Step Up for the Planet! – 12 Eco Tips for the Holidays

Collin from No Impact Man made a good case that it’s time for all of us to be more active in helping the planet.

He suggested, and I agree, that we can all use our gifts and connections to help. As a writer, I can write about living sustainably and the need for both our leaders and citizens to take stronger action. A musician can write and sing songs about it. An engineer can dream up more solutions. etc.

We can all help. Let’s take charge of our country’s direction. We can become agents for change, helping to steer our respective cities, states and countries toward more use of alternative energy and energy efficiency, reducing carbon use, lowering consumption, living more sustainably and asking our leaders to step up for the planet.

Here is Collin’s blog on how we can help the environment

Please join me in this opportunity to step up for more sustainable living.

We can create new holiday traditions that honor the earth. Learn about ways to live more sustainably. Then add one new sustainable habit for the holidays and maybe one more each month of the new year. By the end of the 2013, you will have a more sustainable life, reduced energy use, lower utility bills and helped planet earth. A triple win.

Tips for Living Sustainably

Here are 12 ideas to start living more sustainably for the holidays.

  1. Spend time celebrating the beauty of life on planet earth. Share a hike, delicious meal, travel adventure or garden with family and friends.
  2. Make some of your gifts instead of buying more disposable products that end up in landfills.
  3. Make a donation to your favorite environmental group or charity in place of buying physical gifts for friends and family.
  4. Create new traditions that honor the planet as our precious home and source of life. Maybe you could help clean up a creek, park or neighborhood.
  5. Turn down your thermostat, especially at night or when the house is empty. For every 1′ reduction in temperature, you can save 1-3% on your heating bill. Dress appropriately for the season. Wear extra clothes instead of keeping the thermostat set so high.
  6. When you do need to buy something, look for products that are made with recycled materials or fast growing plants like bamboo and hemp.
  7. Look for products that save money and energy use like high mileage cars, low flow shower heads, high efficiency heaters, AC, water heaters and light bulbs.
  8. Insulate your water heater, water pipes, doors, windows and heating and cooling ducts.
  9. Have an energy audit done for your home or business. Then make an energy action plan and implement one item from the list each month for the next year.
  10. Lower the temperature in your water heater. 120 to 130 degrees is plenty warm enough to make hot water, keep the water safe and reduce your energy use.
  11. Power off your computer, tv and stereo at night and set them to sleep when not in use.
  12. Keep appliances clean and running efficiently. Check and change your furnace filter regularly.

Bonus tip: Appreciate the bounty already in your life. Gratitude makes the earth spin more efficiently! OK, I made that up, but gratitude certainly makes our lives flow more easily.

Get creative, make sustainable living fun and do one thing at a time until it becomes a habit in your life.

Planet earth is a generous provider. Let’s celebrate her beauty and bounty by living gently.

Happy Eco Days!

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