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Whenever possible, wash your clothes by hand and dry them on a rack or clothesline. The two members of my small family each wash the clothes we wore during the day and hang them up to dry before we go to bed. For the five minutes each of us spends at this nightly task, we save $30.00 a month on electricitty and reduce our annual carbon output by two tons..

Tracie, Alabama


Don't water plants when the weather is inclement, the rainfall abundant. The rainfall will be sufficient to satisfy the water requirements of the plants.

Crystal Y., Singapore


Local home owner associations should give homeowners recycling credits on their monthly water and garbage bills. Credits or rebates would encourage the homeowners to recycle. One of my neighbors had this bothersome view on recycling: "They charge $3 a month whether or not you recycle. I don't want to recycle because my wife and I don't create that much trash - and we get charged for it. So to heck with them; they can keep their recycle bin!" This man wouldn't be so upset if he were to have the recycle fee rebated. Maybe a credit or rebate system would encourage others to recycle.

Julie C., Texas


When renting a car, I rent the smallest car possible, and, if my account normally qualifies me for a bigger car, I ask to be downgraded. Smaller cars burn less fuel and produce less CO2.

Vaughn, Nova Scotia, Canada


When showering, I use water only to wet my body and hair, and for final rinsing. During lathering, I turn off the water. These simple strategies help us to use a lot less water and energy.

Vaughn, Nova Scotia, Canada


The adverse effects of consuming animal protein should be made a part of the carbon footprint. No one seems to be asking if folks are vegetarians. Raising animals for human consumption is one of the largest contributions to CO2 emissions in the USA, if not in the world.

Laurel, California


How about doing green fundraisers, inckuding school car washes, clearing public streets and walks of leaves and snow, and events like rope skipping contests or block parties to raise money for our planet? We might also sell sell items of clothing with green logos - hats, sweatshirts, or cups. These events would give people the incentive to come together for a common cause, to come together as one big happy family, and it would help us personally, help our children, and help our planet. I think that together we can save our planet, and I would love to hear from others who would like to work on similar projects.

Susan L., New Jersey

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I have purchased a WonderWash, non-electric pressure washing machine from Lehman's non-electric catalog. This is a small-capacity, hand-crank washing machine that cleans laundry by pressure. This machine does a wonderful job on everything except towels, so I have also purchased special towels from REI that wash up just fine in my Wonder Wash. It uses no electricity, no power at all except for hand-cranking power (one crank per second for two minutes at most). Easy. Then you dump, add cold rinse water, crank for 30 seconds, and you're done. I line dry the clothes afterwards. Zero emission laundry!

Beth, New Mexico


I am also planning an off-grid yurt park community with friends. We want to form a community to take care of the earth, to take care of each other, to raise our children, and to care for our elders. We want to grow our own food. I am now in the process of building a yurt with zero impact materials My yurt will include a composting toilet, and will be powered by solar electricity and heaters. My pledge is to be off the grid and producing zero emissions.

Beth, New Mexico


For all the teens out there: Convince your parents to get the energy saving lightbulbs. Five bulbs is initially a fantastic number to get. Hey, if you change just five of the old style lightbulbs in your house, and, if every household does this, then it's like taking a million cars off the streets - and we can save up to $5 billion dollars in energy! Now that's cool, and you feel great after you do something green!

Adrienne, Pennsylvania


Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater that can then be used to water plants in your yard. Using rainwater reduces the amount of tap water you use (and saves you money, too!). The rain barrel reclaims valuable water that otherwise overflows into city storm drains.

Jenny, Wisconsin


I will make the personal pledge that on weekends my children and I will go to local farmers' markets that are within within walking distance. I will also make sure that we turn off all electronic products when not in use. That way my children will learn that they cannot keep the lights on, and they will also learn that eating natural is not only better for them, but better for the environment. An added benefit is that they will have the chance to pick out some of their favorite fruits and vegetables, all locally grown.

Rebecca, Indiana


Whenever possible, I pledge to watch more programs on a smaller television set. A smaller set reduces the amount of energy and electricity used per hour of viewing.

Gina, New York


Use non-electric methods for doing laundry. There are several easy non-electrical methods for doing laundry which can be adapted to everyday life. The most popular method is to use three 15 gallon galvanized wash tubs, a manual ringer (similar to those from ringer washers), and a rapid washer (which looks like a plunger that you move up and down). One tub is used for washing, and the other two are used for rinsing, while the manual ringer is used to squeeze the water from the clothes between each tub. Once processed through the three tubs, the clothes are hung to dry. The total water usage for a week's worth of clothing washed in this manner is 45 gallons, far less than the typical 100 gallons per wash load of a conventional washer. For hot water one can use water heated by the sun from a 25' water hose or heated by other non-electrical renewable methods. Not only does this decrease water usage, but also eliminates the electricity used to wash and dry clothing, and decreases the amount of electricity your water provider uses to filter and pump the excess water needed to run a conventional electric washer.

