Ask the Readers: What Are Your Green Goals?

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Rebecca, Ashley, and Jennifer for winning this week's contest!

A few weeks ago, we asked you about the green habits you already have. We got a lot of solid, tried-and-true green practices and many creative ones, too. This week, in honor of Earth Day — coming up on Monday, April 22! — we want to know what lifestyle changes you want to make to be even more earth friendly.

What are your green goals? Do you want to be more efficient with what you already do, or is there something else you'd like to try? What are the obstacles to reaching your green goals?

Tell us about your green goals and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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    If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

    Giveaway Rules:

    • Contest ends Monday, April 22nd at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after April 22nd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
    • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
    • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
    • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

I'd like to recycle more. The obstacle is that our town doesn't have recycling! In order to recycle items, we have to drive 30 minutes or more to another city to drop off at a recycling facility.

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I'm working on insulating my house better! I know, not very exciting, but we'll see a big savings over time.

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I would like to do even more recycling than we do now. I would also love to find a way to reduce what we have in a responsible way, probably will end up giving a lot to a non-profit resale store. We try to throw away as little as possible, usually less than one trash bag a week for 4 of us. Recycling helps so much with that!

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My greenest goal is to become as self-sufficient as possible. Grow more, shop less, stop buying processed foods that generate packaging trash, not to mention the energy costs of production and shipping of these items that aren't very healthy. I want to start doing more edible landscaping so I know my family's food supply is healthy and organic. I want to find more affordable, environmentally friendly ways to heat and cool my home, do more reusing and recycling, and make my home as environmentally friendly as possible.

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Reduce my household waste (that goes to the landfill) by 50%

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I would like to get into vermicomposting. Just have to convince my wife to have worms around!

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Amanda Novak

My husband did not want me to have worms at all! I might have ordered them behind his back and 2+ years later, he's never once complained. Totally worth it!

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To drive less to close destinations. We live in the suburbs, but Walgreens/CVS and others are about 1 mile away, so instead of jumping into the car to run errands to these places I am going to try to walk more, especially since the nicer weather is coming around.

Guest's picture

I have green "dreams" more than green goals. I would love to add some solar panels, but I have two obstacles. First, the cost, though I think there are lease arrangements that could address this. Second, lack of commitment from my husband. At our age (over 60), the horizon for return on investment is too far out so he opposes the project. But for an achievable goal, I'm replacing CFL with LED lights one at a time.

Guest's picture

we currently use cloth diapers for our 10 week old and love it. the next step may be using cloth wipes. we of course already feel like we do a lot of laundry but seeing as the wipes can be washed with the diapers, it shouldn't be too much of a transition and will cut down not only on garbage waste but also should save a little money.

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My green goal is to use reusable grocery bags all the time

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Some of my green goals are to bike or walk to work as much as possible this spring/summer/fall, to unplug all appliances when not in use, to stop using paper towels and use cloth, to hang dry more clothes, and to try to re-use and recycle as much as possible.

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Anne M.

I would like to start my own compost pile, and use it to help fertilize my veggie garden I will be planting soon!

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Tabathia B

I would love to switch vehicles to one that is more healthier for the environment and to eliminate paper products from out lifestyle

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DH and I would like to evaluate our HVAC system to reduce the amount of time the AC unit runs. In Memphis it gets a bit warm during the summer so we want to block unused vents, look at ceiling fan rotation, replace filters, clean what ducts we can reach, hang reflective drapery, etc. We rent so we can't make major changes but want to do the best we can.

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Trying to eat more organic food - especially meat!

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prathee chandar

My green goal is to reuse and buy as much used stuff as possible. I also want to reduce waste in kitchen.

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ria rowan

This year we are planting a garden in the backyard and using rain water to water the veggies.

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L. A. R. Koslow

I would like to get back to composting. Our last place had one (courtesy the landlady) in the backyard! Our current apartment situation would have us driving our scraps somewhere regularly ... which we still should. But one day, in a place of our own: a compost operation for our full scale garden!!!

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My green goal is to grow more of our own food while composting our food waste to help them grow :)

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Quynh-Thi Vidal

I want to start an organic garden & composting this year.

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I need to decrease my overall utility usage; water, gas and electricity. I'm recycling bottles and cans, but I need to also recycle food packaging more.

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To get my hugelkultur beds up and going so my garden can start producing!

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My goal is to buy better quality stuff so that I'm not throwing things away as often, it takes money to save money so it's definitely a goal that is farther off than others. Right now I am starting off with my clothing purchases.

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recycle more

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Emily Nagle

my goal is to not buy things unnecessarily.

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I'd like to start recycling more seriously!

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Always use ALL the food we buy, shut the lights off religiously, buy things used when possible.

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Betty D.

My green goal is to not make garbage in the first place. I pack my lunch in reusable containers, and use my regular silverware. At home, I try not to buy products with a lot of packaging. It's healthier too. My fruits and salad come package free!

Guest's picture

My goal is to use more of what I have - groceries, craft supplies, books, movies, etc. My husband and I have been such consumers for years and we have a house full of stuff that we don't use. Now that we have a mortgage, that must change!

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Amanda Novak

I'd like to completely do away with paper towel usage in our home. I would also like to compost and grow my own veggies.

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my goal is to be more green-conscious

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I would like to use only public transportation, walking or bike riding to get around town.

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My green goal is to grow my own (limited) container garden this year.

