Tips for Reuse – Recycle – Reduce

  1. Service your air conditioning and other appliances regularly
  2. Use energy-efficient appliances
  3. When it is hot, avoid running your AC at home by visiting a Cool Center (sce.com/coolcenter) or going to a mall or movie theatre that is already running their AC.
  4. See if an evaporative cooler will work for you instead of air conditioning – uses less energy, lowers your electric bill, acts as a humidifier
  5. Your refrigerator uses 18% of all the electricity in your home – make sure it is energy efficient
  6. Take a home energy efficiency survey at sce.com/homesurvey
  7. Insulate your home around doors and windows to save on both heating and cooling costs
  8. Consider unplugging consumer electronics when they are not in use, even when turned off
  9. Replace lights with energy star-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and other energy-efficient bulbs
  10. Change your cooling setpoint from 72 degrees to 78 degrees to help cut your energy costs by as much as 25%
  11. Set the “hold” button on a constant energy-saving temperature when going away for the weekend or on vacation
  12. Items with the Energy Star label use up to 50% less energy than standard models
  13. Clean or replace your air conditioner’s filter regularly to help it run more efficiently
  14. Fans cool just the areas you need and use less electricity than A/C
  15. Use your washing machine and dishwasher during off-peak hours (before noon or after 6 pm)
  16. Replacing a refrigerator purchased in 1990 with an energy star model can save enough energy to light the average house for four months
  17. Using Solar Energy to power 1 million California homes could reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 3.5 million metric tons per year – equal to removing 675,000 cars from the road
  18. Use a wind-up alarm clock. That's a tip straight from the UN.
  19. Learn how to pick a hybrid car.
  20. Don't flush medicine down the toilet. Dispose of it properly or use it as prescribed.
  21. Don't shop around for gas in the city. There are lots of sites online that do the comparisons for you.
  22. Going green is possible for renters and condo dwellers. Green Tips for Condo, Apartment Dwellers
  23. Clean your dusty car to reduce its carbon footprint.
  24. Narrow your margins. But expand your horizons.
  25. Install a foam insulating gasket. One of my personal favorite tips.
  26. Learn How to shop for vintage clothes. Useful for those eco and fashion conscious.
  27. Use Twitter's GreenStream.
  28. Tweak your tailgate. You can reduce drag caused by your tailgate and improve fuel efficiency by 3-7%.
  29. Rethink the way we build our bathrooms. Why do they always look like a tile-covered dungeon?
  30. A recent study found that many people are hesitant to bike to work because they can get all sweaty. This video tip may help.
  31. Inflate your tires.
  32. Go green and earn tax breaks.
  33. 7 green jobs that can make you rich. Sign me up.
  34. Green your car for winter.
  35. Digitize your music.
  36. Green your iPod.
  37. Take off your shoes when you enter the house.
  38. Create a ball of soap from leftover soaps. And you thought it was only a Simpsons joke.
  39. Use the old baking soda/vinegar trick to blast open clogged drains. It's like a fun-time volcano that clears your clog.
  40. Have your friends over for a clothing swap party.
  41. Don't wash your car at home. The carwash is actually greener.
  42. Don't kill spiders. Running away in fear is the green and yellow alternative.
  43. Use your iPhone to save you gas. Looking for that excuse to get an iPhone?
  44. Turn old calendars into photo albums. It's a great way to collect photos as you go.
  45. Use GPS to save gas. Getting lost is a waste of fuel and a drag.
  46. Cool your home with ice. If that's not your bag, here's a way to cool your home with ice energy.
  47. How to make your own biofuel.
  48. Take the cargo carrier off the roof. You can also remove the junk in your trunk for a smoother ride. That's not a joke.
