How to Support the Planet without Lifting a Finger

Feel exhausted just thinking about the environment? If the energy you want to save is primarily your own, try these close to effortless actions.

You will need

  • Webcam
  • Microwave
  • Dishwasher

Step 1 Have a videoconference It’s bad enough going to work, but having to take a business trip? Good grief! Get a webcam for your computer and videoconference instead from your office or, even better, your home. You’ll save the energy that would have been expended on the flight, rental car, and hotel stay while saving yourself the hassle of having to put on pants.

Step 2 Use the microwave Cooking a meal? Forget gas and electric ovens and make it in a microwave; it uses up to 9.5 percent less electricity, produces fewer indoor pollutants, and decreases temperature changes that affect your thermostat. Plus, you’ll have lots of extra time for your favorite activity — doing nothing.

Step 3 Wait to shave Shaving’s so annoying and it uses a gallon of water on average. So, men, grow a beard; ladies, wear pants or proudly sport hairy legs. If you don’t like the wild look, fill the sink halfway and rinse your razor, rather than running it under the tap; it doesn’t take that much effort to turn off the faucet.

Step 4 Turn to the dishwasher When it’s time to wash the dishes, don’t. Leave them in the sink until you have a full load; then, use a dishwasher rather than washing them by hand — you’ll save yourself a lot of work along with an average of 5,000 gallons of water per year.

Step 5 Leave the clippings When you finally get around to mowing the lawn, don’t bother picking up the clippings; they add nutrients to the soil and won’t take up space in landfills. Plus, you can stop doing yard work sooner and get back where you really belong — the couch.