Earth Day Checklist Someone made a list of “50 Ways to Help the Planet“… Here it is, checklist style, with the ones I do checked off, and the inapplicable ones crossed out. CHANGE YOUR LIGHT (I switched several lights to compact florescent, however I use dimmers, so couldn’t switch them all) TURN OFF COMPUTERS AT NIGHT (I use sleep mode – I measured, normal operation is around 220W, sleep is 4W) DON’T RINSE DISHES (I usually don’t) DO NOT PRE-HEAT THE OVEN (hmm, have to try that I guess) RECYCLE GLASS DIAPER WITH A CONSCIENCE (no babies) HANG DRY (I’d try this, but I dunno… seems like outdoors it would expose my clothes to animals or theft, and indoors it would take a lot of space) GO VEGETARIAN ONCE A WEEK WASH CLOTHES IN COLD OR WARM USE ONE LESS PAPER NAPKIN (I find realistically, I only need two napkins at lunch. If I have leftover, I take it to my desk to use later) USE BOTH SIDES OF PAPER (though I try not to use paper at all) RECYCLE NEWSPAPER (I don’t buy them in the first place) WRAP PRESENTS CREATIVELY (I sometimes recycle wrapping paper, though not always) RETHINK BOTTLED WATER (I have a metal cup I use at work, when I do use plastic, I reuse them often) BAN BATHTIME! (I always take showers) BRUSH WITHOUT WATER RUNNING SHOWER WITH YOUR PARTNER (sadly, I don’t get to do this often – even if I could, I don’t think it would be time-efficient on a daily basis…) TAKE A SHORTER SHOWER (I generally take 10-15 minute showers) PLANT A TREE USE YOUR CRUISE CONTROL (I do, when I’m taking long trips) SECOND-HAND DOESN’T MEAN SECOND-BEST (yeah, I do tend to buy a lot of stuff…) BUY LOCAL (maybe this summer I’ll see if there’s a farmer’s market nearby) ADJUST YOUR THERMOSTAT INVEST IN YOUR OWN COFFEE CUP BATCH ERRANDS TURN OFF LIGHTS (mostly – I do leave the kitchen light on at night, but with the dimmer way down. And there’s one light in the basement that stays on, for navigation purposes) GREENER LAWN CARE PICNIC WITH A MARKER (the idea here is to carry a sharpie to mark disposable cups for reuse at picnics…) RECYCLE OLD CELL PHONES (yeah, I need to do this, I have 2 or 3 kicking around) MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE (plus I inflate my tires to 42/40 for better gas milage) RECYCLE UNWANTED WIRE HANGERS (didn’t know I could – I just chucked ’em) CHOOSE GLASS BOTTLES OVER ALUMINUM CANS TELECOMMUTE (though not often, it’s discouraged at Staples, but I do about once a month) KEEP YOUR FIREPLACE DAMPER CLOSED (there’s a breeze around my fireplace that should really be fixed for heat loss) CUT DOWN ON JUNK MAIL (I did several no-junk-mail requests – seems to have helped) CHOOSE MATCHES OVER LIGHTERS (not that I use fire much) LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING—ONLINE (I still like having a paper phonebook sometimes) GIVE IT AWAY GO TO A CAR WASH PLASTIC BAGS SUCK (yeah, I should start using reusable bags) FLY WITH AN E-TICKET DOWNLOAD YOUR SOFTWARE (eh, 50/50 on this one, sometimes I like a physical CD and manual) STOP YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE (I don’t get a lot of messages… I really should transfer everyone over to my cell number, except I get crappy reception at home) SKIP THE COFFEE STIRRER (though I do occasionally use a stirrer for making a white russian, but that’s like once a week) FIND A BETTER WAY TO BREAK THE ICE (well, started to do this, this winter I used a lot of sand) USE COTTON SWABS WITH A PAPERBOARD SPINDLE PAY BILLS ONLINE (whenever I can… a couple places don’t do that) STOP PAPER BANK STATEMENTS USE RECHARGABLE BATTERIES SHARE!