Back to ASA Home Page Alabama Solar Association
P.O. Box 143
Huntsville, Alabama  35804-0143
search only AL-Solar.org

What can one person do?

What is the one thing every single human being on the planet can do that's considered "green"?

Whatever the answer is, multiply that by billions of human beings and you will create some noticeable Green results. "green" results.

  • Friday, March 14, 2014: Walk more, drive less.
    by Doug Elgin, President, Alabama Solar Association, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Monday, September 2, 2013: Unplug "Wall Warts" when not needed. You know "wall warts," those ugly transformers that plug into the wall and charge our phones, tablets, energency weather radios, and hundreds of other electronic gadgets thast need direct current (DC) poer from the alternating current (AC) in our households. most of them draw full power whether or not the device is charging or even attached. Turn it off when not needed to save electricity, save money, and extend the life of the charger.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Turn the lights off. If you really need a light, then by all means, turn it on and use it. But when you are done, turn it off. If you have replaced your inefficient incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, you are saving a lot of energy and money when they are on and needed, but if you leave these energy-efficient lights on when they are not needed, you are just wasting energy and money more slowly than you would have with the old bulbs.
    by Heather Byars, Vestavia Hills, Alabama USA

  • B.Y.O.B. Bring Your Own Bag. Back in Alabama, we call them “Earth Bags.” Here in the Philippines, we call them “Eco Bags.” Whatever you call then, these reusable bags help reduce the need for crude oil to make plastic bags. We use 38 million barrels of crude oil each year to make plastic bags. Reusable bags could reduce demand for oil and slow the rise of gasoline prices.

  • Do something green. See the list below the January banner on the home page for ideas. Take baby stems, but take steps. by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Volunteer! Make a big difference in our world one person at a time. See Breaking News for an urgent need for volunteers in the Alabama Solar Association right here in North Alabama. You can make a difference. Will you?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Since when did it become easier to dig up sunshine that was buried millions of years ago, use more buried sunshine to move it to a refinery, use still more buried sunshine to mold it into a useful shape, use even more buried sunshine to bring it to a store near us, let it sit on the shelf for months, bring it home, open the package, and call that more convenient than simply washing the spoon?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Learn more about energy and then teach others. See how much you can save from all the energy sources you now use. Next, see how much of your remaining load you can convert to renewables. Then teach others and encourage them to do the same.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Give serious consideration to installing solar in your home within the next six months, but get started this week. Big things are happening for solar in North Alabama. Here are five reasons to install solar now:
    1. We have grid parity, PV electricity is as cheap as grid electricity.
    2. Huntsville has a new solar ordnance.
    3. Grants are available in Madison County--improve home's energy efficiency and get up to $3,000 to help pay for your PV system.
    4. PV prices are still dropping.
    5. TVA's Generation Partners program ends October 1st, but there is still time to apply.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Learn more about how photovoltaics can save you money while reducing your carbon footprint and cleaning our air. Read more about Grid Parity on the ASA homepage, attend the next ASA membership meeting Thursday evening, or check out the wealth of technical information on our website. Study and learn how we can all have a brighter future.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Vote for Solar! Looking for a good investment with a guaranteed return? Looking for a good investment with a guaranteed return? Well, there are no guarantees, but solar is about a close as it gets. A $10,000 to $14,000 investment could guarantee enough electricity to meet a typical energy-efficient home for 25 years. That’s a pretty safe bet. Vote for solar by investing in a new photovoltaic system soon.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Help Alabama catch up to the average states with 88 megawatts (MW) of installed solar as of December 31st, 2011. We are falling further behind as other states are projecting a 75 percent growth in 2012. For the price of a decent new car, you can lock in your electric rate through 2037 at a rate lower than your utility company charges you today. Think the power company will match that deal?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Imagine what will you do When the Oil Runs Dry. Singer and songwriter Brandon Hunt offers several options in his thought-provoking song. Hear him sing at The Coffee Tree (7900 Bailey Cove Rd SE, Huntsville, AL 35802, businessfinder.al.com/894231/Coffee-Tree-Books-and-Brew-Huntsville-AL most Wednesday and Saturday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, or watch for his video coming to this website soon. Brandon is a loyal member of the Alabama Solar Association and the proud owner of a new solar garden.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Avoid the rise and fall of traditional energy sources by investing in renewable energy. Solar power had reached grid parity, that is, homeowners can produce it for less that utility companies now sell it. Grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) systems have virtually no moving parts to wear out and generally last for 25 years or longer. Invest in solar today and lock in your electric rates through 2037.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • To make a big difference, think small. Take a single sheet of paper and drop it; it floats down like it were almost weightless. Now add 499 more sheets and package them into a ream like you buy from the office supply store. Drop this package on a small table and see how “weightless” the paper is now. Make small improvements to improve your energy efficiency, replace your most frequently-used lights with LED bulbs, or install a small solar garden in a sunny spot of your yard. All these add up to big results.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Save money while reducing your carbon footprint. Take advantage of grid parity and install a PV system for your home or business and produce your own clean electricity.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Tell Mother you love her! Celebrate Earth Day 2012 by learning how you can preserve future life on Mother Earth. If we don’t make some changes soon, where will our grandchildren live?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Volunteer to help the Alabama Solar Association educate people about the value of solar energy as fossil fuels begin to run out. What will power our children’s world? Contact any ASA board member or e-mail: info@AL-Solar.org and see where you can fit in.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Join the rush to solar power! Learn what it’s all about and how the sun can benefit you, and then go teach others.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Planning is digital, reality is analog. Plan for optimistic circumstances, but be ready to adjust when reality happens. Plan optimistically or plan conservatively, but plan!
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Learn about solar power and then teach others. People need to know.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Show the Mid-East oil producers we don’t need their foreign oil as much as we used to. Plan ahead, drive a bit more conservatively, combine trips, carpool, use public transportation, cycle to and from work. Do a little or do a lot to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It all adds up to big results.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Help spread the word of how renewable energy is our future. One oil company spent $75 million on a TV ad campaign telling how clean and plentiful natural gas is as an energy source, but not mentioning the fact that Professional Engineers (PEs, those engineers licensed to look out for public safety) are deeply concerned about the safety of “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) used to extract the gas. The same company spent $75 million in a parallel effort to lobby Congress. We can’t match the money they spend fighting renewables, but we can help teach others the truth.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Encourage national and local leaders to plan for solar and other renewable fuels to replace fossil fuels before they either run out or become prohibitively expensive.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Conserve! Look for small ways to save energy in your home or business. Little things add up to big savings.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Look up, not down, for future energy needs. Coal is plentiful but do we want to keep breathing dirty air? Oil will run out; we need to make alternative plans now.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Consider Solar Power. Whether it’s photovoltaics, solar hot water, geothermal, or just a solar oven for cooking, something will work for you now. Use the power of the sun.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Conserve! Benjamin Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” A watt that is never needed is more than one watt than never needs to be generated and distributed for many miles from the power plant to your house. This in turn is a little less coal that never needs be dug out of the ground. See how you can make your pennies saved add up.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Show Mom some Love on Valentine's Day by finding your own little ways to be kinder. What can you think of to make Mother Earth a little more comfortable today?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Teach the children well! Raise yout children to treat "Mother Earth" with more love and respect than your parents showed.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Break the Coal habit! Check out the surprisingly affordable green energy options today.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Give us feedback. Tell info@AL-Solar.org how you think we can make solar work as well in Alabama as it does in Tennessee. What can we do to bring more “green” jobs to Alabama? What would you be willing to do to help?.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • It's 2012, What can you do to protect our children's energy supply?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Chose a fuel that is truly “green,” renewable, and not harmful to our dwindling supply of drinking water. Don’t be fooled by slick advertising repeated so often that many people will believe it is true. Get the facts and select your energy sources based on facts instead of advertising.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Go “green” for the holidays. Give your children and grandchildren the gift of a sustainable future. Learn the truth about just how affordable renewable energy can be over the long haul. Start small. But start today.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Study the truth about the threat “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) poses to our drinking water. Teach others what you learn.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Get nuclear power the old fashioned way - - from the sun. The sun provides the earth enough energy in 15 seconds of a typical day to meet the entire world’s current needs a;; day long. The challenge is in building an infrastructure to capture the sun and prefect methods of storing it for nighttime and cloudy days. Join the Alabama Solar Association (www.AL-Solar.org) and help us find clean energy solutions.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Honor veterans today and every day for their sacrifices that ensured our access to plentiful energy supplies. Show them we appreciate their hardships by vowing to use energy more sensibly.
    by Morton Archibald, US Army, Retired, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use less oil, and reduce our payments to people who don’t like us very much. Bring reusable bags when shopping, and save a gallon of crude oil for each six plastic bags you don’t use. Use public transportation when it is available. Consider an EV (electric vehicle) powered by electricity from grid-tied photovoltaic arrays. Walk or bike to work or for errands when weather and circumstances permit; you can save time by combining exercise time with commuting and errands. Plan ahead and think, “What can I do to reduce my oil consumption?” Little things add up to make a big difference.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Learn, and then teach. Listening to a well-dressed business executive tout his company’s products that mix natural gas with diesel to produce a “clean” energy source. He went on to praise fracking as a new technology to produce an abundance of cheap natural gas, ”a clean fuel.” When he went on to say other technologies wouldn’t work, and that “. . . solar doesn’t have any juice,” I had to challenge him. It is obvious that so many people do not understand even the basics of renewable energy. we have much to do in educating them.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Consider solar. You probably don’t have room for a solar farm like the one featured on our TARGET="_BLANK"> “Breaking News” today, but consider the empty space on your roof for a modest, grid-tied system. Perhaps your neighborhood has room for a smaller solar garden. Grow your savings with an investment in solar now – there has never been a better time.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Ignore the darkness of Halloween!
    Look to the light of the sun.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA



