50 Ways to Help the Planet

50 Ways to Help the Planet is an excellent initiative.  These are 50 simple, straight-forward tips for how to make a little bit less of an impact on our planet.  You probably already do some of these things.  You’ll probably never do some of them.  But chances are you’ll find some things in that list that you won’t mind doing.

Here is the list of things as applied to me and my family.  You should probably read the original list first though.

  1. Change your light. I’ll do it in the nearest future. I thought Olga hated the color of that light, but apparently she doesn’t.  That was the only reason keeping me from doing that.
  2. Turn off computers at night. Done. Now that we completely switched to laptops, this is not an issue anymore. All our computers are hibernating over night.
  3. Don’t rinse. We don’t even have a dishwasher.
  4. Do not pre-heat the oven. We don’t use all that often anyway. Maybe once every couple of month. Or even less.
  5. Recycle glass. Beer bottles is the only glass that we recycle.  For everything else we’ll soon have an option, from what I hear.
  6. Diaper with conscience. Done, I think.  Pampers are recyclable. Or are they bad for the environment?
  7. Hang dry. Done. Even though Olga would really love to have a dryer. Gladly we don’t have any space to put it anywhere.
  8. Go vegetarian once a week. Sorry, planet, but that is not an option.
  9. Wash in cold or warm. Done.  It’s much faster too.  And safer for things in color.
  10. Use one less paper napkin. We don’t use that much of them anyway. If eating out, good places usually have cloths, not paper.
  11. Use both sides of paper. How about not use paper at all? I’m very close to that, with just a few exceptions which I am trying to take care of.  Toilet paper will stay though, and I think we won’t be switching to using both sides of it any time soon.
  12. Recycle newspaper. It’s been ages since I read the newspaper.
  13. Wrap creatively. Done. Yes, we reuse present bags, wrappings, ribbons, and such.
  14. Rethink bottled water. We’d gladly do that, but our kitchen is too small for an extra water tank. I wish we had a bit more space for a water dispenser or something.
  15. Ban bathtime. Not an option for Olga, and not an issue for me.
  16. Brush without running. Now that Cyprus is almost out of water, and water is disconnected every other day, closing running water everywhere is a common behavior. We are not an exception.
  17. Shower with your partner. That’s a nice tip, but I doubt its value to the environment, since this usually ends with multiple showers.
  18. Take a shorter shower. With water running out, that’s more like a rule rather than just a suggestion.
  19. Plant a tree. We have three small palms on the balcony.  I don’t know if that counts as planting a tree, but it’s as close as we can get right now.
  20. Use your cruise control. There is no cruise control in my car.  However I am trying my best with the cleaner petrol – Unleaded 100 and no less.
  21. Second-hand doesn’t mean second-best. Not an issue. We are getting a lot of stuff second-hand.  Most of our computers, TV, and some other technology came in as second hand.  Our car is second hand.  And then, we aren’t shopping all that much either.
  22. Buy local. We mostly do.  Only things that aren’t available locally, like geeky t-shirts and books – we order from abroad.
  23. Adjust your thermostat. I think we are already doing that, but this is very subjective.
  24. Invest in your own coffee cup. Did that. We have quite a few. I usually bring my own cup to the office too.
  25. Batch errands. Done.
  26. Turn off lights. With the kid in the house, that’s harder to do than it might seem, but I’m trying to catch up with him as much as I can.
  27. Greener lawn care. We don’t have a lawn to care about.
  28. Picnic with a marker. That’s what we are worst at.  For every picnic we buy packs of reusable dish-ware. We dispose of them afterwards properly, but that’s still much more than we need.
  29. Recycle old cell phones. We only had two old cell phones.  Maxim is still playing with one of them. And another one we gave away to a friend. Yey!  By the way, our cell phones last much longer than 18 month.  We have them for years.
  30. Maintain your vehicle. Done. We are doing all scheduled services and oil changes.
  31. Recycle unwanted wire hangers. We don’t have any wire hangers. And of those non-wire hangers we don’t have any that are unwanted.  I guess that’s good.
  32. Choose glass bottles over aluminum cans. The only thing to which this choice applies is beer.  And beer in glass bottles is way better than in aluminum cans.  And we recycle bottles too, as mentioned above.
  33. Telecommute. We live in a small place.  My office is far away from my house and it takes me the whole 10 minutes to drive over there.  Now that I am switching jobs, my office will be three times closer to my home. Maybe I’ll even walk there sometimes.
  34. Keep your fireplace damper closed. We don’t have a fireplace.
  35. Cut down on junk mail. We are not sending anything out. I wish we could cut down on the incoming junk.
  36. Choose matches over lighters. We don’t smoke.  And we have an electric cooker. I think we have a lighter and a box of matches somewhere in our kitchen, for those cases when we need to light some candles.  Other than that, fire is pretty much a foreign concept for our home.
  37. Let your fingers do the walking – online. Yup. We are there.
  38. Give it away. We have a lot of stuff packed and ready for a charity give away. I am trying to locate one nearby.
  39. Go to a car wash. Always do. I think I washed a car by hand only twice in my life. And I can’t say I enjoyed the experience.
  40. Plastic bags suck. Indeed. But I haven’t seen any choice for that matter in any major supermarket. The only places that have paper bags and envelopes are bakeries.  Utilizing them as much as I can.  Olga hates paper bags though.
  41. Fly with an e-ticket. That’s like the only option for now.
  42. Download your software. Yes, I am a happy Linux user.  Most of open source software gets seriously outdated by the time it is printed and distributed on CDs or DVDs.  Downloading software is in our culture.
  43. Stop your answering machine. I never had a hardware answering machine.  A brief period when my phone was automatically answered, it was done by a computer.  But even that was a long time ago.  With the convenience and popularity of the mobile phones, people rarely call our home’s land line.
  44. Skip the coffee stirrer. I am never in such a hurry that I can’t sit down and have a cup of coffee from a proper mug with a proper teen spoon.  All that paper and wooden dish-wear really don’t appeal to me.
  45. Find a better way to break the ice. The only ice we get around here is in the fridge. And it comes in cubes easily breakable from one another.
  46. Use cotton swabs with a paperboard spindle. I have absolutely no idea of what they are talking about here.
  47. Pay bills online. I’ve switched most of my bills to online payments in the last six month.
  48. Stop paper bank statements. That’s about time indeed. The online banking used to suck badly for the last few years. But now it is at a stage where paper bank statements aren’t needed anymore.  I’ll cancel mine next time I am in the bank.
  49. Use rechargeable batteries. We use a lot of batteries for all those toys.  But we don’t have a charger. I guess we should get one.
  50. Share! Done.

How does it apply to you?

Update (October 1st, 2014): If you want to do even more, here’s a list of 200 ways to save the planet.

Updated (July 17th, 2016): Since the original website is not there anymore, here is a list of 70 ways to save Earth.  Enjoy!

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