Bryan F., West Virginia


When washing, save a small cup to put another drink in it, drink the water that you washed it in, so you can stay refreshed and that water that would be poured out is in your body. To save/conserve water.

Jack D., South Carolina

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I recommend that cat owners switch from strip-mined clay litter to a renewable litter. (Examples: Swheat wheat, World's Best Cat litter, and Feline Pine.) Clay litter is strip-mined...I don't know what long term effect this can have, but I know that it isn't good. I use Swheat Scoop (wheat based) cat litter, and my little guy has no problem with it. Here are the benefits: "Naturally eliminates odors. Clumps firmly for easy scooping. Clay and chemical free. Sewer and septic safe. Low dust, less tracking.100% biodegradable, 100% compostable. Good for multi-cat homes." (Quoted from Swheat is also recommended for cats in post surgery. I hope this is helpful.

Amanda B., Montana


Any lifestyle designation should include a category for food choices: vegan, strict vegetarian, occasional meat eater, and meat and seafood enthusiast Vegetarianism reduces environmental imapact in a huge way, decreasing energy use and pollution associated with raising livestock. Fishing industries are completely unsustainable and many harvesting practices (like trawling) are killing our oceans (by catch). Consequently, any lifestyle category really should include an additional category regarding food choices. Next to what people drive, altering the way they eat is the second greatest thing they can do to reduce their ecological footprint.

Kerrie Anne, Georgia


Before you take a shower, set your stove timer to limit your shower time. About every other time you take a shower, set the timer to a lower number. The timer will get you out of the shower, and, if you set it a little bit less each time, you will get in the habit of showering quicker, thus wasting less water.

Ashley L., Indiana


Use only mechanical wind-up or weight driven clocks and watches such as cuckoo clocks and wind-up watches. Mechnical clocks and watches use no electricity or batteries, and are typically built to last decades, even generations. The long life of these types of timepieces, extended by having them fixed if they break instead of throwing them away and buying new ones, reduces the amount of landfill space needed. Contrast this with the cheaper disposable digital clocks which typically last only a few years and cannot be repaired. The use of mechanical timepieces also reduces the amount of batteries and harmful chemicals going into landfills. Unlike electric timepieces which require electricity 24 hours a day, mechnical clocks save the amount of electricity needed to be generated, thus requiring less fossil fuel to be burned.

Bryan F., West Virginia


Reuse your coffee or drink cup. Many people especially at Many people, especially rhose in offices, reach for that paper or Styrofoam cup. Using a ceramic or travel mug allows you to reduce waste in the landfills. Also, using a thermos or travel mug will keep that coffee hotter longer!

Tony L., Kentucky


Has anyone calculated the carbon output that resulted from the live earth concerts? What about all of the electricity used, the fuel for the trucks used to transport equipment, the energy used by the thousands and thousands of people traveling to and from the concert, and all of the jet aircraft (possibly private) that transported the bands all over the world? How much awareness and change could the live earth have really caused? Maybe a few people changing to compact fluorescent lightbulbs. And aren't those lightbulbs full of mercury that pollutes way more than the electricity used for incandescent light bulbs? I bet as a result of the live earth concerts there was more carbon and pollution released than the average American would release in their whole lifetime.

Michael R., Utah


1) I hang dry all of our clothes. 2) I reuse plastic bags from the food stores. 3) I don't litter on the street or in the park. 4) I give away toys and clothes, and avoid constantly buying things that are eventually thrown in the trash. 5) I seal tight the windows and doors in the winter to keep out drafts. 6) I use hand clippers for the lawn instead of a lawnmower. 7) I wait until I have a full load in the dishwasher, and then only use it every other day and soak the dishes overnight. 8) I only use the new energy-saving appliances. 9) I don't waste food and only buy what we need for 3 days at a time. 10) I teach my children not to waste water, gas, or eelctricity - and not to waste food. Teaching the next generation is going to go a long way to helping us stop wasting precious fuels that are not renewable - and to help the next generation to find a solution to this growing problem. But we can't do it all alone; the big polluters like the oil companies have to step up in a big way - and smaller energy companies need to invent new technology products that are green friendly and economical so that the average American can afford to buy them.

Linda, Pennsylvania

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I believe that the environment and earth are gifts given to us, and we should protect them in every way we can. That's why i think there should be something done in the area where I live -. an event like a "happening" that should focus on advice, on specifically what we can do to reduce pollution. Many people in my area would go, and would be able to learn that some of their habits aren't so good for the environment!! We can make a change now!mes." (Quoted from Swheat is also recommended for cats in post surgery. I hope this is helpful.

Maria M., Greece


The next stove you buy should be an electric one, insted of a gas stove. The elctric stove will help to conserve natural gas.

Pratyush H., New Jersey


I pledge to use a solar clothes dryer (clothesline!) to dry my laundry whenever possible. Using a clothesline will save the energy used by the dryer, and will also save air-conditioning energy in summer [because of heat generated by the dryer].

