    I LOVE LOVE this post and your blog! I am all about going green but not just for one day. I found your blog while I was googling for “Ways to be greener” ..soo happy I clicked and read more..
    Thank you for sharing this awesome list!

    Delighted Momma

  89. Peppermint Paddy

    I remember hearing several years ago that cotton (such as with nylon in socks) don’t biodegrade for several hundred years. I don’t need that many dust/cleaning rags to use all of my holey tee shirts, sock and underwear. Any innovative ideas about recycling cotton products, or any clothes products. Also, are there facilities that are recycling carpet?

    • britt

      -Give them to a church or shelter…some family would be grateful for these clothes, holes or not.
      -Cloth toilet paper.
      -Sock puppets.
      -Cut into strips and braid them into a rug or to crochet with.
      -Use as filling instead of cotton if you sew childrens stuffed animals, pillows, or dolls.
      -Use to patch jeans.

  90. remodel

    Great tips. Doing these things at home can save you money and help the environment.

  91. Cool and Conscious Mom

    The first step to conservation is awareness – for example it’s shocking when you realize how many gallons of water you are using.

    To change this , you could try out something like this new digital water meter to monitor your water usage: http://www.absolutelynew.com/content/products/water-saver .

    The National Home and Gardening Club recommended the meter for saving both water and money! Saving water is a GREAT way to conserve at home!

  92. Mr Staugustine

    Thank you for the great tips!

  93. Dana Vigilante

    We just purchased both a compost bin (available for sale at our local town public works dept), as well as a rain barrel. Two of the best decisions we’ve ever made! We also (after much debate), got rid of our bedroom television. Now we are able to sleep better as well as save electricity). We put it on freecycle.org and off it went to live with another family! There are really so many little things you can do that make a HUGE difference to our environment and our health. There are tons of books at your local library that will list many other ways to go green.

    Dana Vigilante

  94. Dan - BankVibe

    Great tips! We’ve begun using re-usable trash bags after we noticed we had gotten in the habbit of double bagging our trash cans because of the amount of trash we’re always accumulating. It saves us a bit of money and they’re much more durable for our trash loads.

  95. Dan

    When going green at home, there is a lot you can do during the summer months. First, obviously start a compost pile. My family always uses our compost for fertilizer to grow our own vegetables in a community garden. We get a free salad almost 3 times a week during the summer and it’s all 100% organic! People often overlook the overhead expenses associated with starting a garden on their own property though but if you use a community garden it really takes just man-hours and very little captial!

  96. Kari

    Nice work!!

    Thanks for the info. I will definiately share with all my friends.

    Click Here!

  97. Megan

    They are all really good tips except for number 15. Pay as many bills as possible online.
    My dad works for the postal system and her might lose his job because people aren’t sending enough letters and bills and such. So instead of converting paper mail to online mail, we should try to make a difference were it really counts without putting the postal service out of business.
    *Plant more tress, and less buildings*

  98. britt

    We try to do most of these tips! This year we are starting a worm compost bin…i’m soo excited =) I also have a few extra shirts laying around that I’ll make into those shop bags by Martha.

    • Alanea

      I’m starting worm composting as well, I’m putting my 8 year old son in charge of them (my 10 year old is in charge of the chickens), He loves his creepy crawlies. I’m hoping everything goes well for you and us. I’ve heard it can be tricky at times.

  99. Astrum People

    Very great list of tips. I try to spend more time away from the Internet and social networks with my family. We often play job board games. That’s much more better!

  100. Lizzie

    this really helped my daughter with her go green project

  101. Lori D.

    I found a great way to clean out my closets( go green) and make money. I sold vintage items I already had on louisesattic.com –It was FREE to sell my items. Lori

  102. Shannon

    In the summer collect rain water in big bins whenever possible, let it sit in the sun and warm for the day. It will be warm enough to handwash your cloth diapers which you can then line dry and let the sun the next day sanitize.

    • Alanea

      Add a little lemon juice or vinegar to the warm water and it disinfects even further and gives the diapers a nice “fresh” scent. Thats what I did with my 4 and it helped alot.

