Take steps to green your home, office, and environment throughout the year. Many of these ideas correspond to environmental celebrations going on around their respective week of the year, so each week – try something new!
Create a Backyard Sanctuary
Add a birdbath, garden pond, or other source of water. A safe place to bathe and drink will act as a magnet to many animals.
Source: Living with Wildlife
Week of Year: 11
Strategize Your Tree Planting
Plant a deciduous (leafy) tree that loses its leaves in fall on the south side of your home. Its shade will cool your house in the summer. After the tree’s leaves fall, sunlight will help warm your house in winter.
Source: National Geographic
Week of Year: 12
Make It a Full Load!
Make it a full load! Running your washing machine and dishwasher only when full reduces water usage and energy. Don’t pre-wash dishes and you’ll save as much as 20 gallons of water per load. If you are purchasing new appliances, look for energy efficient models which use only about 4 gallons per wash.
Week of Year: 13
Celebrate Earth Hour
Earth Hour was started in 2007 as a “lights-off” event to unite people to protect the planet. Turn yours lights off on Saturday for the hour.
Lighting Tip: Replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating. You could save $75 each year!
Week of Year: 14
Consider Worm Composting for Small Spaces
Getting that garden ready? Set up a home for some small, red tiger worms, which you can buy. Be sure to use a wooden box with holes and a lid for a worm compost bin. Add a layer of moist, shredded newspaper and soil for their bedding, and then feed them once a week with vegetable peelings wrapped in newspaper or paper towels. Every two or three months, the rich, fine compost will be ready to use.
Week of Year: 15
Download a Map for Your Next Outdoor Adventure
Reading maps is fun and can tell you a lot about your local environment. The U.S. Geological Survey has been producing detailed topographic maps for more than 125 years. Many are free to download through theUSGS Map Store.
Source: Download Maps
Week of Year: 16
Recognize the Earth is a Gift
Take a moment to reflect on all the earth gives us
- Watch a sunset; listen to birds; feel the wind on your face
- Take a walk outdoors
- Be grateful for all the things in your life, from the water you drink to the medicines at your disposal
Source: The Earth Cube
Week of Year: 17
Combine Shopping Trips
When combining errands and shopping trips, you’ll save money, reduce air pollution and traffic congestion, and lower greenhouse gases on the road. If you commute to work, leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1,600 pounds per year.
Week of Year: 18
Mulch Your Tree after You Plant
Mulch is very important to your tree’s health by adding a buffer from the heat and cold and helping to keep the roots moist.
Add mulch to the base of your tree (keep from touching the trunk) by removing any grass within a 3 to 10 foot area depending on the size of your tree. Pour natural mulch such as wood chips or bark pieces 2 to 4 inches deep within the circle.
Source: Arbor Day
Week of Year: 19
Don’t Top Off Your Gas Tank
- Topping off the gas tank can result in your paying for gasoline that is fed back into the station’s tanks because your gas tank is full.
- Gasoline vapors are harmful to breathe
- You need extra room in your gas tank to allow the gasoline to expand.
- Topping off your gas tank may foul the station’s vapor recovery system.
Week of Year: 20