Quick Tips

Top 10 Ways to Live Green

1. Plant a tree!
2. Turn down the thermostat
3. Turn off lights when leaving a room
4. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth
5. Unplug appliances and electronics that are not frequently used
6. Wash laundry in cold water
7. When it’s time to replace a light bulb, switch to LED bulbs
8. Drive less, walk/bike more
9. Bring your own bags with you to the store
10. Recycle

Additional Living Green Tips


  • Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the faucet and for energy savings.
  • Apply weather stripping to doors and windows. Creating a tight seal will keep heat and air conditioning inside.
  • Upgrade your thermostat. Take control of the temperature with a programmable thermostat.
  • Install solar panels. Saves energy and reduces dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Use a clothesline. Turn off the dryer, your clothes will smell fresh and look beautiful.
  • Wash laundry in cold water. Hot water requires more energy.
  • Use Energy Star products. Choose better efficiency when upgrading appliances.
  • Use LED Light Bulbs. Better light using less energy.
  • Turn off the lights. Make a habit of turning off the light every time you leave a room.
  • Put outside lights on a timer. More reliable and will save energy.
  • Turn off your screen saver. Save energy by turning off your monitor’s power button when you step away from the computer.
  • Replace filters. Clean and replace air filters regularly.
  • Add insulation to your house. To help prevent heat loss.
  • Put on a sweater. Save money and energy by adding layers rather than turning up the heat.
  • Turn off the A/C. Save energy by opening a window or turning on a fan.
  • Clean your lint filter. Reduce fire hazard, increase dryer efficiency, and save money.
  • Unplug. 40% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they’re turned off.
  • Exercise outside. Gyms overload on A/C, and most training machines use electricity too.
  • Check your tire pressure. Increase your gas mileage by keeping your tires properly inflated.
  • Share a ride. Take public transportation or carpool when possible.
  • Cruise Control. Drive at a more consistent speed and save fuel.
  • Slow down. Reducing your speed saves gas.
  • Bike or walk. Save gas, save money & save the environment.

Food & Agriculture

  • Buy local. It’s fresher: Produce shipped from outside the country travels up to two weeks before it arrives in grocery stores.
  • Support Local Farms. There are lots of farm stores and farm stands in Howard County.
  • Try the Roving Radish. Meal kits that support Howard County farms.
  • Choose restaurants that buy local food.


  • Plant native plants. Natives require less maintenance and support wildlife.
    More plants, less lawn. Convert parts of your lawn to trees, shrubs and perennial plants.
  • Visit a nature center. Robinson Nature Center and Howard County Conservancy are great choices.
  • Spend some time in a forest. More and more studies show health benefits of being in nature.
  • Use natural fertilizers. These release nutrients slowly and are better for the environment. Consider making your own with a compost bin.
  • Adjust your lawn mower. Longer grass retains water better so raise your lawn mower to a higher setting.
  • Use a push mower. No pollution PLUS a free workout!
  • Walk the golf course. Get extra exercise and reduce the carbon footprint of your hobby. If you ride, stay on the path, share a cart and encourage your course to use electric carts.
  • Choose hand powered or electric tools. Better for you and the environment than gas-powered.

Recycling & Waste

  • Reuse plastic zipper bags. Just wash them out in your dish water and hang to dry before their second, third, or fiftieth use.
  • Reduce your lunch footprint. Pack your lunch or leftovers in a reusable container, not a disposable bag.
  • Use both sides of the paper. At the office re-purpose old documents and scrap paper.
  • Change to reusable coffee filters. Change from paper to reusable filters.
  • Bring your own coffee cup. If you prefer to buy your coffee out, bring your own cup.
  • Brown bag your lunch. Carry in a reusable sack with washable utensils.
  • Donate or recycle equipment. Computers, phones and office equipment can all be recycled.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • Compost your garbage. Keep biodegradable food waste out of landfills..
  • Use cloth napkins. It’s actually cheaper to throw cloth napkins in the wash than to buy paper ones.
  • Use reusable bags. Over 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away every year.
  • Drink filtered tap water with a reusable water bottle. By switching to tap water, each person can help save the planet from up to 3,200 plastic water bottles a year.
  • Pay bills online. It’s usually free, and you can sign up for email reminders so you won’t be late.
  • Cut the catalogs. All those catalogs require more than 53 million trees and 56 billion gallons of wastewater to produce. Contact the company to be taken off the list.
  • Stop paper statements. Many banks and other companies now offer electronic statements.
  • Give up paper towels. Washing towels uses less energy.


  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.
  • Soak don’t rinse. Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  • Fill it up before turning it on. Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes.
  • Don’t let it drip! Save water by fixing leaky pipes.
  • Turn off water while brushing. Turning off the water between rinses can save at least two gallons in one brushing session.
  • Take shorter showers. Help to save money & conserve water.
  • Go low-flow. Change your shower head, toilet, and faucets to low-flow and still maintain water pressure.
  • Recirculate. Make sure your swimming pools, fountains, and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.
  • Collect water from your roof in a ran barrel or cistern to water your garden.
  • Water responsibly. Water your lawn only in the AM or PM using a soaker hose connected to your rain barrel, not during the day when it evaporates.

More for Your Home

  • Switch to soy candles. The oil byproducts in most candles can’t hold a flame to options like soy, since they burn longer and take less of a toll on the planet.
  • Use green cleaning products. Less toxic and biodegradable.
  • Use matches instead of lighters. Cardboard matches are more eco-friendly.
  • Add indoor plants to your home. Cleans the air of pollutants.
  • Properly ventilate your home. Increase the amount of fresh air by opening windows and doors or running fans that exhaust to the outdoors.
  • Change heating and air conditioner filters regularly. Follow manufacturer recommendations to decrease dust and allergens.
  • Adjust humidity. The EPA recommends a humidity level of between 30–50%. Too much humidity could potentially lead to mold.