  49. Build a solar oven out of a pizza box.
  50. Green your SUV. Sound like an oxymoron? That's why it's sweet.
  51. Shade your air conditioner.
  52. Another timely issue. Don't trash your analog TV. Or just watch TV on the internet.
  53. Organize a rake-a-thon. A novel idea from the mouths of babes.
  54. Paint your roof white to reflect solar rays back into space.
  55. Work the same amount of hours, but work fewer days. You'll save 20% on your commuting expenses.
  56. Keep large appliances away from each other. They squabble, kind of.
  57. Fight viruses with herbs and spices. If only wars could be solved with herbs and spices.
  58. Simplify your ring tone. Now you have another reason for dissing on annoying ring tones.
  59. Blog with solar power. This means some bloggers will have to actually go outside.
  60. Ventilate your laser printer. They produce VOC's.
  61. How to find a green job. In this economy, every little tip counts.
  62. Use praying mantises to control garden pests. Mantises rule!
  63. Don't hoard coins. Actually causes quite a problem. Coin Hoarding and the Environment
  64. Work at a computer? Put a cactus in front of that computer. You were going to do that anyway? No. Well, I still like you.
  65. Make more right turns.
  66. Don't buy something just because you can afford it. This tip is ahead of its time.
  67. Get recession ready.
  68. Every little bit you do makes a difference.
  69. Electronics can be recycled into new products.
  70. Remember, before you recycle, consider reusing or donating to others.
  71. Electronic items can contain hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury. Be careful not to drop any materials as you are preparing them for recycling.
  72. Move the thermostat up 3 to 5 degrees on the A/C before you leave home.
  73. Leave the A/C on only when you’re home.
  74. Clean or change your air filter monthly.
  75. Keep air vents open to help air flow.
  76. If you have central A/C, check all ducts and seals. If they leak, you’re losing air flow and money.
  77. When the A/C is on, ensure windows and doors are closed tightly and sealed properly.
  78. If your A/C is more than 10 years old, consider buying a new, more efficient unit, preferably with a programmable thermostat.
  79. Turn on ceiling fans only when someone’s in the room.
  80. Keep a room cool by pulling drapes or blinds down during hot daytime hours.
  81. On cold weather days, set your thermostat as low as comfortably possible.
  82. Open the windows when it’s cool outside.
  83. Wash your car on the grass, so it can absorb the excess water, but remember that using a car wash may use less water and energy than washing it at home, and the water may be recycled instead of running into the water table or the ocean.
  84. Consider installing light sensors for outdoor lighting to conserve energy.
  85. Situate trees where they can provide shade from the sun inside the home and more coolness. A medium to large tree should be 16-22 feet away from the house. The east, west and south are the best sides of the house to plant a tree.
  86. Limit running pool pumps to six hours per day in the summer and four hours per day in the winter.
  87. Keep pool-heating costs down by selecting a pool heater or using a pool blanket.
  88. Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater – which can then be used to water your lawn.
  89. Consider mulch, shrubs or porous pavers or bricks over grass to avoid the temptation of having to water a browning lawn or have too much pavement that causes water to run off.
  90. Recycle!
  91. Pay your bills online, as opposed to receiving monthly statements
  92. Check out some options you have to reduce the number of catalogs and junk mail you receive at home.
  93. When possible, print on both sides of the paper. If not, when you don’t need that paper, use the blank side to write notes.
  94. Instead of bringing lunch wrapped in plastic, or contained in plastic or paper bags, try using a lunchbox and reusable plastic containers and utensils.
  95. Use canvas shopping bags when grocery shopping.
  96. Avoid car idling – running your car without moving – to decrease emissions and fuel waste.
  97. Driving above 60 mph wastes gas at a more rapid pace, as does quick acceleration and hard braking.
  98. Use mass transit, car pool or van pool. Or consider telecommuting.
  99. Clean out your car, as excess weight can decrease gas mileage by 1 to 2% for every 100 pounds. Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to improve gas mileage.
  100. Make sure to follow through on car maintenance checks.
  101. Combine errands into one trip.
  102. When possible, ride a bike or walk.
  103. Buy recycled paper, and recycle or refill printing toner cartridges when they empty.
  104. Use e-mail instead of printing documents when possible.
  105. Reuse and recycle file folders by placing a new label over the old one.
  106. Don’t leave electronics charging if their batteries are already replenished.
  107. Turn off your computer monitor if you will be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes.
  108. Turn off the computer if you’ll be away from it for more than two hours.
  109. Turn lights off when leaving the room.
  110. Reduce the amount of packaging you use, sell recycled products or buy merchandise, supplies and services locally.
  111. Paper or plastic? Neither – use reusable bags.
  112. Give gift certificates, tickets to movies or concerts, memberships, services or make a donation to a favorite charity to cut waste at holiday time.
