Green Americans are an active bunch. Over the years, you’ve told our staff all about the many actions you take in your daily lives, at work, and in your communities for a greener, fairer world. So many of you want to help others find their way to greener living too. In order to help you do that, we’ve put together this list of ten of the most high-impact actions for social justice and environmental sustainability. While these categories don’t encompass all of the things you can do to help create a better future, they are steps that will add up to a lot of change—especially when Green Americans across the country take action together.
1. Save Water
Americans use an average of 80-100 gallons of water per day at home. With climate change causing droughts across the nation and around the world, it’s critical to save water whenever you can. And while US drinking water is safe for most people, toxic runoff from agriculture, industrial pollution, fossil fuels, and degraded lead-pipe infrastructure has put thousands of communities at risk. Take care not to toss chemicals down your drain at home, to avoid polluting local water tables, and to conserve water whenever you can.
2. Go Nontoxic at Home
You’ve probably heard the statistic from the EPA about indoor air being up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air, due to the toxic chemicals often found in conventional cleaners and other products. If you haven’t yet done anything about it, make this the year to start. When you choose eco-friendly, less-toxic cleaning products, detergents, fragrances, candles, body care, and more, you keep your indoor air cleaner and make your home healthier for yourself and your family.
3. Green Your Closet
Americans buy too much clothing, and it’s glutting landfills. In addition, donated clothing often winds up being sent to developing countries, where it’s overwhelming local economies. The prescription for all this waste? Buy less, and when you do buy, buy organic and green clothing that lasts longer than flimsy “fast fashion” pieces.
4. Green Your Energy Use
If you really take advantage of all of the opportunities to amp up the energy efficiency of your home and office, it’s possible to shave your energy bill in half. And then, green the rest of your energy use to reduce your carbon footprint even more.
5. Bank and Invest Responsibly
Your money can do good in the world, if you put it in the right places. By choosing socially responsible bank accounts and investment products, your finances can work for you and for people and the planet. Right now, more than $8.7 trillion under professional management is invested responsibly, adding up to a lot of economic power pressuring corporations to clean up their acts.