Catharine S., Texas


Buy local, or as local as possible, and avoid buying products made in countries that rely on dirty power. Look at the life-cycle impact of products. This reduces consumerism -- it is difficult to find products made locally so I go without or re-use what I have. We need to discourage purchasing products made in countries that rely on dirty power production. China is building coal power plants faster than we in the west can reduce our emissions, and we only contribute to this growth by purchasing products (even green products) made in places that rely on dirty production. For example, almost all CFLs are made in China. I have been looking for a calculation of the life-cycle environmental impact of comparing a CFL manufactured in a typical plant in China versus buying an incandescent manufactured by union workers in Cleveland (my hometown). The Chinese CFL is shipped by plane (as Wal-Mart is apparently doing) or boat to the US west coast and then cross country by truck to the east coast (where I live). The incandescent that was manufactured in Cleveland or Pennsylvania or other centers in the US is shipped many fewer miles by truck. The calculation would also need to include proper disposal of the CFL (which contains mercury), as well as the electricity use. Most calculations I see focus only on the end product -- light, and not on the life-cycle.

TFS, Massachusetts


Instead of buying a new book each time you want to read, borrow it from your local library.- or you can borrow it from a friend who already owns the book. This will save a lot of paper and perhaps help to reduce the logging of trees.

Lynn M., California


I pledge to turn my water heater to the Vacation setting when I leave home for two days or more. The typical North American home uses a hot water tank, meaning that a whole tank of water is kept hot at all times just in case you need it. When you leave the house for a weekend or longer, set the tank to the Vacation setting. This will keep the tank from freezing, but will avoid heating water needlessly while you're gone. Simply turn it up when you return and allow a few minutes for it to heat!

Lindsay, Alberta, Canada

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Boycott China until they green-up their power plants and start cleaning up the pollution of their waterways. If our world's environment is in the balance, and we know China is a great offender, we need to put economic pressure on that country to clean up its act. Americans are starting to "get it," and we all have to pull together against a common enemy - global climate change. Change follows economics. No one will change if the perception is that the change is costly compared with the way business is curently conducted. Boycott is an effective tool to implement positive change, since economic incentive to change exists. Slowing CO2 production is key to stemming the tide of global climate change. It needs to be embraced on a global level. Economics is the way to effect that change. Be strong. Boycott polluters and those who disregard the needs of the global community.

Karen M., Maryland


How about bicycling to work? I commute by bike every day and have read that cycling is the most efficient form of transit ever, even more than walking. Cyclists don't pollute, cyclists use local renewable energy, and cyclists use dramatically fewer materials than automobile drivers. Seems like a clear green winner.

Alex F.W., Georgia


Replace outdoor lighting with solar lights Solar lights are easy to install and provide the same amount of lighting as standard outdoor lighting. Add a rechargable battery and further reduce your impact on our resources.

Roxy, California, United States


People might think about getting their hair cut shorter once every 6 weeks instead of getting it cut every 2 to 4 weeks. First - it will save them money. Second - it will save energy, water, and time. Most people will not notice the difference in their cuts, and they'll feel better about helping to save the earth.

Connie, Virginia


Instead of driving to the supermarket, shop online and order delivery without carrier bags. If 20 people do that, it'll mean 19 vehicle trips and lots of bags won't be necessary. Apart from that, you'll avoid carrying all the heavy stuff and contributing to the traffic jam of the weekend. You can save by ordering your groceries, spend less time shopping the next time, and maybe use that time to do something fun with family or friends.

Carolina, United Kingdom


My son's school is a bad model. He comes from the school every year with hundreds of papers, and eats unhealthy food at the cafeteria, food that is wrapped in wasteful packages. Changes for future generations should be started within the school system. Messages sent to parents should be sent by email, personal computers should be used for homework, and cafeterias should offer organic food sold and properly packaged by local companies. The use of paper is unnecessary.

Ximena, New York


Hang out your washing on a clothesline! Use canvas bags for grocery shopping! Okay - we can use wind power for drying clothes; it's been done for hundreds of years. If you have the space and hang a load of washing just once a week, it'll save lots of energy - and money, too. Besides, you'll get the added bonus of having your clothes smell of fresh, sweet air. Nothing like it. Buy canvas bags for groceries instead of using plastic; it's a no brainer! No need to add another bag to the landfill. (It takes 500 years for a plastic bag to decompose.)

Margaret M, Indiana

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Drive 55 mph. Driving slower will save 10 to 20% of gasoline from most vehicles. Gasoline usage goes up as we drive faster because of the friction of the vehicle pushing through the air. The air forcing back against the car goes up as the velocity is cubed, because it is a force (see physics equations for "drag" on Wikipedia). The factor difference is, for example, 55x55x55 = 166375, and 70x70x70 = 343000, a factor over 2! Please drive slower; you'll really see you save gas. I drive a Prius, which has an excellent mileage indicator. This makes it easy to verify. Now I try to make my mileage go up, so I've become a real slow-poke.

Shabad K., California


My pledge is to commute to and from work by using sustainable transportation solutions like vanpooling or carpooling. Just one 15-passenger vanpool produces an annual energy conservation equivalent to 19 barrels of oil and 6.8 acres of pine or fir forest storing carbon for one year. Vanpooling also reduces traffic congestion, eliminates the need for additional surface parking, and saves the money of participants.