  • OHIO! Only Handle It Once. Read an incoming message, capture important information, and then delete it from memory; electronic document handling requires less energy than paper, but it requires more energy than eliminating the message entirely. I open my mail within reach of my computer keyboard, recycle bins for several types of paper, and a shredder. If I put mail aside to deal with later, it piles up wasting space and energy. OHIO. What can you OHIO?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Make it harder for Morton to edit the ASA “Thought for the Day” column. You see, when Morton creates all the thoughts for the day, he can avoid changing two lines of HTML code on the homepage and he can simply cut and paste the same two lines of code from the “Green Tips” page. Make it harder to edit by suggesting your own thoughts for the day, or green tips, or ways to treate Mother Earth more kindly and save of the environment for our children and grandchildren.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use mass transit when it is available.1 In New York City, it the subway. In Huntsville, Alabama, it’s public busses with bicycle racks on the front; cycle to a bus stop and take “The Shuttle” for most of way to your destination. In Germany, it was the S-Bahn or the U-Bahn; I used to go to work 40 miles from my home by bicycle and S-Bahn. In Tarlic City in the Republic of the Philippines, it’s jeepneys. In Venice, it’s the vaporetto (water busses). Whatever it’s called, it’s designed to carry crowds of people quickly at a fraction of the time it would take to drive a car. Use mass transit to save money while you reduce your carbon footprint. The more people use them, the more “green” they can afford to become.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Look to the future! Consider availability, costs, and carbon footprints of of the energy sources our children and grandchildren will face.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Get to work on it!” Ride your bicycle to work or around town for errands powered by some of the sun’s greatest energy products – food. Start your morning with adrenalin instead of caffeine. Get your exercise on the way to work. it’s about as small of a carbon footprint as you can get.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Join in and make a difference! Talking about solar and “green” is great, but, sometime, we just have to “walk the talk.” See Morton’s blog for how and why.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Install solar lighting for beauty and security. Pick up the simple, stake-mounted lights from your local home improvement store. Push them into the ground -- no wiring necessary, and the sun will do the rest. By tomorrow night, your lawn will be bathed is soft light from high-efficiency LEDs powered solely by the sun. potential thieves -- a problem in our neighborhood -- will likely move on to a darker home. Save your receipts for the 30% credit on your Federal tax return.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Keep the heat! As weather gets colder, keep the heat your oven generates by leaving the oven door open to let heat out into the room. Safety first, however, don’t do this around small children.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • There’s no need to recycle if you choose instead. Turn old wine bottles into wine bottle jack-o-lanterns in the October 14th suggested project. See the website for details and directions.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Make your own furniture cleaner. Hints from Heloise suggests that you mix these three ingredients together in a glass jar with a lid:
    • 1/3 cup of vinegar
    • 1/3 cup of turpentine
    • 1/3 cup of boiled linseed oil
    Clearly label with the ingredients. Use a soft cloth dampened with the mixture and rub over the furniture. Afterward, polish with a clean cloth. CAUTION: Do not use this mixture on lacquered furniture or antique pieces. Note: Make sure you buy linseed oil that is labeled as "boiled." Do not boil it yourself because it is highly flammable. Also, remember to label the cleaner for storage, and keep it out of reach of children and pets.
    by Hints from Heloise

  • Don’t Recycle, first try . Over at Make, Gloria Kelly, in a comment on another posted “loaded an image to this 2007 Weekend Project video about making a messenger bag out of plastic grocery or trash bags.” For details, see the uncoumption website above.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Don’t Recycle; Repurpose! Website defines “Unconsumption” as a word used to describe everything that happens after an act of acquisition. Unconsumption is an invisible badge. Unconsumption means the accomplishment of properly recycling your old cellphone, rather than the guilt of letting it sit in a drawer. Unconsumption means the thrill of finding a new use for something that you were about to throw away. Check it out to see how you can Unconsume.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Teach your children well by acknowledging the environmental mistakes of every post-industrial generation up to your own, and then perhaps they won’t repeat them in the future.

  • Honor Christopher Columbus by discovering ways to harness the power of renewable energy. After all, he would never have discovered America in 1492 without harnessing wind power. His navigation system was the sun and the stars. His journey was about as green as you could possibly get in the 15th Century. What can you do to follow in his wake?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Take responsibility - baby steps. baby steps. If you think you're too small to make a difference you’ve never slept with a mosquito.

  • Turn it off when it is not in use! Using compact florescent lamps (CFLs) cuts electric consumption 75 percent. Using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) saves 90 percent. Turning them off when nobody is using them saves 100 percent. Replacing all your lamps with energy efficient ones and then leaving them on all the time just wastes energy more slowly.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use nuclear power from 93 million miles away. Harness the power of the sun for light, heat, and electricity. Learn how on the Alabama Solar Association website. We’re here to help you help our children and grandchildren.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use the ultimate slow cooker – the solar oven. Put your food inside in the morning, point it toward solar noon (180°, True South), and come home to a delicious dinner. Free-range chickens, usually notoriously tough, cook so tender the meat falls off the bone.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use window blinds and shades to control light and heat entering the room. Cellular shades can do amazingly well blocking heat transfer.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Consider shading windows with foliage. One house on the 2011 Alabama Solar Tour planted grape vines over two south-facing windows. The leaves of wild grapes called muscadines shade the openings from early spring until summer but fall off in late fall. The grapes taste delicious too, and they have a much smaller carbon footprint than do the grapes you buy at the store.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Consider a solar clothes dryer – an old-fashioned clothes line. No connections necessary, on electricity or natural gas consumed, fresher smelling clothes, and zero carbon footprint.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Consider the total carbon footprint of your energy sources. If you cannot generate “green” energy yourself, then at least buy it from your power company. Where you can’t buy “green” energy, such as having to buy gasoline for your car, then conserve. Resolve to use “Energy Awareness Month” to learn to reduce your carbon footprint.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Consider solar power, even if you have to start small. Photovoltaic (PV) modules have dropped sharply in recent months. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can save a lot of the more expensive portions of the installation. Consider asking some of your rocket scientist neighbors to help with the wiring and other technical parts; help your neighbors where you might know more about a specific subject. Solar projects are modular, so it’s fairly easy to add to a small system later as funds become available.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, "Rocket City," Alabama USA

  • Take care of your home. “A chair is still a chair even is there’s no one sitting there, but a chair is not a house, and a house is not a home when there’s no one there to hold you tight, and no one there that you can kiss goodnight.” Earth will still be earth when humans are gone, but it won’t be our home.
    Quote from Soul singer Luther Vandross

  • Understand several perspectives of your home and the difference between them, so you can better understand the role of your ‘house’ in our culture.
    by John Rooks, Portland, Oregon USA

  • Buy brands that are green. Start demanding a reevaluation of stuff. The market-economy would eventually respond. It has taken significant effort just to create a desire for better products within the market system, let alone the complete reimagining of our relationship with products.
    by John Rooks, Portland, Oregon USA

  • Help to create a two-front shock and awe attack on unsustainability. Reevaluate your relationship to stuff. It seems clear that it is not enough to simply keep on accumulating less bad products, and still live in a verdant and just world. It is said that trend is manufactured in the margins of culture, and we can indeed pinpoint movements where people are engaging consumption from per perspectives. From “buy less junk” campaigns to “right to repair” initiatives to “freecyclers” to the “rent-as-business-model,” there are shifts from ownership to access as a new relationship with consumption.
    by John Rooks, Portland, Oregon USA

  • Reevaluate how you use your home, where it sits in relation to neighbors or work, how big it is, how few people live in it, and ultimately the very meaning of “home” itself in our culture.
    by John Rooks, Portland, Oregon USA

  • Do you really need that much hot water? If so, install a solar hot water heater as we discussed yesterday. But first consider washing most of your clothes in cold water. The clothes don’t mind a cold bath, in fact, colors will last longer. Hot water will kill germs better, but only if you raise water temperatures above boiling. Safety considerations prohibit using water that hot in a home. See today’s ”Breaking News” for more on this subject.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Install a solar hot water system. Solar water heating systems are four times more energy efficient and five times more cost effective than are photovoltaic (PV) systems. We all figured the power of solar water heaters whenever we tried to get a drink of water from a garden hose that was lying out in the sun all day.
    by John Rooks, Portland, Oregon USA

  • Add insulation. An $825 addition to my attic insulation saved me more than $50 in one summer month alone.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Make every meal special; treat family like guests. Use real plates and glasses; use cloth napkins. Save the paper and plastic for occasions when you just can’t possibly wash.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Do a blower-door test to find leaks in your building envelope. A blower door test is performed by a technician placing a temporary door in one of the outside doors to your house or building. All other doors and windows are closed and all fans turned off. The fan in the temporary door evacuates a significant portion of the inside air. It’s like a 40 MPH wind is blowing on all walls at once. You can see the worst air leaks and feel the minor ones. The test in my home blew sawdust into the room from under baseboards left by the builders 40 years ago.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use Energy Star. Install double paned-Low E-argon filled windows. Be sure to compare insulating properties (thermal insulation) as well as resistance to sunlight transmission (radiation reduction). Different models may qualify for the Energy Star label but still be less efficient.
    by John Rooks, Portland, Oregon USA

  • Grow vegetables in pots. You do this with flowers, so why not plant a few miniature tomato plants, some pole beans, some loose-leaf or Romaine lettuce, etc. any food you grow yourself has a tiny carbon footprint compared to what you buy from the supermarket (grown a long ways away, transported to distribution centers, transported to your store, kept refrigerated until you buy it, transportation home, etc.). Don’t forget to compost the waste.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Compost, if you don’t already do so. It’s a great and green way to get rid of coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, leftover veggies, vegetable wastes, paper towels, and more. You can simply pile it up in your backyard and let compost happen naturally, or you can speed you the process with various machines. Some compost tumblers can produce that rich compost you find on an old forest floor in only two weeks. Apartment dwellers may find a small worm composter convenient and effective.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Recycle coffee grounds and tea bags. No, I don’t mean using them again to make coffee or tea. Instead, bring them home to add to your compost pile. I used to keep a very small, covered trash can on the counter beside my office’s coffee area. I emptied it twice a week to keep oders down. I got some very generous donations to organic garden compost pile.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use less water. Consider using dri wash n guard, the waterless car wash.

  • Use cloth diapers. They are cheaper, healthier for the baby, and “greener.”
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Be honest! Don’t try to sell “green” as being more valuable than it actually is. We all know that going green will take time and it will take an upfront investment. Payback could be up to 25 years or longer. “Green” has gotten a bad reputation by those who exaggerated benefits.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Take a small step toward “green” today, and then build on that small action tomorrow.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Choose to use less oil as we remember the horrors of 9-11-2001. The terrorists that killed and wounded thousands of Americans that day are same folks who supply us more than half of the oil we use today. Let’s all look for alternative energy sources and reduce our oil habit.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Look around for little ways to save. Is your entertainment system really off? Watching a two-hour movie on your DVD player and leaving it on standby the other 22 hours is expensive. The 22 hours standby uses more electricity than does the two hour run time. Not watching a movie every day? You’re really wasting electricity.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Reduce waste! Americans waste more electricity every year than Australians use, and the land mass of the two countries is about the same.
    by Morton Archibald

  • Reduce waste! Americans waste more electricity every year than Austrailans use, and the land mass is about the same. What can you do to save electricity?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Teach! The best way to learn a subject is to teach it. Share what you have learned about renewable energy with others and learn more from them.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Cool it! Eat cold foods to make summer temperatures seem less hot while avoiding adding
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Learn! Study renewable techniques and technologies, especially renewable energy possibilities. I have been studying energy for over 40 years, and yet every day I am blown away by how much I still don’t know.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Cool it! Eat cold foods to make summer temperatures seem less hot while avoiding adding
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Nuke it! Use the microwave instead of the oven or stovetop. Microwaves use less energy and produce a lot less heat. Heat reduction is especially important in the summertime.

