All living things depend on the soil and water for food. Everything we eat and most of what we wear come from the soil. Soil is a fragile natural resource.

  • Recycle everything you can: newspapers, cans, glass, aluminum foil and pans, motor oil, scrap metal, etc.
  • Investigate local recycling centers that take items your garbage hauler doesn't (scrap paper, plastics, appliances, etc.).
  • Start a compost pile. Save your kitchen scraps for the compost pile
  • Try to use phosphate-free laundry and dish soaps
  • Avoid the use of household pesticides. Learn about natural insect controls as alternatives to pesticides
  • Clean your windows with vinegar and water instead of chemical products
  • Use cold water in the washer unless it's necessary to use warm or hot
  • Use washable rags, not paper towels, for cleaning up spills and other household chores
  • Crumpled-up newspapers are great for washing windows
  • Use cloth diapers
  • Use cloth, not paper, napkins
  • Don't put hazardous substances down your drain or in your trash (paint thinner, furniture polish, etc.). Dispose of them on designated hazardous waste collection days
  • Don't use electrical appliances for things you can easily do by hand
  • Re-use brown paper bags and grocery plastic bags (recyclable) to line your trash can or waste basket
  • Use re-usable containers to store foods:not plastic wraps and foil
  • Write to companies that send unwanted junk mail:ask them to take you off their list
  • Save your coat hangers and return them to the cleaners
  • Take unwanted, re-usable items to a charitable organization or thrift shop
  • Don't leave water running: install a water saving shower head and repair leaks quickly
  • Turn the lights and TV off when you're out of the room
  • Plant shrubs and trees in your backyard that provide food and shelter for birds and other creatures (see Attracting Birds and Butterflies to Your Garden).
  • Pull weeds instead of using herbicides
  • Landscape with plants that aren't prone to insect and fungus problems
  • Use organic fertilizers
  • If you use pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, don't throw leftovers in trash, down your drain or into a storm sewer. Dispose of them on a hazardous waste collection day.
  • Compost your leaves and yard debris or take them to a yard debris recycler. Burning them creates air pollution and putting them out with the trash is a waste of landfill space.
  • Use mulch to conserve water in your garden
  • Plant things that don't require so much water
  • Take extra plastic and rubber pots back to the nursery
  • Plant short, dense shrubs close to your home's foundation to help insulate against cold.