100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet

It’s time to act now to stop burning fossil fuels, wasting plastic and polluting the planet. Although there are a lot of policies that need to come from our local, state, federal, and global leaders, there are also many many things YOU can do to make a difference. This list offers a few answers

As you can see, this is preliminary, and in no particular order– hodge-podge of suggestions from Toiyabe Chapter leaders. It will keep growing as we continue our research and add links to solutions.

And if you have any great suggestions, please send them to us. If you can provide links to more information, or great products, please include them as well.

Together we can make a better world.

  1. Shop at thrift stores: great prices, your purchase usually supports a good organization: this is “Reuse” part of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”
  2. Drive the speed limit.
  3. Consider buying or renting a smaller house/apartment. This will save on energy used for space heating/cooling
  4. Walk your kids to school.
  5. Carpool whenever you can.
  6. Live close to where you work.
  7. Practice “trip-chaining.” Save up your errands and when you must use your car, use it to go to as many destinations as possible in one trip, rather than taking a lot of out-and-back trips.
  8. Before you buy or rent a home or apartment, use an app like Walk Score to determine the walkability of your potential neighborhood.
  9. Check the Energy Star rating of any appliances you buy and go for highest rating you can afford.
  10. Consider sharing tools and appliances with friends, neighbors and family rather than buying your own.
  11. Use low-VOC paints
  12. Dispose properly of household hazardous waste – your waste and/or recycling provider should have a program for this.
  13. NEVER flush unused medications down the toilet. Contact your public health department for places to donate the materials or for information on how to properly discard them.
  14. Plant trees. Every tree is a mini-carbon sink. In our climate the shade cast from trees lowers cooling needs.
  15. In summer, set your thermostat higher; close shades and curtains on the sunny side of your home; never let sun shine directly into your house; never leave doors and windows open when it’s hotter outside than in; after it cools in the evening, or first thing in the morning before it gets hot, open doors and windows.
  16. In winter, open blinds and curtains on the sunny side of your house to let sun shine in; turn your thermostat down so far that the heater NEVER kicks on at night, and sleep under a warm quilt.
  17. Consider ditching your car completely (or as often as possible) and using public transportation, biking, walking, and car sharing.
  18. Put solar panels up on your roof.
  19. Buy an electric vehicle.
  20. If you must fly, purchase the carbon offsets.
  21. Buy battery-operated tools for shop and garden rather than gas-powered ones.
  22. Buy wash and wear clothes that don’t require dry cleaning and wear clothes more than once before washing them.
  23. Divest from fossil fuels. Select only socially responsible mutual funds and stocks. Move to another investment firm if the one you use doesn’t have that option.
  24. Sign up for the renewables-only option from your power utility if you don’t have solar panels on your roof.
  25. Wash out plastic bags that bread and food comes in and plastic baggies and reuse them. I haven’t bought plastic bags or plastic wrap in years.
  26. Pick up trash when you see it on the ground even if it isn’t yours.
  27. Organize a community project to fundraise and put solar panels on your local churches, government buildings, community centers, recreation centers, etc.
  28. Help emergency services in your area have solar, off-grid capabilities to continue functioning when the power goes off, e.g. hospital, waste treatment, groundwater pumps, water treatment plants, electricity at the disaster evacuation site, etc.
  29. Fire-harden your home. Rebuilding a house is involves enormous carbon emissions.
  30. Upgrade your home to current building standards or better to achieve maximum energy efficiency.
  31. Trade out filament light bulbs for new LED bulbs. You will recoup the expense in just months and probably never need to change the LEDs.
  32. Turn out the lights not being used, including outside lights.
  33. Ask your town/city council to provide financial incentives to upgrade homes to make them more wildfire resilient, more energy efficient, and to add rooftop solar, i.e. low permit fees, rebates, zero interest loans, etc.
  34. Ask your town/city council to have a Climate Action Plan and to determine its baseline energy usage and GHG Emissions.
  35. Organize a community project to install level 2 EV chargers in public places in your community.