Michael, Virginia


Use your patio umbrella to hang out a few clothes. I don't have space for a full clothesline, but I use racks (still looking for the ideal rack). I found the patio umbrella makes a great place to hand a few shirts on hangers. Try to balance them! I also have hooks in my covered patio. Using a dryer for clothing in Southern California is absurd. Everything air dries quickly in summer, and in reasonable time the rest of the year. Bring the drying racks inside at night in winter to finish drying; and to add a little humiidity. I find that reduce the use of the dryer by 80% also reduces both gas (heat) usage and electric (tumbling) usage..

Kathy O., California


I want to post my 15mb power point presentation. How do i do this, please? I am trying to save an almost virgin town, only 18 years old in the mountains of the philippines. 15,000 population on 11,000 hectares. You can help me. While it is still early. please tell me how i can send my preasentation.

Yoying P., Philippines


I think we should educate students, especially the younger generation, to know more about the environment so that they are aware of the harmful effects that may happen in the near future. They can help make the world a better place if these harmful environmental effects can be itaught to them at an early age.

IfahAisyah, Singapore


Buy carbon credits to offset carbon emissions when on flights. This reduces the impact of one of the sources of carbon in the atmosphere from transportation - and makes me feel better about my trips for business or pleasure.

Andrew M., Ohio


Use old washcloths & towels to wipe the kitchen counters. This will cut down on paper production and the volume of trash.

Kathy B., Washington


I no longer own a car. I bicycle to work and class - or I walk. Therefore, I do not burn fossil fuels; nor do I pay automobile taxes or insurance fees. I save $600 a month. Yes, I am occasionally guilty of taking the bus.

Djenny, Kentucky

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Always use the least amount of water possible. Example: Turn off the water, even while scrubbing a pot in your sink. I could go on & on. It's just really important! We abuse our water supply in the United States; we exploit and take advantage of our good fortune. Many people around the world could die of dehydration, and in summer we hear about droughts across our country. Just save what is precious to you. You never know how good it is until it's gone!

Lara, South Carolina


..I cultivate bamboo in pots, and see how many different species i am able to collect.. .. If every person on earth planted a bamboo shoot in a big pot or in their garden, we would make considerable progress toward cleaning the atmosphere.

MHeni Gerhardus, South Africa


Buy a scooter, then ride to work on casual Friday I get 65-70 miles per galllon, and I dont drive my car 5 days a week, thereby greatly reducing the amount of gas I have to purchase for my car.

Travis M., California


We have started using PureCool Water Filters instead of buying bottled water. We fill sport bottles with our made-at-home bottled water before we leave home instead of buying small bottles of water when we're out. One PureCool replaces 28 of those 5-gallon bottles or 530 of the 1 liter bottles. The filter is made for water coolers, but it works just as well on our water crock in the kitchen. The water tastes and tests great, and we're saving about $1400 a year! A 5-gallon bottle of water weighs 45 pounds. We were using about 182 of those per year. That's 8,190 pounds - more than 4 TONS -of water that were being trucked to my house in 26 different shipments. Of course, my water was riding all over town with lots of other 45 lb. bottles, sitting in traffic, etc. I can't calculate the fossil fuels and carbon emissions in that scenario, but they have to be a lot! Now 6 PureCool filters with a total shipping weight of 6 pounds gives us great water for almost the whole year. I got so excited about this little gem that I started selling them! I calculate that getting just 35 people a year using PureCool instead of buying bottled water I will offset all our driving for the year!

Donna, Georgia


Use a crank powered flashlight instead of a battery-operated model. By using a crank-powered flashlight, I can eliminate using about 10 D-cell batteries a year. I do a good bit of after-dark hiking and have really minded using up so many batteries. 30 seconds of cranking gives about 30 minutes of light.

Sue H., Pennsylvania


Stop advertisers from sending you unwanted catalogs. I was getting an average of 50 per month because I was somehow on their mailing list. I had my name removed from every list by calling, emailing, and using their websites. Every catalog has an 800 number, so it costs nothing for you to remove your name. Advertisers are sending out millions of catalogs every day to people that do not want them. These unwanted catalogs are simply discarded. This wastes a tremendous amount of paper, ink and energy used to print and ship these catalogs.

Tom J., California


1. When I know I have to stop at a light for more than 30 seconds, I turn off the engine until time to move - and have boosted my in town mileage to around 40 mpg. 2. I never waste water; I catch and bottle all water that first comes out of the tap. I use it for watering plants, fillings my pet's water dish, or just for cold drinking water. 3. I keep all of the non-reuseable plastic bags from stores, cut them in loops around damaged areas, and fashion them into my own shopping bags that last a really long time. Then when they wear out, I toss the bags into the recycling bin. 1. Reduces useage of gasoline. also reduces wear and tear on the engine. 2. Why waste good water, granted I don't pay for water, landlord does, it does impact water useage. 3. Saves in the useage of those ugly bags. I have also seen summer straw looking hats and totes etc made from the bags. Re using is better than single use. I was raised by my mom to live cheaply. Back then it wasn't about saving resources of the world but about living. I do all I can to keep single usage down.

