Aisha (A Pi) (nerd4live) wrote in sustainabletips,
Aisha (A Pi)

First Entry

We've all heard the tired "Save the Earth" phrases: Recycle!, Buy organic!,  Drive a hybrid!
I made this list because there are a lot of things I think people are  overlooking. I strive for a future where humans make little to no negative  impact on the environment. Just about all of these tips should also save you  money, so you've got nothing to lose.

- While brushing your teeth, turn the faucet off when you aren't using the  water
- Only a "pea-sized" amount of toothpaste is needed per brush
- Throw toilet paper away in a waste basket and use minimal water when  flushing, or do not flush if there is just pee in the toilet. You can close  the toilet lid to block the smell, if any. This should save many gallons of  water per day
- If you don't feel particularly dirty, don't shower. Or just wash your  armpits with soap and water
- When showering, rinse yourself and then turn off the water while shampooing  and scrubbing, turning it back on to rinse yourself off
- Women: Consider reusable or biodegradable alternatives to pads. OB tampons  have minimal packaging and no applicator

- Never use disposable products. So wasteful!
- When washing dishes, try not to use a lot of water. You can keep the water  running low and/or turn it off when scrubbing dishes.
- If you are using a dishwasher, wait until it is filled with dirty dishes  before running it
- Use cut up old terrycloth towels as rags rather than paper towels, if  possible. They can be washed and reused and are generally more absorbent than  paper towels
- Use handkerchiefs instead of napkins
- Compost your (compostable) food scraps and toilet paper/paper towels
- If you still have trash to throw out, reuse any plastic bags you have  rather than buying garbage bags
- Keep the coils behind your refrigerator as clean as possible by vacuuming  around them or cleaning them with a rag. This should cut down on energy  consumption
- Make sure the temperature in your refrigerator and freezer is not lower  than it needs to be
- Do not aimlessly open the refrigerator or freezer to browse for food. If  you know you are going to do this anyway consider buying plastic slit  coverings that professionals use to keep freezer storage rooms cold (they are  available for normal sized refrigerators, too)
- Generally, you should be able to reuse cooking oil (or at least olive oil)  a few times
- Make your own meals, juices and desserts rather than buying them  prepackaged. This not only helps the environment but it should save you  plenty of money
- It is an overall concensus that a vegan diet is not only better for your  body but for the environment as well. Try avoiding meat and animal products

- Rewear clothing until it is truly dirty
- Do not wash until you can fill the washer with dirty clothes
- Hang your clothes dry rather than throwing them in the dryer. This will  require a little fabric softener in your wash but it should save you a lot of  energy consumption

- Consider a <b>good quality</b> air mattress as opposed to a traditional  one. I find them more comfortable than regular mattresses, and although they  do require a little electricity to refill them with air (about once a week),  they should last a lifetime, meaning they generate no waste. They are also  handy when it comes time to move or when you have guests over.

General Household:
- Opt for a small apartment as opposed to a stand-alone house, as well as  city rather than suburb (or living close to where you work). You'd be amazed  how little space you actually need, and how much stress is relieved by a  shorter commute
- If you aren't using the computer/television/light/etc turn it off!
- Utilize natural light from windows instead of light bulbs
- When needed, use low-energy florescent bulbs instead of traditional ones.  They last for about 5 years and consume a fraction of the energy of normal  bulbs
- In the summer, if you are out of the house or a certain room, make sure  that the windows are covered sufficiently (perhaps with cardboard spray  painted black). The more unwanted sun you block out of it the cooler it will  be
- In the summer, open a window to get a breeze in rather than turning the air  conditioning on
- In the winter, put a robe or other warm clothing on rather than turning on  the heat
- If needed, use small fans, ceiling fans, or space heaters instead of  turning the AC or heat on. Chances are you don't need every room in your home  cooled or heated at the same time
- If you still insist on using AC, regularly clean your filter and ducts to  allow a smooth flow of air. Buy the reusable air filters rather than the  disposable ones.
- Instead of throwing things away, consider repairing them, reusing them for  something other than their intended purpose, or donating them to a second  hand store (if in good condition)
- Consider solar and wind energy for your home and/or appliances

- Don't buy things you don't need, especially if they aren't second hand.  Embrace the minimalist lifestyle
- Opt for used items as opposed to new ones. Shopping at thrift stores may  require patience, but you can usually find unique items at incredible prices
- Always bring your own bag when shopping, be it a backpack, tote, canvas  bag, or reused plastic bag
- If they are still clean, reuse the clear bags for fruits and vegetables at  the grocery store, making sure any old barcode stickers are removed prior to  check out
- Buy a water filter or refill gallons of water at those machines available  in most grocery stores
- Generally, buying in bulk saves packaging and money. But don't take this  phrase too literally... buying a 24 pack of Coke cans is not better than  buying a few 2-liter bottles (or skipping the Coke altogether and drinking  water)
- Buy the "ultra" versions of dishwashing liquid and detergent and use as  little as possible
- Again: Make your own meals, juices and desserts rather than buying them  prepackaged. This not only helps the environment but it should save you  plenty of money

- Walk, bike, skateboard, rollerblade, or scooter (the non-powered kind)  rather than drive. You can take a backpack or rolling luggage with you, as  well as a small umbrella. You'll be amazed at the money you save as well as  the weight you'll most likely lose in the process. Be sure to wear a helmet  for the latter 4
- Take public transportation if the distance is too long to walk or bike. You  can probably use the time on the bus to read, write, or just relax. A nice  change from driving

- Have one or no children. There are too many humans on the planet as is and  positive growth rates are far from sustainable. There are always children in  need of a home, so consider adoption if you want a big family.
- Teach your children the importance of sustainability
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