Green Tips

Here's a cornucopia of tips for green living; to foster the planet to better health. These tips were originally printed in the Sunday Orders of Worship.

Shop at and hold garage sales - this is a great way to reuse products. Our church now holds a giant yard sale every spring. You can start putting good, unneeded items aside for it now.

In the United States, paper products make up the largest percentage of municipal solid waste, and hard copy bills alone generate almost 2 million tons of CO2. Save paper by signing up for e-billing.

Save water in your bathroom by keeping a bucket by the shower or the tub and filling it with the cold water that comes out before the hot water kicks in. Then use it to water your plants.

Buy shade-grown coffee to protect desperately needed migratory bird habitats. Many "fair trade certified" coffees, like the varieties sold by our Green Sanctuary members, are shade-grown.

Avoid creating trash wherever possible: when ordering food, avoid any unnecessary plastic  utensils, straws, etc. (ask in advance), buy products with the least amount of packaging, and remember to take your own bags.       

Purchase rechargeable batteries and a battery recharger (some battery rechargers will also recharge regular alkaline batteries). Solar powered battery rechargers are available online.

Bring back the clothesline!: Using a clothesline to dry your clothes whenever possible is a great way to reduce carbon emissions. In the U.S., you can sign the petition to support legislation to void clothesline bans by homeowner's associations.

Avoid synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and learn the principles of permaculture to grow your garden organically.

By developing the habit of shutting off your engine at bank auto-teller windows, road construction delays, train crossings, etc., you will reduce your carbon footprint and fuel costs over time.

In the U S alone, approximately 133 billion pounds of food is wasted each year.  Incorrect refrigerator temperatures are one of the biggest contributors to household food waste.  Purchasing  a small fridge thermometer can help you prevent untimely food spoilage. 

A wood stove will be more efficient and produce less pollution with the door closed and the air supply adjusted to achieve a lively fire.  Always try to burn wood that is well dried .

Reuse envelopes, gift boxes, wrapping paper, the front of gift cards (as postcards) and other paper materials you receive wherever possible.

When staying at a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast let the management know that you like to support businesses that adopt environmentally responsible practices (including reducing waste).

Don't be a wholesaler to the road kill cafe. While it may seem "ok" to toss food waste out of a vehicle window, IT IS NOT. Studies show that many species are actually attracted to highways because they are adapting to associate highways with human food waste. Insects, generally, are the first to be attracted, followed my species that feed on insects, and on through the food web. The Peregrine you see on the power line isn't admiring your new car, so put the french fries down and roll up the window.

Meet Recycling's six sisters: "Rethink, Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, and Refuse." Work to prohibit waste by considering all of the above when purchasing and/or throwing away before you use the final option, recycling.

Use your creativity, not your credit card, when costuming for our populist version of Samhain and All Hallow's Eve, Halloween. Manufacture your own costumes and decorations (think reuse and redesign), and, above all, avoid vinyl Halloween costumes and masks which actually off-gas toxic chemicals such as phthalates, which have been linked to ADHD and birth defects. If it spells like nasty chemicals, it probably has them.

Buy your seasonal decorations locally and use them to their fullest advantage. Many farmer's markets have pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks and fall flowers aplenty this time of year. The environmental footprint of these locally grown products is significantly smaller than those purchased from a box store. Don't forget to compost, or donate to someone who will.

Support the Wildlands Movement by supporting state and National Parks, Forests, Refuges, and Reserves. People the Parks to show your support as they face pressure from outside interest groups.

When Autumn leaves float past your window, scoop them up and compost them, or better yet, use them as an organic mulch. They are great for your plants, support biodiversity, are free, and are a wonderful way to put gardens to bed for the winter. This also avoids the large carbon footprint of commercial bagged mulch. The same cannot be done with Nat King Cole or Edith Piaf (legally).

Stay warm by layering your clothes, or someone else's, and, if possible, air dry laundry instead of using the dryer. Clothes drying racks are readily available. Also, ask yourself if laundry truly needs to be washed.

Gobble-gobble! Remember to search out local, organic produce and organic turkey for your Thanksgiving celebration. Check out Heritage Foods, USA for more info on sustainably raised poultry. And stay home in "triptophan recovery" on Black Friday...avoiding traffic congestion reduces pollution.

Remember when Holiday shopping, your driving habits matter. Speeding, accelerated acceleration, and fast braking waste fuel. Above all, don't idle. Idling for any length of time (That parking spot is mine!) burns more fuel than restarting your car.

Use energy efficient light bulbs (LED, CFL) whenever possible. During the day, allow sunlight to come in through the windows so that you don't have to turn on lights.

Did you know that most appliances, like your TV, are really in stand-by mode when they are turned "off"? Stand-by mode allows the appliance to be turned on quickly, so the appliance is always drawing power. If you're curious about how much electricity you really use, you can purchase a monitor, such as the P3 Kill-a-Watt.

