1. Buy a water bottle and fill it from your tap. A stainless steel Kleen Kanteen water bottle starts at $15.00–the same price as 15 units of bottled water you might buy at the ball diamond or gas station, golf course or county fair. We have the right and the obligation to drink tap water because it’s healthier and less expensive than water for sale in petroleum-based packaging. Bring Your Own Bottle of water and do right by the planet!
2. Install a clothesline. For less than $10 you can buy a clothesline and pins and dry your laundry for free every load. Clothes dryers are among the least energy-efficient appliances and line drying is a great way to go green. Bonus: you’ll save on your electric bill and on fabric softeners and dryer sheets!
3. Invest in a solar battery charger. In the summer whether you’re camping or listening to your radio, you can power up your flashlights or ballgame without feeling guilty about using batteries. Solar powered electronics have really come down in price and a 4-battery charger for D/C/AA/AAA batteries costs as little as $25.
4. Skip the lawn chemicals. Use full-strength white vinegar to kill weeds (.70 a liter vs. $10.00 a liter of Round-Up) and let your lawn grow a little higher to keep the weeds at bay. Enrich your soil with worm castings or compost instead of poisonous blue granules. Your pets, soil’s helpful microorganisms, water quality and wallet will all thank you.
5. Skip the yard spray. Targeted pest control is better for the environment–and using personal insect repellent will keep the bugs off your body without creating population imbalances that result from using yard sprays. Plus, consider the economic benefit: a can of Raid on your yard every weekend costs much more than a can of OFF!
6. Leave your car parked and walk or bike your way around. Enviro Girl lives in the country, but even she can adhere to this rule. When she drives to town, she parks in a central location and walks from place to place instead of driving between errands. It’s good exercise and better on the environment.
7. Eat the local bounty. It’s the season of farm markets and gardens. Eating locally produced food is good for your body, the environment, the local economy and your wallet. You can stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farm and spend much less than you will at the grocery store for the same food.