Do This, Not That! 20 Green Tips

You might remember earlier in the year that I made the resolution to use reusuable grocery bags instead of plastic and I'm happy to say that I have been sticking with it. I was amazed at how fun and easy it was to be a little greener in my day-to-day life. I'm hardly "granola," but using reusable bags was an easy lifestyle change for me, which is why I started seeking the advice from experts and enthusiasts for 20 other simple tips that can be made to help the environment without having to turn to a solar powered condo and shelling out the big bucks for a hybrid, etc.

The Do This and Not That Green List a.k.a. the greener of two evils:

Use rechargeable batteries instead of single-use or alkaline batteries--good for your wallet and the environment (read more at

2. Use dimmable lights instead of regular light switches--when you dim a light, you lower the amount of energy flowing to that light bulb (read more at

3. Use cloth napkins instead of paper – looks better, feels better and can go in the laundry with your other stuff. Always get darker colors so you can use them longer (

4. Use natural table d├ęcor instead of buying something new for each occasion. Take your kids out for a walk. Pick up all sorts of natural items—leaves, rocks, pinecones. Come home and arrange in glasses. (

5. Buy local produce instead of items that need to be shipped from afar

6. Buy recycled golf balls and you can reduce the demand and production of new balls plus you save up to 50% on the price (

7. Download music online instead of buying music on CDs ( Sweet, I already do this!

8. Wash clothes in cold water with detergent formulated for cold water washing. You'll save carbon emissions and money by not using heated water (

9. Pack your child’s lunch in reusable containers instead of using a disposable paper bag and plastic baggies each school day (

Eat a vegetarian meal once a week instead of meat. A vegetarian meal requires significantly less greenhouse gas emissions to produce, and is a healthy alternative to add to your diet (

11. Unplug your cell phone charger when phone isn’t charging (

12. Use “organic” eco-friendly skin care products instead of skin care products with man-made chemicals that deposit harmful toxic residue in your body and the environment (

13. Go for a walk outside instead of on a treadmill (The Non-Consumer Advocate)

When brushing teeth. Wet the toothbrush with a small trickle of water, and then turn the water off! Turn it back on to rinse the toothpaste off the brush at the end. A family of four could save hundreds of gallons every month just from this simple trick and not keeping the water running (

Park your car and go into a fast food restaurant or bank instead of sitting with your car idling in the drive through line (

Replace an old-style picture tube TV or projection TV with a new flat-screen HDTV plasma that is Energy Star rated. You can cut your TV energy use by a third and get better picture quality, a sexy flat screen, and a bigger picture too (

17. Use an Energy-Star dishwasher rather than handwash your dishes. By using an approved dishwasher, you use half as much energy as washing by hand, and use nearly 5,000 gallons less water per year, compared to washing dishes by hand (Whirlpool)

18. Don’t use disposable coffee or tea stirrers, instead pour milk and sugar in first and then add your drink. And even better, use a mug instead of a disposable cup (

19. Light candles, open windows instead of using canned air freshener (

20. Read blogs and online news sites instead of newspapers! wink, wink, nudge, nudge (Me!)

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