Regularly check the air in your tires. Under inflated tires can cause your car to use more gas.

Use reusable food containers for leftovers and for lunch instead of disposable plastic bags. Bring your lunch in a lunch pail instead of a paper bag.

Close your curtains or shades during the day—at least on the sunny sides of your house—to reduce your need for air conditioning. When the AC is running, make sure your windows are closed to keep the warm air out so your air conditioner won’t have to work so hard. Each time your air conditioner kicks on, realize that it is ultimately powered by fossil fuels, contributing to global climate change.

Voice your comments, concerns and questions about proposed oil and gas development in Wayne National Forest to the Bureau of Land Management at, and to the Regional Forester Ask for an extension of time for public commentary.

MTW UNPLUGGED. Choose one day a week, and unplug from internet and cellular dependency. Remember to disconnect your chargers as well.

DRIVE LESS, ENJOY MORE In celebration of the 100 anniversary of the National Forest Service,vacation in a local forest, such as the Wayne National Forest, The Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, or North Bend State Park. Also, remember to support the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument at

WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN (while honoring our Judaeo/Christian heritage, as well as other traditions) Pick one day a week and simply do not drive, anywhere!!!

CONSIDER JOINING FUUSM, where we offer green tips and green solutions, not hell-fire and brimstone.

Use alternatives to conventional pesticides and fungicides. KEEP YOUR GARDEN GREEN!

Help protect a beautiful and valuable natural area a short distance from us. Encourage President Obama to name West Virginia's southern Monongahela National Forest as a National Monument. Visit this web site to help.
Spring planting season is here. Consider growing native plants to creating habitat that supports bugs, birds and wildlife. 

Avoid plastic water bottles. Use a good stainless steel bottle that will last you for life. They are lightweight and with the addition of a wetsuit style tote, will keep your water cool. Stainless steel will not affect the taste of the water.

Like beer? Drink products from a local brewery. The advantages include a lower carbon footprint, support for the local economy and less waste with growler refills –drink, rinse and repeat –zero waste!

Want to save on the cost of air-conditioning this summer? At night open windows in your home to capture the cool evening breeze. In the morning close the windows to maintain a comfortable temperature into the day. It is amazing how well this works to cut down on energy needed to run the expensive air conditioner.

Earth Hour is an international event to save energy, reduce carbon emissions, draw attention to climate change, and unite those who care about such things,. Participants are asked to unplug everything—or at least to turn off the lights in their house—for that hour. For more information or to officially sign up see

Reduce your Carbon Footprint and prepare for the Fall Series. Use this workbook to get started: “Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5000 Pounds” by David Gershon, available at


Blow leaves into the woods where they’ll decompose and continue the circle of life. 

Bag ‘em -  Check local regulations to see what kind of bags are allowed: Some towns only pick up leaves in clear plastic bags; others require recyclable paper bags. 

Vacuum them away-  Many towns send leaf vacuum trucks around a few times each season to suck up leaves. 

Let leaves degrade - Your compost loves brown matter that provides carbon to help cook nitrogen-rich grass clippings and table scraps. If you don’t want to shred leaves, keep them whole and let them decompose into “leaf mold,” a great garden mulch and soil amendment that increases water retention and promotes garden worms. 
Return leaves to the earth -  use a mulching lawn mower to reduce them to shreds so they will decompose and nourish your lawn next spring.

Worldwide, more than 50,000,000 people pass away each year. Traditional burial and cremation practices can have significant negative environmental impact, but green funerals and eco-burials are one way to essen the impact. While death can be a difficult subject, keeping ethical beliefs and environmental convictions in mind while tending to end-of-life arrangements can create a meaningful send-off--not to mention a lower-impact one.


Choose safe sustainable fish 

If fish is part of your everyday diet, you don't have to eliminate it from your life. Simply dig a little and find out what types of fish you can consume regularly. Use Environmental Defense Fund's Selector to choose fish that are both harvested sustainably and free of contaminants. There's not only a downloadable pocket guide, but yes, there's an app for that, too. We all know we need to be eating better foods – local, organic, local and organic, humanely raised meat, wild and well-caught fish, packaged foods containing five pronounceable ingredients or less – but they're not always so easy to find. Or it's not always so easy to motivate to find them. Think of this like you think of New Year's resolutions. Choose your own personal goal – make it attainable for better success – and then together we'll methodically get you there. Keep in mind that any conscious steps are better than no conscious steps – 10 percent is better than no percent.


Each year, the United States uses 85.5 million tons of paper & recycles  22% or 19 million tons. Of the remaining paper,   70% or 46 million tons could be recycled, saving 782 million trees & freeing 20 million acres of forest land. 

