CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES
1. Two of the most environmentally-friendly ways to read the news are by using a shortwave radio or the Internet through a low-wattage laptop computer.
2. When possible, buy used or "new old stock" products rather than new. A large amount of oil and other natural resources are used in the materials, production, and transportation of new products in stores.
3. Cleaning south-facing windows and opening their curtains during bright winter days will help decrease heating costs. See "How To Care For Windows" for more details.
4. Use rechargeable batteries when possible. Battery chargers reduce the amount of hazardous materials being dumped, natural resources used in battery production, and pollution created in manufacturing.
5. Avoid throwing away products unless there is nothing of value left to them. If they cannot be repaired, consider selling their parts on eBay.com, as this helps repair other items and prevent waste.
6. If you want to discard items which are still usable but not of enough value to sell, consider donating them to a non-profit thrift store. The more existing products can keep being used, the less new products have to be manufactured.
7. Avoid using a large television. Energy consumption increases dramatically as the size of the screen becomes larger. For example, a 5" B/W TV uses about 6-15 watts, while a color 27" uses approximately 110 watts. Determine if your TV has an "energy saver" setting and consider turning it on.
8. Use a low-wattage computer, at least for some tasks. Many older computers, such as the Tandy 1000 RSX or Macintosh LC III, use less than 50 watts and are quite acceptable for many tasks.
9. Use solar energy powered devices, such as solar calculators and radios, to reduce battery usage. When using an electronic device in your car, power it with a DC cigarette lighter adapter rather than batteries (if possible).
10. Avoid using motorized cameras. If you buy a digital camera, choose a model which comes with an AC adapter and/or allows the use of rechargeable batteries.
11. Use lights with an adjustable brightness control if different amounts of light are needed at different times. Try not to use bulbs with a wattage in excess of 60 watts.
12. Using a rechargeable flashlight may not be as environmentally friendly as using a regular flashlight and putting rechargeable batteries in it. The chargers and batteries in directly rechargeable flashlights tend to be of poorer quality and fail more quickly in some instances.
13. Consider cleaning your home or office with a bagless vacuum cleaner, to save paper in vacuum bags and the plastic in their packaging.
14. When practical, travel long distances by train or bus, rather than airplane or private automobile. This will not only save energy and reduce pollution, but save money as well.
15. Use an electronic organizer or PDA for some tasks rather than a computer, if this applies to you. These have very low energy consumption and have lower environmental impact from production & transportation than laptop computers.
16. Set your computer's screensaver to a blank black screen, especially if you have a CRT monitor, and avoid screensavers with complex animations or sound effects.
17. Don't use disposable flashlights. Some flashlights are available which can be cranked up and/or charged with solar energy during the day before they are used.
18. Use public transportation when possible. If you drive a vehicle, keep its tires properly inflated and avoid speeding to maximize its fuel efficiency.
19. Turn off computer accessories like speakers, modems, scanners, and printers when they are not in use. Some electronics and kitchen appliances still draw a small amount of electricity unless you unplug them (or switch off a power strip).
20. Even if a container can't be recycled in your area, it may still be useful. For example, quantities of empty film canisters are sometimes sold on eBay.com auctions.
21. Use basic corded telephones. These don't require any power except the amount provided through the telephone line, will still function if there is a power outage, and don't have rechargeable batteries (which occasionally have to be replaced) in them.
22. Read reviews of products and carefully consider purchases before making them. Buying the wrong product and having to return, replace, or throw it away wastes energy and resources.
23. If you own a business and use advertising, promote the business using environmentally-friendly methods such as local radio broadcasting, rather than television or mass mailings.
24. Rent movies or watch them on pay-per-view instead of purchasing them, only to have them sit in a cabinet and be watched once or a twice each decade; this reduces the number of tapes/discs which need to be manufactured.
25. Try to obtain a job as near to your place of residence as possible. Even if you aren't paid as much, the lack of transportation costs will become more and more valuable.
26. Reject the introduction of unnecessary new "technology" like new types of movie discs, video game systems, and other devices which encourage consumers to spend money satisfying "needs" which were already satisfied by their predecessors.
27. If it is practical, try to attain at least some self-reliance in producing food. A large amount of fuel is used and pollution created to mass-produce food and transport it around the nation and world. Driving to a grocery store also consumes fuel.
28. Consider using a video tape rewinder unit to rewind your VHS tapes, if you use them. This will make your video cassette recorder last longer, making it less likely to need replacement.
29. If you build or buy a home, make sure it is positioned appropriately to gain heating/lighting benefit from the sun (if it is located in an area which becomes cold at least part of the year). As for apartments, a top-floor apartment provides some free heating (from sun on the roof) on clear days (as well as heat rising from lower-floor apartments), whereas a bottom-floor apartment will generally be cooler on hot days.
30. Use a Kill-A-Watt meter to determine the energy consumption of devices in your home which don't have a consumption level printed on them. If you don't want to spend the $25-35 it costs for this type of meter, see if your local library offers them.