Bob Vila’s 50 Shades of Green

While our 50 Shades may not be as sexy as the blockbuster novel, these green tips for the home promise gratifying results and earth-friendly fulfillment. 


Green Tips for the Home - Reusable Shopping Bags

Carry a reusable tote on your errands—and do your part to reduce the estimated 100 billion plastic grocery bags Americans throw away each year!


Methow Valleys Farmers Market Freshproduce
Photo: Methow Valley Farmers Market

Buy local and regionally grown fruits and vegetables. This simple act bolsters family farms, cuts down on the fungicides required to ship foods around the world, and reduces the amount of fossil fuels needed to transport out-of-season produce.


Green Tips for the Home - Flushing Toilet

At four to six gallons of water per flush, the toilet reigns as the largest single water user in a home. If possible, invest in a model that bears the EPA’s Water Sense label or a new high-efficiency toilet, such as American Standard’s Cadet 3 Right Height, which uses just 1.28 gallons of water per flush. Bonus: many municipal water suppliers offer consumers substantial rebates on models that conserve H20.


Green Tips for the Home - Water Bottle

If replacing your old commode isn’t an option, place a plastic bottle filled with water in your toilet tank, thereby taking up space and reducing the amount of water needed to fill the receptacle between flushes.



Invest in organic cotton dinner napkins—and vow to use them regularly instead of single-use paper ones.


Dish Cloth

Then consider ditching paper towels for more eco-friendly dishcloths, too.


Green Tips for the Home - Fertilizer

Check the weather before you fertilize your lawn. A surprise rainstorm could wash the chemicals into your local waterway.


Green Tips for the Home - Washing Produce

Clean produce in a big bowl of water, not under the faucet, and save gallons of fresh water from slipping down the drain.


Jack Johnson Reduce Reuse Recycle 3 R Song You Tube

Let indie rocker Jack Johnson and the students from Sunset Beach Elementary School in Hawaii teach your kids the 3 R Song (reduce, reuse, recycle).


Junk Mail

The average adult in America receives roughly 41 pounds of junk mail a year. Clear out your mailbox by cancelling unsolicited mail and catalogs at (There’s a $1 processing fee.)

Bob Vila’s “50 Shades of Green” continues here.