  • Cool it! Eat cold foods to make summer temperatures seem less hot while avoiding adding extra heat to the kitchen.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Fire up the grill and celebrate workers who made this world a better place while you avoid heating the kitchen.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Plan ahead! The New Mexico Energy Association published details and a complete event guide to their “2011 Solar Festival” in their latest newsletter. They asked members to plan ahead to be sure they picked the events and exhibits most important to their solar needs.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Reuse! The New Mexico Energy Association published details and a complete event guide to their “2011 Solar Festival” in their latest newsletter. They asked members to bring the newsletter with them to the Festival and use it as a guide instead of picking up a new printed program.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Plan ahead! Combine trips to save time and energy.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Encourage friends and neighbors to reduce their carbon footprint.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Plan ahead for the unexpected! Keep bottles of water frozen in your freezer and cuilled in your refrigerator. It will make both operate more efficiently – liquids hold heat netter than do gasses. If you run short of space, take the bottles out until space opens up again. In an emergency, frozen and chilled bottles keep the freezer and refrigerator cold longer, and thawed water can serve as emergency water supplies. Rotate bottles periodically letting them warm to room temperature and then watering plants with them.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Think green! Too many of the SA “Thoughts –for-the-Day” are from Morton. E-mail your ideas to info@AL-Solar.org.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA
    Have your name and hometown printed here tomorrow.

  • Join an association of like-minded individuals for political change. There is strength in numbers. Politicians will eventually follow the will of the majority of the voters. If they fail to do that, they will eventually be voted out. Join the Alabama Solar Association or a similar organization, make your voice heard, and have patience. Change will come.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Bring the entire family to the third annual Green U in Huntsville from 9 AM to 3 PM Saturday to learn so many ways to be more green while saving more green. The Alabama Solar Association will have numerous working photovoltaic (PV) arrays, a functioning solar water heater, educational materials, and so much more. Learn how you can cut your energy bills while reducing your carbon footprint. Hear Kay Detter end the day with a Solar 101 course. Professional engineers can earn one free professional development hour (PDH) for attending. Hope we can see you there.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Plan ahead for impending disasters, but reuse reserves when danger is past. As Hurricane Irene approached the populous East Coast, officials recommended planning ahead. “Fill bathtubs and clean bottles with water,” advised the mayor of New York City. Freeze bottles of water (leaving a 10 percent air gap for expansion) in empty freezer space,” said another. When danger is passed, and you haven’t used all the reserves, use frozen water bottles in ice chests instead of buying it from the store. Dip water out of the tub and use it for washing sidewalks or other outdoor cleaning. Use leftover bottles for cooking or indoor washing. Waste not, want not!
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Live by a big but slow flowing spring? Consider using hydraulic rams that trade volume for pressure. When visiting Northwest Georgia, check out the ones in Cave Springs that supplied water to the School for the Deaf there for decades.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Live by a flowing stream? Consider micro-hydro. It’s a solar power that works night and day for you.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Fight rising utility bills with conservation. Customers of one North Alabama city are outraged at a 3.5 percent rise in utility rates. Instead of fussing, they should be looking at conservation opportunities. Studies have shown that Americans can easily save 15 to 25 percent with no significant lifestyle changes just by eliminating waste. Americans waste more energy each year than Australians use. Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps and save 75 percent on your lighting bill; change to LEDs and save 90 percent. Raise your thermostat two degrees in summer and save 5 percent in summer, lower it in winter to save another 5 percent. Find wall cubes (those buzz boxes that convert AC household current to DC for cell phone chargers, radios, etc. unplug these when you are not using the device. A DVD player used two hours a day uses less electricity when playing a 2-hour movie than it does idling the remaining 22 hours; unplug it of plug it into a power strip that gets turned off at night. The list of possibilities goes on and on.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Study! Learn more about solar power from the free and low cost training classes or from articles on your Technical Info page. Learn to speak “Solar” from your Solar Lingo page.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Plan ahead. I can prepare an egg salad for four with only a fork and a ceramic pot. I boil the eggs in a Corningware dish. I let them cool in the kitchen sink while I fork out a olives from the jar slicing them with the edge of the fork. I use the same fork to scoop our mayonnaise – since our mayo is made from olive oil, a little more olive juice doesn’t hurt anything. Now I peal the boiled eggs and use the very same fork to break them into chunks. I use the fork again to mix the ingredients together and again to serve the completed egg salad into individual dishes. A little planning goes a long way. How much can you save by planning ahead?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • “Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters.” Develop “green” habits and help to make the world a better place.
    by Nathaniel Emmons, American theologian, East Haddam, Connecticut USA

  • The most powerful energy saver in the world is the human brain. Think!
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Be sure your entertainment center is turned off when it is not in use. My TiVo digital recorder has to have power all the time to record shows whether we are watching or not. The standby mode of the other five components, the wireless headphones power supply, etc. do not need to be on except for the two or three house we are actually watching. I plug everything but the TiVo into a power strip and cut that off on my way to bed every night.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Be sure your “green” products are really green. Someone gave my daughter a package of eco-wipes. While the wipes themselves may well have been “green,” they were in a hard plastic container obviously made from a lot of petroleum. Couple that with the carbon footprint to make, package, and ship the wipes halfway around the world made the “green” value questionable. A better solution would have been to use a reusable cloth. Need it super clean for an LCD screen or the like? Use a solar still to capture pure moisture for the cleaning.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Say it with electrons; use a video message on a website instead of printing color brochures. It’s cheaper and it’s faster. You can edit your video any time the information changes without having to reprint a brochure. It’s in full color and it’s moving to get attention. Your video can include hyperlinks to more related information than you could put on a hundred brochures.
    Kay Detter, Madison, Alabama USA

  • Consider installing a small photovoltaic (PV) system. You can easily add to it later.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Reuse before you recycle. Wash and keep those hard, resealable plastic containers manufacturers seem to love to put things in today. They make great ways to refrigerate leftovers or take food along on a trip.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Buy stuff made from recycled materials. North River Cascades of Quebec, Canada offers paper products that are made from 100 percent post-consumer content and manufactured with 100 percent wind-generated energy. For over 45 years, the company has provided paper solutions designed with environmental preservation in mind. With its complete lines of products that range from the most affordable to the most luxurious, Cascades is able to meet the needs of every industry.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Can you find a unique way to reuse something? How about an empty soda bottle for a light? Fed up with the dark shacks without windows that make up so much of the Philippines urban regions, someone found a way to use an empty clear soda bottle to light up the darkened rooms. Once known as “The Pearl of the Orient,” the magnificent city of Manila has never returned from the devastation of World War II. Someone found a way to mount a used 2-liter solar bottle through the metal roof. The bottle is first filled with water and a little chlorine bleach to control algae. Sunlight filters through the bottle of water and diffuses into the interior of the shack to provide bright, natural light. What can you find to reuse?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Buy stuff with post-consumer content. Chose a refurbished electronic “top” instead of insisting on something new. Buy ink cartridges that have been refilled, or go somewhere where they refill them – a lot of Walgreen pharmacies are now providing that service. Staples gives you a store credit for each ink cartridge you bring in for refill. What else can you find?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Keep your refrigerators and freezers as full as you can. Air is much harder to keep cool than sre solids and liquids. If you don’t have that much food, put bottles of water in there. Remember that water expands as it freezes, so leave any bottles headed for the freezer with 10 percent air.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Dispose of electronic equipment properly. If that old printer or other equipment still works, consider donating it to a school. Even some parts from an old computer could help school students with that robotics project they are working on. Trading an old printer at the office supply store will likely see it refurbished and sent to a country that can’t afford a new one. As a last resort, take it to a local recycler. Huntsville, Alabama USA, collects electronic equipment and other hazardous material outside the landfill the first Saturday of every month. Think green, and then act green.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Choose products that are eco-friendly and are eco-friendly packaged. my new HP printer was designed with the environment in mind. The body was made of recycled plastic. The new print cartridges contained 70% recycled content. The printer came with a reusable carrying bag similar to the shopping bags we all use but shaped for my printer. Most (99 percent) of the packaging (pressed cardboard replaces the usual Styrofoam blocks we usually get) was fully recyclable. The shipping label even encourages us to recycle the packaging. Learn more about how one company goes more “green” at the HP website. Think “green,” and then act “green.”
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use eco-friendly paint that is 100% toxic-free.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: And on the “19th Hole,” The best solution for our environment is to educate and encourage all residents, old and new alike, to not impact the natural environment that surrounds them. Each of us should to do our part to restore some of what was displaced by our homes. Little things add up to have big results.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment:18. Replace electricity produced by coal with optional clean energy; buy “green” power from your local utility. Homeowners, businesses, and apartment dwellers alike can take this simple step. For Alabamains living north of Cullman, check out the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Green Power Switch. For those living south of the TVA service area, Alabama Power offers a similar program.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment:17. Help protect the wildlife and eco systems that make “The Blue Planet” unique. Care of your share of the environment, such as your home and yard. Help protect the wildlife habitat and natural ecosystems that make our land so special and unique. By focusing on your own home and property, it is believed that each citizen can make a tremendous difference to the environmental health of the entire planet. By changing a few actions around their homes and yards, each citizen can do their part to take care of the environment. The result is lower electric bills, lower water bills, cleaner natural water supplies, and yards that are safe havens for local wildlife.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 16. Use the sun to provide light, heat, and electricity. Start small and build up, most solar power systems are modular making upgrades easy.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use the ASTM D6400 certified and BPI approved biodegradable and compostable bags

