Friday, July 31, 2009

10 Tips to Be a Better Eco-Citizen

Simple ways to help our sacred, struggling planet thrive

With more news emerging every day about the pace of climate change and the future of our planet, it can be easy to lose hope. But by taking a few small, personal actions, you can help beat the heat.

By, the country's leading source for environmental news and commentary.

Sharing Is Caring

Sharing Is Caring

Sharing your home with others cuts back on waste, as does living in a multi-unit dwelling, choosing a house sized to your needs, and of course, choosing an energy-efficient home. Keeping proximity to work, school, the grocery store, and a good public transit line in mind is also important.

Home Is Where the Heat Is

Home Is Where the Heat Is ...but you might be wasting it. You can perform your own energy audit to find places where you might inadvertently be letting energy slip through the cracks--literally. Caulking your windows, buying energy-efficient appliances, installing low-flow toilets, and buying green energy are good ways to start.

Let There Be Lighting

Let There Be Lighting Swap your old light bulbs for compact fluorescents. They last 10 times longer, putting fewer of them in landfills; use two-thirds less energy, meaning less carbon emitted into the atmosphere; and they emit less heat than standard bulbs, so they're safer and cooler. Yes, they cost a little more up front, but in the long run, they save you money and guilt--and many of them look funky!

Car-ry Me Home

Car-ry Me Home Carpool, bus, bike, or walk more often. If you have to drive, choose a fuel-efficient vehicle, and maintain your car to get the best mileage you can. You can also share a car.

Re, Re, Repeat After Me

Re, Re, Repeat After Me Reduce, reuse, and recycle. But emphasize the first two--the third just creates more "stuff" in the end.

It's in the Bag

It's in the Bag Use reusable bags for shopping, carrying your stuff around, and giving gifts. The answer to the timeless paper or plastic question is: neither!

A Market Improvement

A Market Improvement Eat local and/or organic whenever you can--local products don't have to be shipped all over the world, and organics are better for the land. Farmers' markets, local grocers, and community supported agriculture programs (CSA's) are convenient ways to shop smarter.


Vegetate Meat production consumes more resources--land, water, and oil--than production of vegetation for food, so eat less meat. Even one meat-free day a week helps.

All the Write Moves

All the Write Moves Write to your representatives. Whether you want to encourage them to support alternative energy research, raise fuel efficiency standards, cut emissions, reduce greenhouse gases, or protect your local park, they need to hear from their constituents about what really matters. Find your representatives' info here.

Join the Club

Join the Club Join, support, or otherwise help an organization working on environmental issues. There are lots of folks doing good work to stop climate change. The bigger the crowd, the better.

By, the country's leading source for environmental news and commentary.