Sue P., North Dakota


Use canvas bags for grocery shopping Canvas bags are sturdy and "recyclable." Just throw them in the wash when dirty and re-use. No need for paper or plastic.

Carla M., Louisiana

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Draw a red drop on a small piece of paper (to symbolize a drop of blood), and, using cellophane tape, put it on a gas pump. The U.S. only has 5% of the world's population, but use over 25% of the world's energy, so we must make dramatic cuts. (Visit The people of the U.S. (and much of the world) are basically addicted to oil. We have grown so dependent on our cars and trucks that they are used every day and even multiple times a day. Because we are addicted, it subconsciously affects the ways in which we think and act. "A Drop of Blood" is to remind ourselves and others that, in order to fight oil addiction, we must think and act more intelligently. That oil addiction is resulting in tremendous harm in the world, such as the invasion of Iraq and global warming. The hidden price of oil is that millions of human lives have and will be lost, thousands of species have and will be extinguished, and tens of millions of people in the U.S. (hundreds of millions in the rest of the world) will see the quality of life decrease for their family and loved ones. In the years to come, the revealed costs of our addiction will be a planet that is many degrees warmer and will result in horrific loses.

TM, California


Buy your food within a 100 mile radius of your home. 1. Buying food locally reduces the output of pollution from long transportation of food products from outside of your communting area. 2. Buying food locally supports the local farm community and helps to prevent developers from taking over the family farm. 3. Locally produced food is fresher and tastes a lot better. 4. Further, you really can do more with those food stuffs that are "in season." 5. You get out into your community and meet great people and experience the good life. 6. Combine the information from the website with the, and you will be amazed by what you can find to sustain your life and protect our world.

John H., South Carolina


When I saw Energy Star CFL's on sale for .99 cents for a box of 4, I bought 25 boxes and offered them to friends and family as a gift. I was surprised to see what a hit they were! I was also surprised how many told me they have been meaning to start using CFL's, but hadn't yet bought any. I have effectively multiplied my energy savings by a factor of 25......

Kathryn, California


Go vegan. Meat consumption is one of the worst contributers to environmental degradation.. Cows, chickens, and other animals are kept in land that could be used for better things.

Manda, Massachusetts


Save tap water from showers, the kitchen sink, or even dog water buckets, and use it for plants in containers. Reuse cat litter jugs for this; they are similar to gas cans and have screw caps to prevent spillage. This slows water waste, reuses containers, and, if you use containers to grow vegetables, you can at least know where some of your food comes from.

Harriet, Alabama


100% recycled paper today cannot be differentiated from virgin paper, so demand 100% recycled paper even when using a professional printer. Ask for Athens Environment PC100 or Neenah Evergreen 95b. It is only a matter of inertia that they are more expensive. Even with the higher price, 100% recycled paper for small jobs such as printing wedding invitations increases the price less than 5%. As demand increases, recycled paper will be cheaper than conventional paper, making the latter obsolete. The United States produces about 1/3 or the world's paper (87mil metric tons). About half of it is from virgin pulp. While the paper industry is far better than agriculture and real estate development on reforesting and encouraging tree growth, it is still only a matter of educating consumers that prevents 100% recycled paper from being the norm.

Matt G., Tennessee


A little change in our daily life can make a huge difference in our future life! If we change our little habits, every day, particularly those habits that adversely affect the environment and our lives, we would have better solutions for the future, and, at the end of the day, we all will live better in a sustainable way

Nelson S., Portugal


I will eat less beef and consider phasing it out of my diet. A meat-centered diet, according to the UN, is the world's biggest contributor to greenhouse gases. We should begin with eating less meat that requires the largest portion of water and land resources.

Matt G., Tennessee

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I will not use wrapping paper to wrap up gifts, but instead will be more creative and reuse other paper items or newspaper to wrap the presents - or incorporate the wrapping as part of the present so that it will be used again. So much paper is wasted during the holidays to wrap up gifts. A lot of wrapping paper is not suitable for recycling because it has too much plastic in it and therefore is creating too much waste overall. Its possible to eliminate this waste by wrapping presents in other ways.

Kristin H., Florida


If you're considering building a new home, have your builder use a hydronic radiant above subfloor heating system and SIPs [Structural Insulated Panels] for walls & roof. SIPs have a very high R value and won't lose much heat! Radiant heating is much more efficient than conventional forced-air heating. Since the radiant technique heats evenly, with no waste, it's better for the environment. It will cost more to build in this manner - but you will save each and every month on those utility bills!

Kelly, Maryland


Use a Clothes Processor instead of a washer & dryer! LG makes the most amazing little machine; it's only 2' X 2' X 3' tall, and it washes AND dryes, all in the same machine, a load of clothes! There is NO DRYER VENT. These are very popular in Europe. My LG costs $17.00 per year to operate, but that figure is based on 8 loads of clothes per week and I only do 4 loads per month!!

