In December, we asked Earth911 readers to offer their favorite green tips. They responded with many, many easy, helpful and smart ideas for how to make your daily life a little more eco-friendly. Read through the list of some of these tips below to see what other eco-conscious people are doing that might work well for you, too.
1. Crystal Marie Mayberry: "Less is more! Use what you already have. If you don't 'have' find the most practical purchase for muli-utilization."
One way to get in the habit of using what you already have is to start looking at what you do have in new ways. Check Out 10 Simple Reuse Projects in 30 Minutes or Less to help you brainstorm.
2. Jennifer Giles Hickok: "We all know how expensive it can be to buy pre-packaged vegetable broth so, instead of throwing out all those unusable veggie parts when you prep them for cooking, save them and make your own stock."
To get started making stock at home and for other ideas for reusing food scraps, check out: 10 Reuse Ideas for Food Scraps.
3. Stephanie Cupp Weeks: "Use freecycle instead of trashing your unwanted stuff to keep the reuse going."
Freecycling - or giving away items you no longer need - online or through other outlets in your community gives old items new life. At Earth911 headquarters, we've even held freecycling events in the office. For tips and ideas to plan a similar event, read: How to Organize a Citywide Garage Sale.
4. Robyn Coburn: "One of my favorite green tips is to use food packaging boxes, covered with old magazine pages and decorated with buttons and ribbon instead of buying gift boxes."
Reusing food packaging as wrapping for gifts is a great idea, especially since so much of the food we buy comes in boxes and bags. Looking to use food packaging in even more ways? Learn More: 10 Reuse Ideas for Food Packaging
5. Elena Yee: "Use a compost bin! Since we throw away fruit/vegetable peelings and other degradable products, we can make fertile soil by adding in leaves raked up from the Fall."
6. Leslie Zander Palmer: "I keep my kitchen compost bucket in the fridge so I don't have the problem of annoying gnats."
This is easy to do, and will prevent a common problem people who compost often face. Making composting work for you can take some trial and error. If you'd like to learn some more tips for composting, read: How to Make Top-Notch Compost for Your Garden.
7. Gretchen Perry: "Rake your fall leaves out of your curb and mulch them up. Don't just let them sit there to go in the sewer system drains to clog them up. There is enough junk that goes down there that shouldn't!"
Recovered fall leaves will not only benefit sewer drains, they can also be used in your compost or for crafts in your home. For craft ideas using fallen leaves, take a look at Crafting with Found Fall Foliage.
8. Melissa 'Baker' Ward: "Green tip: we wash all our clothes in cold water and hang everything to dry."
Washing clothing in cold water and skipping the dryer saves energy. For more eco-friendly laundry tips, read: 7 Ways to Green Your Laundry.