Anything to get people to go green. I thought I’d try this list, following up on Skellie’s recommendation. Skellie, the blogging queen at Skelliewag, suggested I put together a list of no cost green tips that are not only good

for the planet, but can even save money, and in some cases, time as well. The list came down to 40 items total:

Adjust thermostat settings: winter days 68, winter nights 55, summer 78, fridge 37, freezer 3, water heater 120
Wear an extra layer in the winter; men do not wear jackets or ties in the summer
In summer, open windows at night and store cool air, instead of turning on the AC
In winter, let in the sunshine, open blinds, drapes and shutters
Only run full loads in your wash machine, warm or cold water only
Wear your clothes longer in between each wash
Change sheets and towels less often
Place your dryer in a warm area
Straighten your dryer duct
Only run your dryer on full load, energy setting
Clean lint filter after every load
Clean dryer filter every month
Air dry your laundry
Use toaster oven to bake small dishes
Limit preheat, avoid placing foils on racks, do not open oven door
Get rid of your second fridge
Run your dishwasher only when full
Wash dishes by hand in sink or dishpan filled with water
Place a plastic milk jug filled with pebbles inside your toilet tank, to limit water used
Limit toilet flushes
Turn off shower while soaping, take shorter showers, avoid baths
Sweep driveways and sidewalks, instead of hosing them down
Unplug computers and appliances when not in use
Switch off lights when not in a room
Print on both sides of paper
Set up online payment for all your bills
Bike and walk whenever you can
Don’t idle in your car, or turn off the engine
Minimize left turns, right turns consume less gas
Water and mow your lawn less often
Use compost, grass clippings to fertilize your garden
Buy recycled paper
Reduce your meat consumption
Freeze food you do not need right away
Borrow and lend instead of buying
Use a cloth dishrag instead of paper towels
Improvise with what you already have to package gifts, other items
Use reusable food containers
Do not buy gifts, instead give your friends immaterial gifts, like a cooking lesson, etc, or things you made using what you already have, eg, cookies, etc

Saving the planet, saving money, saving time, these may still not be good enough incentives. Because a list, no matter how compelling, still remains a list, especially in the green department. Laziness, habits, convenience, cultural factors, comfort, can override the most rational decisions. I speak from experience. Some of the things on the list, I just won’t do, like turning off the water while soaping. Others, are definite possibilities. For now, I am working on not flushing the toilet every time. Actually, it is a good idea to not take on too much at once. Picking just one thing out of the list is probably a good strategy. What will you pick? I would love to know.
By Marguerite, a valued contributor of Atelier.

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