There are plenty of good reasons to buy food and other items in bulk: You'll pay less in the long run, and you'll also cut back on wasteful packaging. In fact, bulk items reduce waste up to 90 percent by volume and 75 percent by weight over single-serving portions. And there are many creative ways to repackage bulk items for everyday use in your home. Keep bulk cereal, beans, and other dry goods in glass containers for easy access.
To prevent winter's cold weather from turning your concrete foundation into 40 tons of refrigeration, Peter Lytle, founder of the Minnesota-based Live Green, Live Smart Institute suggests taking on the sizable project of adding a 2-inch layer of Styrofoam 4 feet below ground around the house. (Be sure the local utilities mark the gas and electric lines coming into your house before you dig.) Styrofoam, you ask? It makes sense because it's a stable, inert product that doesn't leach chemicals underground (it breaks down only when exposed to UV light or certain bacteria).
Analyzing everything from your basement to attic, an energy audit pinpoints where you're losing energy and how to make a home much more efficient. Because the auditor can prioritize what changes offer the highest payback, following the suggestions can save serious money and energy.
Machine-wash clothes, especially outer layers such as jeans and sweatshirts, only when they're truly dirty. Line-dry your laundry whenever possible. (If your towels or jeans are stiff after hanging on the clothesline, set the dryer to "air fluff" and pop them in for just a few minutes.)
If your old phone powers up and the outside is intact, Green Phone will pay you for it. Visit their website and find your model to see how much you'll get -- usually between $1 and $10. Fill out a form online, print a prepaid shipping label, and send it. You'll receive a check in about three weeks. Green Phone also plants a tree for every phone it buys and recycles broken models free of charge.