Saving Life on Earth


Here are some things to consider doing.
Some items may not be applicable to you.

© Frederick Matzen |

If enough people take enough small steps, things like offshore oil wells will be less necessary and the risk of oil spills can be reduced


  • Know that you can make a difference for the better
  • Reduce your consumption of resources
  • Reuse items
  • Recycle items, especially paper, glass and metal (try to throw away as little as feasible)
  • Repair items instead of replacing them
  • Pick up litter and recycle or dispose of it properly
  • Cut up plastic six-pack rings before recycling or disposing of them
  • Support environmentally-conscious businesses
  • Avoid having too many children (consider adopting instead)
  • Encourage elected officials and others to support a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend program such as the one proposed by the Citizens' Climate Lobby
  • Encourage elected officials and others to support carbon sequestration efforts:
  • Determine your carbon footprint, e.g.,


  • Get to know your neighbors so you can help each other, e.g., car pool, buy in bulk, lend/borrow items
  • Communicate your concerns about the environment to elected officials
  • Vote for, volunteer for, and/or, contribute to environmentally-sensitive candidates and elected officials
  • Support more funding for public transit
  • Join, and/or volunteer for, environmental community groups
  • Subscribe to local environmental email list(s)
  • Organize programs to encourage and help others do items in this checklist
  • Share your Earth Day action to your local and global community by registering it with your favorite environmental or community service organization, or at Earth Day Network (
  • Encourage politicians to support legislation that will put a direct and steadily-increasing fee on carbon-based fuels to help wean us off fossil fuels and move us toward greater use of clean energy sources such as solar and wind -
  • Plant trees, with approval from authorities and/or owners of the land


  • Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy, or, become a vegetarian or vegan with this new kit of blenders for vegans producing meat is a very significant contributor to climate change due to livestock releasing methane (which increases climate change significantly more than CO2) and forests being cleared to grow grain to feed livestock (it takes about 20 pounds of grain to produce one pound of edible beef)
  • Buy/consume foods which are grown locally and/or certified organic
  • Buy foods in bulk
  • Use a lid when boiling water, etc. - to reduce energy used


(and, in some cases, at work)

  • Put a brick or weighted plastic jug in your toilet tank
  • Don't flush the toilet every time when practical
  • Turn your water heater down (e.g., to 120 degrees F)
  • Reduce use of heating (put on more clothes, turn down thermostat before going to bed)
  • Reduce use of air conditioning (open windows, close blinds and curtains, use a fan)
  • Turn off lights, appliances, etc. when not in use
  • Unplug appliances which constantly consume electricity
  • Don't leave the water running when you're not actually using it, e.g., while brushing teeth, shaving, rinsing dishes
  • Don't pre-rinse dishes before loading in dishwasher
  • Operate the dishwasher only when full
  • Take showers instead of baths
  • Turn off the water during showers while you're soaping or shampooing
  • Limit the time you spend in the shower and take fewer showers
  • Install low-flow shower heads and faucets
  • Fix leaking faucets
  • Check for leaking toilets by adding a few drops of food coloring to the water in the tank and see if it appears in the bowl
  • Wear clothing items more than once before washing them when feasible (set up a place to put clothes already worn but not needing to be washed yet)
  • Do only full loads of laundry and use the shortest cycle feasible
  • Hand wash clothes (except suits) instead of having them dry-cleaned
  • Use sponges, rags and cloth towels instead of paper towels when feasible
  • Air dry clothes when feasible
  • Donate old clothes to charity
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs (especially those you use the most) with compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Ensure there's adequate weather-stripping or caulking on doorways and windows
  • Wrap your water heater with an insulation jacket
  • Request a free energy audit from your utility company
  • Request a free water conservation survey from your water company
  • Have your house converted to use solar energy
  • Reduce junk mail (ask to be removed from mailing lists)
  • Cancel subscriptions you don't need
  • Repair instead of replacing items when feasible - for help: check for community groups which can help and/or check
  • Set up place(s) to put recyclable items
  • Take hazardous materials (paints, cleaners, etc.) to approved sites for proper disposal
  • Use plants (e.g., native, naturally drought-resistant) which don't require a lot of water
  • Reduce the amount of grass which requires watering in your yards
  • Avoid using pesticides/chemicals in your yards
  • Don't water the lawn when the sun is at its peak
  • Don't overwater your lawn and plants
  • Start a compost pile for yard waste and some food scraps
  • Plant trees, especially where they'll provide shade for your house
  • Let grass grow long where feasible
  • Use a lawn mower with a mulcher
  • Clean driveways, etc. with a broom, not a hose
  • Work out of your home as much as feasible (e.g., telecommute, go to workplace for fewer days but longer hours)
  • Live/work in the smallest building/space feasible and/or rent out extra rooms
  • Estimate your personal and/or your household's greenhouse gas emissions and explore the impact of taking various actions to reduce your emissions at


  • Take your own bags (e.g., cloth) to the store
  • Buy used items when feasible
  • Reduce purchases of disposable products (e.g., paper towels, cups, batteries, razors) or check out
  • Avoid buying items with excessive packaging and packaging which cannot be recycled
  • Buy only items you're sure you'll use
  • Buy items in bulk
  • Buy concentrated products
  • Buy items, especially paper products, with "post-consumer" recycled content when feasible
  • Buy energy-efficient appliances
  • Buy plug-in, instead of battery-powered, appliances
  • Buy clothes which contain organic cotton, hemp, recycled PET plastic and/or unbleached and non-toxic dyes
  • Avoid buying products made from tropical hardwoods or old growth trees
  • Avoid using the store's bags


  • Buy, lease or rent an electric (plug-in) vehicle
  • Walk, ride a bike, use public transit or car pool instead of driving when feasible
  • Plan ahead to combine trips
  • Use your most efficient vehicle when feasible
  • Keep your vehicle in good operating condition (tuned up, emissions system checked, tires properly inflated) or buy a new fuel-efficient vehicle
  • Avoid quick starts
  • Drive slower
  • Avoid idling your vehicle for long periods
  • Wash your car at a car wash or with water from a bucket (vice a hose)

College students:

  • How Colleges and Their Students Are Boosting Sustainability:

For more info:

Thanks for reading!