Reducing Your Footprint One Month at a Time

With all the Earth Day reminders on reducing your carbon footprint you might feel a bit overwhelmed as to how to make a 360-degree turn in a matter of days. Many of you have worked diligently to make sustainable changes in your surrounding environment. Then again, there are your family and friends who have no clue as to what to do and your nagging them has only gotten you removed from any future family outings. When I wrote, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Detoxing Your Body, I included a chapter on making small changes in your home over the course of one year. It is a simple plan anyone can do, and feel free to pass it on to all resistant family or friends.

Months 1-3: Your Kitchen

  • Replace food in kitchen with organic, whole foods.
  • Replace plastic cooking utensils with wood or bamboo.
  • Replace Teflon and aluminum cookware.
  • Switch to nontoxic cleansers.
  • Safely dispose of toxic cleansers.
  • Install a water filter.

Months 4-6: Your Body

  • Replace formaldehyde-treated linens with organic.
  • Replace dry cleaning with laundering.
  • Replace commercial wash detergents with eco-products.
  • Replace skin care products with natural, organic products.
  • Avoid using “disposable” products of all kinds.

Months 7-9: Your Home

  • Replace toxic carpets with renewable wood or bamboo.
  • Dispose of toxic pesticides for natural repellents.
  • Purchase an air purifier.
  • Replace pressboard furniture with renewable wood pieces.
  • Use alternative building materials for renovation projects.
  • Use low VOC paints in place of toxic brands.

Months 10-12: Your Energy Use

  • Drive your car less and walk, ride a bike, or share rides.
  • Keep your car tuned and/or buy a hybrid.
  • Wash your laundry with cold water.
  • Insulate your home to cut down on energy use.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Replace commercial batteries with rechargeable batteries.

Over the course of a year you can make a dramatic difference in the quality of your health, your home environment, and the impact your actions have on the Earth. The eco-green movement in America has spawned creative alternative ways to replace standard toxic products with safe and renewable ones. Feel free to fit these suggestions to what you can do each month, but remind yourself to make changes one step at a time and it will all get done.


Debra G.
Debra D7 years ago

I'd love to do all that but I can't afford to replace my furniture or cooking utensils. I do however, have second hand furniture from
Salvation Army, so I didn't kill any trees. The other ideas are great, but not all of us can toss stuff out like that. Besides, where would it end up? In a landfill most likely.

Janice D.
Past Member 8 years ago

Very nicewrite up.. Thanks for sharing it..

dog ear problems

Annie J.
A-M Jordan8 years ago

... and when we replace ... what do we do with the old stuff and still be eco-friendly? ... my city will only recycle category 1 & 2 designated items. i've visited the landfills here and a lotta stuff that should be recycled ends up there - and some of it is from the city employees who just don't wanna deal with it as recyclable. so - back to my original question: what do we do with the the stuff we're replacing?

Lori A.
Lori A8 years ago

Very good info, thanks!

Henrique Marsh
Past Member 8 years ago

It is a simple plan anyone can do and feel free to forward it to any family or friends resistant.
memory stick

Amber K.
AB K9 years ago

Great article. Thanks :)

Helen B.
Helen B9 years ago

very good ideas...thanks for sharing...i'vetrie some if these in the past and the are very easy and actually help you in the long one!

Ashtyn Dicks
Ashtyn Dicks9 years ago

Good tips, but I think it would be counter productive to replace plastic cook wear. It's already made and disposing of it just makes it worse-you might as well keep using it.

Past Member
Past Member 9 years ago

Thanks for the tips!

Glenn Askew
Glenn A9 years ago

and just so I haven't started a 62,000 post avalanche here..for those who don't know..(though I can't think of who wouldn't by now)..Aluminium has been connected to Alzheimers'...Plus..since i know so many don't read all the posts..don't forget..those Compact flourescent lightbulbs, like all flourescents, work by electrically charging a small drop of pure Mercury, so make sure disposal is in line with this poison!!!.