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 15. Ride bikes or walk more for short distances. Even if you are not hard core enough to commute to work by bike full time, you can still have a huge positive impact on the environment and your wallet. Motor vehicles are least efficient and most polluting during short trips and warmer weather. You can do the most good by cycling during these times.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 14. Avoid using products that deplete the ozone layer.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 13. Use both sides of your paper. This seemingly obvious step has become easier over the years. this “Reduce” step is better than “Reuse” or “Recycle” efforts. Most modern computer printers have a “Duplex” printing option that will automatically flip the paper over for you. it could litter cut your paper usage in half. In our house, we fish one-sided printed paper – usually printed by someone else – out of our recycle bins to make grocery list pads, notes we need to make, paper for our grandkids to draw on, etc. Use your printer’s “Duplex” feature and then use your imagination for stuff others print.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Bike to work and save a lot more than by car pooling. I commuted to work by bicycle year round for seven years, and I saved over $7,000 per year doing so, and gas was then about $1.50 per gallon. My commutes varied from 7 to 34 miles round trip. I even rode my bicycle from Huntsville to near Nashville for a business trip, and I rode to the Huntsville Airport to catch a plane twice more. My health indices improved drastically during those seven years. It’s not for everyone, but it worked for me.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 12. Car pool. Save money, save energy, relax more, and cut pollution while you share your ride. Car pool with four other people, and you only have to drive once a week, plus you save about 30 tons of air pollution each year, while you get more than 100 MPG per passenger. Win-win-win!
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Have patience. My Energy Star LCD TV takes a little longer to wake up from a “sleep,” but it’s only a few seconds. I use the time to contemplate the money it has been saving me before I turned it back on.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 11. Rotate crops. It goes back to the time of the Roman Empire. It works for huge fields or for small garden plots. With the cost of groceries steadily rising, it pays to produce as much as you can at home.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Reuse before recycling. My wife made some delicious crepes for breakfast yesterday morning; she asked me to slice the last of our strawberries. They were in a Number 1 recyclable plastic container, but I chose not to recycle it yet. I used the slotted container to wash the berries, and then I use the flat bottom of one half for a cutting board. After breakfast, I still did not recycle the container. I took the leftover strawberries, mixed them with the leftover filling, and stored them in the container for tomorrow morning’s breakfast. After that, I’ll rinse the box in cold water, and then I’ll recycle it. How can you imagine to reduce and reuse before recycling?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 10. Save our forests. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into our air. They also provide shade in the summer and beauty year-round. When building a new home, avoid clear cutting. Plant deciduous trees to provide shade in the summer but allow light through in winter. Plant evergreen trees to block light and wind all year. Plant fruit trees to reduce your grocery bills while helping the environment.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 9. Recycle unwanted paint and solvents. Keep them out of our water supply.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 8. Recycle used motor oil. Turn a waste product into an energy asset instead of a pollutant. One quart of oil can contaminate up to 275,000 gallons of drinking water or cause an oil slick almost 2 acres in size. Source: Alabama Department of Environmental Management, ADEM.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 7. Keep motor vehicles in good running condition. Even a well-tuned motor vehicle emits its own weight in pollution every three months. We don’t even want to think about the harmful release of a vehicle that is not well-maintained.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 6. Recycle plastic, white paper, newspaper, and cans, but first try to Reduce, then Reuse, and only then Recycle.
    Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 5. Pick up trash; don't litter. Reduce the amount of potential liter by buying products with minimal wrapping. This is most easily done by buying locally such as at a farmers’ market. Reuse packaging and other materials, such as use shoe boxes for storage or wash plastic tubs that your cheese spread came packaged in and reuse it for storing leftovers. Recycle as much waste as you can.
    Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 4. Compost. Compost happens naturally, but it can takes years to turn dead leaves into the rich topsoil you find on a forest floor. You can speed things along with a properly-used composter to complete the cycle in months or even weeks. Ask your local agricultural extension agent how to make your flowers and trees grow faster, healthier, and bigger. Then enjoy the fresh air they produce converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 3. Plant trees. I prefer fruit trees; they not only convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and plant food, but they also provide healthy snacks.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 2. Reduce; reuse; recycle in that order.
    by Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Eighteen ways to take care of our environment: 1. Plant flowers. They look pretty, they absorb carbon dioxide, and the produce oxygen.
    Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Understand how little thing add up to make big differences. Consider the nutritional value of a single grain of rice. By itself, that tiny grain of rice can’t provide you energy to lift your fork to eat another, but, put it together with many more gains, and it can keep you alive and functioning for days. The small “green” efforts of one person cannot have much of an impact on Mother Earth, but little efforts added to billions of more little efforts can change the world. our children and grandchildren are depending on us.
    Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use a solar clothes dryer. Just string a clothes line outside in the sunshine and freshen your clothes as they dry.
    Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Reuse! A Huntsville podiatrist sends new special shoes home in q box that challenges wearers to reuse the box until it is no longer reusable and then to recycle it. She sends the boxed shoes out in a reusable earth bag with a plea to use it again and again; the message is printed on recyclable brown Kraft paper and attached to the bag with a cotton string – not one of those thin plastic ties. Thanks, Dr. Yack!
    Brenda Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use technology to save energy. Start with a programmable thermostat to reduce cooling or heating loads in unoccupied areas; some programmable thermostats are accessible from your smart phone or computer. Use automatic controls for electric lighting based on ambient light and time of day. Use a Kill a Watt meter to measure your cost of any 110-volt electrical device over time. Read and use your imagination.
    Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Have patience. it takes longer to cook dinner in a solar oven than it does in a microwave, but the food tastes better and the energy is free.
    Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Insulate your water heater and piping.
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Use less hot water. Take shorter showers (not baths), and use an energy-efficient shower head. Use cold water to do laundry.
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Replace conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights or LED lighting. CFL’s and LED’s use far less energy and generate little heat.
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Create shade for the future. Plant shade trees on the south and east sides of the house.
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Seal cracks around windows and doors, eliminate air leaks around window air conditioners. Insulate wherever possible.
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Give natural ventilation a solar boost with a solar attic fans such as the one from Natural Light. Reduce heat build-up in your attic and minimize the load on your HVAC system. These fans need no electrical wiring or structural changes. Select one that will blend seamlessly into your roof line.
    Dereck Odette, Murfreesboro, Tennessee USA

  • Use natural ventilation whenever practical. Install ceiling fans or a whole house fan to make the most of it.
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Create shade for the future and oxygen for our children and grandchildren. Plant shade trees on the south and east sides of your house or office building.
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Keep the heat out during the day with shades or awnings, especially on the south side of the house. Open the windows in the evening and use fans to draw in cooler night air.
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Turn off appliances, computers, TV’s etc., when not in use. Flat-screen TV’s and many other devices continue to use electricity when “off.” Plug them into power strips and turn the power strip to make sure “off” really means “off.”
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Grow better crops without chemicals; solarize your soil. here’s a new twist to solar power. Bake away fungus, nematodes, and many weed seeds. Level troubled areas, moisten well, and cover with a thick layer of clear plastic sheeting secured with stones or stakes. Leave in place four to six weeks, then replant in your new, healthy bed. Solarization works best in full sun and warm inland locations.
    from Sunset magazine, July, 2011

  • Find those energy thieves. Find out exactly what appliances large or small are costing you over time. Learn how much you can save by selecting a “green” mode of “standby,” “sleep,” “off,” etc. devices such as the EZ meter can identify specific savings over time. You can even find the complete operating instructions online.
    by Steve Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Take advantage of the sunshine on this the longest day this year in the Northern Hemisphere. At 5:16 PM Tuesday, the Earth's and the moon axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun. See an excellent diagram of this on the Wikipedia website. Turn off lights, raise the window shades, and enjoy the beauty of natural light. You probably will get a better view than the inside of a shade or set of blinds. Make plans now to be making better use of North Alabama’s abundant sunshine with photovoltaics, solar thermal, or a geo-exchange cooling and heating system before Summer Solstice 2012.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Go paperless. Business decision-makers using paper spend 15% of time reading and 50% of time looking for the document. Do your job faster, cleaner, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly electronically.
    from an ARX Webinar, June 16, 2011.

  • Install a programmable thermostat on your central A/C. Then raise the temperature in occupied rooms a few degrees more than your usual. Most people cool to 72 degrees F, or so. Set it to 78 degrees F for optimal savings, or find your comfort point somewhere in between.
    Taco Hydronic Systems, Cranston, Rhode Island

  • Use whatever of the Earth’s precious resources you need. There is no reason to do without anything you really need. Just cut out the waste.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • 'Lets Go Green' Easier said than done but like a babe learning to walk one step at a time and I do think persons like us who are keen on taking that first step, is a step in the right direction.
    Cardinal Hinds, Thailand

  • When landscaping, consider using xeriscaping techniques to conserve water. Xeriscaping is conserving water through creative, appropriate plant selection and water management, includes plants, irrigation, soil preparation, and maintenance.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Oil! That’s So 20th Century! The future starts now. Go green instead.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Do-It-Yourself! Don’t buy your next table from a Big Box Mart made of cheap pressboard covered with a thin plastic veneer, packaged in Styrofoam lined boxes and wrapped in multiple layers of plastic, and accompanied by instructions written in a language only remotely resembling the grammar you learned in elementary school. . Buy it from your neighborhood lumber yard or home improvement store, stain or paint it exactly the color you want, and build something that will last several lifetimes. My grandchildren now use a table my father built 67 years ago.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Caulk your air leaks. A $3 tube of caulk from your home improvement store is the most cost-effective energy saver on the market. This lowly product will give you the highest rate of return per dollar spent than any other form of repair, and just about anyone can do it.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Pass on some of the “free” literature when traveling. Take only what you can reasonable use, and then recycle it, when you are done. They may be “free” to you, but someone had to pay for materials and energy to print them. Take whatever you need, but only what you need.”
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use eco-friendly paint that is 100% toxic-free.

  • Use Ethanol instead of gasoline when it is available. I just bought a tank of Ethanol 85 at more than $1.50 per gallon below a lower grade of gasoline. The vehicle seemed to have a little extra pep, and I saved a bunch of money.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA, posted from Iowa

  • Use eco-friendly paint, 100% toxic-free

  • Reuse water. Let’s say you need hot water – sometimes you do – to wash dishes. But it takes a bit for the hot water to come from the tank to the faucet. Use the cold water that comes out of the hot water faucet to rinse a soda can you plan to recycle. Then pour the water from the can onto a plant that needs watering – the plant loves the extra sugar from the soda. Or perhaps you can pour it into a pot that needs soaking. Be creative!
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Stick to the paths in parks and on public lands. Don’t disturb the natural habitat of local wildlife. Leave it for the enjoyment of those who follow you and the species that depend on it for life.
    by Publix Supermarkets

  • Make your own clothing from organic cotton.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • On this Memorial Day, take a moment to remember the fighting men and women who died to insure a better life for the rest of us.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Reuse or recycle old electronics. Donate old electronics to school programs or to volunteer organizations that refurbish them for another use. Several programs give refurbished phones to battered women, soldiers serving overseas, and other worthwhile uses. Some school may be able to use those old computer parts to build a class robot of some other project. Be creative.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Reuse water whenever possible. Rinsing out a soda can before recycling it? First, use cold water. Pour the rinse water from the can into dirty dishes to soak off cooked-on food. Then pour that water from the dirty dish onto a plant that needs watering. Be careful not to let the water soak too long allowing bacteria to grow. If need be, use a few drops of anti-bacterial soap to cut grease, but soap would not be good for watering plants later.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use your ceiling fans year round to save energy. Save on cooling in the summer. In winter, reverse the fan to push down the warm air that naturally gathers at the ceiling.
    by Publix Supermarkets