Kelly, Maryland


I pledge to lower my thermostat by 2 degrees in the winter. I will also set my thermostat to 4 degrees lower during the day when no one is home, and I will use an extra blanket or sweatshirt before I switch on the heater. This is impactful because it would minimize energy use at home with minimal effort and lifestyle changes required. By setting the thermostat lower, especially during the day while no one is home (if that is the case), it would not disrupt one's life at all, while still making a difference. Avoiding using a heater and instead reaching for extra blankets and cozy sweaters will still keep us warm while helping the environment. This should be the first approach for warming up before using an electronic device.

Susan, New York


This [EarthLab] website should allow members to imput the use of a motorcycle or scooter into the test questions under vehicles. Many people use two wheeled transportation for better gas mileage, easier commutes, or to lower their operating costs. Please allow this to be an option as I think it would impact people's scores and help them to embrace a greener lifestyle.

Elysia, North Carolina


When washing & rinsing your hands, do not turn the water on full blast. You will be using less water.

Kim S., Illinois


Use 70% water and 30% alcohol for windshield washer fluid. (60-40 for sub-zero temps). If it never freezes where you live, just use water.. The standard windshield washer fluid is highly toxic and ends up in the water we drink. Besides, the millions of bottles that hold it enter the waste stream every year. It is hard to understand why we allow the manufacture of toxic chemicals for use in things that are so superfluous.

Matt G., Tennessee


Use less water then suggested when making pasta.

Kate C., Massachusetts

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I think we should plant many more trees, use smaller applinaces, and use more natural cleaning products. This will significantly help reduce pollution.

Sara F., Indiana


My family and I have established a compost system that allows us to recycle all of our organic waste (paper, food products, etc). The family compost pile allows us to dispose of our organic waste without filling the local landfill, as well as to make free topsoil to replenish the earth. As an added bonus, my dad keeps earthworms in the compost pile so that he can use them when he fishes. The earthworms help to break down the compost.

Barry S., Alabama


Use a rain barrel to collect rainfall. Instead of using your garden hose, use a rain barrel. It will save water, and you just need to dig out the old watering can. (Make sure to have a netting over the top of the barrel; with netting small enough to keep out mosquitoes.)

Sarah O'N., Ontario, Canada


Go homemade! Instead of buying frozen or processed foods, use staple items bought in bulk to make things from scratch. Store the bulk foodstuffs in reusable containers such as cookie jars and bread boxes rather than plastic bags. The ratio of packaging to product is more favorable this way, not to mention the health benefits (and flavor).

Catherine W., Pennsylvania


Live by doing without one electric device each day. One day it could be a hair dryer, on another a radio, and on another your computer. Instead of typing text and printing it out, write it out. These strategies will save electricity!

Anna J., New Zealand


Buy in bulk and put items in your own containers. You only have to make one purchase of a set of containers which you can then fill over and over again. This reduces packaging waste, saves energy, and keeps trash out of the dumps. You also save money buying in bulk!

Diana G., Arizona


If your child's backpack is still in fairly good shape, donate it to the school, rather than throwing it out at the end of the year. They can re-use it for students who don't have enough supplies, or for "snack backpack" programs.

Edward V., New Mexico


Get reusable shopping bags and take them with you whenever you shop. Reusing bags means fewer bags are in production, thus reducing manufactoring waste. Fewer bags will be transported to shops, emissions will be reduced, and and less plastic will end in landfill rubbish sites.

A.S., United Kingdom

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I pledge to support market-based options to environmental issues and to reject most options that rely on government-imposed sanctions. Governments that are based on a socialist model and the populations they control are historically the worst polluters of the environment and the most inefficient consumers of the earth's resources.

David M., Ohio


I open my windows in my car and my house to cool down instead of using the air conditioner. Instead of impulsively turning on the air conditioners, we can just open the windows and wait a few more minutes. The temperature will naturally adjust without using any energy.

Georgette, Florida


Take a resusable cup to work and use it for water at the community water cooler. This limits the impact of one-time-use resources like plastic and styrofoam cups.

Edward V., New Mexico


I think it would be very beneficial to the environment if everyone went to and signed up to decline all of those magazines they get regularly that they don't even want. Unrequested catalogs are most often delivered during the holiday seasons, but people still receive unwanted magazines throughout the year. This would be impactful because tons of trees are used to provide people with these unwanted magazines. It is a waste. A big waste that can be prevented. All it takes is a few clicks of your mouse to make this happen.

Stephanie, Washington


Plant a tree (not an evergreen) on the west side of your house. The more the better! In the winter the tree is leafless and lets in the sun to warm the house, but in the summer it is in full-bloom and the leaves block the sun so you don't have to use as much air conditioner power.