Every day, Americans buy about 62 million newspapers.  Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year. If Americans recycled every phone book each year, an estimated 650,000 tons of paper could be saved. The EPA found that making paper from recycled materials results in 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution. Every ton of recycled paper saves approximately 4 barrels of oil, 4,200 kilowatt hours of energy and enough energy to heat and air-condition the average North American home for almost 6 months. Each year, the United States uses 85.5 million tons of paper & recycles  22% or 19 million tons. Of the remaining paper,   70% or 46 million tons could be recycled, saving 782 million trees & freeing 20 million acres of forest land. 

Every day, Americans buy about 62 million newspapers.  Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year. 

If Americans recycled every phone book each year, an estimated 650,000 tons of paper could be saved. 

The EPA found that making paper from recycled materials results in 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution. 

Every ton of recycled paper saves approximately 4 barrels of oil, 4,200 kilowatt hours of energy and enough energy to heat and air-condition the average North American home for almost 6 months.

1. Recycle summer clothes for rags or donate them. 

2. Eat locally. Buy local fruit/ vegetables. 

3. Reuse old school supplies, as well as pack  lunches in re-usable containers. 

4. Rake leaves rather than using a blower to conserve energy. 

5. Compost your leaves along with your food waste. 

6. Upgrade your thermostat. Consider a programmable one to save energy and money. 

7. Winter is coming take advantage of  walks and bike ride to work or school while you can. 

8. Caulk around your windows to keep the heat in & seal them with plastic. 

9. Have a green Halloween! Reuse or recycle older costumes. 

10. Switch your light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL's), they use 75% less electricity, and  last longer.

Friends of Lower Muskingum River (FLMR) is a partnership of organizations and individuals whose mission is to restore, protect and maintain the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the Muskingum River and to protect & promote its natural, cultural, historic and socioeconomic resources.   Our Green Sanctuary Committee is a Group Member.

You Can Help The Lower Muskingum Watershed

  1. Become an active member of Friends of Lower Muskingum River. 
  2. Volunteer for restoration events at a FLMR conservation project near you. 
  3. Volunteer for restoration events at a FLMR conservation project even if it is further away. 
  4. Donate property either as a conservation project or to be sold to fund conservation projects. 
  5. Donate money to FLMR – if you prefer it be used for water quality projects, land acquisition, stewardship, or other interest areas, so indicate on your check. 
  6. Contact FLMR to discuss placing a Conservation Easement on your property.
  7. Donate bonds, stocks and other securities that have increased in value.
  8. Name FLMR as the beneficiary of life insurance policy.
  9. Remember FLMR in your will so your financial holdings will continue your work into the future. 
  10. And most importantly, if you live in the watershed (or even if you don’t) farm and live with the health of the river in mind.

Organic gardening:
Choose a bright, airy spot where they will get at least 10 hours of light in summer.
Rotate even a little to  diminish the risk of soil borne diseases such as bacterial spot and early blight.
Pass up overgrown transplants.
Bury the stems. Plant your tomato seedlings up to the first true leaves. 
Water deeply but infrequently. Soak your tomato bed once a week, on the soil, not on the leaves. 
Stake them high.
Add compost and trim while the first fruit is ripening to encourage new growth. 
Plant again. Three weeks after you plant tomatoes in your garden, put in another set.
Pick ripe, but not dead ripe.  Harvest them when they're full size and fully colored.


Weddings: Use local artisans & organic, local, and seasonal foods.  
Choose a green wedding planner & a photographer who uses recycled paper.  Your invitations can be organic products like cotton, hemp, or bamboo. Rent a gown - you will only use it once.  
Choose a conflict-free diamond that’s certified under the Kimberly process.   
Decorate with borrowed potted plants from a nursery (herbs like lavenders).  Use organic rose petals.  Organic candles made from beeswax or soy are earth-friendly.  
Get FSC certified balloons. 
Select an eco-friendly resort or hotel to spend your honeymoon.  
Give your bridesmaids’ an organic spa day as gifts.


Butterfly Beauty

Butterflies play a critical role in maintaining the health of our environment. They pollinate our plants; provide food for other animals; and enchant children and adults. But like many other creatures,  butterflies are becoming endangered as their habitats  are lost to development or they fall victim to pesticides.  Here's what you can do to help bring the butterflies back:  Grow plants butterfly caterpillars like to eat. Choose nectar-rich plants. Fill your garden not only with plants caterpillars will want to eat, but also with those from which butterflies can drink like-buddleia, heliotrope, milkweed, mint, verbena, and zinnias. Build a house/ nest that offers protection from predators and harsh weather.  Put out some water. A shallow dish or birdbath will provide the moisture butterflies need to thrive.