  • Leave the cold air inside the refrigerator or ice box. Putting away groceries, gather the cold items before opening the door. Gathering cold items for a meal, plan ahead what to take out and try to visualize where it is inside. A little planning saves a lot.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Reuse water. Collect water you used to soak food off your dirty dishes to water plants. One Japanese company even makes a washing machine that collects the used water to flush a toilet ( The super eco clothes and toilet wash). Use your imagination to see how you can reuse water. Save the good stuff for drinking and cooking.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Avoid burning anything. Even burning seemingly clean fuel like natural gas puts carbon dioxide into the air. Worse than that, for every pound of carbon dioxide released, the burning consumes 1.5 pounds of oxygen. We can live weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without oxygen. Visit any Third-World country to show how much harder it is to breathe with less oxygen.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use cloth diapers instead of disposables. And if you happen to live on an island adjacent to SCUBA diving waters, the divers will really appreciate your efforts. Just ask any former diver from Kwajalein Army Missile Range.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use a solar oven to cook dinner. It takes longer, but the energy is free.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Minds are like parachutes; they only function when open. Open your mind to the possibilities of “Green” living.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Downsize your lawn. Lawns consume water and provide no habitat for local wildlife. Create a meadow of indigenous wildflowers, plant an attractive ground cover, or cultivate an organic garden instead. Please avoid putting chemicals on your lawn which will wash into groundwater or through storm drains and into rivers and streams.
    by Publix Supermarkets

  • Do something small. Recycle one newspaper or aluminum can, whatever works for you, and then start to implement some of the hundreds of ideas we have already published in past thoughts for the day. See the “Green Tips” page for a complete list to date.
    Inspired by a sign on the front desk of the Downtown Day’s Inn in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

  • Use a solar oven to cook dinner.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Use refillable water bottles.
    Cory Archibald Longley, Tarlac City, The Philippines

  • Uh-oh! It’s Friday the 13th! It’s great day to repeal Murphy’s Law by planning ahead. Planning is the first step of going green.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Don’t empty tin cans, but cook from fresh ingredients, preferably raised in your own garden or at least purchased from the local farmers’ market. Recycling tin cans is better than throwing them away, but avoiding using them altogether is much better. Be sure to compost peelings and nonfat leftovers.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Plant shade trees right on top of the outside portion of your heat pump. you can do that, if your heat pump is a geothermal unit. In fact, you can lay water and other utility lines on top, build a driveway across it, and build your house on top. The “outside” unit of a geothermal heat pump is buried at least six feet deep, and it’s always springtime at that depth. Your heat pump needs no shade from the summer sun, it thinks it spring all year round. Learn how you can get a 30% Federal tax credit while reducing your heating and cooling bills by 80 percent.

  • Buy refills for those pump cleaning products instead of buying a new bottle with another pump or sprayer. In the Philippines, I even saw recyclable foil packages with liquid refills instead of plastic bottles. How “Green” is that?
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama, USA

  • If you gave Mom cut flowers for Mothers’ Day, please compost them when they die. Hopefully, you gave her potting plants instead.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama, USA

  • Plant Mom a bunch of bedding plants for Mothers’ Day. For the price of a decent bouquet of cut flowers, you can buy two dozen bedding plants. Next week, the potted plants will be even more beautiful, while cut flowers would be dead. As a bonus, the bedding plants will absorb carbon dioxide and produce more oxygen for as long as they live.
    Heather Archibald Byars, Vestavia Hills, Alabama USA

  • Rinse dirty dishes in cold water and then wash them in a dishwasher. Cold water with a drops of anti-bacterial dish soap will soak off stubborn grease and grime is a few minutes. Energy-efficient dishwashers use much less hot water than washing large loads by hand. Do try to run the dishwasher when it is full; it takes as much water to wash a partial load as it does a full one. Be sure to use the energy-efficient settings such as “Energy-Saving Dry” on my machine.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama USA

  • Recycle plastic to keep non-biodegradable plastics out of landfills and waterways. Please give thought to what comes in and out of your household. It’s just one little way you can make Earth’s Day.
    by Publix Supermarkets

  • Use the original solar dryer—no connections required Dry your clothes in the fresh air and sunshine of your back yard on an old fashioned clothesline.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville.

  • Don’t buy food in boxes, cans, or bags. Cook with fresh ingredients bought locally whenever possible.
    by Cory Archibald Longley, Tarlac City, The Philippines.

  • Respect nature the way we want others to respect us!
    from Karditsa, Greece

  • Take your own shopping bags. I was given a reusable bag that folds into itself to a small ball that i keep in my purse. This came really handy because every time i go to the grocery store, i realize too late that i should have brought in a tote bag, but I always pull this one out of the purse :) I have stayed clear of lots and lots of plastic bags! This is just an example: www.alibaba.com/product-gs/338287775/fashion_fold_ball_shopping_bag.html. Works 4 me :)
    by Katia Bordy, Miramar, Florida

  • Take your own shopping bags instead of using the plastic bag. That's the most often talked and common thing we can do. Did you know that six average plastic bags require a gallon of crude oil to make?
    by Vivi Fan, China

  • Help people loose weight! overweight people eat more, and use more material for clothing, their weight in cars wear the tires and use more gas! Elevators use more energy with overweight people. They develop more illness, go more to the doctor and use more drugs when they develop diabetes and high blood pressure. Helping people to lose weight is the best you can do for the planet!
    by Luis A. Frigo, San Francisco Bay Area

  • Share your idle vehicle in a peer-to-peer sharing company to earn a 2nd income & reduce the high cost of ownership. Trusted borrowers can now easily rent a variety of assets nearby reducing parking spots & city congestion. Check out www.justshareit.com.

  • Not only give respect to materials which are less burden on environment, start giving more respect to those humans who are less burden on environment e.g. shop less and keep their keep belongings as minimum as required instead of getting impressed with the people with more buying power and not using it wisely.
    by Syd Ghousia,

  • Grow your own food, so you don't have to drive your car to the grocery store.
    by Luis A. Frigo, San Francisco Bay Area

  • Buy used stuff! Anything you think you need you can get used, call your friends and ask for it, you will surprise to find out you can borrow stuff, instead of buying new things. Go to Craigslist!
    by Luis A. Frigo, San Francisco Bay Area

  • Think before printing. Do you really need it or is it just a force of habit? If you do print it, print it both sides when possible, or make a scrap paper pile or book with all one sided printed paper you no longer need.
    by Izabella Mattioli, Rio de Janeiro Area, Brazil

  • Grow some of your own food.
    by Gary Ambrosino, Greater Boston Area

  • Turn off the cold tap while brushing your teeth - think of all the gallons of water we'd save! Only use what you need.
    by Allison Ainley-Walker, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

  • Turning off all electrical appliances when they are not needed (lights, cell phone chargers, laptops, etc.) is important and not that hard to do. If you want to know more about easy, eco-friendly practices you can implement at home or in the office feel free to contact me or check out our website.
    by Pablo Carrega, Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Buy green products such as lotions, shampoo's, and other types of items that are not only green but come in recyclable containers as well.
    Marci Redmond, Greater New York City

  • Look at your backyard or lawn, there might be plenty of free space to grow trees. Grow one tree and if only half of earth's population do this exercise, think how much greenery we will have?
    by Keshav Saini, New Delhi Area, India

  • Stop using air conditioning (Americans this means you!) and put up with the heat, how do you think other civilizations coped in the past?
    by Daniel Bowden, London

  • We the People....must adopt Green and environmentally harmonious improvements to our lifestyles...we can't wait for the government to mandate appropriate solutions. They are too slow and behind the curve. We live the situation every day. Be the better lifestyle you know needs to be at the Leading Edge in this little world.
    by Donald Eyermann, Phoenix, Arizona Area

  • Convince people that one person can make a difference. After that, change and improvement will follow, because people will engage and participate.
    by David O'Coimin (Cummins), Bristol, United Kingdom

  • Reduce vehicle-caused pollution. Take a bike safety class, so you will be more confident and competent on two wheels, and then give your car the day off whenever you can. The League of American Bicyclists (LAB, www.bikeleague.org) offers classes; I am one of the many instructors.
    by Ron Bishop, San Francisco Bay Area

    The National Bicycle Tour Directors’ Association (NBTDA, www.nbtda.com) offers dozens of week-long rides, and a few even longer, to let you get comfortable with riding amid your motorized cousins. The Alabama Bicycle Coalition (ALABike, www.alabike.org offers one of the NBTDA rides, links to local bike clubs and rides, cycling resources, and more. Huntsville is home to the Spring City Cycling Club, formed in 1892, which offers help to cyclists and potential cyclists in North Alabama.

    With gasoline topping four bucks a gallon and still climbing, more of soon may look to cycling for two shades of green – environmental and money.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama
    Executive Director of
    Bicycle Across Magnificent Alabama
    1994 – 2005

  • Educate people and change behavior, stop buying cell phones, flat screens, cars only to have the last fashion, just take a look at how is the weather now and you will realize that if we do not stop, we will finished covered by sea. Japan was the first one!
    Adriana Viggiano, Uruguay

  • Switch off the lights when out for lunch; do not provide paper cups in office. Reuse water from the washing machine to wash corridor area.
    by Jaslyn Koh, Singapore

  • Carpool at least a couple times per week. it doesn't have to be to work, maybe go with a friend to the grocery store... simple, green, and cost effective!
    by Catherine Danner, Charleston, South Carolina

  • Join your local chapter of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES, www.ASES.org, “Find a Chapter.”) and click on your home state. If you live outside the United States, join your local chapter of the International (ISES, www.ASES.org.

