There is nothing like redundancy to emphasize the importance of any particular concern. In our quest to change the collective mindset of Ventura County residents, we regularly revisit the idea of being proactive in our eco-friendly efforts. Year after year, we have brought up the issue for our Earth Day edition, but also throughout the year, about how to become more conscious in protecting our environment. It’s no different this time around, because despite all the good we have going on here in Ventura County, we can do more. This issue is full of much of what is being done locally; we hope it inspires others to follow the lead. But this year, we went searching for a pragmatic list of things to go green (or greener) at home. We hope that you find that these are easy and simple adjustments to apply to your lives — and will do a few extra things Mother Nature would be grateful for.

1. Grow your own fruit, herbs, vegetables.

2.  Switch to compact fluorescent lamps, also known as low-energy light bulbs.

3.  Create a homemade compost bin for $15. (

4.  Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances, even if it’s just one at a time.

5.  Jump on the reusable bag train and leave plastic shopping bags at the store.

6.  Stop buying bottled water. Reusable water bottles are all the rage right now. Make the switch.

7.  Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.

8.  Turn off lights when you leave the room.

9.  Drive the speed limit and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.

10.  Whenever possible, walk or ride a bike to your errands.

11.  Turn off your computer completely at night.

12.  Pay your bills online. Save some trees and nix all the paperwork.

13.  If you’re annoyed with all those unsolicited credit card mailers and all the trash, sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers at 

14.  Before buying anything new, check your local Craigslist or Freecycle.

15.  Make your own household cleaners.

16.  Save electricity; unplug unused chargers and appliances.

17.  Switch to cloth diapers – or at least do a combination with disposables. Even one cloth diaper per day means 365 fewer disposables in the landfill each year.

18.  Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen and for your meals.

19.  Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.

20.  Donate to and shop at thrift stores. Reuse, recycle and save money.

This list was compiled from an article at