  103. Lori D.

    I have found a good way to go green is to recycle, restore and repurpose as much as you can. Clean out your basements, closet and storage units. Give away items that can be used again by others. Another way is to sell your vintage and antique items on vintage classified ad like louisesattic.com and make money at the same time.

  104. Marina N

    I pretty much agree with everything on the list and gots lots of great new ideas on how to be more “green” than I did before however the one thing that I dod not agree with was the idea of using the CFL light bulbs. Although I do agree that they are efficient at reducing the amount of energy you use they also still contain Mercury, even though it’s a small amount.

    I prefer to use LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs have come a long way and although they are pricey initially (about $25 per bulb) they are even better at energy effeciency. LED light bulbs run on 7 watts while emitting the equivalent of a normal 60 watt bulb while CFL light bulbs run on 11 watts while emitting the equivalent of a normal 60 watt bulb. Not much of a difference to some people but 4 watts is 4 watts and you don’t have any mercury at all. You also shouldn’t consistently turn a CFL bulb on and off. Each time you do it lowers the life of your bulb, you don’t have that problem with an LED bulb.

    I replaced 6 regular dimmable bulbs several months ago with LED light bulbs and spent a good $150 for all 6 but made my money back within the first two months. I immediately went out again and bought bulbs for the rest of the house.

  105. Henry

    Great Tips!!! I enjoyed reading it. Going green makes our life more interesting and fabulous. Thanks for the share.

  106. deb

    great tips of course. i find it curious, however, that you have that political disclaimer at the beginning. i feel that the things we do in the home, our efforts to go green, the things we buy, the food we eat, the things we teach our kids (what kind of citizen will they be?), all have political impact (because they affect the community). Many of the sources you recommend are also very political (and i think that’s great). The political isn’t a bad thing to be avoided. The more we engage it (as you’ve done despite yourself here) the better it can be, and the more empowered we feel. We can’t make the really meaningful green changes, like using more renewable energy, getting access to more fuel efficient cars, etc. without politics. I hope this isn’t coming across wrong, I really appreciate this post, I just thought it curious that you would deny the very worthy and activist nature of it.

    • Tsh

      I love that people are politically involved, but I’m simply not. That’s all. Just saying that about myself.

  107. christyb

    Used cloth diapers with my 2 girls, and some of the tiny ones are headed to the 3rd different family having a new baby..! the bulk of the diapers, now very shredded after many years of use, make great rags (as anyone’s grandma will tell). Have been using diva cup and cloth pads for 3 years, and feel like stopping to chat with every woman I see in the “disposable fem. products” aisle at the store (though I haven’t yet). Lastly, just picked up “Animal, Veg., Miracle” from the library. After reading Omnivore’s Dilemma, I was going to pass on A.V.M. after the first chapter as more of the same (which I appreciate, but I begin to feel like the proverbial preached-at-choir), but now that it’s recommended, I’ll keep going…

  108. Missy

    I have been working towards green for years and have been making serious progress! We are cloth diapering our second child (about 80 % of the time because I have yet to meet a cloth diaper that can keep the leaking at bay at night for my super heavy wetter!) And we use cloth trainers instead of pull-ups at night for my son. I have ALWAYS been OCD about recycling. We started composting 4 years ago which has cut down our stinky trash significantly. My newest goal is to be completely chemical free by 2013. We make our own laundry detergent (we do use store bought crunchy clean for CDs though). We make out own cleansers, lotions, lip balms, wool dryer balls in place of dryer sheets, soaps, and even some natural insecticides. We love our herb garden and it has been a great learning tool for our son who eats cilantro by the handful! We are expanding our garden this year to include many fruits and vegetables (this has been a huge change for me since I am terrified of “nature” ie bugs, snakes, spiders). I’ve also started using mama cloths (just throw them in the wash with the cloth diapers!) and sea sponge tampons! What an enormous difference in my cycles! Cramps are almost gone! It’s gone from 5 to only 3 days and the volume as decreased immeasurably! The toxins and chemicals in mainstream products are terrible and do horrendous things to our bodies! And my acne which I have had since I was 18 is almost gone (as well as many wrinkles) since I switched to coconut oil as a moisturizer!! Amazing what a little green can do to make us not so blue!!