    Volunteer to hold office. Volunteer to help with Earth Day, Solar Day, the ASES National Solar Tour (nationalsolartour.org, and other events to teach your friends and neighbors about the power of renewable energy.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, Alabama

  • Buy food and drink that can be carried in reusable containers that keep your food tasting better, won't leach chemicals into your food, don't add to litter and don't take up valuable land for a garbage dump. Avoid buying products in Styrofoam, plastic and other disposable packaging.
    by Ben Martin, Greater New York City

  • Reduce the amount of waste produced. Do we really need to use so many paper towels, Zip Locks bags, etc? How about using real towels, and reusable containers rather than bags?
    by Cheryl Wright, Phoenix, Arizona

  • Step on aluminum cans before recycling them. The truck can load more crushed cans and needs to make fewer trips.
    by Rupert Connelly, Luxembourg

  • A truly global paradigm shift would occur only if we as humans start "paying the true price for going green". If we pay the true cost of our consumption, the laws of economics would compel us to change to greener habits. However, elected governments are reluctant to enforce green taxes in full on industry because it would drive up commodity prices - and eventually that government would lose populist support.
    by Sameer Pai, Mumbai Area, India

  • Take a shower or bath in the dark or by candle light...it could be kind of romantic!
    by Cathy Heaton, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Share the non-consumable items (especially which we do not use continuously) with family, friends and especially neighbors. make a schedule for using it and schedule can be shifted to remain fair. Like using a Lawn Mower, watering pipe/ cans even the picnic baskets, car cleaning tools, there could be long list, even kids toys.
    Syd Ghousia, Ontario, Canada

  • Collect rainwater with barrels to water the garden, wash the outdoor furniture, etc. Water will be the most valuable commodity in the future. Only 3% of world's water source is fresh water but only 1% is available.
    by Giselle Durrant, Toronto, Canada

  • Buy and use only what and how much you need. This leads to reduction in waste and use of energy (production, distribution and end-of-life processing)
    by Dipti Muley, Greater Seattle Area

  • Get to work on it (your bicycle)! When I returned from Kwajalein Atoll, a US Army missile range halfway between Honolulu and Darwin, Australia, I had no car. Rather than replace it, I car pooled with my wife. When she got a new job that prevented car pooling, I decided to ride my bicycle to and from work. Five years and 20,000 cycling miles later, I had saved thousands of dollars, greatly reduced my carbon footprint, and significantly improved my health. Give it a try.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville

  • Walk more,When I lost my car due to an accident, I chose not to replace it. I walk everywhere, sometimes 90 minutes. If I'm super tired, I use the bus. People can start walking more instead of driving.
    by Leslie Lawrence, Baltimore, Maryland

  • Recycle, reuse and purchase products that are made locally so there is a smaller carbon footprint.
    by Dana Sallee, Boston

  • Stop using artificial personal items like, Aerosol Body Sprays; Live simple, don’t use preservative added food, etc. Keep a diary with a list of junk and good food.
    HM Z , Pakistan

  • Wear your clothes multiple times before throwing them in the laundry....if it didn't get stained today or filled with offensive smells, just put it back in the closet.
    by Shane Culliton, MBA, Providence, Rhode Island

  • Plan to donate your body to science when you die. Let medical science and future doctors benefit to help future generations. It’s even greener than the “green burial” recommended by Erin Petersen of Chicago a few days ago.
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville, AL USA

  • Take your own shopping bag instead of using the plastic bag. That's the most often talked and common thing we can do.
    by Vivi Fan, China

  • Buy from merchants that use reduced packaging or no packaging at all. One place where we've eliminated plenty of packaging is in information media. Is there even any software still sold in shrink-wrap packages anymore? As for entertainment media--first it was the elimination of the CD long-box, and now we've reached the point, or soon will reach it, where more videos are downloaded than are rented on DVDs. And e-book readers are becoming more popular than I ever thought they would. (Not a fan myself--I like the idea in principle, but can't bring myself to deal with anything that involves DRM.)
    by Ronald W. Garrison, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area

  • Go "package free" whenever you can. When I say "No" to a bag at Starbucks, though some servers insist they must put the item in a bag. Then I tell them politely 'I won't buy it if it's in a bag, and they hand it to me with tongs.' Sorta funny, but inch by inch, . . . .
    by Craig Juel, Greater Chicago Area

  • Arrange for a green burial, don't embalm your body; use a wood box (there are green options) and have your family plant a tree above your body.
    by Erin Petersen, Greater Chicago Area

  • Build solar photovoltaic-assisted water storage and reverse-osmosis filtration system (with optional ozone or UV disinfection) within a community in a developing country. Add optional secondary carbon-based water filter at individual household for drinking water.
    by Cliff Tsay, San Francisco Bay Area

  • Keep electricity use to a minimum.
    by Nathan Gosse, London

  • Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day by going green and pledge to stay green from now on. What can you, as one passenger on Spaceship Earth, do to be more “green.”
    by Morton Archibald, Huntsville

  • Use public transportation as much as possible.
    by Laura Blanco Puebla, Madrid Area, Spain

  • Use the Public Library System and book sharing. Bike to work (where possible) or utilize public transportation.
    by Laura Essel, Greater Pittsburgh Area

  • Minimize! Use whatever you need, but only what you need.
    by Morton, Huntsville

  • Walk. Why take the car to go to the bakery around the corner?
    by Danilo Aguilar Miranda, Valencia Area, Spain

  • Grow your own vegetables, drink tap water, support and buy real environmental products.
    by Mario Puga, Dallas/Fort Worth Area

  • Laugh at high gas prices; drive a bicycle. Learn how to safely ride on Alabama roads from The Alabama Bicycle Coalition website, (www.alabike.org).
    by Morton, Huntsville

  • Switching to a green 3rd party energy provider takes 5 minutes, requires no contract, will save you money, and will have more of a positive impact on the environment than most of the things listed here combined. Go green today and make a difference that matters.
    by Haven J Marceau, Greater Boston Area

  • Use minimum necessary packing. I recently took a cell phone to a local company three miles from my house for repair. I listed “Will Call” for the shipping address to let them know I would come back to pick it up. When I did go back to get it, the company had fully packed it for international shipment. It was packed inside bubble wrap, stuffed in an envelope, packed in another two layers of bubble wrap, and then packed in a prepaid international shipping box. I walked out with the repaired phone in the bubble wrap pocket inside my coat pocket. I gave them back the unnecessary wrapping and boxes for them to reuse.

    Undoubtedly the $42 repair charge included at least two bucks for packing. They could have saved time, saved the company money, saved the customer money, and helped the environment by using much less packing.
    by Morton, Huntsville, Alabama

  • Send a healthy bag lunch to work or school instead of eating prepared meals. Make as much as you can from scratch.
    by Morton

  • Experiment in the kitchen trying to make more things from scratch and be less reliant on processed foods. Eat healthier, save money, while improving the environment. Check out "Cooking with Cory” on facebook.
    by Cory Archibald Longley, Tarlac City, Philippines

  • Buy SoyPrint Toner Cartridges instead of oil-based. One vendor offers HP and Dell soy cartridges. They save three liters of petroleum each toner and cost less than HP!

  • Find ways to achieve real investments that increase real sustainability. That is something each and every one of us who are working can do to improve the planet - for ourselves and future generations.
    by Carlos F Zavala, Greater Los Angeles Area

  • Compost. Return good stuff to the soil.
    by Greener World Technologies, Greater Philadelphia Area

  • Give away something you don't use to someone who may need it.
    by Glen Nickerson, Austin, Texas

  • Change the mindset of those around you by becoming educated and sharing information on sustainable solutions in your area.
    by Jennifer Barrows, Orlando, Florida

  • Use a handkerchief instead of boxes of tissues. If you must use tissues, save them and compost them with your vegetable scraps and leaves for your gardens.
    by Morton, Huntsville

  • Project an eco-friendly attitude and teach others how to do the same. We are just hosting an event about creating eco-savvy leadership - a line in it 'being eco-friendly is 10% about process, rules and procedures and 90% about attitude' is true when it comes to a required change of this scale. 1% shift in the right direction on general world population's attitude in everything we do, every action we take in our every day lives would collectively make a massive improvement. Diversity of our planet's population means that one-size cannot fit all, but we can all do the right thing and we all know what that is now.
    by Fi Haywood, Chelmsford, United Kingdom

  • Use reusable cups. Coffee drinkers around the world pollute the earth with Millions of disposable cups which are Styrofoam or waxed cardboard and non-recyclable.... Hot Espresso. Cool Earth.
    by Jeni Christensen, Melbourne Area, Australia

  • Buy smart bio-degradable products and recycle everything you can’t reuse.
    by Wayne Houghton, Phoenix, AZ

  • Build house from recycled materials such as Recycled wood can be used for much of the interior of the house, such as worktops, cabinets and drawers. Plastic PET bottles can be recycled to make carpet material for the building, and carpet pads can be made from reused textiles.
    by Gemini Overseas, Kolkata Area, India

  • Cycling!
    by Karen Zhu, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Use unused and unoccupied real estate in old city neighborhoods rather than stripping away forest and fields to make housing developments. Renovate something where the ground has already been cleared rather than knock down trees for your next home.
    by Dan Parker, Cleveland/Akron, Ohio Area

  • Kids, do try this at home: Teach your parents to go green and save some green with these cleaners.

  • Think! So many of our actions would be different if we took a moment to think about the ramifications. I try very hard to be green however, when I looked at the grander picture I do see that I still have many changes that I could make to my lifestyle to be greener.
    by Mary Pead, Ocala, Florida

  • Thermal curtains and or shutters can bring the effective R-Values of windows from the unacceptable R-1 to R-3 range up to R-13 or more.
    by Patrick Lea, Cincinnati

  • If you’re going to “say it with flowers,” use a potted plant instead of cut flowers. Cut flowers quickly wither and die without producing oxygen. Potted plants keep growing absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Most can even be planted outside.

  • Show Mother Earth some love on Valentine’s Day. Reduce your carbon footprint by revisiting the green tips list below.
    What will work for you?
    by Morton, Huntsville, AL

  • Be curious - and educate yourself as to the environmental impact of all that you do, all that you use, and all that you stand for in the world. This will inevitably mature your own thinking and lead you to better and more refined solutions all the time. And those you know will also gain from what you're doing about what you've learned along the way.
    by Jess Freher-Lyons, San Diego, CA

  • Buy SoyPrint Toner Cartridges instead of HP and Dell. They save 3 liters of petroleum each toner and cost less than HP! www.soyprint.net.
    by Matthew Airey, Boston, MA

  • Turn the lights out when the leave the room and switch off or even unplug appliances rather than leave them on standby.
    by Hamish Laird, New Zealand

  • Pay attention to the little thieves: a plugged in charger that is not charging an appliance may still be drawing power. A power strip in the on position, where the appliances are all turned off, is still drawing power.
    by Rebecca Jeffery, Chicago

  • Unprotected windows allow heat (and cool!) to escape. A simple shade can substantially reduce this loss.
    by Rebecca Jeffery, Chicago

  • Walk.
    Posted by Carol Prince, United Arab Emirates

  • Bake your own bread. Fill your home with a delicious aroma and avoid the huge carbon footprint of bread baked elsewhere, stored in a plastic bag, transported to the store, and then transported to your home.

