Being "Green" is probably the most important thing you can do in this time of climate change. Plus, it's easy, loses you weight (in most cases), and saves you money!
Step 1: Lightbulbs & Electronics
*Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact flourescents. CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb... which saves about 300 lbs of CO2 each year.
*Move your thermostat down at least 2 degrees in winter and up at least 2 degrees in summer. You could save about 2,000 lbs of CO2 a year!!! (and it'll lower heating costs).
*Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases (look for Energy Star labels)
*Turn off (and UNPLUG) electric devices you are not using. Even if something is turned off and it is still plugged in it uses energy.
*Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible. You can even do this in the winter by having clothes racks set up or even hanging as many clothes as possible on hangers somewhere to dry.
*Get a home energy audit. Your local company may offer these, but if they don't, try to get them to consider it.
*Switch to green power (in many areas you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar).
*Don't use your air conditioner whenever you can help it, whether in the car or at home.
*Turn off lights
*Shut your doors. (Even inside, the less space your heaters have to heat, the less they'll be on).
Step 2: Water
*Use less hot water. For instance, install a low flow shower head and wash your clothes in cold or warm water instead of hot.
*Only run your dishwasher on a full load (or do them by hand...)
*Turn off your sink when you're not using it. (This rule is explicit, meaning when you don't have your hands or a plate under the sink, it's off).
*Attempt a water turbine. It's not difficult to make/buy one, but it can be helpful in reducing your energy usage. There's actually probably an instructable on it.
Step 3: Cars & Transportation
*Keep your car tuned up
*When it's time to get a new car, get one as efficient as possible.
*Some businesses and schools have "Bike to Work" days. Find out if yours does, and do it!
- When driving your car, don't idle!
Step 4: Miscellaneous
*Buy recycled paper products
*When buying anything, from food to toys, try to buy the things that come in the least amount of packaging, such as getting bulk or trying not to buy things wrapped heavily in plastic. In short, don't buy over-packaged products!
*Don't use throw-away razors. Get the kind where you just have to change the blade.
*Buy Local and Organic
*Reduce relying on takeout meals because they use too much packaging, especially styrafoam food containers which cannot be recycled and do not break down easily.
*Buy fresh instead of frozen.
*Eat less meat (yeah i know, i suck at that one too...)
*Use reusable bags instead of plastic.
*Do not use throw-away waterbottles, and if you must, RECYCLE!! Actually, don't use any throw-away products if possible.
*Give your old clothes to a thrift store or a consignment store, and if you can, get some of your clothes from there. they have some cool stuff, people!!
*Print on both sides of your paper. If you are taking notes in school, use both sides. At the end of the year, recycle everything you don't want.
*Try to use non-toxic cleaners and don't use pesticides.
Step 5: Try It!
It's not the most difficult thing to do. I would make an effort to work on one of the asterisks a day, maybe even one a week to develop a habit. Once I got used to it, I couldn't do it any other way.