When cleaning house, hold a yard sale or donate old items to a secondhand shop. You'll be surprised how valuable your junk is to someone else.
A couple of quick calls to mail-order catalog companies can free your mailbox from piles of junk. Switch to online bill paying to cut down on even more paper waste.
Eighteen million trees are wasted each year on paper bills and statements (plus the checks, envelopes and stamps used to pay them). Sign up for electronic statements and start paying bills online.
When your post-meal cleanup is small, soak dishes in a basin of soapy water (or half of a double-sided sink). Then use the faucet to rinse only. You’ll save water and time.
Studies have shown that opting for a five-minute shower instead of a bath can save between 1 and 3 gallons of water per day. Use a low-flow showerhead to save even more.
Instead of buying little plastic packets of spices, grow your own herbs -- if you don't have a garden, even a pot or window box will do.
Rather than throwing away leftover wine, pour it into an ice cube tray and store it in the freezer until the next time you need to cook with wine. That way you won’t waste a drop!
Donate your old furniture to a local furniture recycler. They'll turn your unwanted pieces into things others will want to buy, saving them from the landfill.
The most common household appliances -- phone chargers, televisions, computer monitors and DVD players -- use valuable energy even when turned off. Unplug them to reduce your energy use and your monthly bill.
Drive off as soon as you start your car’s engine. Modern engines don't need much time to warm up, so idling creates unnecessary pollution and mechanical wear.
An estimated 30 percent of household water usage is flushed down the toilet. If your toilet is more than 30 years old, upgrading to a low-consumption toilet can save you up to 4 gallons per flush.
As the days get chillier, closing your curtains at dusk will stop heat from escaping through windows.
To check for leaky toilets, add enough food coloring to your toilet tank to really brighten the water. After 30 minutes, check if any of the dye has leaked into the bowl.
Do you really need a hard copy? Use both sides of the paper if you do and add a “Think before you print” footer to your emails.
Use up scraps of material from curtains, dressmaking or unwanted clothes to make beautiful personalized gift bags. Your gifts will look unique and you’ll save bags of cash!
Check out some local used clothing stores to find vintage fashions. It’s a great way to reuse, it cuts out carbon emissions made by making new clothes -- and it’s unique!
If you have a watercooler at work, use a glass to fill up instead of using paper or plastic cups from the dispenser.
Turning your heating down before bedtime saves energy. Once you’re tucked in, you’ll never notice the difference.
A ceiling fan uses significantly less energy than a conventional air conditioner, plus it produces no fluorocarbons and even requires less energy to manufacture. Become a fan of the fan!
Half the time in the shower is spent avoiding the water while soaping up -- so for big water and energy savings, switch off while you lather up.
You’ll use a lot less water if you only run your laundry or dishwasher with a full load. Running two half-loads uses twice as much water.
Keep a cover on your swimming pool when it’s not in use. This will decrease water loss due to evaporation by 90 percent.
If you’re running the bath or shower waiting for the water to heat up, put a large bucket underneath to catch the water. Use this water for plants, pets and cleaning.
Use barrels to capture rain from your eaves trough and save it for the next time you have to water your garden or lawn.
When using the dishwasher, do fill it to the max and don’t bother pre-rinsing in the sink unless absolutely necessary. You can save up to 20 gallons per load -- or 6,500 gallons per year!
Get into the habit of turning the tap off when washing your face, brushing your teeth or shaving, and only have it on when necessary. Water running when it's not in direct use is needlessly soaking up your money.
The average bathroom faucet runs at 2 gallons per minute. Turning it off when you brush your teeth is one of the easiest ways to save water.
After boiling eggs, cooking pasta (as long as the water is salt-free) or steaming vegetables, use the leftover water to douse your houseplants. You can also use old water from teakettles and dehumidifier condensation to save even more H2O.
The screensaver on your computer uses the same amount of power as it does when it's on and being used. Switch your PC off if you're going to be away for a while.
An LED bulb will shine for about 60,000 hours, and Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs for 10,000 hours -- but traditional incandescent bulbs lag behind at only 1,500 hours. Choose the one that makes the most sense (and cents!).
Resist the temptation to crank the heat in chilly weather. Instead, throw on a sweater and keep your thermostat at an energy-efficient 68 F.
Host a White Elephant Party, where you and your neighbors, friends or family swap objects that would normally be thrown out. The more useless the items, the funnier -- and more memorable -- the exchange becomes!
Get into the habit of reaching for reusable shopping totes (hint: keep them by the door or in the trunk of your car), a reusable travel mug to transport your daily caffeine fix, and a sturdy water-bottle to stay hydrated.
A clean, organized home promotes less clutter both literally and mentally. When on-the-fence about holding on to books or clothes, give them away to charity. Your heart, home and mind will feel lighter.
Mow your lawn when it's dry and leave the clippings lying on the grass -- they’ll break down and feed the lawn underneath.
When shopping for sustainable products, look for Green Seal certified items or an ENERGY STAR label (for energy-efficient appliances). Adding just one of these products to your home can help you live a greener life.
If you live in a city, check out HopStop.com to find the best modes of mass transportation, no matter where you’re headed.
Save gas, money and maybe even a gym membership by walking or biking to work, the grocery store or even a restaurant for dinner.
Supporting local farmers through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or farmer’s market not only lets you access the freshest produce, but also cuts down on the pollution of long-distance shipping.
Before you recycle that used printer paper, turn it over, put it back in your printer, and voila: You have Good On One Side (GOOS) paper. Go GOOS at home and then bring the movement to your office.
For junk mail that says “address correction requested” or “return postage guaranteed” on the front, write “refused, return to sender” on the envelope and drop it in the mailbox. It’ll go back to the sender, letting them know not to send again.
One of the most common sources of waste is buying too much food at one time. Buy less -- and stock up on items without an expiration date -- for best results for your waist, wallet and the environment.