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Easy Eco-Friendly Green Tips

Pitch in on Earth Day -- and every day -- with these no-brainer tips.

These small changes will add up to a big impact on the planet! Plus: Get inspired with these great blogs, written by some of our favorite eco-lifestyle pals.

GREEN UP
green means go

  • Buy produce in season: It's good for the planet, saves you money and is guaranteed to taste better.
  • Cook foods in ceramic or glass pans (not metal) and you can lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees.
  • To save water when making coffee or tea, measure out a mugful, then boil the amount you need.
  • If you can, set your fridge and stove away from each other to optimize energy efficiency.
  • In a kitchen remodel, consider recycled linoleum tiles for the floor.
  • Dining out? Search Eat Well Guide for restaurants that prepare locally raised food.
  • Unplug your electronics. Computers, TVs, microwaves and cell phone chargers drain power even when they're not being used.
  • Take shorter showers. The average showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute; that's 25 gallons down the drain in 10!
  • If you mow your lawn regularly, leave fresh grass clippings where they fall instead of bagging them; they'll feed the soil.

 
SMART TRAVEL

  • Vacation closer to home to save on gas (and money).
  • Flying? Plane fuel is wasted waiting for clearance, so compare airline on-time records at FlightStats.com and book with the best.
  • Avoid layovers when flying. The majority of fuel use and harmful emissions occurs during takeoff and landing.
  • Eco hotels are often chic and affordable, plus they tend to have good food and a cool crowd. Search The International Ecotourism Society or GreenHotelBookings.com
  • Rent a hybrid if you need wheels while traveling. Some hotels, like the Kimpton chain, give discounts if you're driving a fuel-efficient car.
  • Don't buy new travel-size products: Refill your old ones before packing for a trip.
  • When traveling, use old contact lens cases to hold a few days' worth of hair gel or face cream.
  • Hang the Do Not Disturb sign on your hotel door to limit how often housekeeping vacuums and washes linens.
  • Neatly hang used towels to alert hotel staff that you're willing to reuse them -- a surefire way to conserve water.
  • Instead of eating in fast-food chains on the road, picnic with food bought from farmers' markets.
  • Buy a carbon offset from TerraPass to reduce the impact caused by air travel and automobile use.

 
BEAUTY 101

  • Don't shell out a lot of green for green products. Plenty of bargain goods can be found in the drugstore.
  • Go green with daily beauty products -- like a deodorant or moisturizer -- you'll reap more benefits.
  • To cut back on trash, look for two-in-one beauty products.
  • Buy gallon- or economy-size shampoo and conditioner bottles rather than smaller ones to cut down on trash.
  • Use bars of soap instead of body washes in plastic bottles to save on manufacturing and packaging.
  • If you can, buy beauty products that come in packages made from recycled materials.
  • Buy organic cotton balls to use with toner and nail polish remover.
  • Skip the plastic body loofah in the shower -- it traps bacteria and is wasteful. Use a washcloth instead.
  • Wash makeup sponges instead of just tossing them out.
  • Toss empty makeup bottles and plastic compacts in with your kitchen recycling.

 
BLOGROLL

TreeHugger: The go-to green site for sustainable news and ideas in science, technology, politics and design. Thanks to founder Graham Hill for providing us with some of our handy eco tips.

ecofabulous: Every day, we find cool products that fit EcoFab's "sexy, sustainable style" mantra for beauty, fashion, home, kids' stuff and more.

Apartment Therapy Re-Nest: Even house-dwellers will enjoy Apartment Therapy's green blog, chock full of great shopping tips, house tours, and design tips.

Daily Danny: Get a daily dose of simple, crafty ideas for an eco-friendly home from green lifestyle expert Danny Seo.

Ideal Bite: Sign up for sassy, daily eco tips here. We love the little factoids on how small changes make a big impact, like "If 10,000 Biters [the pet-name for IdealBite readers] who bake once a week switch off their oven three minutes before the recommended cooking time is up, in a year we'll save enough energy to power a flat-screen TV for 49 years." Amazing, huh?

The Huffington Post: Green: While you can't get an RSS feed of just this page (what's up with that?), we still love HuffPo's mix of political and science news with celeb green gossip.

Fixing the Planet: Ed Begley Jr.'s blog and forum pages are a trove of green living information, from the easiest tips (how to stop junk mail) to more sophisticated ideas (hydro-electric power). Thanks to Ed for helping us out with our eco tip list!

Eco-Chick: Live fabulously with eco tips and recommendations for beauty, art, design, and fashion, just for the girls. After all, as they write on their site, "Mother Earth is a woman."

The Lazy Environmentalist: You can be lazy and be aware -- this blog proves it through "easy, stylish and super convenient ways to green your lifestyle." It makes us feel like we're saving the planet without even trying too hard!

 

 

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