  • Avoid bottled water. See how "manufactured demand" pushes what we don't need and destroys what we need most. View The Story of Bottled Water with Annie Leonard at http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/.
    by Cory Archibald Longley, Tarlac City, Philippines

  • Use bamboo plantation as biomass for energy production coaching farmers on how to do sustainable agriculture.
    Manad Lamaisri, Thailand

  • Use the car less and walk more. This will help to make people healthier, reduce fuel consumption, reduce fuel emissions, reduce traffic congestion and reduce dependency on fossile fuels.
    by Susan Pearson, United Kingdom

  • Where possible, use recycled timber. If you're renovating or building your new home, consider sourcing recycled wood - it's just as good as new; otherwise, it gets destroyed in the demolition process. Many homes and buildings that get demolished have timber flooring or panels in perfect condition.
    by Terry Miskimmiin, Perth, Australia

  • Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare (Japanese Proverb)
    by Cory Archibald Longley, Tarlac City, Philippines

  • Don't burn that pile of dry leaves that you have raked up in your backyard. Mix it with green clippings or food waste, cover it with a little dirt, and compost it.
    by Kumar Iyyani, Trichur, India

  • Don’t throw away soap or shampoo from a motel visit. Rinse soap bars and wrap it back up in the paper wrapper. Cap little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or lotion. Take them back home to use or donate to a homeless shelter.


  • Recharge electric vehicles and other rechargeable equipment off peak on a trickle charge. After 10 PM, electrical demand is usually lowest and spinning reserve is often wasted.
    by Morton

  • Plant Trees! - but not just any trees. Plant native trees in their native environment, where they can contribute to the protection and repair of biodiversity. Plant tropical species in tropical climates where they will grow most vigorously and efficiently - tropical species produce a tonne of carbon 5 or 6 times faster than those of Northern Europe and US. (There is also considerable evidence that planting trees in colder regions actually has a negative impact.) Tropical regions also tend to be some of the poorest regions in the world - planting trees in these countries can also have a fantastic SOCIAL benefit as well. If you would like to join us in this task or simply find out more - please visit www.cochabamba.coop.
    by David Vincent, United Kingdom

  • Respect nature the way we want others to respect us!
    from Karditsa, Greece

  • If you are an engineer or an architect, make your designs sustainable. Think how the project will use energy and make it from renewable sources. Think of the environmental impact for generations to come. Think green!
    by Morton

  • Leave no trace! http://www.lnt.org/
    by Alejandro Gimenez, Argentina

  • Stop excessive packaging! Buy anything you can from local producers and avoid excess packaging as well as transportation costs and carbon impacts.
    by Jeff Madden, Santa Barbara, California

  • Improve water management. Atlanta is drinking its water supply lakes dry. Crossing Lake Alatoona on I-75, even after months of heavy rain, I see wide bands of brown land where I used to water ski as a kid. Several lakes supplying the city were reduced to a quarter of their capacity during a recent drought. Georgia is suing Tennessee and Alabama for the right to bring Tennessee River water all the way from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Las Vegas has a higher cost per 1,000 gallons just pumping raw water uphill from Lake Meade than Huntsville, Alabama, charges customers for finished water. California is resurrecting 1970’s plans to build a desalination plant to create potable water from the ocean at a cost of ten times the Huntsville Utility water rates.

    What can you do to use less? Could you collect rainwater as does the new Vestavia Hills, Alabama, Public Library and use it to water landscaping? How about installing low-flow plumbing fixtures or just turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving?

  • Cultivate a vegetable garden ... it is a relaxing and rewarding hobby. Find out recipes for household cleaning made from natural, easily accessible ingredients rather than using the commercial, chemical products. Recycle what you can't reduce or reuse. Keep investigating and incorporating Green habits.
    by Marika Schwarz, Johannesburg Area, South Africa

  • Plant native trees in your yards instead of lawns. They require less water and convert more carbon dioxide to oxygen.
    Posted by Barbara Davey, Greater New York City Area

  • Think! Think how your choices affect others. Every choice will have impacts- there is no free lunch or ultimate "green" act.
    Posted by Tom Swarr, Albany, New York

  • Donate (any amount) to a fund to develop sustainable energy solutions. We desperately need R&D in this area to make sustainable energy cheap and workable.
    Posted by Jennifer Berensen, Melbourne, Australia

  • Treat your family and yourself like you treat your guests. Eat from real plates, drink from real cups and glasses. Use cloth napkins. And when you do drink a toast - to your family, the trees you've saved, and yourself. You're one of the good guys!
    Posted by Carole Anderson, Chicago

  • Looking for biodegradable alternatives to plastic and making a concerted effort to support those products.
    By Jason Housman, Greater New York City Area

  • Do not overfeed your children.Teach them to be responsible adults.
    from Ula Robertson
    President of At Your Service NY Catering, Greater New York City Area

  • Use Bicycle to go for distance up to 5 kilometers. It will support your good health as well as Environment. I am regular at this practice.
    by Ram Swaroop Sharma
    Lucknow Area, India

  • Even apartment dwellers can do a lot of green things. Grow potted plants; better yet, grow potted vegetable bushes—tomatoes and strawberries grow well on a balcony or well-lit room. Keep a worm composter under your sink or a small composting bin on a balcony. Buy blocks of “green power” from your utility company. Use LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs and EnergyStar® appliances; turn things off when not using them. Let your imagination run free. You will probably come up with far more good ideas than you could put into practice over your whole life.
    by Antonio Bettencour
    San Francisco Bay Area

  • Educate students from the childhood because it’s a bitter truth that many educated professional don’t take it seriously. We need to make it habit for all student to plant and take care of at least one plant and it will give a better result in future.
    Posted by Abhiseka Mohapatra
    Sambalpur, India

  • Vote for more renewable products at your appliance or home improvement store. Buy EnergyStaR® products. Make your voice heard; vote with your money.

  • Vote for more renewable products at your grocery checkout. Buy products with post-consumer content (recycled materials), buy refills instead of new bottles, and use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic. Make your voice heard; vote with your money.

  • Cause no light pollution at home and on the roads for your own health and safety and for the sake of your neighbours and fellow travelers. Use lower powered lights and aim them down where you need them.
    R P Rammohan, Hyderabad, India

  • Vote for clean and environmentally-friendly food every time you shop. Learn what is in the food you buy. Watch the movie or read the book Food, Inc., www.foodincmovie.com and then buy locally grown food or, better yet, grow your own. I used to grow half of what we ate in a backyard organic garden.

  • Be more conscientious of the impact we each have on our fragile environment. Everything we do has an impact.
    by Bill Longley, Tarlac City, the Philippines

  • Buy less frivolous stuff. Is it something you need, or something you want?
    by Bill Longley, Tarlac City, the Philippines

  • Promote a culture of respect to the environment and the planet, and teach that to our future generations, so it would not matter if you are a western habitant of an african, we all have to respect this planet and the resources we have.
    Cesar Epifanio, Brownsville, Texas

  • Walk or bike, don't drive, posted by Ricca Slone, Chicago. It's a concept I am seeing a lot of as I study energy use here in the Republic of the Philippines. My host took me for a ride on a scooter last night, and gasoline was selling for $3.88 per gallon.

  • Think several generations ahead. Be responsible for your own purchases, energy use, and disposal. What are you leaving for your grandkids?

  • Print less. The Alabama Solar Association has adopted a low-carbon footprint brochure. Whenever we have printed a tri-fold brochure, everything we printed and a lot more is on our website. Instead of brochures, we now print a summary of our website on the back of our business cards. Check us out by clicking on the above tabs.

  • "Teach your children well," sings Crosby Stills Nash Young. Some members of the LinkedIn Green group have advocated reducing population, some through drastic measures, as a way of answering the above question. I believe the answer is in smarter people, not less of them. The United States uses a fourth of the world’s daily energy consumption with only five percent of the world’s population. Even with this outrageous figure, the entire world uses only 0.02 percent of the energy available from our sun each day. While many regions of the world are seriously overpopulated, many others are empty. We need to make smarter energy choices and relocate populations to less crowded areas. Teach your children well, and they will lead us out of the mess we have created.

  • Remembering the heroes and victims of 9-11, lets all pledge to buy less oil from our enemies that caused this horrific attack. Let's all plug into renewable energy sources and conserve energy from conventional sources.

  • On Labor Day, make the sun work for you. Reduce dependence on foreign oil, plug into solar power for light, heat, and electricity.

  • Do not litter! Reduce the use of disposable items, Reuse whatever you can, and Recycle whatever you cannot reduce or reuse, as a last resort, dispose of properly. Inspired by Abdul M Sheikh, Slough, United Kingdom

  • Save trees by paying your bills on-line. Sign up for paperless statements. For those who still receive monthly statements most of the time an envelope is included just reuse the envelope. You need to cross out the bar code at the bottom of the envelope to ensure it's received by your creditor . I haven't had to buy envelopes in a very long time. I know I've saved many trees. Posted by Gina Melendes, Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Encourage others to reduce, reuse, and recycle like the organizers of the 2010 "Green U" did. This second annual festival for the environment charged an admission of five recyclable items, held classes on how to reuse common items for art and practical items, and used hand stamps in lieu of paper tickets to mark admission. The Alabama Solar Association booth practiced all three. We provided our own electrical needs with solar panels, we gave away reusable shopping totes, and we made fresh, fizzy sodas onsite without cans or bottles. We served the drinks in biodegradable compostable cups; we encouraged reuse of the cups before recycling them by offering free refills all day.

  • Save some trees. Instead of printing trifold brochures on thick, legal-sized paper, print a few details on the back of your business cards leading clients to your webpage. The Alabama Solar Association puts everything we would print on a brochure on our website and lots more anyway. Why duplicate the effort and waste paper?

  • We hold this planet in trust for our children - all our children - once that concept is accepted, the rest follows, to the best of our abilities.
    Posted by Marie Shallcross, Bromley, United Kingdom

  • Teach your children the value of a sustainable lifestyle. by Mark LaFata, Senior Environmental Analyst, Seattle

  • Reduce your transportation and energy consumption, and the consider using renewable fuel sources.

  • Get into Aquaponics - grow your own veggies and fish.. energy and water efficient, reduce your environmental footprint by relying less on market gardens and commercial fishing and grow it in your own backyard or balcony! Its also organic so not just good for the environment but good for you.
    Posted by Stan Rolfe, Perth, Australia

  • Just unplug your all your curling irons, hair dryers, coffee maker, television & reuse your starbucks frap plastic cup for goodness sakes. Just wash it!
    Posted by Ginger Caldwell, Chicago

  • Give someone a tree for their birthday and help them to plant it. Global rain forest loss estimates are as high as 80,000 acres per day (source: rainforest.mongabay.com)! New trees would most certainly help ease the burden on our planet.

  • Reuse old mobile phones by donating them to a charity that refurbishes them for military men and women serving overseas, battered women, or other worthy causes. One mobile phone battery in landfill can pollute up to 160,000 gallons (600,000 litres) of drinking water.

  • Use natural cleaning products like water, vinegar, baking soda, etc. instead of using toxic household chemicals such as shower wall cleaners, toilet cleaners, etc.

    Posted by Lisa Lewis, Akron, Ohio
    NOTE: Kay Detter has many such products available in her Green Irene store, http://hsvgreen.com/.