  109. Mrs. Luttrell

    OMG the diva cup….kind of grosses me out…lol

    • Tsh

      It’s honestly not any grosser than the traditional stuff. In fact, I find it a bit cleaner. It’s all contained inside you, if that makes sense.

      That’s all I’ll say. 🙂

  110. Jadah {family sponge}

    Great tip! A lot of them we already do. I want to check out “What’s On My Plate.” We had my daughter watch Story of Stuff and she loved it. We also started using cloth napkins and dish cloths again. We have a dog and cleaning up pet mess with a towel is way better than thin paper towels. And yes, it’s definitely less expensive to have a paperless kitchen. Thanks for the reminders.

  111. Audrey @ Mom Drop Box

    With gas prices rising, I’m going to focus more on trip-chaining. It would save me gas, time, and money, & I would pollute less.

  112. Christie Mac

    Love love love this post! I am proud to say I have implemented all but 7 of them. Thats not too shabby right? The others I will start doing today (turn off computer), and I am adding make my own compost bin and collect the rain water this weekend. My only hang up is #32….I just can’t quite handle the cloth diapers 🙁 Luckily we are almost out of diapers completely! Thanks again!

  113. Wilson Family Adventures

    There is a great app called PaperKarma that will contact companies on your behalf to stop unsolicited, junk mail addressed to you. Unfortunately, it won’t work on those items listed for “Resident.”

  114. Shannon

    I’m going to focus on reusable bags, combining errands and a big one for me – meal planning. I’m tired of filling up our garbage can with expired food and bad fruits and veggies found in the back of the fridge.

  115. Shannon

    I would also like to find a reusable water bottle that I enjoy using! Any metal ones I have tried seem to sweat, and several plastic bottles I’ve tried seem to be top heavy. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  116. Josette

    Awesome list!!! GO GREEN!

  117. Sun Hee

    Great list. I’m excited that we’re doing 27/40 currently, when only 6 months ago, I probably only was doing 2 items off the list! We are moving all of our CFL lights to LED, turned off the A/C even though we live in South Florida (right now it’s only 80!), removing as much plastic as we can from our kitchen (cups, plates, tupperware, etc.), removed lead glazed plates, mugs, etc., started canning, making our own cat food, purchasing organic foods and whole foods, and raising chickens on our acre. We still have a way to go on our journey and I think twice now when shopping – is it something I really need or will it just end up sitting on a shelf.

  118. Emily @Random Recycling

    So happy to see I read all of the good eco-blogs listed above!

    Thanks for the documentary suggestions, it’s hard to find more time to read but I can watch a quick informative show while folding laundry.
    Happy Earth Day!

  119. Alanea

    We line dry, hooked up our washing machine to a hose that runs out the window so all wash water goes to the garden, rain barrels, turned my old pajama bottoms into hankeys, turned old curtains into napkins, old t-shirts into kitchen towels, old jeans into pot scrubbers. I love going green! Great projects for the kids and keeps us on our toes.

    We also fused together all our old plastic grocery bags to make re-usable sandwich bags and lunch bags for the kids, or we turned it into “plarn” to crochet re-usable grocery bags.

    We garden and can our veggies every summer, we have “no electricity Saturdays”, in where we walk around the neighbor hood, read books, do craft projects and have sandwiches for dinner.

    Really, going green brought me closer to my children, closer to my community and has given me another outlet for my creativity.

  120. Pamela

    Making your home green simply means making it more friendly for the environment.You can go crazy and implement all of the steps at once, or you can take them one step at a time.

  121. megan

    One thing I would add to the list (if someone else didn’t already mention it) is that our family puts the big energy suckers (entertainment center, computers/printers) on power strips which we keep turned off when not in use. A lot of people dont realize that even when stuff is turned off, it can still drain energy if it’s plugged in, and this prevents that. We also keep stuff like the toaster unplugged.

  122. Stephenie

    Love this post, Tsh. It is always good to see reminders like these, and I always pick up some new tidbit I want to try. Something I am going to this weekend is start some garden plants from heirloom seed, which is SO important to maintaining food diversity.

