Tips For Reducing Your Foot

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Home & Apartment

  1. Conserve water by fixing dripping faucets and running toilets.
  2. Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  3. Eliminate toxic cleaning supplies and use all natural cleaners, or just baking soda and vinegar.
  4. Be sure to properly dispose of any leftover paint or household chemicals; never pour them down the drain or in your yard.
  5. Lower the heat on your thermostat by just a degree or two, and made sure your vents are not blocked.
  6. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
  7. Try air drying your dishes, rather than using the dishwashers heat-dry setting.
  8. Wash your clothes with cold water; most modern washers will still do a good job.
  9. Make sure your home is properly insulated, particularly insulation strips around your doors and windows; this can significantly reduce your heating/cooling bills.
  10. Call companies to remove you from future mailings of unwanted catalogs.
  11. Opt-out of pre-screened credit and insurance offers.
  12. Use microfiber towels to clean, instead of paper towels.
  13. Look for the Energy Star seal when you replace your appliances.
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Food & Drink

  1. Use reusable bamboo utensils rather than plastic ware when traveling, at work or at an outdoor event.
  2. Use reusable tote bags rather than plastic or paper; many stores give you a discount.
  3. Bring a reusable mug to your favorite coffee shop; you will likely get a discount.
  4. Switch from disposable water bottles to reusable ones; you will save a surprising amount.
  5. Eat local and support your local farms and farmer’s markets, so your food travels less to your table.
  6. Raising livestock for food is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so try substituting plant-based proteins, such as nuts, beans, quinoa, tofu and tempeh.
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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

  1. Before you buy something new, look for it first on craigslist or your local classifieds.
  2. Instead of buying storage containers, repurpose glass jars, squeeze bottles and other food containers.
  3. Donate to, and shop at, your local thrift stores and flea markets.
  4. Create your own wrapping paper from colorful bags, fabrics, magazines and other items.
  5. Join your local freecycle community.
  6. Seek out used textbooks or electronic textbooks, then swap them when you are done with them.
  7. Save your wrappers and donate them to terracycle, where they will transformed into great consumer products, and you or your organization can generate money for a charity.
  8. Recycle your old electronics rather than let the toxic components enter your dump. Many cities have special programs, or you can bring your electronics to Best Buy.
  9. Build a compost bin; it will reduce your waste and save you money on fertilizer.
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Transportation

  1. Drive the speed limit and minimize rapid acceleration and braking.
  2. Combine as many errands as possible in a single trip.
  3. Walk or ride a bike as often as possible.
  4. Use public transportation when possible.
  5. Keep up with the maintenance on your car, it will help it burn less gas; replacing a clogged air filter alone can improve mileage by 10%.
  6. Keep your tires properly inflated year-round; for every 5% of under-inflation, fuel economy drops by about 1%.
  7. Empty your trunk, reducing unnecessary weight improves mileage.
  8. If you are flying, consider buying offsets to reduce the impact of your trip.
  9. During the summer, park in a shady spot, or use a windshield, to keep your car cool.
  10. Sign up for a Commuter Choice program and try carpooling.
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Health

  1. Avoid cosmetic products which include potentially toxic and/or dangerous substances like mercury, lead acetate, formaldehyde, coal tar, artificial colors and phthalates.
  2. Choose locally grown organic products, when possible.
  3. Find out which types of produce have the highest pesticide concentration and buy organic versions.
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Computer

  1. Try saving webpages, attachments and emails as pdf files, rather than printing them out.
  2. Avoid printing emails.
  3. Switch from paper bills and statements to electronic.
  4. Pay your bills online.
  5. Use a power strip with an on/off switch on your computer, so you can completely power down when it is not in use.
  6. Consider a laptop rather than a desktop, they generally use far less energy.
  7. Remember to set the sleep function, particularly for your monitor which can account for roughly 30% of the power consumption of your computer, and disable your screensaver which can block the sleep funtion.
  8. Only about 38% of computers are recycled, the rest end up in dumps with their toxic components. Search out recycling programs in your city or retailers with collection programs.
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Garden

  1. This winter use an earth friendly de-icer, rather than salt which could kill grass and plants.
  2. Use old coffee grinds as fertilizer for plants that like acidic soil, such as rhododendrons or azaleas.
  3. Coffee grinds and eggshells can work as a pesticide, deterring ants, snails and slugs.
  4. Build a compost bin; it will reduce your waste and save you money on fertilizer.
  5. Get a rain barrel and use it to water your plants.
  6. Pay attention to when you water your lawn; turn off sprinklers after it rains and avoid watering during the hottest parts of the day.
  7. Plant a vegetable garden.
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