What Can I Do?

There are many things that you can do to make a positive impact on our planet. 
Read through each category below to learn more.

For a downloadable PDF, click here.

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Lighting Design Consultation

Electricity and Fossil Fuel Consumption

  • Turn off lights and electronics when you leave a room. 

  • Use LEDs for lighting

  • Shower for a few minutes less than you’re used to.

  • Use drapes and blinds to block out the sun/keep in the heat.

  • Consider 100% renewable electricity  (papowerswitch.com).
    Remember: the greenest electricity is the electricity you don’t use

  • If you use natural gas or propane, your fuel is cleaner than oil or coal, but still produces carbon dioxide.
    Try to limit its use and see if your supplier offers ‘carbon offsets’.

  • Do your laundry in cold water - most clothes will clean up fine!

  • Choose EnergyStar appliances.

  • Programmable thermostats give you control, hour by hour, of your heating and cooling.
  • Use ceiling fans to circulate warm air/cool air and better equilibrate the temperature.

  • Plant shade trees – deciduous trees that shade the house in summer….let the sunlight warm your house in winter… and bring beauty and wildlife to your garden.

  • Transportation: use public transportation if possible;
    combine trips; drive economically.

Water

  • Fix leaking taps – one dripping at one drop per second will waste 300 gallons a year 

  • Use a plug in wash basins and sinks rather than washing under a running tap 

  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool 

  • Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of the garbage disposal 

  • When using a washing machine or dishwasher, always run a full load 

  • In the yard:

    • Plant perennials and native plants rather than ‘thirsty’ annuals - better for wildlife too! (www.wildlifegardening.org).   

    • Water plants in the evening after the heat of the day;  watch sprinkler use 

Volunteers Cleaning

Recycling and Reducing Plastic Pollution

  • Focus on minimizing your use of plastic: 

    • Buy liquids like olive oil, wine, etc. in glass not plastic

    • Avoid single-use plastics (straws, plastic forks, etc.)

    • Use compostable trash bags

    • Use reusable bags at the supermarket; avoid plastic bags

    • Store leftover food in glass/reusable jars

    • Use dishwasher and laundry detergent in ‘pods’, not liquid from big plastic jugs

    • Use tablet soap not liquid soap in plastic dispensers

  • ALWAYS recycle: usually plastic numbered 1, 2 or 5 are the most valuable. Never put plastic bags in with other plastics - they break the recycling machines!

  • Recycle plastic bags at supermarket drop-off sites.

  • Recycle old computers, cellphones etc. at Staples or another reputable recycler

  • Install a compost bin to compost organic kitchen & garden waste  (www.howtocompost.org)

Our Diet

  • Eating low on the food chain means that less energy & water have been used. As an example, it takes 1, 857 gallons of water to raise one pound of beef and 469 gallons to raise a pound of chicken   -as opposed to only 43 gallons to grow a pound of beans.

  • Buy organic - primarily to reduce pesticides in the environment.

  • Buy local - reduce ‘food miles.’

  • Don't waste food.

  • Drink shade-grown coffee, choose wine with REAL corks.

  • Watch what fish you choose: look for Marine Stewardship Council certification, and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium site,  seafoodwatch.org

Vegetarian Food
Image by Eutah Mizushima

Protecting Rainforests

  • Before buying wood for flooring, furniture, etc., verify that it is not illegally felled wood – look for the Forest Stewardship Council logo.

  • Don’t constantly upgrade your cell phone – its manufacture demands the mining of certain rare elements found in (forested) West Africa. 

  • Check that the beef you eat and the soybeans you consume are not cultivated on former forest land in South America. 

  • Drink shade-grown coffee. This coffee – grown in rainforests as opposed to land cleared of the forest – tastes better and helps preserve the environment for many species of wildlife, including many of ‘our’ birds that spend the winter there.

  • Learn about the wildlife trade: National Geographic's 'Wildlife Watch' and the Environmental Investigation Agency

Protecting Coral Reefs

  • Choose sustainably fished/farmed sea food. If you eat fish that was caught sustainably, you know you are conserving God’s creation and helping feed someone’s family. If you eat fish that has harvested unsustainably, you are not only driving that species towards extinction – you are quite likely to be depriving someone poorer than yourself of a livelihood. Look for Marine Stewardship Council certification, and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium site,  seafoodwatch.org

  • Reduce your carbon footprint: corals are killed by high sea temperatures and are also endangered with carbon dioxide dissolving in the ocean and making the water more acidic. 

Image by Milos Prelevic