Here are 5 small steps you can take to go green

HOUSTON – Earth Day is a day we’re all supposed to focus on how we can protect our planet, making it cleaner and healthier for people and wildlife. You don’t have to change your whole life. If everyone starts small, we could make a big change. Here are five things you can do starting today to make a difference.

Stop the junk mail and save trees

All of the junk mail you get in your mailbox isn’t just annoying. It is wasting paper and trees and gas that powers the mail trucks to get it to you. By opting out of marketing mailers and credit card offers, you will help cut the waste and save time not sorting through all of this paper you didn’t ask for in the first place.

Consumers can register at the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) consumer website for a processing fee of $2 for a period of 10 years. Registering online is the fastest way to see results. DMAchoice offers consumers a simple, step-by-step process that enables them to decide what mail they do and do not want.

In addition, DMAchoice online offers registration for DMA’s eMail Preference Service (reduce your unsolicited commercial email);

Mail-in registration:

If you do not wish to complete your registration online, you can register for DMAchoice by using the mail-in form that is online, fill out the DMAChoice Mail In Form with all required information, print it and mail to the address below.

Or, if you do not have access to the Internet, you can register by sending your name and address (with signature), along with a $3 processing fee (check or money order payable to DMA) to:



P.O. Box 900

Cos Cob, CT 06807

Contact the Consumer Credit Reporting Industry’s Opt-Out Program to not receive credit card and insurance offers by calling 1-888-567-8688 or registering online here.

Cut out plastic water bottles

Did you know every day in the U.S. more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away? Most of them end up in landfills even when we put them in a recycling bin. Swap your disposable plastic bottle for a reusable one.

Choose one plant-based meal a week

Got a craving for a burger, but want your cheat day to be better for the planet? Try a plant-based burger. It takes a ton of water to produce all-beef patties and the carbon footprint is big, too.

Something like the Impossible Burger, which is vegan, uses a fraction of our natural resources to make.

Water conservation

By just turning off the water when you brush your teeth, you can save five gallons of water a day. Time your showers. If you shave off just two minutes, you can save 10 more gallons of water.

Bike instead of drive

Riding your bike saves gas and cuts down on exhaust from your car sitting in traffic. Even if it’s not practical to ride to work, set aside some time to help pick up trash and debris from Houston’s bike lanes.

It’ll keep them safer and encourage other riders to use them instead of driving. Bike Houston has organized a clean-up day today, but you can do it anytime.

About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.