  36. Organize a solar walk in your community or a home tour of households that have “greened up”.
  37. Learn, get educated on issues and solutions so you can help make America Green Again.
  38. Participate in stewardship projects to remove trash, pull invasive plants, plant trees, build hiking trails, etc.
  39. If you are wealthy, put solar panels on public buildings, give energy efficient stoves to third world countries, etc.
  40. Campaign and vote for green candidates.
  41. Buy local food, thus saving transportation emissions. When confronted with a choice between organic food from farther away, or conventional food that’s local, choose local; it’s the least-toxic option.
  42. Eat low on the food chain. A vegetarian or vegan diet is a low-carbon diet. If not ready to go fully vegetarian or vegan, consider one or more meat-free days a week, like #MeatlessMondays
  43. Buy foods in bulk and avoid the packaging.
  44. Compost food scraps for using in your yard, or to feed your neighbor’s chickens.
  45. Start a vegetable garden. The carbon emission of garden to kitchen is zero compared to food transported to and from grocery stores.
  46. Bring reusable bags to the grocery and other stores — treat them well as it also takes energy and water to manufacture.
  47. Substitute simple cleaning formulas whenever they get comparable results — soap, water, bleach, vinegar.
  48. Collect memories not things. they can stop collecting things from the natural world and bringing it home…rocks, pine cones, shells, fossils, minerals, old glass bottles, old stuff laying around the desert…it is much more interesting when these things are in their natural environment and in context. People can also stop collecting store bought items for their homes…I just stayed at a home where they collected baseball caps, clowns, all things fitting into a seaside theme, dolls, old board games, and more. Everything has to be manufactured and that usually takes natural resources.
  49. Encourage political candidates who embrace carbon-emission reductions through personal, corporate, and government policy.
  50. Divest your savings from fossil fuels. Ask your financial managers about sustainable investing, or socially responsible investing. Morningstar provides information. I (Jane) divested my inheritance in 2010; haven’t lost money yet.
  51. Buy an electric car.
  52. Walk. It’s healthy
  53. Insulate your home. Get a free efficiency inspection from NV Energy. Start your insulation in the attic and the roof. Install double or triple-paned, argon-filled windows. Do it super-duper: insulate your walls.
  54. Install geothermal heat sink for home heating/air conditioning.
  55. Stop using Roundup and other chemical weed killers. They have been demonstrated to cause cancer; glyphosate, one of Rounup’s ingredients, kills bees and other pollinators.
  56. Instead, use this organic weed-killer: 1 gallon vinegar, 2 cups epsom salt, ½ cup Dawn dishsoap.
  57. Start carrying your own…Utensils, or our Executive Committee’s favorite: the SporkCup, Bowl/plate, Bags for shopping
  58. Replace all incandescent and CFL bulbs with LEDs
  59. Get a programmable thermostat. then program it to be off when you’re not home, or when you’re asleep.
  60. Plant native plants–they use less water, require fewer pesticides, and they support healthy native wildlife and pollinators.
  61. Dispose of used batteries and fluorescent light bulbs properly.
  62. Dispose of unused prescription drugs properly – Don’t flush them down the toilet or toss them out with food waste.
  63. Compost
  64. Ride a bicycle instead of driving whenever possible.
  65. Buy organic, locally-grown vegetables whenever possible.
  66. Wash clothes using cold or warm (not hot) water and wash with full loads.
  67. Run dishwasher only when full, or wash by hand without letting faucet run continuously.
  68. Recycle and try to avoid items with plastic packaging.
  69. Install low-flow shower heads and low-volume toilets or 2-flush type toilets.
  70. Use less saran wrap, aluminum foil in the kitchen
  71. Use tree-free toilet paper and paper towels (hemp and bamboo alternatives exist).
  72. Use reclaimed building materials whenever possible for construction projects.
  73. Double-side photocopies; use GOOS (Good On One Side) for all print jobs. And do you really need to print that document?
  74. Buy recycled paper products.
  75. Take a stewardship vacation.
  76. Join and volunteer for a grassroots environmental organization – like Sierra Club!
  77. Include a bequest to a conservation non-profit in your estate planning.
  78. Your ideas here….

We cannot continue to do the same things and expect different results. Let’s work together to change the ways we all do the things in our lives.



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