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Host a clothing or tool swap. Or join a scheduled event near you. Swap-O-Rama-Rama, a clothing exchange started in Brooklyn in 2005, has now spread to more than 100 cities nationwide.
Collect rainwater to use for watering houseplants, filling birdbaths, and tending your garden.
Tidy patios and walkways with a broom, not a hose.
Install a ceiling fan. The whirling wonders can reduce heating bills by 10 percent and air conditioning costs by as much as 40 percent.
If a new refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine is in your future, look for appliances that bear the Energy Star label, an EPA designation awarded to energy-efficient models.
Use baking soda on carpets to eliminate pesky pet odors. Simply sprinkle it on, let sit overnight, then vacuum.
Improve gas mileage by as much as 5 percent just by inflating your car tires to proper pressure and using the grade of motor oil the manufacturer recommends.
Close to 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes comes from heating the water. Just switching from hot to warm water can cut energy use in half—and save you more than $60 a year.
Bob Vila’s “50 Shades of Green” continues here.