Kat H., New York


Buy and drive a Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV), such as the Honda Civic GX. Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs), such as the Honda Civic GX, have the lowest CO2 emissions of any commercially available vehicle. The 2007 Civic GX was named "America's Greenest Car" by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The Honda NGV is cleaner than any Hybrid, Bio-Diesel, or E85 vehicles. In addition, NGVs do not use any gasoline, thereby reducing our dependence on imported petroleum. Natural gas is a plentiful, domestically produced natural resource.

Don, California


Think before you do something that may contaminate the planet; think of our children and the future we will be leaving them. Think of the air they will breathe and of what type of life they will have; the sun that will shine on them. If your child is asthmatic, it's likely because of the climate change. Do you want to improve the aire we breathe in the future? If so, then think before you blink your eyes and become aware of your every act. And Love & respect trees as they are the producers of our oxygen. Because it´s the truth, our acts, our thoughts, and what we do can save or change the planet. We can all together, or in a majority, make these crucial changes for the planet, for the future, for our children.

Lesley A., Spain


Eastside Business newspaper has had a "green" section for many months and will continue to do so into the future. I challenge all other media to make reporting on green and sustainability issues a priority in 2008 and beyond. By reporting on green and sustainability issues, media can help create awareness among consumers and lead to better ideas and actions in the future.

Joe, Washington

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People should recyle more often and as much as possible, if not recycle all the time; it's easy, and it's a good way to help the enviroment. Because this is the easiest way to help the earth,anyone can do it.

Mark, California


I pledge to tell everyone that i talk to that the planet is in jeopardy, and that we all as humans can do something to make things better on the planet EARTH.

Howard, Texas


Instead of buying wrapping paper for holiday gifts, use gift bags and save them to reuse. I bought a package of 50 gift bags 3 years ago and have been using them over and over every Christmas. After the gifts are opened, just collect the bags. The little tags attached already have my family member's names written on them from the first year, so I can even use the same bag for the same person! In years past we would lug out 1 or 2 garbage bags full of wrapping paper, bows, and boxes. Although we would try to recycle, it's even better to not throw it out at all.

Gina, New York


Buy second hand clothes from markets and charity stores. Not only are you saving the obvious energy, material, and resources used to make new clothing, but you'll be avoiding the many chemicals are currently used in the clothing industy. These chemicals include the dangerous, highly toxic, and carcinogenic formaldehyde. Washing reduces the amount of toxins in clothes so in buying second hand you are also reducing the absorption of these chemicals into your skin. Also, when second hand items are bought from charity shops, the proceeds go into funding community projects and giving assistance to those in the community who most need it.

Tara D., Australia


I pledge to choose products that use the least amount of packaging, even if that means I must sacrifice a little convienence. I also prefer buying recycled paper products. Every little bit helps. My carbon emission is half of the national average based on these basic criteria. If everyone would be mindful enough to cut a corner somewhere in their little worlds, the vastness of our individual impacts would collectively make all the difference. Let's do it!

MissMae, California


Turn off the drying feature on your dishwasher and allow the dishes to air dry by opening the dishwasher when its cycle is finished. This simple practice cuts way down on electricity usage.

Kate T., California


Pledge to bcome vegetarian or partially vegetarian Becoming vegetarian saves the animals and saves the world's natural resources. I would suggest reading Chapter 10 of the book, "Old MacDonald's Factory Farm," by C. David Coats.

Lauren G., North Carolina

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I reuse plastic food containers and foam meat trays for seed starting, plant saucers, and seed sorting and storage. All sorts of plastic containers can be used to start seeds or repot seedlings, including yogurt cups, sour cream containers, margarine tubs, milk jugs, etc. The foam meat trays will hold several small pots or containers and make excellent plant saucers. Some containers will break down after a year due to ultraviolet rays, but can still be recycled This saves money as you don't have to spend as much on gardening supplies, and usable containers are kept out of the landfills.

Penny, New York


I am teaching my class and school of elementary students about our planet, about our impact on the planet, and about what we can do to help. I am having each of them sign up on EarthLab. I bought a Prius, and I am looking at buying a place at the Depot Walk in Orange, an entirely green housing complex. I want to make the younger generation environmentally aware so they can push their parents and friends to take action. I also want to be an example for the younger generation by personally living as green as possible.

Michael M., California


Refuse paper fliers and refuse mailbox publicity.

Gavin, Spain


We need to have the world leaders make a law that states that people will pay double the price on non-renewable energy. All of the peolpe that don't wont to pay double will go green

Keegan, Australia


I will not fly to some third world country with 2000 others and 2000 reporters, 16 air hours from home to preach, "How green I am." I'll use the phone. The green conference in Bali used how much carbon? I could drive an un-tuned '62, oil burning chevy truck for 40 years, and not come close to the effects they made in 2 weeks.

Mike M., Utah

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I will replace one book bought from the store with one borrowed from the library. Imagine how many trees we could save if more people borrowed books from the library instead of buying them.

Alyssa B., Arizona


The biggest change we can do is the change we make in our minds. Shifting your attitude is being proactive – actually finding new ways to save the planet rather than simply asking for already found ones. In every situation, ask yourself 'How can I be greener here?' and incorporate that type of thinking into your daily routine. You'll become a 'proactivist.' It's that simple.

