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- Bob Vila’s 50 Shades of Green
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.
Vow to ride your bike to work or to run errands at least one day a month in 2013. You’ll save gas, get a little exercise, and reduce your carbon footprint. Pedal in style with Public’s seven-speed Sierra Club bike ($595), which features a steel frame, memory-foam seat, and a handy rear rack. Best of all, a portion of each sale benefits Sierra Club’s conservation programs; publicbikes.com.
In case you haven’t done so already, install inexpensive low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators throughout your house. No plumber needed!
Make your own cleaning products. White vinegar and water clean grimy windows for next to nothing, a paste made with inexpensive washing soda cuts grease, and lemon juice and baking soda work miracles on bathtubs and countertops, minus toxic odors.
Support your local beekeeper and the pollinating wonders they tend. Use more honey and purchase chemical-free beeswax candles, which burn cleaner and brighter than their paraffin cousins.
Hold the ketchup! When ordering takeout, remind the restaurant not to include napkins, plastic cutlery, condiment packets, and straws if you don’t need them.
Donate to local and national conservation groups working to safeguard the environment, keep our oceans clean, and save endangered habitats and animals. Some to consider: National Audubon Society, World Wildlife Fund, and the Nature Conservancy.
Download Seafood Watch, a free app for iPhones and Androids from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which recommends the most sustainable and ocean-friendly seafood to buy at your favorite restaurant or fishmongers.
Pay it forward. Take your kids camping at a national park, start a backyard vegetable garden together, or teach them to locate the Big Dipper in the night sky.
And like your mom always said, turn off the lights when you leave a room. And shut your computer down at night. Screen savers save your screen, not energy.
Want more tips? Sign up for the EPA’s new monthly consumer email newsletter Go Green!