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BNL Pledge Tree. Photo by Jason Remien  

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From Brookhaven National Laboratory with additions from E.A. Zimmerman
  1. Replace one two-mile car journey per week by walking or riding your bicycle.
  2. Change your car’s air and oil filters regularly.
  3. Recycle motor oil, antifreeze, and batteries.
  4. Recycle all your paper products.
  5. Use cloth napkins.
  6. Use washable plates and cups instead of paper plates and cups.
  7. Use your own cloth bag rather than plastic grocery bags.
  8. Compost your yard waste or participate in your town program.
  9. Recycle or return aluminum cans. Purchase products in recyclable containers only.
  10. Only purchase recycled glass products. Recycle or return bottles. Use empty glass containers to store leftovers.
  11. Lower your thermostat and save yourself some money. Have your heating and cooling equipment serviced annually and replace air filters regularly. Allow heat to circulate by using ceiling fans and keeping registers dust-free.
  12. Look for ways to conserve energy in your home, such as insulation and new windows.
  13. Replace at least one bulb in your house with an energy saving version. Always switch off unnecessary lights.
  14. Buy paper with a least 30% post consumer recycled content and always recycle your junk mail. At work, send electronic mail whenever possible, use double-sided copies, and recycle scrap paper.
  15. Avoid using pesticides and switch to nontoxic, organic deterrents. It’s safer for you, your family, your pets, and the environment.
  16. Replace all your old electronic models with ENERGY STAR models.
  17. Replace your old water heater with a new high-efficiency model. Lower the hot water temperature by setting the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Insulate hot water pipes.
  18. Wash full loads only. Let the dishes air-dry. Replace an older dishwasher with a new ENERGY STAR rated model.
  19. Replace an older model with an ENERGY STAR model. Wash only full loads. Wash with warm water instead of hot and rinse with cold water instead of warm.
  20. Line-dry your clothes on nice days. Clean the lint filter after every load to improve air circulation. Dry two or more loads in a row, taking advantage of the dryer’s retained heat. Vent your clothes dryer to the outside and replace the
  21. Purchase and install low-flow shower heads and sink spigots.
  22. Install efficient fixtures and check your toilet and faucets for leaks. If your existing toilet was installed before 1994, replace it with a FlushStar model to significantly reduce your water use. Also, check to see that the toilet flapper is operating correctly.
  23. Donate your used cell phone to a charitable recycling program. Phones can be recycled, refurbished and sold in developing countries, to the homeless and victims of domestic abuse, or used to raise funds for charity.

More ideas:

  • Install a birdhouse for native cavity nesters on a pole so it is protected from predators.
  • Go on a birdwatching outing.
  • Pick a stretch of littered roadside near your house and get a group of friends out there with you to clean it up.
  • Test your soil before fertilizing it.
  • Install a rain garden.
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Last updated October 25, 2016

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