In honor of Earth Day, I put together a list of easy eco-changes you can make today and every day!

  1. Buy compostable trash bags.  Decomposing items in regular plastic trash bags can create greenhouse gases, plus, they are around forever.  Literally.
  2. Attach all your electronics to power strips.  Even when TVs and other appliances are turned off, they still use energy.  By attaching them to power strips and switching the strips off when not in use, you can completely stop the energy usage.
  3. Go the speed limit.  Here’s an interesting fact: most speed limits were determined by oil shortages – they were created to maximize fuel efficiency.  Who knew?
  4. Put reusable bags in your trunk.  When you are out shopping, you will never wish for the bags sitting by the front door.
  5. Grow your own vegetables.  For very little investment you can feed your family fresh produce for the summer season, then you can can/preserve the leftovers and eat through the winter.
  6. Compost.  Did you know – you can compost milk cartons, dryer lint, vacuum cleaner sweepings – even your own hair!
  7. Take the trash bag challenge – try to throw away one less garbage bag per week.  There are tons of places that recycle odd things: Whole Foods takes wine corks and batteries, Staples will pay you for ink cartridges, Aveda recycles bottle tops.  Check for more places to recycle weird stuff.
  8. Eat one vegetarian meal per week.  Producing meat takes an enormous amount of energy – even one meal a week can make a difference.
  9. Buy from farmer’s markets.  The produce is often cheaper and fresher.  Plus, you are helping to support the local economy.
  10. Fix drips on your faucets.  We all have one – that leaky faucet that we are putting off fixing.  Put off no longer!  To test and see if your toilet is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in your tank and wait fifteen minutes.  If your toilet water turns colors, time to get new guts!
  11. Update your cleaning kit.  Let’s face it, cleaning products can be noxious.  And they head straight into our water supply.  Try the following powerhouses for a clean you can be proud of: vinegar, salt, lemons, baking soda and tea tree oil.
  12. Give away partially used toiletries.  No need to throw away that bottle of lotion – donate it to a homeless shelter.  Most shelters will take used items and give them to people who could use a little bit of pampering – one less item for the trash!
  13. Switch to organic products where you can – vote with your dollars – quality and health matters!
  14. Involve your kids.  Children are little sponges, and they love to help!  Teaching your kids to be responsible citizens benefits everyone.
  15. Hang your clothes out to dry.  Check for local ordinances (in Denver it is illegal to have a permanent clothesline), then put those clothes out on the line!  Dryers are a major energy vacuum – you can cut down your energy bill and have fresh smelling clothes while you help the planet!
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