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!
Build a Positive Connection with the Earth
- Buy local products
- Plant a tree or flowers in your neighborhood
- Don’t throw trash in public places
- Calculate your carbon footprint
Week of Year: 41
Ways to Eat Green at Work
- Stock up on health snacks like fruit and nuts
- Advocate for a fridge instead of a vending machine to save energy
- Have a CSA deliver a weekly batch to your office and prepare some snacks for your coworkers
- Use a restaurant from your neighborhood rather than a caterer who has to travel some distance for office lunches or events.
Source: Eating Well
Week of Year: 42
Reduce Your Exposure to Lead
Although the US no longer adds lead to gasoline, many homes are still at risk for lead exposure. If your home was built before 1978, it may contain lead-based paint or water pipes with lead solder. In addition to contacting a qualified contractor to test for lead, here are some things everyone can do:
- Don’t use glazed pottery to cook, serve, or store food (unless you know its lead-free)
- Keep cosmetics out of children’s mouth
- Replace old vinyl mini blinds
- Don’t store liquid in lead crystal containers
Week of Year: 43
Happy Eco-Friendly Halloween!
There are lots of things to make your Halloween a little more earth friendly. Here are our favorites!
- Have a costume swap with friends, or mix and match odd items from past Halloweens and thrown on a ‘recycled’ sign.
- Take an extra bag on your Trick-or-Treat walk, to pick up candy wrappers and other trash.
- Don’t waste your pumpkin seeds: clean, salt, and roast them for a yummy treat.
- Looks for things to hand out with minimal packaging and/or purchase orangic, free trade candy.
Source: Sustainable Baby Steps
Week of Year: 44
Save Water in Your Kitchen
- Use one glass (or a water bottle) for your drinking water each day to cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
- Select the right size pan and cook food in as little water as possible. This also helps it retain more nutrients.
- Collect water from rinsing fruits or from leftover ice cubes and use them to water your house plants.
- Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time.
Source: Water Use It Wisely
Week of Year: 45
Green Ways to Observe Veterans Day
- Make and wear a red poppy, the symbol of Veterans Day
- Volunteer your time to help veterans
- Properly recycle a flag at a recycler such as American Flag Recycling
- Send an eco-friendly care package to a friend or relative in the service, or a solider with no family
Week of Year: 46
Prevent and Divert Wasted Food
In 2013, more than 37 million tons of food waste was generated in the US (approximately 21% of municipal waste). During Food Recovery Week, take steps to prevent and divert wasted food.
- Reduce the volume of extra food generated
- Divert food scraps to your pets or farm animals
Week of Year: 47
Give Thanks to Mother Earth
Planning a relaxing Thanksgiving with family and friends? Thank Mother Earth this week by creating an environmentally friendly day. Here are some tips for a green Thanksgiving.
- Shop your pantry before you take a trip to the store. What you can make with what you already have on hand?
- Create a leftover plan ahead of time so your goodies don’t go to waste
- Decrease energy usage by turning off your TV and talking a walk or playing some board games
- Create your own decorations (dried leaf place cards, painted gourds, etc)
Week of Year: 48
Giving Tuesday = Giving to Mother Earth
Find a way to give back this week, either to a local environmentally friendly initiative or national charity. Here are some ideas for those in the Indianapolis!
- Keep Indianapolis Beautiful
- Hoosier Environmental Council
- Indiana Serra Club
- Eco-organizations from Indiana Living Green
- 21 Environmental Charities You Should Know About
Week of Year: 49
Learn about Environment Issues from the EPA
On December 2, 1970 the EPA was established to consolidate a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection. Since its inception, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.
The EPA website contains a myriad of environmental topics, tips, and resources for family, educators, and students. Take some time to browse, and put your plan into action!
Week of Year: 50