Green Living

Recycling family

Going green can be achieved from simple changes. For example, correctly recycling items and using water conservation measures can help reduce strain on our environment.

Check out our recycling resources, home and garden ideas, and explore our other green living tips. Unleashing the power of green by reducing, reusing, and recycling!

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Going green is easy with these resources!

Recycling Resources

Ohio

National

Easy Ways to Go Green

  • Look for the Healthier Homes 'Design for the Environment' Label. From pet care products to dish soaps to supplies for a car, consumers should look for the Design for the Environment (DfE) label to quickly identify and choose products that are safer for families and also help protect the environment. In 2010, Americans using products with the DfE label cut the use of harmful chemicals by more than 600 million pounds. Read more.
  • Take reusable bags when you shop - at the grocery story, drug store, even department stores! If you must use paper or plastic, ask for whichever one you will reuse again.
  • Use an earth-friendly water bottle rather than plastic bottles. You'll save money too!
  • Take a travel mug to the coffee shop. Park and go inside. You'll get more exercise, not use a paper cup, and eliminate fumes from an idling car.
  • Opt-out of receiving printed phone directories. Go to YellowPagesGoesGreen.org.
  • Green your online purchases. Visit GreenAnySite.com.
  • Make your website carbon neutral at Co2Stats.com.

Consumer Product Guides

Water Conservation Tips

  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.
  • Install an inexpensive, water-efficient showerhead. You can save up to 750 gallons a month.
  • Use a broom and dustpan instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk. You’ll save water and debris won’t end up in gutters.
  • Wash your car on the lawn, and you'll water your lawn at the same time and save dirty water from going into storm drains.
  • Use cold water to wash all your clothes, even whites! Cold water washes just as well and saves water and energy – which can save you money.

Winter Heating & Energy Saving Tips

  • Install a programmable thermostat. Many cost less than $50 and come pre-programmed for weekday/weekend schedules.
  • Turn down all thermostats one degree to save as much as 3 percent on your monthly heating bill.
  • Replace furnace filters regularly.
  • Lower the water heater thermostat to the lowest level that meets your needs. Each decrease of 10 degrees saves 5 percent on water heating costs.
  • Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. That includes overhead doors on attached garages.
  • Install do-it-yourself plastic-film storm windows. Find them at a local hardware store.
  • Seal off unused rooms (as long as the room is less than 100 square feet and isn't the room where the thermostat is located). Close the floor or wall registers and return air vents, and keep the doors closed.
  • Open south-facing window curtains, drapes, and blinds during the day. Close window coverings at night to keep the heat in.
  • Weatherstrip and caulk windows. Check window frames for cracks and fill them with caulk that contains silicon. Putty-like "rope caulk" can help seal large cracks and save you up to 5 percent on your energy bill.
  • Check all exterior doors for air leaks and weatherstrip and caulk as needed. A one-eighth-inch gap around a door is equivalent to a 6-inch-square hole in the side of your house and causes a lot of energy loss. You can check doors two ways: First, have someone stand on the other side of the door and shine a flashlight around the door's perimeter. If you can see light through the cracks, your door needs sealing. Second, hold a piece of paper between the door and the frame and shut the door. If you can pull the paper out without tearing it, you should weatherstrip around the door.

Enjoy a Green Summer

  • Reduce harmful emissions and get some exercise by using a push mower instead of a gas lawnmower.
  • Buy local produce at a farmers' market. Find one in Ohio at www.OhioProud.org.
  • Use organic lawn care products.
  • Hold and shop a garage sale. Reusing items keeps them out of landfills.
  • To avoid DEET in bug repellants, look for plant-based products, rather than animal-based products.
  • When hiking or biking, take a small bag to pick up litter along your way. Remember to "pack in, pack out."

Home & Garden Tips

Start an herb garden

Benefits: Fresh herbs at your fingertips; save money and prevent waste by using only what you need.

How to: Plant a window box or small pot outside your kitchen. You’ll need a planter, soil, herbs, water, and scissors. Hardy choices to start with are chives, rosemary, basil, and thyme. Find used planters or pots at garage sales. Ask a gardening friend for leftover planting soil.

Begin a compost bin

Benefits: Less trash in your garbage and landfills; great fertilizer for your garden.

How to: You can compost inside or out. For inside, use an odor-proof bin. These are widely available at most home improvement or garden stores. Outside, start a pile near your garden or in an inconspicuous area. Alternate layers of meat-free food scraps (peels, cores, seeds) and garden waste (leaves, twigs) to help turn waste into nutrient-rich compost.

Rain barrel at Blacklick Metro Park

Make a rain barrel

Benefits: Save water from going into storm drains; repurpose rainwater to water your indoor plants.

How to: Position a sturdy, waterproof bucket under a gutter runoff or simply leave it outdoors during a rain storm. Use the water to quench your indoor plants throughout the week. Look for Rain Barrel Workshops offered by your city or county offices.