10 Easy Green Actions

In Articles, Home by Lori Hill0 Comments


When I speak about green living, some people automatically assume it’s going to cost more money. Yes, some green actions do cost more, but there are SO MANY things you can do that don’t cost a penny. Here are my 10 Easy Green Actions You Can Take Right Now In Your Home That Don’t Cost a Penny AND Will Save You Money. 

Download my PDF tip sheet  to post in your home and/or office and share with others.

A more detailed list is below. 

1. Lights

At a very early age, I learned when you leave a room, turn off the darn light! If you have kids or adults who leave lights on, train them to turn off the lights in any room when it is not in use. It takes little effort, but will save you money. Now THAT is an easy, green action! 

2. Electronics

Unplug your TV, DVD player, and phone charger when not in use. Items with remote controls are not truly turned “off” but merely in “standby ” mode waiting to be turned on again. Similarly, even if an appliance or an electronic device is not officially ON, if it is plugged in, it is still drawing energy, often referred to as vampire energy and wasted energy is 10% of your energy bill!*

Many of us have entertainment centers with lots of cords plugged into a power strip, so this task can be made easier my simply flipping the OFF switch on the power strip.

3. Showers

It takes energy to heat hot water and keep it hot, so limit your time in the shower to 3 minutes whenever you can. 
If you are wondering, “How the heck can I wash my hair and shave my legs in 3 minutes?” my answer is that you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) wash your hair every day or even shave every day.  To learn more about conserving water in the bathroom, watch my video 7 Tips to Conserve Water in the Bathroom.

4. Laundry

Only wash something when it is truly dirty — it has a stain or smells. Otherwise, keep wearing or using it. Also, wash in warm or cold water and always rinse in cold. It will save energy since you won’t be heating the water to hot. 

To learn more about what I do with my laundry, watch my video 3 Low Waste Laundry Tips

5. Dishes

Wash dishes by hand or run the dishwasher only when it is full. These days, most dishwashers are so powerful you don’t need to rinse plates in advance. On the other hand, if you have a casserole dish with baked-on pasta sauce, you might not want to let it sit for a day or two until the dishwasher fills up. When I’m in this situation, I rinse my dishes with gray water, extra water I have captured in a bowl from hand washing dishes. When you think about it, it makes no sense to use perfectly clean water to rinse dishes that are then going to be cleaned in the dishwasher!

To learn about how I conserve water when washing dishes in the kitchen, and other water-saving tips, watch my video You Don’t Need to Drink Urine to Save the Planet. 

6. Plastic Bottles 

Say NO to bottled water and other plastic bottled beverages because more than 80% of plastic bottles are thrown away or become litter.* And trust me, I’ve picked up that plastic litter! Plastic water bottles are so last century and they — and other plastic items — are made from petroleum and are killing our planet — especially our oceans. 

Drink filtered water or tap water from a glass or reusable water bottle and avoid sodas which have no redeeming value. If you must have a soda to give you that extra punch to get through the day, purchase a foundation soda and bring your own container like I did in my video How to Avoid Plastic at the Convenience Store.

7. Thermostats and Water Heaters

Set your thermostat to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in winter and 72 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. By adjusting just a few degrees, you can make a big difference in your electricity bill. 

8. Vehicles

Don’t let your vehicle idle for more than 20 seconds. Ten percent of all our fuel use is wasted in idling. After only ten seconds, you use less gas to turn the ignition off.* 

9. Bags

Bring your own bags everywhere. Americans throw away about 100 billion plastic bags a year; less than 1 percent of these are recycled.* Plastic bags — and other plastic products — are made from petroleum. Yes. That petroleum. And producing paper bags uses four times the energy as making plastic ones.*

Say NO to paper AND plastic bags wherever you shop — or dine —  and bring your own bags.  Any type of bag will do, including bags from conferences and trips. 
To learn more about how to avoid plastic bags, watch my video 6 Tips to Avoid Plastic Bags

10. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The first step is for us to REFUSE stuff, but if we can’t we should REDUCE our consumption of the stuff. Once we have the stuff, we should REUSE the stuff over and over until it can no longer be reused. Then we should RECYCLE it.  
Pledge to never throw anything in a trash can — at home or outside the home — that can be recycled, and then recycle it! Create less waste by using reusables instead of disposables.  Click To Tweet
For more information on reusables I use in my daily life, watch my video 5 Items I Take with Me to Live Low Waste
*Source: The Solution Is You! An Activist’s Guide, by Laurie David 
Lori Hill

Lori Hill

Lori Hill is a plant eater, trash picker upper, climate activist, wife, and mom to 2 human boys, 2 cat boys, and 1 dog boy. On a mission to do all she can to take better care of the planet, Lori created Sister Eden Media, a green lifestyle company, to inspire others to give a damn and live more gently on Earth. She shares tips on her YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and also frequently appears on television.
Lori Hill

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