Green Tips

The first step is to make conscious decisions to consume less.  

Less fuel, less energy and less meat consumption.

That’s it.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.

When it comes to addressing environmental issues, have you ever thought, “What can I possibly do as one individual to make a difference?”  You’re not alone.  The media adds to the confusion by skewing information making it difficult to decipher what to do or where to begin.  Our time is precious so no matter how good intentioned, we become discouraged to try any environmental pursuits. Guess what?  Incorporating sustainability into your life does not have to be complicated, nor does is have to be all or nothing.  The goal is to achieve the greatest impact with the least amount of effort.  It’s the collective efforts of our society that will help us preserve Earth for future generations.


1. Transportation is the #1 contributor to toxic air pollution and climate change.  Although we are dependent on our cars, there is plenty we can do to lessen our carbon emissions.  Drive more efficiently by reducing your average speed by 5 mph and accelerate slowly, not like you’re racing in the Indy 500.  And when the time comes to buy a new car, choose one that gets the greatest miles per gallon (mpg).

2.  STOP idling.  Be particularly careful to not idle at schools and contaminate playgrounds. Watch this video developed by Washtenaw county to help residents understand myths about idling cars.

3.  Energy consumption is the second biggest US contributor to climate change.  Start by programming your heat and cool systems to reduce use at night and when you’re not at home.  This alone can reduce utility bills by $180 annually.  Remember to unplug your electronic chargers and turn off lights when not in use.  Take 5 minute showers and wash your clothes in cold water to help conserve water and energy.

4.  If all families reduce meat consumption by 20%, it would be the equivalent of all Americans switching to hybrid cars!  Try practicing Meatless Mondays and switch out the burger with tempeh in your tacos!

5.  Say “No” to bottled water.  Did you know is takes 3 x’s the amount of water to make the bottle than its contents? US consumes 3.6 billion pounds of plastic bottles a year with only a fraction being recycled.   That’s enough oil to fuel 2 million cars for 1 year. Switch to reusable bottles to save $ and the planet.

6.  Shop local (farmers market) and seasonally.  Average food travels 1,500 miles to get to your plate.  Eat healthy, reduce fuel consumption and support local businesses! Win win for everyone.

7.  Shop wisely.  Avoid excessive packaging.  Instead of juice boxes, sports drinks, liquid laundry detergents and hand soaps buy concentrated products = less packaging, less expensive, less waste and recyclable.

8.  Buy products containing “post consumer” or “recycled material” which supports the recycle industry and reduces consumption of the Earth’s precious natural resources. Look for common everyday items like computer paper, toilet paper, paper towels, plastics trash bags.

9.   Use less stuff.  Significantly reduce your trash and save money.  Stop using single-use, disposable products like water bottles, ziplock baggies, juice boxes and single-serve snacks.  Producing all that packaging consumes a tremendous amount of natural resources and is wasteful.  And remember when dining, to request kids’ drinks in a reusable glass (instead of the single-use sippy cups).

10.  BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) US consumes over 380 billion (yes, billion) shopping bags per year. Only .6% are recycled.

11.  Cancel your junk mail.  Call catalogs and request your name be removed from mailing. Help reduce the 51,548,000 metric tons of carbon greenhouse gases and save trees.

12.  Cancel your Yellow Pages!  Seriously, how often do you refer to the yellow pages?  Google has replaced this information source and now all Americans have the opportunity to OPT OUT!  Log on and cancel your books today!

13.  Avoid over processed foods and buy organic whenever possible, especially root vegetables because they naturally absorb more pesticides and fertilizers by growing in the ground.  Check out Otto’s chicken at the Royal Oak farmers market for all natural locally raised chickens.

“No doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever does.”

-Margaret Mead