Conservation tips

Avoid the cut flowers

If you can possibly get away with it, avoid buying and giving cut flowers -- unless they're from your own garden. If you can't get away with it, look for locally grown flowers that are in season. This almost certainly means no roses. **How this helps** There's plenty to love about cut flowers, but the story behind the dozen roses… read more →

Paint your walls white

When it gets difficult to buy a new house, people often decide instead to make improvements around their old one. If you're thinking of redecorating, pick bright, light colors. **How this helps** Dark walls and ceilings absorb light, requiring more energy (and possibly fixtures) to light your house. By painting walls white or brighter colors, natural and artificial light will… read more →

Locate air leaks

Look around your house for gaps or cracks that could be leaking air, including the attic floor, edges of doors and windows, electrical outlets and switches, and pipe entrances. Light an incense stick and hold it close to window edges and other possible leaks. If the smoke coming from the stick goes horizontal, you've found a crack. To test doors… read more →

Recycle your old cellphone

You may not be so excited about your old cellphone anymore, but chances are that somebody else will be. Better still, you might even get paid for it. For example, a Motorola Razr V3 is worth $21. **How this helps** Recycling your old phone keeps it and its (likely toxic) battery out of the landfill. Your phone also contains precious… read more →

Stop peeking

Don't open the oven door to peek at what's cooking inside unless you actually need to check something. Instead, turn on the oven light and check the cooking status through the oven window. **How this helps** Heard the one about the watched pot? Well there's a reason for it... opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside, by as much… read more →

Use LED holiday lights

LED lighting is improving all the time, but it's not yet advanced enough to be able to replace CFLs as a standard for low-energy lighting around the home. One place you can definitely use LED lights is for decorating your house and/or Christmas tree this holiday. This year we're selling LED holiday lights in our green store. **How this helps**… read more →

Being green while saving green

In the current economic situation, it's easy to think of being green as a luxury. You might need to postpone that solar panel installation that won't pay off for years to come. And the non-organic, imported tomatoes at Safeway start looking better and better compared to the more expensive ones at Whole Foods. Fortunately, saving the environment and saving money… read more →

Make your own Halloween costume

There are many ways to create your own costume using items found around the house. While you can certainly sew your own (with or without a pattern) from eco-fabrics like bamboo, organic cotton, silk, or hemp, making one from closet-bound items is a great way to recycle, and low-cost, too! Look for supplies in the attic, your junk drawer, seasonal… read more →

The inside scoop on stopping junk mail

In response to our post on junk mail, catalog merchant Colleen Connell (proprietor of wrote in with some advice on the best way to reduce unwanted mail. The answer, in a nutshell, is "all of the above." > I own a mail-order catalog company and have direct experience with both the DMA and Catalog Choice (as well as experience… read more →

Stop the junk mail

Visit the Direct Marketing Association's website. You'll need to register your name and address. The DMA will then remove your name from catalog lists of its members. It also has a link to help you remove your name and address from credit card and insurance offers. **How this helps** The amount of unsolicited mail and catalogs Americans receive each… read more →
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