Need some inspiration for going green this Earth Day? Try one of these ideas, or go ahead and try them all. Your planet will thank you for it!

  1. Pull the plug: Use a power strip to turn off televisions, stereos and computer systems when you're not using them and unplug appliances such as phone chargers, extra refrigerators, and printers until you need them.
  2. Bump your thermostat: Set it to 78 degrees and open the windows when there is a fresh breeze. (In the winter, set it to around 68 degrees and turn it down even more when you go to sleep or are away.)
  3. Put your fridge on a diet: If your fridge is equipped with a power-saving feature, use it. Set your refrigerator temperature at 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit; your freezer should be set between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Read: Walden, An Inconvenient Truth, Silent Spring, The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Lorax, or one of these other great eco-books.
  5. Cook green.
  6. Power down your computer.
  7. Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees (Farenheit).
  8. Build a solar oven.
  9. Test your windows and doors for leaks: Hold a ribbon near the windowsills or door jamb. If it’s fluttering, you have a leak. Caulk it up to save energy and money.
  10. Fix leaky faucets and pipes. 
  11. Make your water multi-task: Use it more than once while grooming, cleaning, washing dishes and playing.
  12. Go paperless.
  13. Make a waste-free lunch.
  14. Host a waste-free picnic with friends and family.
  15. Buy less stuff.
  16. Install a CFL or compact fluorescent light bulb.
  17. Grasscycle: Leave grass clippings on your lawn (instead of bagging them up) where they will naturally decompose and hold in soil moisture, prevent freezing, and return nutrients to the soil.
  18. Stop your junk mail.
  19. Weigh your waste: Every night for a week, collect your household garbage and weigh it on your bathroom scale. Record your results every few weeks and celebrate your success as your trash slims down.
  20. Make your own green cleaning products.
  21. Try xeriscaping.
  22. Start composting.
  23. Plant a tree, a flower, or a garden with your children.
  24. Adopt a pet from your local animal shelter.
  25. Volunteer.
  26. Don't drive.
  27. Explore nature in your local community.
  28. Purchase carbon offsets.
  29. Buy local.
  30. Buy in bulk.
  31. Bring your own reusable shopping bag.
  32. Turn trash into treasure: Get creative by using old items (such as broken gadgets, torn clothing, or plastic bottles) as art supplies.
  33. Make a local green guide: Canvass local stores and businesses to find sources for green goods and then compile your research into an online community buying guide.
  34. Give back.
  35. Swap: clothes, toys, books, bikes, or even seeds with friends.
  36. Buy organic.
  37. Go meat-free.
  38. Green your laundry.
  39. Support renewable energy: If your local utility offers you a choice, select renewable energy or purchase green credits to offset your energy use.
  40. Learn your labels (and learn how to spot greenwashing).

Not enough? 13 more ways to go green on Earth Day. 

MNN homepage photo: Colonel/iStockphoto

40 eco-ideas for Earth Day
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with 40 inspiring ideas for saving the planet.