  113. Consider consumable gifts. visit local farmers' markets or growers for ideas.
  114. Give gifts such as t-shirts, backpacks, hats, toothbrushes and socks made from recycled-content materials.
  115. Save gas and support area merchants by buying locally.
  116. Wrap gifts in reusable paper or cloth bags or be creative and use hand towels, tablecloths, napkins, fabric remnants, maps, craft paper, newspaper or old posters.
  117. When shopping - even for gifts - bring your own reusable bags.
  118. Return plastic grocery bags to the store for recycling.
  119. Use LED holiday lights for safety and energy savings. Solar-powered outdoor holiday lights are also available.
  120. For holiday parties and gatherings use reusable tableware, beverage containers and utensils. check with party rental places or buy an eclectic mix at thrift stores. If you must use disposable items, buy products made with post-consumer recycled content. Remember that used paper plates, napkins and cups are not recyclable. Use cloth napkins if at all possible.
  121. For holiday parties and gatherings put a marked recycling container next to a trash container for your guests' convenience.
  122. Be sure to recycle aluminum, glass and plastic containers, metal cans, food boxes, cardboard, gift wrap (except foil or cellophane), gift boxes, greeting cards and catalogs. No styrofoam or plastic bags please.
  123. Email your holiday greetings!
  124. Take boxes and packing peanuts to mail service stores for reuse. styrofoam is not recyclable. If you need to put the packing peanuts in the trash, please make sure they are bagged and tied. Puncture the bag with a few small holes to let out the air so the bag does not pop when it is compressed in the truck.
  125. Plan holiday meals carefully to avoid excessive leftovers or send food packs home with your guests.
  126. Reuse gift boxes - they last year after year.
  127. All year 'round, donate your gently used household goods, furniture and clothing - take the tax deduction and help benefit the planet and its inhabitants.
  128. New ovens heat rapidly, making preheating almost obsolete.
  129. For cooking small dishes, use a toaster oven or a microwave to save energy: using a microwave instead of the oven uses 80% less energy.
  130. When cooking on the stove – use pots that fit the burner size. Using a 6 inch pot on an 8 inch burner on an electric stove wastes 40% of the burner’s heat.
  131. Use lids whenever possible – will reduce cooking time and keep heat in the pan. Pressure cookers are another way to save energy, reducing cooking time by up to 70%.
  132. Don’t forget about salads, sandwiches, some soups, and other dishes that can be eaten cold!
  133. Consider a kitchen compost crock. Composting saves food from taking up space in landfills and turns it into useful rich fertilizer. You can compost bread, coffee grounds and filters, eggshells, fruits and veggies and most tea bags.
  134. Use your dishwasher – you’ll save 37% more water over doing the dishes by hand (use a dishwasher that is less than 10 years old, turn off the heat drying option, run when full and do not pre-rinse
  135. Opt for copper, stainless steel or cast iron cookware and utensils: they may cost more up front but they last longer (so they will not end up in a landfill.)
  136. Use cloth napkins rather than paper
  137. Install a low-flow faucet aerator in your kitchen sink
  138. Keep the excess water from boiling vegetables and noodles. Let it cool and use it to water your plants!
  139. Old TVs make great pet beds if you gut them and fill them with pillows – or a wonderful home for a fish tank
  140. If you don’t like the looks of your furniture, refinish with low-VOC paints or stains and hardware from a yard sale. Reupholster using recycled, natural fabrics!
  141. Stitch old silk scarves, clothing with nice textures or vintage handkerchiefs together and then slip your outdated pillows inside for a pop of freshness for any room.
  142. Going to a Farmer’s Market? Bring your own bags (backpacks, sturdy canvas or nylon); walk or ride a bike – parking can be a hassle; bring cash (shopping goes more easily and quickly with $1s, $5s and change). Walk the market first, then make your decisions based on price and availability. Ask questions. Smaller may be sweeter. Go early for best selection, go late for best prices. Get to know the farmers. Research recipes to maximize your selections.