Christian H., Bulgaria


You can eliminate carbon emissions by using a geothermal (ground source) system to heat and cool your home. Ground source heat is an efficient, affordable technology that provides space heating and cooling, as well as hot water. It uses the earth natural heat and does not require combustion therefore, no carbon gases are produced.

Shelly, Illinois


Use biodegradable waste bags to scoop up after your beloved dog and all of your pets! Many of these bags are corn-based and are designed to decompose in a short amount of time (a matter of days), unlike plastic bags which NEVER biodegrade (they just break up into smaller pieces of plastic). The price of these "bio"-bags are comparable to plastic bags that are marketed for pet waste and you won't feel guilty about throwing plastic bags into the trash. For those pet owners among us who get your groceries bagged in plastic so that you can use the bag for pet cleanup, now you can make the switch to canvas bags for your grocery errands!

Mike, Washington


I will turn off the water in the shower when soaping\lathering...just like when brushing my teeth. This method would drastically decrease the amount of water usage per person, per year. I've been doing it for more than a year.

Aaron L., Massachusetts


Only purchase Certified Fair Trade coffee. Not only does it support the small coffee growers in South America, but it also ensures that you are buying organically grown and farmed coffee with the least environmental impact on the land.

Lin C., Texas

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Use (the energy saving search engine) instead of Google,, etc. as your home page and primary search engine. Its saves energy due to the fact that the screen is predominantly black, thus saving watt hours. So far, Blackle has saved over 231,331.736 watt hours!

Brianne W., Ohio


Have a Green wedding. Use reusable dinnerware. Buy Carbon Credits as favors. Have your wedding within driving distance of most guests. Print invitations and programs on recycled paper. Register for earth-friendly products. Choose bridesmaid dresses that can be worn again. Buy a vintage wedding dress. Make sure your caterer uses local produce. Serve a vegetable-based meal.

Shandi G., Missouri


Hang your washed clothes out on a clothesline whenever possible. I found that using a clothesline not only dries my clothes but brightens my clothes as well. The only energy used is my effort to hang them out and take them down and I enjoy the time in the yard, watching the birds and squirrels. This has also helped with my gas bill and saving money for other things!!!

Trisha G., Minnesota


When mowing the lawn, I will use a mulching mower or will leave grass clippings on the lawn. This avoids putting a degradable like grass into big black or orange garbage bags, which take decades to degrade. If every household did this, imagine how much less garbage would go into our landfills! Plus, if done correctly, grass clippings can actually help lawns!

Evelyn B., Quebec


Use your appliances, like the dishwasher and the laundry machine, early in the morning or late in the evening. Peak power usage (when power use is at its highest level) is typically during the day, and can last from 10am to 7pm. The "peaking plants" (power plants used to fulfill this energy-needy time of day) are typically very inefficient and release large amounts of unnecessary carbon into the atmosphere. To avoid using these inefficient plants, use major appliances outside the peaking, or high-use times of day.

Diana G., California


The BEST thing you can do for the environment is to become a vegetarian/vegan, or at least cut back on meat products (meat/dairy/eggs, etc.). The direct impact that animal agriculture has on the environment is astronomical. Factory farming and the production of animals for food and other products produces massive amounts of methane gasses and releases incredible amounts of carbon.

Tiffany K., California

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I think Phoenix should ban leaf blowers. Not only are they noisy and annoying, but they emit the same amount of pollution as 17 cars. They kick up pollution and dust, and blow it back into the atmosphere. A broom will do just fine, and the extra exercise will help keep you in shape! Phoenix is too obsessed with being clean, and Mother Nature can be dirty sometimes.

Lisa D., Arizona


Remove your name and address from the National Direct Marketing Associations mailing list. For $1 you can get your name removed, it cuts down on 75% of unwanted mail, and saves a few trees in the process. Go to In addition, call catalog companies directly to get your name removed from their mailing lists. It's a simple way to cut down on unwanted waste and clear out your mailbox too!

Molly M., California


I try to use the same water bottle for at least 7 days. In Mexico we cannot drink from the tap. I got filters installed at home and at my company so that my workers were able to refill their bottles. That way we don't waste plastic, and we save money at the same time.

David, Mexico


Reuse plastic grocery bags. After I found out how many plastic bags one human being leaves behind, I knew I needed to take action for myself. I collected the bags and used them for small trash bags and cat litter liners. There's so much more though. Use your old plastic bags to drop off old clothes at Goodwill or to return recycling. I only wish I knew more ideas on how to reuse these bags. Instead of getting more bags, reuse the same bags as much as possible, or let's start taking our own cloth bags.

Melanie W., New Mexico


Rent movies from the library instead of buying them, saving them from eventually ending up in a landfill. Most movies now come on DVD's, which are non-biodegradable.

Melanie H., Minnesota

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Cherry blossoms in Washington bloom seven days earlier in the spring than they did in 1970. Heavy rains in England and Wales made last fall Britain's wettest three-month period on record.

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