Ideas to get you started on a sustainable path

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”

  • Anne Marie Bonneau

What if making a difference for the environment doesn’t mean overhauling your life. What if you could make a difference by implementing small changes in your life. Here are some ideas:


Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth and when you’re soaping up your hands

Check  for leaks inside and outside of your house

Run your dishwasher on a full load

Wash clothes in cold water

Plant a low-water garden (hint: native plants) and water your lawn less frequently

Kick the water bottle habit


Make your next appliance more energy efficient

Tips for staying warm in a cool house

Tips to save energy at home

How to keep your house cool this summer if you don’t have AC

Need  help weatherizing your home? Start here


Tips to eat smart & waste less

Reduce your exposure to pesticides when buying produce (The Dirty 15)


Cascadia Wild is great if you love being outdoors

Become a Master Recycler and teach others about reducing waste and recycling

If you love plants, become a Master Gardener

Believe it or not, picking up trash is really rewarding – SOLVE Oregon, Surfrider and neighborhood organizations offer opportunities

More volunteer opportunities here


Know how to spot ‘safer sunscreens’ and non sunscreen ways to protect your skin

Do you know what your putting on your skin? Check to see which brands of make-up and other skin care products are free of harmful chemicals

Make your own green cleaners or know what to avoid when buying cleaners


Know your representatives and reach out to them about important legislation. Find state representatives here


Check out these waste-free stores: Mama & Hapa’s, Realm Refillery and Bold Reuse helps reduce waste for takeout


Have questions about what’s recyclable at home, where to take a mattress and how to handle construction waste? Ask an expert

Guide to healthy cleaning

Do you really know what goes in your recycling and compost bin?

What about hazardous waste?

Eco-friendly  home guide

Learn how to mend your clothes

Buy secondhand clothes and be more discerning when buying new clothes

Not handy? There are regular Repair Cafes in the area

Borrow, don’t buy! Check out this Kitchen Library or North Portland Tool Library, NE Portland Tool Library, SE Portland Tool Library, Lent’s Tool Library, Beaverton’s Library of Things, Hillsboro’s Library of Things, Tigard’s Library of Things, Oregon City’s Library of Things,