Terri Trespicio, host of "The Body+Soul Hour" on Martha Stewart Living Radio, celebrates Earth Day with some simple tips for saving the world. As it so happens, adopting eco-friendly practices as a regular facet of your everyday routine is simpler than you might think. From eating greener to washing with cold water, a handful of tiny tweaks can benefit both you and the environment.
Use Greener Cleaners
As many as a third of Americans have an adverse reaction to common household chemicals. Try using safer, nontoxic solutions to clean your home. You'll save money, too. For example, furniture polish can cost about $4, but a quarter cup of vinegar and a few drops of olive oil cost just a few cents.
Eat Lower On the Food Chain
A plant-centered diet requires fewer resources and reduces your ecological footprint. It also can improve your long-term health. You don't have to become a vegetarian -- try gradually shifting the emphasis of your meals from meat to vegetables and grains. You'll be doing yourself, and the planet, a world of good.
Wash in Cold Water.
About 90 percent of the energy used for a load of laundry goes to heating the water. While you may want to wash bed linens in hot water to kill dust mites, opt for washing all other loads in cold -- and save up to $300 and 330 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Stop Idling in Your Car.
Did you know that 10 percent of all our fuel is wasted on idling? Next time you pick up your children from school or make a quick stop, turn off your engine. Better yet, establish a no-idle zone at your school, church, or temple, and get others to do the same. Find new uses for old things. Or, find a way for others to reuse them. Many retailers provide in-store drop-off bins for recycling cell phones. Consider donating household items such as clothing, toys, and computers to nonprofits, shelters, and rescue missions.
If you're convinced that there is more you can do to reform your habits in pursuit of an eco-friendly lifestyle, read on for 20 more tips and tricks.
Turn Off the Lights
Opting for an earlier "lights out" time can save you — and the environment. For a quicker fix, simply pick which lights you're actually using and refrain from keeping all others lit.
Stop Idling in Your Car
Keep CO2 emissions at a minumum by refraining from idling.
Bottling up your own H20 can cut down significantly on waste.
Buy Shade-Grown Coffee
Getting your daily jolt shouldn't come at the cost of the environment. Select shade-grown coffee to protect the forest.
Spread the Word
Simply vocalizing your concern at environment issues can make a difference. Encourage others to be mindful of their impact on the environment and you might find yourself creating a more eco-friendly world.
Seal Up Your House
Don't let leaks leach your finances. Indulge in a bit of simple home renovation to save yourself time and money in the long run.
Buy Recycled TP
In lieu of your favorite plush paper, scoop up recycled rolls to benefit the planet.
Use Clean Energy
Solar power is the future of clean energy, and adopting the practice is essential to conservation.
Use Greener Cleaners
Scrubbing your floors with toxic products is just as detrimental to the environment as it is to your body. For the sake of both parties, consider switching to a healthier option.
Commuting to and from work is an instant opportunity to cut back on carbon emissions.
Eat More Veggies
Beefing up on vegetables is a choice that will whittle your waist and assist the world's green initiatives.
Pass on the Paper Towels
Cloth towels that can be tossed in the wash instead of the recycling bin are a gift to the environment and your countertops.
Find New Uses for Old Things
Don't toss your old items — upcycle them.
Vote for Change
Your vote counts in more ways than one, and deciding to put your faith in an environmentally aware candidate can have a positive impact on the environment.
Get on the List
Assisting your state in achieving its energy-saving goals may be as simple as inscribing your name on a list committing to a mass environmental effort.
Recycling also applies to your food and gardening scraps, which need not be tossed when they can enrich your immediate environment.
If you possess even a small plot of outdoor space, you can grow your own crops that happen to nourish your body and the environment.
Spend More Time Outdoors
Al fresco experiences are tranquillity-inducing and allow you to enjoy the fruits of your environmentalist labors.
Take the Bus (or Train)
Skip your car commute in favor of mass transit to conserve gas.
Think Big Picture
Even the smallest acts of environmentalist can yield significant change over the long term.
Keep the Martha Stewart Going Green Checklist handy to fully embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle.
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