Prompted by many conversations with my 6 year old, I decided to take a personal inventory, or at least a family inventory, of what we are doing to lessen our carbon footprint on the planet.  While I’m sure I’ll think of additional things to do, and things we’re already doing, for now, this list is a starting point.

I’d LOVE to hear what you and your family are doing as well.  Perhaps some simple things each of us are doing will add up to a great deal if we all started doing them — even just some of them.

  1. Reuse ziploc bags until they are REALLY dead
  2. Freecycle ( or donating as much as possible before throwing it away.  I like to keep the landfills small.
  3. Use only environmentally friendly soaps (laundry detergent, dish liquid, dishwasher soap, sink/tub scrub.
  4. Minimize water consumption when doing dishes, brushing teeth etc. (not letting it run unless I’m actually using it directly).
  5. Buy as much organic food as possible.
  6. Buy as much local food and products as possible – this minimizes transportation charges.
  7. Reuse and/or recycle all plastic bags.
  8. Use steel thermoses instead of water bottles.
  9. Hang dry most clothes.
  10. Fix things versus replacing them (like I did with my iron when it was acting up).
  11. Use all extended life light bulbs — low wattage (Ikea has great ones).
  12. Avoid styrofoam.
  13. Ask restaurants to package leftovers in foil or other packaging, not styrofoam.
  14. Use cloth towels versus paper towels in the kitchen (dining room, too).
  15. Use recyclable batteries.
  16. Use jars versus plastic containers for leftovers at home.
  17. Choose bulk grocery items to keep packaging down.
  18. Change air filters (for home ac/heat) regularly.
  19. Use discarded paper printed on one side for notes (shopping lists, scratch paper, etc.).
  20. Turn down temperature on your hot water heater so that it’s hot, but not scalding (who needs that?)   Use a blanket on it too, ESPECIALLY in cold climates.

One Response

  1. Nina says:

    We do all of those things that you have listed. We’ve thought about buying sensors to automatically turn off lights the kids like to leave on. As far as our recyclables cardboard, paper and number 1 & 2 plastic bottles & aluminum we take to a recycling center that will but our recyclables from us. Put that money towards paying off our credit card.

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