1. Compost - adds valuable calcium and other minerals to the soil. 

2. Crushed eggshell deters plant-eating slugs, snails and cutworms. Also, deer hate the smell of eggs, 

3. Add to the coffee in the filter, coffee will be less bitter. 

4.Fill eggshell halves with potting soil instead to start seedlings for the garden.. 

5. Shake crushed eggshells and a little soapy water to scour hard-to-clean items. 

6. Eggy, Crafty Projects - Faberge eggs -mosaic art projects. 

7. Jello and Chocolate Molds 

8. Crushed eggshells in your kitchen sink strainer cleans your pipes. 

9. Membrane inside the eggshell used as a home remedy for healing cuts to treating ingrown toenails. 

10.Dissolve an eggshell in a small jar of apple cider vinegar and use to treat minor skin irritations and itchy skin. 

11.Pulverize dried egg shells with a mortar and pestle,whisk the powder with an egg white and use for a facial. 

12. Researchers at Ohio State University recently discovered that eggshells might be the key to producing affordable hydrogen fuel. 

Travel with minimal impact.   

Book nonstop flights whenever possible.

Download a list from -resources for green living, from artisanal shops to public parks. 

Book flights with airlines that recycle waste from food and beverages. 

Stay at working farms that as inns to helps traveler connect with an area’s agricultural heritage. 

Eat locally to support a community. Search venues in your destination at . 

Carry a reusable container or drink locally sourced water.  

Bring a bike.

Go to stores that carry local fashion designers. 

Choose a train ride over a flight; it costs less, it is more comfortable, and you have scenery.  

Walking tours - low-impact and inexpensive

Air  quality often goes unnoticed, however, because air is  invisible. We need to take breathing as seriously as we do eating and exercising. 

Check out these tips: 
1. Don't allow smoking in your house.    2. Change furnace/ air conditioner filters every 3 months

3. Get rid of your particle-board furniture.   4. Keep your  home dry/no leaky faucets.  

5. Carpets can be horrible for air quality.     6. Ditch the air fresheners.      7. Use environmentally friendly cleansers.

8. Avoid moth balls.    9. Keep your house clean.   10. Test for radon, asbestos & lead.

Holiday Green Tips                                                                                                      

Christmas Lights 

1. Put your lights on a timer. Few folks are out at 2 am in the morning. Be sure to use a durable Christmas lights timer that is made to withstand the elements. Install it in an easy to access place so you can make changes as the days get even shorter.

2. You might consider going LED. A bit pricier than traditional Christmas lights due to a more complicated manufacturing process, but they use 80-90% less energy than incandescents. 

3. Consider when you put your lights up. Rather than  putting them up at the end of Nov. and leaving them up until January you could put them up a week later and take them down by New Year's. Above all, have fun with your Christmas lights as you celebrate the Christmas Season.

Recycling Christmas Decorations  Reduce landfill waste. 

According to a Unity Marketing report, Americans spend over $15 billion dollars each year on new holiday decorations, which are generally packaged in materials that end up in the trash.           

Holiday gift wrap is a water pollutant & creates serious environmental impacts when burned. When wrapping paper is burned, soot and other harmful pollutants are emitted. These toxins collect in clouds, on roadways, and other surfaces. Rain then flushes them into waterways, causing storm water pollution, Foil-based wrapping paper is among the worst to burn and it isn't even recyclable.   

Wrapping paper and boxes are often coated with toxic materials that are hazardous when burned.  Burning these items causes additional smoke polluting our homes and communities.

Recycling opportunities are bountiful here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. But recycling is the third step in green living. The first two steps are reducing consumption and waste, and reusing what you can. Shop wisely. Before each purchase, ask: Do I need this? Was it produced sustainably? Were the workers who made it treated well? Does it come with too much packaging? How long will I use it? Will it end up in the landfill? 

Which is more environmentally friendly: paper or cloth napkins? Paper napkins are biodegradable, while cotton requires irrigation. Cloth napkins are reusable, but only with washing and drying, which emit greenhouse gasses. has done an analysis, and concludes that cloth linen napkins are the green choice for home use. Read more at

Earth Hour, an international event to save energy, reduce carbon emissions, draw attention to climate change, and unite those who care about such things, will be 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. Participants are asked to unplug everything—or at least to turn off the lights in their house—for that hour. For more information or to officially sign up see

March 22 is World Water Day, which dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, where an international observance for water was recommended. It is a day to learn more about water-related issues, be inspired to tell others, and take action to make a difference. This year’s theme is Water and Jobs. 

Soil filters rainwater before it flows into streams. Rain that flows across impervious surfaces such as parking lots and streets picks up all sorts of contaminants before it flows into storm sewers, and then directly into rivers, with no filtration. Installing a rain barrel reduces surface water contamination and provides chlorine-free water for your garden.