Walk the Walk

Ten simple, painless ways to help save the planet now

Mar 29, 2007
Outside Magazine

1. Let the sun recharge your iPod. The pocket-size Soldius1 Universal Solar Charger does the job in two to three hours and works on other gadgets, from cell phones to gps units. $110; mysoldius.com

2. Light up with LED bulbs. While they cost a bit more (a six-LED, equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent, runs about $45), they use 90 percent less energy than incandescents and 57 percent less than efficient (but ghostly) cfl's. productdose.com

3. Take your next vacation with REI Adventure Travel. The company offers 135 trips on seven continents, and offsets your carbon at no extra cost. rei.com/adventures

4. Join a car-share network—they're up and running in 65 cities, from Washington, D.C., to Seattle. In San Francisco, members of the city carshare network reduced their driving by 47 percent, while their biking and walking increased. For more information, go to carsharing.net.

5. Support companies that embrace sustainable practices: Ibex powers its Vermont headquarters with methane gas from local farms, Black Diamond manufactures with wind and solar power, and footwear maker Mion aims to go completely carbon neutral in 2007. Other smart operators include Chaco, Clif Bar, Dansko, Indigenous Designs, Keen, Kelty, Nau, Patagonia, Prana, REI, Simple, Teko, Timberland, and W.L. Gore.

6. Eat sustainably at one of these acclaimed restaurants: Acme Chophouse, San Francisco; Farm255, Athens, Georgia; Flatbush Farm, Brooklyn; Hell's Backbone Grill, Boulder, Utah; Spoonriver, Minneapolis. For more options near you, visit eatwellguide.org.

7. Start a bike-share program in your community or donate your neglected ten-speed to one that's established. Find a local program at sopobikes.org/community or visit ibike.org/encouragement for tips on how to start your own.

8. Rewaterproof a jacket. Eco-friendly wash-in and spray-on products from Nikwax make it easy and affordable. $12–$14; nikwax.co.uk

9. Kick the bottled-water habit. Disposable plastic water bottles (made from petroleum) are dumped into landfills at the rate of three million per day in California alone, and an NRDC study found that 25 percent of brands are just selling you glorified tap water. For more lifestyle tips, delivered to your inbox daily, go to idealbite.com.

10. Check and inflate your tires regularly. If Americans kept their tires properly pumped, says the Department of Energy, they'd be in for a 3.3 percent improvement in fuel economy.

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