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  1. Use empty coffee cans to hold everything from markers to macaroni! It’s a fuss-free way to de-clutter any area of your home.
  2. Wash out cases that no longer hold contact lenses and fill them with a day’s worth of vitamins. Take one with you wherever you go for easy, discreet access.
  3. Milk may have an expiration date, but its container can be used long after the last drop. Turn plastic jugs into bird feeders for your backyard simply by cutting a hole in the side and adding bird seed. Have the kids decorate, then hang from a tree.
  4. Collect the various greeting cards you receive throughout the year. When the holiday or occasion has passed, snip the cards into strips for instant bookmarks or cut off the fronts to use as seasonal postcards.
  5. “Instead of throwing old magazines out, I pass them on to others who want to read them by using freecycle.org. I have found this site to be very helpful in giving an unwanted item a new home.” ―Lisa Kimoto, Plainview, N.Y.
  6. “We put all our TV console items on a power strip (DVD player, TV, stereo). Even my three-year-old knows to run over and turn off the power strip before we leave the house or go to bed.”―Andrea Grendahl, Jeromesville, Ohio
  7. “I use white vinegar every day. I use it to soften fabrics in the laundry, kill weeds outside and disinfect countertops. I also fill my bathtub with warm water and a cup of vinegar and let it sit for an hour before draining to get rid of soap scum. It’s inexpensive and drastically reduces the number of harsh chemicals in my home, as well as the number of toxic items my kids could get into.”― Elizabeth Chuan-Riley, Castro Valley, Calif.
  8. “I am more conscious of all of my decisions, from where I put my trash (recycle bin versus regular trash can) and planning out what I’m going to buy at the grocery store before going, so that I can bring the right size reusable grocery bags with me.” ―Vicki Walker, Bryn Mawr, Calif.
  9. “As a kindergarten teacher, I teach students daily about the environment. I remind them to turn off the light in our class restroom, not to turn the water up full blast when washing hands, and to use one paper towel instead of a handful when drying their hands.” ―Debbie Zimmermann, Seagoville, Texas
  10. “I keep a set of bamboo flatware at work. Bamboo is sustainable and durable, and these utensils won't end up in a landfill. They replace the countless plastic forks and spoons I have used the last couple of years.” ―Kristi Chadwick, Worcester, Mass.
  11. “An easy way to go green every day is to use reusable containers when packing lunches for work. After using them I take them home and wash them, so they’re ready for the next day. This eliminates the use of plastic sandwich bags. I also use real silverware instead of disposable forks and spoons, and I use a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water to drink at work, instead of buying bottled water. This is easier on the environment and my wallet!” ―Kristi Morgan, Galveston, Ind.
  12. “We compost, which is a great way to dispose of egg shells, coffee grinds, peels of fruits and vegetables, dryer lint, toilet paper rolls, paper egg cartons, etc. We also mix in any plants that I've deadheaded, or trimmed along with grass clippings and fall dropped leaves. There is so much you can put in a compost bin! It’s a slow process, but in the spring I have great compost with little work.” ―Debbie Fegley, Mechanicsbug, Pa.