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Our Only Home

Links to more information about:

Ways to reduce waste

http://www.reduce.org/

http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/

www.usda.gov/foodlossandwaste  (reduce food waste)

http://www.greenandgrowing.org/recycling-ultimate-guide/

http://www.earth911.org/ (also places to recycle items)

https://www.bottlestore.com/whatandhowtorecycle (a bottle store company article with information about the 3 Rs)

https://www.lulus.com/blog/resources/selling-donating-and-recycling-old-clothing/ (clothing store blog with tips to reduce fabric waste)

https://www.bustle.com/p/21-ways-to-use-less-plastic-without-putting-a-ton-of-effort-in-16988677  (use less plastic)

https://repaircafe.org/en/about/  (learn how to repair things)

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email (stop junk mail)

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-host-home-recycling-drive.htm (getting your community involved)

For children  

http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/reduce-reuse-recycle-for-kids/

Finding or giving away items

https://www.freecycle.org/

Where to buy Earth and human friendly goods

http://www.c2ccertified.org/products/registry

http://www.fairtrade.net/

Sustainable seafood

Fishwatch.gov

Gardening with safer or no pesticides

ipm.ucdavis.edu

growsmartgrowsafe.org

https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/organic-pest-control/

Watershed protection

http://www.cleanwatershed.org/watershed-protection/easy-tips

Information about conservation and saving resources

https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/home-science-backyard-conservation/

Information about recycling 

https://www.parentgiving.com/elder-care/reduce-reuse-recycle  (elder care company website)

https://www.mattressclarity.com/blog/recycling-mattresses-appliances-and-other-household-items/

https://www.personalcreations.com/blog/how-to-recycle-anything

https://www.how2recycle.info/news/2018/top-18-things-you-should-not-recycle

https://www.basementguides.com/recycling-appliances-guide

 

Some ways to save resources:

Advocate for products, procedures and energy sources that will have less of an impact on the environment.

Buy and use only what you need.

If possible, mend clothes and repair furniture, appliances, etc. instead of throwing them away.

Use cloth instead of paper (napkins or handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex, etc.).

Reuse bags until they cannot be used any more then recycle them.

Use reusable containers instead of one-time-use containers (plastic storage bags, styrofoam clamshells, etc.) to store food or other items.

When possible, donate items instead of throwing them away.

If you do need to replace something consider getting one that is used instead of new.

 

Buy environmentally friendly goods

The New Green Consumer Guide by Julia Hailes (ISBN 978-0-743-29530-7)

Clean House Clean Planet by Karen Logan (ISBN 978-0-671-53595-7)

Look for wood products with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo

Food

Food is wasted because consumers reject imperfect produce, buy more than they can use, and throw away edible food because they think it has passed its expiration date.

Globally 1/3 of the food produced for humans goes to waste.

Uneaten food in the US uses:

$90 billion (>$40 from households) per year

$750 million per year on disposal

31 million tons of landfill space

25% of all fresh water

4% of total oil consumption1

 

Protect watersheds, insects, plants, and animals by keeping chemicals out of the storm drain system. (Water in storm drains is untreated and ends up in natural sources of water).

Know that no landscape will ever be completely pest-free or weed-free.

Choose the least toxic sprays based on the target site and type of pest or weed. (Just because it is labeled ‘organic’ or ‘all natural’ does not necessarily mean is it the safer, less toxic option).

Consider the use of environmentally friendly chemical alternatives such as insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils and biological controls.

To control weeds, use mulch, drip irrigation and hand pulling when possible.

Become familiar with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) options to reduce the need for chemical applications through combining biological, cultural, and physical tools.

Apply chemicals only in the morning and on wind-free days to avoid spray drift.

Maintain a buffer zone around wells and surface water to avoid contamination.

Apply chemical fertilizer only as needed, when plants can best use it, and when the potential for it being carried away by runoff is low.

Spot treat instead of treating the entire area.

Apply pesticides and herbicides according to the label.

Avoid applications within 24 hours of a predicted storm or after an irrigation event where water is still leaching or running.

Apply post-emergence herbicide when weeds are at their most vulnerable growth stage.

Store pesticides in a covered area in their original containers; place inside another container if possible.

Avoid using copper-based tree sprays and cooper sulfate root killing products.2

 

Watersheds can also be protected by collecting rainwater (in rain barrels and cisterns) and designing landscapes (yards, parks, etc.) to collect water instead of letting it run off into storm drains by planting trees, installing green roofs, permeable pavement and rain gardens. Capturing stormwater will not only increase the amount of rain that gets absorbed by the ground adding to groundwater supplies it will also decrease flooding, erosion and surface water pollution - rainwater that is not captured runs over paved surfaces picking up contaminates such as trash, animal wastes and metals which end up in rivers, lakes, and other natural sources of water.3  

Vehicles

Avoid taking trips of 10 minutes or less and add to the life of your vehicle. When the engine does not reach normal operating temperatures water stays in the engine and exhaust system which can cause them to rust.4

 

Other guides

The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen  (ISBN 978-0-307-38135-4) Provides simple steps for saving resources and the effect those steps will have on the planet in the categories of home, entertainment, travel, communication/technology, school, work, shopping, health and beauty, sports, money and finance, building, and going carbon neutral.

365 Ways to Save the Earth by Philippe Bourseiller (ISBN 978-0-8109-8406-6) This guide provides suggestions for saving the earth in the categories of home, shopping, leisure, transportation, health/family, office, and gardening and lists many websites for further information under numerous topic headings.

The Earth Handbook Everyday Extraordinary by Christine McCartney and Samantha Booth (ISBN 978-1-60710-081-2) Provides information about environmental challenges faced by the world and how individuals and communities can do things in an environmentally friendly way under the topics of water, community, energy, food and shopping, at home, at work, make your own, biodiversity, and inspiration.

Gorgeously Green 8 Simple Steps to an Earth Friendly Life by Sophie Uliano (ISBN 978-0-06-157556-3) This guide includes information about cosmetics and toiletries, soulful shopping, household cleansers, recycling and waste disposal, gardening, composting, food, transportation, travel, and social events.

The Gorgeously Green Diet by Sophie Uliano (ISBN 978-0-525-95115-5) This guide gives information about food, how to eat in an eco-friendly way and numerous recipes.

 

Related reading

Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things by Ryan and Durning (ISBN 978-1-88609-304-1)

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes (ISBN 978-1-58333-434-8)

 

Visit the Sustainability page for information about living sustainably.

 

Links to other pages in this website:

Home     Climate Solutions    Climate Problems      Saving Energy      Saving Water      Community

 

Working together we can make a livable future.

 

Literature cited

Image of earth from http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=55418, photographs and other images are from https://pixabay.com.

1  Fela, J. 2012. Waste not, want not. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 61.

cleanwatershed.org

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/stormwater-ca-local-water-supplies-ib.pdf

4  99 Great Ways to Save by Bob Vila in the aarp.org/bulletin July–August 2014