  123. Sandi in MN

    I have just torn out a page of my Natural Health mag to look up the DC, I had no idea what it was…then saw it on this post….now I’m intrigued. Thanks all of you for sharing your experience with them, they sound very useable. I do have one question, what do you use to clean it? Some have reported that they purchased the companies cleanser, I really don’t want to do that if I buy one but what else would work? I read they don’t recommend soap or fragrance d soaps. I’ve been switching all my cleaning products to homemade, simple forms. Love, love, love these.

  124. Liesa

    Let me say first that I chose to use cloth diapers and was very happy I did for several reasons. But, to be fair when advertising this as “greener” option, it is important to note that while using cloth diapers does save landfill space, it also uses more water, a natural resource that is becoming more threatened every day as the world population increases. So, if you are contemplating using cloth diapers, you must consider which resource is more of an issue in your local area.

  125. Dana

    Thank you for these ideas. I find them pretty useful and I am sure I’ll try to follow those which I haven’ t so far. Thanx once and again 🙂

  126. Katrina

    Diva Cup? Okay. Wow. I’ve never seen this or heard of it. The only alternatives I’ve seen are washable pads. I have (had?) TSS and don’t use tampons and would really like an alternative to pads. I looked at the website and I kinda get it…but you can testify that it’s comfortable? You sure?

  127. Pam@behealthybehappywellness

    Great tips! I posted my top ten EASY tips in today’s post to round out my month of “greens” blog posts.

  128. Frances Shields

    These are very useful tips to make the house a eco friendly place. I just hope that everyone will implement most of what is written here to stop the global warming.

  129. Marry

    I enjoyed the tips you are providing on your blog can make life easier by providing long term living for doing something one time.Thanks for the the information……

  130. Maria

    Melaleuca. It’s a company that solely produces all natural products for you and your home. They work better than any I’ve tried in the past AND you save money! The products them self are more affordable than national brands, and the company ships the products to you door steps. The product line is more affordable, safe for your family, and not to mention, good for the environment. Email me at via_maria07@yahoo.com if you’d like more details.

  131. Kandita Singleton

    Going Green is the right thing to do, but wants you go green you can do anything you want to do…. Like pick up Trash, save Cans,Grow Flower, I can’t name all but you can do alot of stuff when you are not doing anything or when you are bord just get up and just started doing things that you never did Before

  132. Mari


  133. Sierra

    This reallly helped me with my project!! Thanks!

  134. Clardson

    God’s creativity, being wise with what He’s given us, and passing on those values to the next generation than it does with pressing some government agenda.

  135. emily whiting

    love it, it helped me with a school project

  136. Derek

    I always find your take on sustainability issues fascinating. I have recently found a great eco resource for green jobs http://www.envirocruit.com check it out for great job leads in the environment, renewable energy and clean technology jobs!

  137. rhonda

    Your site is incredible, especially for beginners like myself. I really appreciate this!

  138. Denise

    As time goes on I find myself becoming more aware of how to recycle, repurpose and go green. It’s great when you can find a way to re-use old items, intsead of throwing them old. Also, any tips on conserving energy is always a big help. Great tips here. Thanks for sharing.

  139. Niko

    Wow it’s amazing that some of these things I have been doing forever and never knew how ecofriendly they were. I loooooove going to thrift stores and repurposing things. Blame the artist in me and with supplies being rather expensive, I have learned to save, salvage or find whatever I can.

    I read a good book about where tomatoes come from in American grocery stores. It’s called Tomatoland. Also a good documentary about the fishing Industry is end of the line. The DVD even came with a little card which tells what types of fish are most sustainable to keep in your wallet for a reminder in resturants.

  140. Pat Krewe

    Yikes. Making a switch to cloth diapers sounds like a bit much for me. I’m all for going green especially as a part of a green environmentally friendly Phoenix house cleaning service, but I think I personally draw the line at diapers. I’ll just keep telling myself we’re imperfect beings.

  141. Zulfikar

    Go Green !!! Nothing tough, Its very easy , we just need to take some simple initiative to make our surrounding to be green. In my country (Bangladesh) , We take some initiative to save our environment and go GREEN. Our Govt. banned plastic bag and pull up the eco friendly Jute shopping bag instead of that.