  143. Substituting for meat? Try super-firm tofu; gardein; quinoa; soybeans; seitan; quorn or Portobello mushrooms.
  144. Have you run a Home Performance Audit for energy efficiency?
  145. Seal cracks and crevices both in and outside your home using low VOC expandable foam-sealant products. Finish off with low VOC content caulking. Add weather stripping as needed. Using low VOC (volatile organic compound) reduces toxins.
  146. Seal heating ducts and floor register boots – save up to 30% of a home’s heating and cooling energy. All ductwork should run through conditioned spaces (preferably) or be well insulated.
  147. Check furnace filters; replace monthly to save up to 10%; clean air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed.
  148. Install a programmable thermostat.
  149. Upgrade or add additional attic insulation.
  150. Insulate water heater and pipes; turn water heater temp down to 120 degrees; consider replacing with a solar pre-heat and/or an on-demand tankless water heater.
  151. Install power strips to alleviate “phantom load” energy consumption by electronics, chargers, converters, computers, TVs and some appliances. When not in use turn off the strip.
  152. Living Green on a Budget? Wash clothes in cold water; pull the plug on TVs, DVD players and other electronics when not in use; switch to CFL bulbs; reuse items that have worn out (toothbrushes, wash cloths); turn the thermostat down in winter and up in summer – 5% for each degree up or down; use ceiling fans; shorten showers, walk or bike; buy fresh in-season foods; bring your reusable bags; get off junk mail lists; shop garage sales and flea markets to reuse items; borrow rather than buy items you have a limited need for; pay bills online; turn off the tv – replace with games, books, music; use a water purifier rather than bottled water; use a clothesline or rack for drying; reuse tea bags; keep shades and blinds open to natural light; do not dump grease down the drain.
  153. Having a party – send an evite or make your own flyer and send by email; Facebook and ping.com also manage events.
  154. Host your events outside and early if possible to use the least energy by taking advantage of natural light. Saves on electricity!
  155. Use paper plates made out of recyclable materials rather than Styrofoam – but always better to use non-disposable plates, utensils, cups, napkins and serving dishes.
  156. Reset the schedule on your automatic sprinklers so your lawn is irrigated in the early morning or late evening.
  157. Visit energysavers.gov for step-by-step instructions on conducting a home-energy assessment and learn how a few freebie changes can save water, energy and dollars.
  158. Recycle your magazines by donating them to hospitals and other sites where people have to wait and kill time.
  159. Register to block junk mail at dmachoice.org.
  160. Keep flatware at your desk to avoid using disposables - or reuse those disposables!
  161. Use concentrates to cut down on materials wasted and fewer resources used in production.
  162. Did you know there are organic make-ups for sale in plastic-free recyclable glass pots, and packaged in paper and boxes made at a wind-powered factory?
  163. Visit earth911.com to find surprising recycling initiatives in your area!
  164. The energy it takes to mine enough aluminum for one stick of antiperspirant could power your laptop for a half hour. Switch to a deodorant - some are available that are aluminum-free, made of only natural ingredients and have zero plastic packaging.
  165. An electric oven creates 2.7 pounds of carbon dioxide waste every 50 minutes of use.
  166. A toaster oven creates 1.3 pounds of carbon waste every 50 minutes of use.
  167. A crock pot creates 0.9 pounds of carbon waste every 7 hours of use.
  168. A microwave creates 0.5 pounds over 15 minutes of use.
  169. When cooking food, choose the option that best cooks your food with the least amount of energy consumption and carbon waste.
  170. Compact fluorescent lamps, ( CFLs), use around 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs with the same light output.
  171. Switch to vegetable-based cleaning products. Did you know if every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 28-ounce petroleum-based dishwashing liquid with a vegetable-based product, we could save 82,000 barrels of oil a year? This is enough oil to drive a car over 86 million miles!
  172. Vegetable-based cleaning products are becoming readily available in supermarkets across the country, particularly those that specialize in natural foods.
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