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50 Ways to Be More Sustainable

As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of #EarthWeek, our employees came up with 50 ways to be more sustainable.

  • Recycle.
  • Use natural light when able.
  • Turn off the lights in a room you are not in.
  • Switch all of your light bulbs to LED.
  • Install dimmer switches on your lights (even LEDs) and set them to 80 to 90%, this small change makes a huge difference in both reducing draw and extending lamp life, your eyes might not even notice the difference.
  • Open window for air vs turning on the AC.
  • Add solar panels to your home if you are able.
  • Turn down thermostat at night/when out of the house.
  • Turn your thermostat down while you ARE home, even a couple of degrees makes a difference - plus you can wear your new sweater.
  • Unplug electronics when not in use.
  • Set a timer for shorter showers or listen to music and try to get in and out within one song.
  • Switch to a reusable shower cap versus using plastic, disposable shower caps.
  • Switch to cloth toilet tissue or diapers (if applicable).
  • Use reusable water bottles or cups.
  • Use reusable glass food containers for leftovers or food storage.
  • Use reusable products for cleaning - example: microfiber towels that can be washed versus paper towels.
  • Use a handkerchief opposed to tissues.
  • Opt for using a washcloth versus buying makeup wipes.
  • Use bar soaps rather than liquids.
  • Line-dry laundry.
  • Take advantage of reusable dryer sheets.
  • Wash your dishes by hand or if you are using a dishwasher opt to skip the dry cycle.
  • Compost your kitchen scraps. If you are too busy to take it outside, buy a small worm farm meant for indoors. They're essentially pets you don't have to walk so kids and adults find it fascinating.
  • Alternatively, use your vegetable scraps to make broth.
  • (For Keurig owners) Purchase reusable Keurig cups. They are very affordable and easy to clean. I haven't bought individual K-cups in 4 years.
  • Use native plants and pollinators.
  • Reusable produce and grocery bags.
  • Carpooling/Mass Transit.
  • Do not over-buy.
  • If you are driving a car, plan efficient routes.
  • If you are in the market for a car, consider buying an electric car.
  • If you are physically able, opt for walking/biking if and when possible.
  • For all the runners out there - plogging
  • Donate old clothes.
  • Buy second-hand/vintage clothing, refurbish furniture, etc.
  • Grow a garden. If you produce food then that's less pressure on naturalized areas to become farms.
  • Plant trees, especially trees that provide fruit you like to eat. Trees sequester carbon, provide habitat for animals, food sometimes, visual interest, block wind, provide shade. The list goes on. If trees are too big then plant anything. Similar benefits, smaller scale.
  • Buy bulk foods without packaging when possible. Oatmeal, dried beans, popcorn, rice, etc looks better in a big mason jar sitting on the counter instead of buried in a pantry.
  • Eat less meat. You don't have to go vegan, but cutting back on the portion size and increasing vegetarian meals reduces demand of commercially raised animals which use absurd amounts of grain and water.
  • Eat and shop local especially places that support sustainable practices.
  • Encourage restaurants to use paper or foil instead of plastic and Styrofoam for to-go orders.
  • Bring your own reusable shopping bags for getting groceries.
  • Bring your own reusable thermos for coffee/drink orders. If you don't have one try to skip the cup accessories (straws, lids, sleeves). The less you use the less you waste.
  • Bring your own reusable growler to buy beer.
  • With COVID-19, a lot of people are taking advantage of curb side pick up. Turn your car off as you wait for your food/groceries to be delivered to you.
  • Evaluate your purchases. Is it a need or a want? The more we consume the more we waste. If it is something you need, consider its life cycle costs (extracting materials/resources to product, fabrication, delivery, consumption, disposal).
  • Discuss sustainable goals EARLY in the project process.
  • Integrate urban wood into your projects which reduces the volume of waste disposal and wood in landfills.
  • Incorporate natural and renewable materials like stone and brick in your home.
  • Share this list with your friends and family!