    Nice artice, Thanks for share 🙂

  142. Gabrielle

    I’m not sure if this has been mentioned in the comments above, as I didn’t read through all of them. Just wanted to mention the debate on CFL lightbulbs. They might save energy but there are some serious environmental impacts and health issues. More information can be found on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp#Disadvantages
    ‘In 2008, the European Union approved regulations progressively phasing out incandescent bulbs starting in 2009 and finishing at the end of 2012. By switching to energy saving bulbs, EU citizens will save almost 40 TW·h (almost the electricity consumption of 11 million European households), leading to a reduction of about 15 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. (wikipedia)’
    Now it’s impossible to buy normal light bulbs. It’s so frustrating that governments and citizens get brainwashed by multinational corporations. The pressure is so high and now we’re stuck with these toxic light bulbs.

  143. Robin

    I have just started my own Green Quest and am finding it a bit daunting! I was happy to read that some of the items on your 40 tips list I have already been doing without even notice of how Green they are. I will definately try out some of the tips that I haven’t embraced yet (love the t-shirt grocery bags…make a great gift idea too! and have never thought of collecting rain water!) Thanks for keeping me motivated!

    Eco Virgin

  144. Kim Winston

    Great list! You had some simple ideas that I have not thought about. I am trying to go green little by little. The next step in my green journey is trying the home energy audit kit from JEA to get ideas how to decrease my energy consumption at home.

  145. Karina Flood

    Absolutely loved this article! 🙂
    Going to be tweeting this to our followers…just too good an article not to! 🙂
    Will be tweeting from: https://twitter.com/GreeffProps
    Have a fab day everyone!

  146. Green Living Eco

    Great tips! If everyone would follow them, we would be on a good track to living greener here in the U.S. However, most of us are too busy to make too much change, at least at once. Because of that, we provided five easy tips to be green, so that we can all make a difference easily: http://www.greenlivingeco.com/five-easy-tips-to-be-green/

  147. Zenoobi

    It’s hard at times – especially when you are exasperated by being up at night or, like me, too early in the morning – but diapers are the third most common item found in landfills. It is estimated that babies need upwards of 6,000 diapers before they are potty trained, and each disposable diaper takes between 250-500 years to bio degrade. But if you can use cloth diapers – or at least environmentally friendly ones – that would make a tremendous difference.

  148. Chuck Hellams

    Hello, my name is chuck.Welcome To The greenest place on Earth!Green earth free offers is on a mission to help our planet restore the millions of trees that are lost each year.Trees For The Future is a charity that has been responsible for planting millions of trees all over the world.With your help our goals will continue and grow. Please visit our free offers website at http;// http://www.marylandgreenoffer.net/ thanks chuck

  149. Chuck Hellams

    Hello, my name is chuck.Welcome To The Greenest Place On Earth!Green Earth Free Offers is on a mission to help our planet restore the millions of trees that are lost each year.Trees For the Future is a charity that has been responsible for planting million of trees all over the world.With your help our goals will continue to grow well into the future.Please visit our free offers website at http://www.marylandgreenoffer.net/ Thanks.chuck.

  150. OC7 Builders

    This certainly a great article to read in order for every mom or anyone to make their house an environment friendly one. Come to think of it, we usually do this things before until technology set in and make our lives easier, though it somehow has a bad effect in our environment.

  151. DEC Solar

    What an awesome gathering of all the little things that really can add up to make a big difference. We always re-use scrap paper, and have probably saved a few trees over the last decade of so. Thanks for the inspirational post!

  152. Lauren @MomHomeGuide

    Love the tips — I have to put as much of these as I can into action at home! I got a compost bin for free from a friend a few months ago, but I’ve yet to start it! I have to figure out how to get it started!

  153. Eco Bags

    Really i feel proud that iam doing many of the things in my daily life. But Some are i yet to follow like collecting rain water and use it for gardens and plants. I really like it. I Immediately implement for this coming rainy season

  154. Rinkesh

    Excellent tips. Few points like 2, 5, 18 and 29 were damn good. I’m gonna share this list to encourage people to be green at home.

