20 green tips for Earth Day!

A guide to living more sustainably right now! Photo by Julie Thibodeaux.

April 15, 2020

Here's a list of things you can do that will lighten your environmental footprint and green up your life!

1. Stop using plastic coffee pods! Use compostable coffee pods or a reusable single cup coffee system, including cotton coffee filters.

2. Minimize household chemicals and waste. Make your own eco-friendly cleaning products: Watch how to make eco-friendly dryer sheets and how to make reusable sweeper pads and how to make a all-natural cleaner with grapefruit and salt. See our guide to green cleaning products.

3. Compost kitchen waste to save landfill space. Create your own compost pile or use one of these local compost services.

The pollinator garden at the Southwest Branch library in Fort Worth was installed by the North Central Texas Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Photo by Kim Conrow.

4. Replace your lawn with native plants. They don’t need as much water and they support native wildlife. Plant a pollinator garden to provide food for bees and monarch butterflies! Read about North Texans stepping up aid for monarchs.

5. Grow your own organic food. Plant an organic garden even if it’s just a few herbs on your patio. 

6. Consume less meat! A plant-based diet is recommended by the UN as the most environmentally friendly, climate-friendly diet.) Not only are you saving animals but a plant-based diet is healthier for you.  Local author Carol Adams has tips for going vegan in middle age but it applies to all ages.

7. Stop drinking bottled water. Use water filters instead.  Read about our favorite water filters.

8. Fix leaky faucets and toilets. Save precious water.

9. Green up your home. Install a programmable thermostat, LED light bulbs and better insulation.

10. Cook your own organic food. It's more sustainable and better for you than eating pre-packaged food.

11. Think before you shop. Choose products made from natural, biodegradable or recyclable materials. Avoid products that will likely just fill up landfill space when their end life is over. 

12. Choose quality over convenience. When you need conventional products, choose items that are built to last, made from sustainable materials, have minimal packaging and are energy smart. Here's our list of eco-friendly products for the new year!

13. Minimize trash. Recycle everything that you can.

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden green team helped install recycling bins around the park. Courtesy of FWBG.

14. Ramp up your recycling efforts. Look for specialty recycling outlets for items not accepted in recycle bins. For example, plastic bags can be recycled at most grocery stores. Home Depot and Lowes will take batteries and light bulbs. Terracycle accepts items like toothpaste tubes. Help your school or place of business start a recycling program. Read about how the Fort Worth Botanic Garden set a zero waste goal. 

15. Give away rather than throw away. Donate that old couch, stacks of nifty paper, nice clothes, tools.

16. Buy less stuff! Before you buy something, ask yourself - do I really need this?

17. Shop local. Visit the farmer’s market, support small organic farms and food producers.

18. Bring your own shopping bags. Reusable bags are not just for the grocery store. Take them wherever you shop. Keep them by the front door, in your purse or backpack and in your car.

19. Harvest your rainwater. Build your own rain barrel or buy one and use it to water your garden.

20. Drive less. Walk or ride a bike instead of driving. Make each trip count when you do take your car. Carpool! When shopping for a new car, consider an all-electric or a hybrid.

See more of our 50th Anniversary of Earth Day coverage.

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