01 of 08
Don't Buy Something Today
If you're looking for simple tips to go green, the following 8 ideas will help to make it easy, fun and economical to start green living. You don't need to buy a new Prius or install solar panels on your roof -- just begin today with one step at a time.
This first step asks you to do nothing, yet it runs counter to just about everything in human civilization because we are, if nothing else, an acquisitive species, so getting things -- food, shelter, Chia pets -- is hardwired into our brains. But... green living isn't about products you buy, it's about products you don't buy. So just for one day, step away from Billy the Singing Bass, put your Visa card back in your wallet, and don’t buy something that you probably don’t need anyway.
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02 of 08
Tune Up Your Car
Anyone who goes out and buys a new hybrid car to prove how green they are is missing the point -- a better way to live green is to keep your old jalopy as long as it's practical, rather than encouraging the manufacture of new cars (even if they get 45 miles to the gallon).
And as long as you're hanging on to Bessie, keep that bucket of bolts as efficient as possible by taking good green care of her. Regular tune-ups, smart tire maintenance and other basics of car care will keep the ol'... gal running efficiently for years.
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03 of 08
Go Green with Organic Food
Sure, it's a tiny bit more expensive, but it's usually worth it. Organic food not only is healthier for you because it has fewer pesticides and other chemical residue, it's also much healthier for the planet. Just for today, buy an organic apple. And if you're on a budget, consider these .
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04 of 08
Recycle One Thing
Recycling is mandatory in some places, but it's a good green living idea everywhere. Not only are forests being chopped down and mountains being leveled worldwide for raw materials, but landfills are bursting at the seams with all the debris of our fast-paced consumer lifestyle. Even if you just recycle one item -- a glass bottle, a newspaper or magazine, a plastic water bottle -- you're helping to make a difference.
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05 of 08
Turn Down Your ThermostatWhether you're reading this in winter or summer, chances are there's energy being used to control the temperature in your room. Try one direction or another, and you not only will save energy, but you'll reap the savings of a lower energy bill. (And as long as you're up, why not switch off a light or two?)
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06 of 08
Change One Light BulbCan you change the world by ? Maybe. Compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, are many times more efficient than regular incandescent bulbs, but they contain mercury -- a hazardous material that's been linked to birth defects, brain damage and other conditions. Consider , which are safer than CFLs, more energy efficient, and will last many times longer.
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07 of 08
There are dozens of alternatives to household cleaning products that contain chlorine bleach, ammonia, and other industrial chemicals. You can shop for green cleaners that contain few, if any, harmful ingredients, or you can easily make your own homemade cleaners -- and for a fraction of what you'd spend on commercial products.
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08 of 08
Take a WalkThis is perhaps one of the simplest and most pleasant ways to go green -- just put one foot in front of the other. has proven benefits, so whether you stroll around the block, take the stairs at work, or just drink in the scenery on a long hike, you're helping to cut down on energy use while staying in shape. Plus, walking is a great way to remind yourself of
we're all discovering how to be greener these days -- the world is a beautiful place, and we'd like to keep it that way.