  155. Martha

    Great selection of tips and links. Really inspirational even for city people.

  156. Daniel Blogger

    Thanks for sharing, I was greatly helped by this article

  157. abby smas

    I repinned this today from Pinterest. Good list! I have employed much of this, but I didn’t want to spend $15 on a kitchen composter. I found a better solution on Pinterest, which is a plastic coffee can, holes drilled in lid, cat box filter glued inside the lid: $1.25.

  158. abby smas

    oops. I was writing about a KITCHEN composter. Not the one in the backyard.

  159. Amr Albiumi

    Thanks for sharing these tips. Very Helpful 🙂

  160. Rob

    i feel so stupid for not thinking of using canning or sauce jars for storage instead of tupperware! Thanks! 🙂

  161. ben


  162. Hector M.

    These are such amazing tips on how to go green. Environmental awareness is paramount if we plan on enjoying this beautiful planet for many more years. There is something for everyone here, thank you. 🙂

  163. aditi

    nice tips

  164. we can live green

    Some brilliant tips there,the great thing is these tips will not only help the environment they will actually save you money as well,brilliant!

  165. Pool Solar Heating

    Use Solar Pool Heater as your pool heating system. Don’t use heaters who leave carbon footprints to the environment such as Electric or Gas powered heaters.

  166. Alex

    Please change the one from using CFLs to using LED lights. CFLs are not eco friendly, they contain toxic mercury!

  167. Alex

    #41 don’t breed, adopt! One less consumer in the world.

  168. Nicolas

    Very useful tips, I didn’t know a lot of them, so thank you! I thought about tips to save the environment too the other day. I try not to use plastic bags as well, but I also try to lower the room temperature for example. Have a look at my website if you are interested about it…

  169. Shirley Greenwood

    Make STOP to all those GLOSSY magazines & Journals printed on expensive paper.
    Make STOP Services Company e.g. Virgin/SKY /Gas/Electric Company etc .sending OUT un welcome/un wanted Junk mails printed on
    glossy brochures to houses. Instead of wasting money on it they could cut the prices in their services.
    Make news paper less pages (Metro/Evening Standard/Sunday Papers – (full of Junk mail)
    Make less packaging for take away food & drink
    Make Super market freezers cover-up doors. Not exposed The energy wasted are obvious.
    Make Re-cycle bin more available .and accessible..
    Everybody is talking about it how to go green but no encouragement/support from & local Council..

  170. Menaka Ramakrishnan

    Awesome stuff, especially like the emphasis on switching to more eco-friendly material. And walking is always a great answer! There is a great article I came across which really helped me be more eco-friendly at work, you should check it out! http://ow.ly/CjzDM

  171. Nic

    40 ways! Wow, this is so amazing.

  172. Craig

    Going green is in these days. I’m proud to say I am slowly getting there.

  173. Morgan

    Turn off computer at night I am trying, always forgot.

  174. Andrea

    Great article. I’m printing it for my daughter’s elementary school for Earth Day. FYI: Number 27 is missing.

  175. tiffany

    I love these and we do most. I am switching to cloth diapers late in the game as i have 6 kids and the ones in diapers are almost done with diapers but feel even if its only 6 months of diapers notin the landfill i am helping some. I am proud that my family of 8 only needs the smallest garbage can our garbage service prvides, which holds only 3 13 gallon bags. Most is diapers so i know it will get better with cloth diapers. Waste management also has recycle and compostservices so we use them. Our only problem with the compost is the flies and we even had a rat once but we got rid of it and the flies are controlled because we started using an old diaper pail to put compost in. Works great especially with biobags

  176. Sonia

    Awesome tips. I have been doing most of them for years.

  177. دهانات

    Great post Thanks for sharing the information

  178. Cristina

    Love all of these tips! Especially the one about planting your own herb garden. I made my own last month and I planted thyme, basil, and mint! I also try to save on electricity by turning everything off when not in use. I recently wrote a post on 5 ways to be more green and you can check that out if you’d like! http://cristinawashere.com/5-ways-to-be-more-green/

    Cristina / cristinawashere.com

  179. Total Skips

    Great Tips! I bookmarked your post to read again in future. Thanks admin.

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