Ten Ways To Save The Planet Without Losing Your Mind

Check back every Monday for more ways to incorporate living green into your everyday life!

Going Green may seem overwhelming at times. You may think if you don’t go all the way why bother. But every little thing you do, does count. Don’t think that you have to have solar panels on your house to make a difference. Here are some small things you can do to help save the planet:

  1. Going to the car wash. Professional car washes are often more efficient with water use. They also dispose of the water properly, while when you wash your car at home metal and other toxic chemicals are washed in to the sewer and end up in our water ways. For a bigger impact use a waterless car wash like Eco Touch.
  2. Bring your own mug. Reusable mugs keep your drink warm longer, while saving a lot of waste. Most coffee shops will happily refill your mug and some even offer discounts. For a bigger impact only buy coffee at shops that use fair trade coffee.
  3. Skip the coffee stirrer. Americans throw away over 138 billion straws and stirrers. Put your sugar and cream in first and the coffee will stir itself. For a bigger impact skip straws in your soda. If you need the straw switch to glass or stainless stain straws.
  4. Be kind when you kill. Use vinegar to kill weeds. It will save you money and won’t hurt the environment or any pets or people. For a bigger impact skip fertilizer and just let your normal clippings do the work.
  5. Recycle those wire hangers. Wire hangers are almost always steel, which is not recycled by all recycling programs. Most dry cleaners will take them back. For a bigger impact buy hangers made from recycled plastic or other sustainable materials.
  6. Stop your junk mail. On average each American gets 40 pounds of junk mail each year. Services like Green Dimes will help you stop your junk mail. For a bigger impact stop receiving phone books and start using online directories to find phone numbers.
  7. Give it away. Before you throw something away, stop and think if someone else could use it. Either donate it or use a site likefreecycle.org. For a bigger impact if you can’t donate it find a way to reuse it in a craft or in some other way.
  8. Only wash full loads. You use the same energy and water to wash one shirt as you will to wash a whole load. You will save money on electric and water bills. For a bigger impact wash everything in cold or warm water.
  9. Skip the receipt at the ATM. It would save a roll of paper more than 2 billion feet long, or enough to circle the equator 15 times. For a bigger impact pay bills online. If everyone would pay online we could save around 18.5 million trees a year!
  10. Download your software. Software is often available for download. It will save you space and a lot of cds and packaging waste. For a bigger impact download your music from iTunes or similar sites.


As someone who really cares about his vehicles, I’m always looking for the latest in car care products. Recently, a company called Eco Touch sent me samples of three of their car care products. With a name like Eco Touch, if you’re guessing they’re environmentally minded, you’d be correct. In fact, on the company’s website, they state they manufacture high-performance car-care products with minimal impact on the environment through the product’s life cycle. Hey, I’m all for products that minimize impact on the planet. So can you have an environmentally friendlier product that actually works well? There’s only one way to find out.

First I tried the Tire Shine on my Suzuki Sidekick’s 235/75/15 BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires. I’m not a fan of glossy, wet-looking tire products. Thankfully, Eco Touch’s Tire Shine (applied with one of their applicators) offered up a low-gloss look—just what I like. The product did a nice job cleaning up the tires, taking away the tire’s brown, dry look and giving the tires a freshly cleaned appearance. By the way, the tires maintained their clean look for days after the application.

Next, I hit up the wheels with Eco Touch’s Metal Polish, which did a great job making my chrome wheels gleam. Plus, this product can be used on household items, too—great considering we’ve got two stainless-steel garbage cans that often need cleaning.

Lastly, I gave the  All-Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser a shot on some tar splats located on my white Yaris’ fenders. I’m happy to report Eco Touch’s product make short work of the tar. Yes, it takes a bit of elbow grease to get the tar off, but the product did the job well. It worked well on bug guts, miscellaneous road grime, and other greasy bits, too.

Yes, this post might sound a bit like an infomercial, but I wouldn’t write about a product if I didn’t think it was worth writing about. And to come across a product that works well and isn’t made from harsh chemicals is a good thing. I think if you check out these products, you’ll likely come to the same conclusion.