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One filled trash can per month. I would love to do zero waste but I think that's a bit of a stretch for right now.

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One day, I'd like to have a green house. I'd like to get all of my power from the sun or wind, and recycle my gray water. It would be awesome to make the house super energy efficient, so it doesn't use much energy to begin with. Also, I'd love to use all sorts of recycled and sustainable materials. And a garden, it would be awesome to have a garden providing fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

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My goal is to utilize our ceiling fans instead of the AC as often as possible this summer.

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Oscar C

I want to do an electric car conversion and install solar panels over my garage. A but more up front, but I want more long term benefits.

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I need to use less water, maybe turn off the shower while conditioning my hair or shaving my legs!

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I am going to get an energy audit on our apartment and make it more energy efficient.

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Alissa A

I want to recycle more. My obstacle is my memory!

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My green goals are to eventually move into a tiny home and to further reduce my carbon footprint by getting an all-electric vehicle, a small one. We already recycle everything we can. I also plan to switch to all-LED lighting.

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My goal is to use less energy than I do now. I'd like to be below average in my house.

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1) We aim to cut down on car trips (and do more car pooling).
2) Air dry more of our clothes.
3) Grow more of our own fruits and vegetables.
4) Do more composting.
5) I'd love to invest in solar panels someday -- that's my long-term green dream.

Guest's picture
Luke Liukonen

My goal is to hit up more local farmers markets (which supports the local economy, small business and is green since the product has less to travel) and to slow down the spending in big box stores and start shopping thrift stores, auctions and rummage sales for items. Being "green" doesn't mean you have to throw money at it (actually you usually are less "green" buying all new items to replace your old ones just because it doesn't have buzzwords associated with it)

Steps Ive already taken are things like using compact fluorescent and LED lighting, eating out less (which is more green, healthy, and saves more green then what you think) retrofitting my apartments toilet with a dual flush device (, make my own laundry soap, and use more natural based cleaners (like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon).

We can learn a lot about being "green" from our grandparents, and those who went through the great depression, who learned how to use the most out of an item rather then just throw it away when it doesn't work.

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Elizabeth V.

I live in a city with less-than-optimal public transportation, yet two of my friends have successfully gone car-free. My goal is to skip the pricey parking permit next semester at the college where I work, and pick up a monthly bus pass.

It will add some time onto my morning commute, but it will save money, gasoline, and wear & tear on the car, as well as keeping another vehicle off the crowded freeways!

Guest's picture

I'd like to move away from storing food in plastic containers and replace them with glass containers. In that same vein, I'd also like to cut back on using plastic wrap and ziploc bags once I find a better alternative.

I also would love to start a windowsill herb garden!

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Susan D

At the risk of sounding heretical, I don't have any green goals. I do enough already.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

I would love to have our recycling picked up at our curb, but I don't see that happening very soon. Right now, I have to drive my plastics, glass, tin, and newspapers to a recycling place a half our away, and our cardboard 45 minutes away. I am also going through all of our commercial cleaners so that I can switch over to all green products.

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Jen W.

Ride my bike to work - it far but one of these days I'm going to do it. Oh, and convince management to let me tele-commute one day a week. The second one's more of a pipe dream but a gal can try.

Guest's picture
Amber Storck

1.) Get a 1.7kw Solar System
2.) Continue and expand my vegatable and fruit garden with compost & reclaimed materials
3.) Have my HVAC system cleaned for better efficiency
4.) Get an efficient fireplace insert
5.) Purchase a WVO vehicle using waste vegetable oil for fuel from local restaurants
6.) Get a used bicycle to run errands in town
7.) Become completely vegetarian (90% there already)
8.) Air dry all laundry
9.) Cut all energy use by 10%
10.) Stop buying new or online

Guest's picture

I already recycle quite a bit, but I would like to buy less-packaged items in the first place. So many things come heavily packaged (a bag in a box in a box, etc.). It's tough to do with the brands I buy, but I'm going to work on it.

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Debra K

I would like to replace takeout containers from leftovers with reusable tupperware containers. I just need to find some good collapsible containers and then keep them in my car so I don't forget!

I'd also like to grow more foods in my garden. We just started it the end of last summer. I'm waiting for the weather to behave so I can plant my seeds!

Guest's picture

1) Riding my bike to work! I'm moving to an apartment much, much closer to work, and now that it is warming up I'm going to try to commit to riding my bike 4 days out of 5.
2) Transition from using disposable products (napkins, paper towels, ziplock bags) to re-usable products for cleaning, etc. Also cut down on the packaging of the products I buy

Guest's picture

My green goal is to sell my house and move aboard a sailboat. We'll have wind and solar power, an ice box, and a composting toilet. Our already fairly low (for an American) carbon footprint will decrease even more.

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stop using disposable chopsticks, especially when traveling in asia. i carry a metal pair with me in my bag. i'm yet to go through airport security with it!

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I want to save the most money I can by being green.

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Laura Jacobson

My green goals are to recycle more, and I would love to start a garden if this snow ever goes away!

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My green goal is to remember to take reusable bags with me when I go shopping (I often forget)

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My long-term goal is to have a garden, now that we have a little bit of yard here. We've heard from our landlords, though, that they always had trouble trying to grow anything -- soil problems, I think. My short-term goal is to continue recycling. Now that I'm the only driver in the household, it's even harder to fit it into my schedule, and the bottle are piling up! :)