Wednesday, March 18, 2009

20 Ways to Live Green(er)

Organic material--food and paper, for example--rot and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, when sent to the landfill. When the liners meant to seal landfills eventually crack, toxic substances can leach into the water table, causing hard to trace illnesses in faraway communities.

But perhaps the worst thing is, when we throw something in the landfill to be buried in the ground (or worse, in an incinerator to be burned into our air), it represents a waste of resources that we took from the earth in the first place.

For these reasons, I've put together this list of 25 ways to avoid making trash suggest by readers of the No Impact Man blog:

  1. Keep your own cutlery with you so you don't have to use the plastic versions
  2. Cut up your old clothes for use as rags and avoid paper towels
  3. Use mason jars to carry everything from drinking water to a packed lunch
  4. Use a handkerchief instead of tissue
  5. Make notepaper from the blank side of junk mail
  6. Give your old eyeglasses to the local Lions Club for distribution to those in need
  7. Make cardboard egg cartons into biodegradable seed starters
  8. Cut yogurt containers into strips and use them to label garden plants
  9. Use cloth bags for the bulk bins at the grocery store
  10. Empty out vacuum cleaner bags and reuse
  11. Use cloth napkins instead of paper towel
  12. Cook from scratch to avoid food packaging
  13. Use shaving soap bars to avoid throwaway bottles
  14. Make your own yogurt so there are no plastic tubs
  15. Wash and reuse ziplock bags
  16. Use the waxy liners of cereal boxes to wrap sandwiches
  17. Use scrap office paper for kids coloring books
  18. Carry a cloth for drying your hands and wrapping things in
  19. Pack a lunch in a reusable container instead of buying lunch in plastic packaging
  20. Use rechargeable batteries
Thanks to No Impact Man for the tips.

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