House & Home

Tips to make community sustainability work for you, #3

Posted June 1, 2008 4:12 p.m. EDT
Updated June 1, 2008 4:13 p.m. EDT

  • Driving around town in a lot of stop and go traffic? Fill your gas tank only half full when you’re getting low. A gallon of gas weighs approximately seven pounds (depending on the temperature) and all that extra weight lowers your car’s gas efficiency. So if you are driving in town, it makes more sense to keep the tank emptier, but if you’re logging lots of highway miles on a long trip then go ahead and fill up your tank.
  • Use your cruise control to keep your car’s fuel use at its maximum efficiency. Cruise control takes hills into account, pushing your car when it has to but letting it coast when it can.
  • Waiting for the hot water to kick in before you take a shower or do your dishes? Collect the cold water that’s coming out of the tap and use it to water your plants, wash the dog, or filter it and store it in the fridge.
  • Bringing your lunch to work? Forego the paper bag (which only gets used once or twice and then must be recycled) or plastic baggie for a safe, healthy container. Buy a #1, #2, #4, or #5 plastic container to stay away harmful chemicals from other kinds of plastic that can leech into your food.
  • Save money and keep lots of plastic bottles out of landfills by using a water filter and reusable drinking container instead of purchasing bottled water. An extraordinary amount of pollution and waste are created by making plastic bottles and transporting bottled water, and, by the way, do you know for sure where that water actually comes from?

Sustainability Tips Provided by the Foundation for a Sustainable Community. Look for new tips weekly on's Green Guide.