What You Can Do | Sustainability
- Separate your recyclables. Glass and cardboard are recycled differently!
- Keep your cans and bottles for return. They get recycled and you get your bottle deposit back.
- Metro Regional Government's Recycling Hotline: 503-234-3000
- Earth 911 provides recycling information by zip code
- EPA’s Reduce, Reuse and Recycle program provides basic information on the three R's
- National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit advocacy group
How to live more sustainably: quick tips
Spread the love! Pick your favorite green tip and pass it on.
Around the Home
- Pay as many bills as possible online and put a stop to unsolicited mail
- Consider using a laptop instead of a desktop; they consume less energy
- Turn your electronics off and unplug them, even chargers, when not in use. Powerstrips that have off buttons make this practice easier.
- Don't use lights if you don't need them. Turn them off when you leave a room.
- Turn off thermostats when not in use. During the winter, close your windows and blinds to conserve heat. Put on a sweater if you get chilly.
- Five-minute showers — make it a goal for yourself.
- Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth. If you shave, turn off the water and fill a cup to rinse the razor instead of running the water the whole time.
- Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot. Line dry your laundry rather than using the dryer. This reduces emissions, saves you money, and is gentler on your clothes.
- Use less. Think about what you need vs. what you want.
- Shop at the farmers market and join a local CSA (community supported agriculture)
- Support local restaurants that use food grown less than 100 miles away.
- Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle (or nearest thrift store)
- As much as possible, buy previously-used and second-hand items. It saves you money and decreases the demand for new products.
- Instead of buying, share, borrow and lend tools, books, DVDs, clothes and other items with friends.
- Forego buying paper towels and use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
- Stop using plastic bags. Bring reusable bags and produce bags to shop at retail and grocery stores.
- Stop buying bottled water. Buy a reusable water bottle and refill it.
Out and About
- Drive the speed limit and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.
- Ride a bike, walk, or take public transportation when possible. Carpool when it's not.
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator. It's good for you too!
Creative and Sustainable
- Learn fix-it skills (i.e. basic carpentry and mending clothes) so you can care for what you own. Just because it has a hole in it, doesn't mean it's destined for the garbage.
- Make your own household cleaners from inexpensive, non-toxic ingredients.
- Make rags out of old towels and T-shirts.
- Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage.
- Repurpose something. Get creative! Everything from egg cartons to old jeans can be repurposed for something fun and useful.