  • Reuse. If you can reuse something once or twice then you cut the waste of it in half when it does get trashed.
    by David Hennes, Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Share rides and shop locally. Car pool. Support local merchants and artists. Consider cycling or walking to nearby shops.

  • Drink water from the tap! If you must use plastic bottles for portability, refill them with tap water and reuse them.
    from Christina Poletto, New York City

  • Get a Rechargeable Battery Kit – Batteries are considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of properly, don’t throw them away! Instead use the new hybrid rechargeable batteries. They last longer than traditional disposable batteries, and they don't lose their charge when not in use!
    From Kay Detter

  • Demand products with post-consumer content and minimum packaging. Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, once said, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” It will take a lot of us speaking out and spending our money somewhere else, but we can eventually force a policy change. Recycling is not good enough; we must reduce excessive packaging and other waste.

  • Paint your roof, cement patios, driveways white. If all top services, roofs, and streets on earth were white, we would reduce global warming worldwide by 10%! Lobby the feds and your states to develop white asphalt for streets! The reflective quality, like Antarctica, would help keep our planet cool!
    from Steven Lorenz, San Francisco Bay Area

  • Don’t Recycle, except as a last resort. Use stainless steel water bottles instead of plastic. Bring your own bags shopping; say no to plastic. Make your own sodas with a SodaStream Penguin Soda Maker instead of buying them in plastic bottles. If you do wind up with plastic bottles, reuse them. Refill water bottles; convert 2-liter bottles into a worm composter. Be creative.

  • Generate at least one original thought in your lifetime that is truly out of the box to make the environment better in a big or small way. At least attempt to generate such a thought continuously or continually or subconsciously. from R P Rammohan, Hyderabad, India

  • Buy locally. Get fresh food grown locally; avoid processing, packaging, and transportation costs while you enjoy healthier meals and support your friends and neighbors.

  • Set realistic goals. You don't have to save the world all by yourself. Little things add up to big results.

  • Insulate. I got a $42 surprise on my electric bill last month. Despite a record heat wave with daily warnings from TV weather forecasters, and despite 20 percent more degree days than the same period last year, my electric bill was down 13 percent. I credit the difference to the new lighter-colored ahd highly-reflective, EnergyStar® metal roof and the extra blown-in insulation in our attic. Seal the building envelope to keep conditioned air inside.

  • Use old dish towels instead of paper towels. Once a dish towel no longer looks nice, retire it to the ‘rag bag’. I save these ‘rags’ for dirty messes. These are small enough to just throw into the next laundry load.

  • Clean your refrigerator coils – Sweeping or vacuuming under the air grate increases energy efficiency, and also gets rid of the dust bunnies. From Kay Detter

  • Get new dish scrubbers. The ‘Dish Dumpling’ a chubby little nugget of sponge power, packed in an agave wrapper. It makes removing even baked-on food kind of fun. Best of all, it's dye-free and biodegradable. You now have a choice you don’t have to buy nylon scrubbers that lay in the landfill for 100 years. From Kay Detter

  • Install an outdoor hose and sprinkler timer. - Conserve lawn and garden water. A hose and sprinkler timer remembers to turn off the water, so you don't have to. Don’t over water and waste clean potable water by letting it run down the driveway. From Kay Detter

  • Replace stuff (mobile phone, computer, TV etc.) when it is needed, and not just to get the last model.

  • Install a Dual-spray Kitchen Aerator Reduce water consumption without sacrificing convenience. Add a 1.5 GPM aerator for your kitchen sink. There are inexpensive aerators complete with a pause valve that reduces flow to a trickle, while keeping temperature consistent. Great for cooking and washing veggies. By Kay Detter, ASA PR Director

  • Show respect for the victims of the Gulf oil spill disaster. Reduce the demand for crude oil both foreign and domestic. Plan ahead, drive less, and drive more conservatively. Avoid rapid acceleration and sudden stops. Car pool and combine trips, or better yet, consider cycling or walking for short errands.

  • Slow down! With a potential tropical storm threatening the Gulf Coast (see Breaking News above), plan ahead, drive less, and drive more conservatively. Rapid acceleration and sudden stops waste gas and increase demands for crude oil. Better yet, consider cycling or walking for short errands. You can make a difference.

  • Water in the evening. If you must water your lawn or garden, do so in the evening to minimize evaporation losses. I just saw a man in Huntsville watering his lawn in 98°F noontime sun. Ironically, we had a heavy thundershower before 3:00 PM.

  • Skip spaces. My wife, a typing teacher, taught me to always skip two spaces after a period or a colon. But HTML code for websites ignores anything more than one space. A space in computer code takes the same electronic memory as any other character. A blank line takes another computer code just like a letter or symbol. An extra symbol per sentence adds up. Use spaces and blank lines for clarity, but avoid excessive use, especially if the HTML code will ignore them anyway.

  • Be "gung ho" about renewable energy. Not what most people believe that "gung ho" means overly enthusiastic often to the point of being unrealistic. Instead, follow the Chinese meaning of "gung ho," which literally means, "pull together." Work with others to make use of renewable energy a part of how each of us do our everyday jobs.

  • Buy Dad a fruit tree for Fathers' Day. Remove carbon dioxide, add oxygen to the air, and grow healthy food.

  • Buy EnergyStar. Appliances and even whole buildings rated "EnergyStar" are certified to use less energy and produce a lower carbon footprint than do three out of four of their competitors.

  • Use PVC-free Dryerballs. They will soften and scent your clothes without any artificial chemicals. These specially-designed spiked balls fluff and soften fabrics while the all-natural fragrance sticks add a subtle but lasting scent. The fluffing action also reduces drying time up to 25%, saving energy and money in the process! WHNT TV ran their Deal or Dud test on the product and rated it a "Deal." By Kay Detter

  • Install ceiling fans. Run them on low speed to keep room air evenly distributed. Set them to blow downward in the summer to aid cooling and upward in winter to move warm air hugging the ceiling into the lower portion of the room.

  • Install a water heater insulation jacket. A thick insulating water heater jacket fits easily around your heater and can prevent up to 45 percent of heat loss, saving nine percent in heating costs. Test to see if you need one, touch the outside of your hot water heater. Does it feel warm? If so, you need to add an insulating jacket.

  • Use synthetic oil It's not made from crude, it was originally designed for jet engines, so it's extremely durable, it saves gas by reducing friction, it lasts longer, and that's not even the best part. It provides superior lubrication protecting your engine and significantly extending vehicle life. Reduce your carbon footprint by using lubricants made from farm products, consuming less gasoline, and buying a new car less often. How green is that?

  • Go paperless-really! Use e-Signatures-No Faxing ( toner, ink, etc,) No expensive Overnight carriers (huge Carbon footprint) Save Trees and Our Environment, by Rick Triola, Orange County, California

  • Replant and nourish a volunteer tree. A few years ago, we had to cut down a beautiful maple tree from our yard, and we have missed it. Today I discovered squirrels had planted a new one for me. Unfortunately, it was in a broken bag of sand in my driveway. I carefully transplanted it to a spot near the old tree stump. Hopefully it will soon give us shade and beauty again.

  • Remember those who died to give you the freedoms you enjoy today.
    Honor their memory with good stewardship of our earthly treasures.
    Posted Memorial Day, 2010

  • Share! Posted by Saskia Cox-Steenbergh, Maastricht, Netherlands

  • Waiting for hot water while it makes its way from the water heater to the tap? Collect it to rinse dishes (with a few drops of antibacterial soap added) or to water plants.

  • Poor man with garden eats better than rich man without one. Plant a vegetable garden.

  • Kick the bottle habit. Avoid drinking water from those plastic bottles. Plastic is made from oil in "brown" factories.

  • Avoid air conditioners; go underground. If you have or must install an air conditioner, follow last week's DoE advice and put it on the north or shaded side of the building. Then follow this week's advice and plant shade. But, better yet, go geothermal; go underground.

    Geothermal heat pumps have no outside unit as do air conditioners. Their "outside" system is the collection of underground pipes. Beyond that, they are silent, are more efficient (your heat pump thinks it's springtime year round), and they provide you free hot water all summer. Contact an ASA Solarite today to learn more.

  • Use cold water. Warm water cuts grease easier when rinsing dishes pior to washing, but a few drops of liquid detergent in cold water works even better and reduces sewer clogs. Morton

  • Say no to paper towels. Use an old towel reused as a rag. Throw dirty rags in with other clothes which you will hopefully wash in cold water. Morton

  • Plant a fruit tree. Any tree will soak up carbon, but why not select one that will feed you as well? Get your applesauce straight from your tree instead of from a jar. Morton

  • Posted Mothers' Day, 2010: Celebrate Mothers' Day today by pledging to be kind to Mother Earth; she's been really kind to you. Use whatever you need, but only what you need. We can reduce consumption by 50 percent or more just by planning ahead and avoiding waste. Morton

  • Find An Acorn Plant An Oak The Carbon Soak or Any Tree Seed anywhere in the World and give the Planet back her Lungs. Alan Bowman, England

  • Be careful I created 25 pages of white-paper recycle loaded with lots of chemical printer ink when I accidentally printed the same page on both front and back of brochure page. I had designed each page to get a lot of information on each page, so reuse was not a viable option. Bummer!

  • Do it yourself. Tired of all the excessive packaging, heavy plastic made from petroleum, styrofoam destined to remain in a landfill long past your lifetime? Fed up with cheap furniture made in the Third World, sold in Big Box-Mart, and destined to fall apart the first time you move it? Want a nice bookcase like your grandfather built and you still use? Go to a home improvement store, buy the lumber and hardware, and build it yourself. You'll save a lot of chemicals and frustration, while you'll feel a sense of pride in yourself.

  • It allows you to drive slower, combine trips, get the most use of the resources you must use.

  • With the oil slick growing and continuing to approach the Alabama Gulf Coast, I will try to further reduce my petroleum consumption by bringing my own bags when I go shopping. Those little plastic bags don't use much petroleum, but the world uses five trillion of them per year. That totals 20 billion barrels of oil each year. That equals 55 million barrels of oil per day compared to the 5,000 barrels a day now adding to the Gulf disaster. We can't stop all use of plastic bags, but we can reduce the demand for oil.

  • Imaginx thx old computxr with 103 of thx 104 kxys working pxrfxctly. Sxx what a diffxrxncx it makxs whxn onx pxrcxnt isn’t working? Imaginx what diffxrxncx onx pxrcxnt of pxoplx on xarth would makx if thxy wxrx bxing grxxn instxad of carxlxss.

  • Use both sides of a piece of paper. Print in duplex, use the back of a page for drafts, cut larger pages into memo pads, use your imagination. Reuse before you recycle.

  • Walk or bike whenever possible. Reduce your carbon footprint and your waistline.


Back to ASA Home Page