5 Wallet-Friendly Habits You Can Steal from Eco-Experts
Need easy advice on living a little bit greener? Emulate the experts. We asked these pros to share one habit and product they're loving right now.
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D
Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Best Habit: Turn off your screen savers and set your computers to sleep or standby mode after 30 minutes. A desktop screen saver can use 68 watts of electricity, while a sleeping computer can use just three.
Favorite Product: Energy Star-qualified decorative lights. If every set sold in the United States met that criterion, we'd prevent a billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions and save $80 million on electricity in one year.
Frances Beinecke, President, National Resources Defense Council
Observe Meatless Mondays. Eating less meat is good for our health and for the environment, and joining a large movement with a common goal is a motivating way to keep it up. MeatlessMonday.com
has great recipes, tips, and community support.
. The average American drinks nearly 500 cans' worth of soda annually, but with this home sodamaker, you get bubbly drinks without having to lug home (and toss) all that plastic and aluminum.
Photo: Courtesy of Le Creuset
Best Habit: Make home design and fashion choices based on classic, timeless styles. Environmentalists often want to talk about the greenest materials or recycled content, but sometimes the best move for you and the planet is to buy something you really love that will last a long time.
Favorite Product: A multifunction cast-iron pan from Le Creuset. I use it all the time, and I'll be able to pass it on to my grandchildren. Plus, it's healthier than nonstick pans that can emit potentially sickening fumes when overheated.
Photo: Courtesy of WormFactory.US
Karen Washington, Cofounder, Black Urban Growers in New York City
Collect rainwater. Why waste drinking water on plants when they perk right up with rainwater, which isn't treated with chemical softeners? You can buy special barrels, but I just place a large garbage pail under my gutters.
A compost bin like the one from Worm Factory
, which houses worms that turn food scraps and paper into compost. It makes amazing fertilizer for plants.
Photo: Courtesy of Bee Limitless
Summer Rayne Oakes, Cofounder, Source4Style.com
, a resource for eco-minded designers
Grow something in your home—on your porch, on your windowsill, wherever there's space. I'm even growing a vertical garden on my bedroom wall. It's a daily reminder that we're all connected to the planet in a million ways, big and small.
Saje Goddess Goodness RemeTea (Saje.ca
), an organic blend made in biodegradable pouches. I sweeten it with organic honey from BeeLimitless.com
Next: 7 Green Cleaners That Really Work