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Green-living Tips  Provided by Earthlab.com members

Whenever possible, wash your clothes by hand and dry them on a rack or clothesline. The two members of my small family each wash the clothes we wore during the day and hang them up to dry before we go to bed. For the five minutes each of us spends at this nightly task, we save $30.00 a month on electricity and reduce our annual carbon output by two tons.
~ Tracie, Alabama


Don't water plants when the weather is inclement, the rainfall abundant. The rainfall will be sufficient to satisfy the water requirements of the plants.
~ Crystal Y., Singapore


Local home owner associations should give homeowners recycling credits on their monthly water and garbage bills. Credits or rebates would encourage the homeowners to recycle. One of my neighbors had this bothersome view on recycling: "They charge $3 a month whether or not you recycle. I don't want to recycle because my wife and I don't create that much trash - and we get charged for it. So to heck with them; they can keep their recycle bin!" This man wouldn't be so upset if he were to have the recycle fee rebated. Maybe a credit or rebate system would encourage others to recycle.
~ Julie C., Texas


When renting a car, I rent the smallest car possible, and, if my account normally qualifies me for a bigger car, I ask to be downgraded. Smaller cars burn less fuel and produce less CO2.
~ Vaughn, Nova Scotia, Canada


When showering, I use water only to wet my body and hair, and for final rinsing. During lathering, I turn off the water. These simple strategies help us to use a lot less water and energy.
~ Vaughn, Nova Scotia, Canada


The adverse effects of consuming animal protein should be made a part of the carbon footprint. No one seems to be asking if folks are vegetarians. Raising animals for human consumption is one of the largest contributions to CO2 emissions in the USA, if not in the world.
~ Laurel, California


How about doing green fundraisers, inckuding school car washes, clearing public streets and walks of leaves and snow, and events like rope skipping contests or block parties to raise money for our planet? We might also sell sell items of clothing with green logos - hats, sweatshirts, or cups. These events would give people the incentive to come together for a common cause, to come together as one big happy family, and it would help us personally, help our children, and help our planet. I think that together we can save our planet, and I would love to hear from others who would like to work on similar projects.
~ Susan L., New Jersey


I have purchased a WonderWash, non-electric pressure washing machine from Lehman's non-electric catalog. This is a small-capacity, hand-crank washing machine that cleans laundry by pressure. This machine does a wonderful job on everything except towels, so I have also purchased special towels from REI that wash up just fine in my Wonder Wash. It uses no electricity, no power at all except for hand-cranking power (one crank per second for two minutes at most). Easy. Then you dump, add cold rinse water, crank for 30 seconds, and you're done. I line dry the clothes afterwards. Zero emission laundry!
~ Beth, New Mexico


I am also planning an off-grid yurt park community with friends. We want to form a community to take care of the earth, to take care of each other, to raise our children, and to care for our elders. We want to grow our own food. I am now in the process of building a yurt with zero impact materials My yurt will include a composting toilet, and will be powered by solar electricity and heaters. My pledge is to be off the grid and producing zero emissions.
~ Beth, New Mexico


For all the teens out there: Convince your parents to get the energy saving lightbulbs. Five bulbs is initially a fantastic number to get. Hey, if you change just five of the old style lightbulbs in your house, and, if every household does this, then it's like taking a million cars off the streets - and we can save up to $5 billion dollars in energy! Now that's cool, and you feel great after you do something green!
~ Adrienne, Pennsylvania

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