20 Ways to Go Green in Acton in 2013

Looking for ways to live a greener lifestyle, check out these 20 tips to help you stick to your plan.

If you want to be kinder to the planet and save some money at the same time, here are 20 ways to go green in 2013.

  1. Buy fresh, local food this summer at local markets, including Stonefield Farm, or at nearby farmers markets in Concord and Maynard.   
  2. Have your kids make their friends birthday cards and bring gifts in decorated paper bags or a cool reusable bag. Kids love getting a handmade card—as do adults.
  3. Bring your own bags when you shop for groceries. 
  4. Shop at consignment stores and thrift stores, such as We Consign It.
  5. Rip up some lawn and create new garden beds this spring, and then grow your own food this summer. Need help getting started? Take a look at the landscapers in Acton on Patch. Your kids will eat more veggies if they grow them themselves.
  6. Dispose of your hazardous waste properly. Items can be taken to the Acton Transfer Station.
  7. Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm to support local, sustainable farming and enjoy fresh veggies weekly. 
  8. Ditch those dreaded plastic sandwich bags and get some washable containers or bags. I like ReUsies, created by two Seattle moms.
  9. Cut down on car trips and run your errands on your bike or on foot. 
  10. Pack cloth napkins instead of paper towels in school lunches.
  11. Look for an environmental service project you can do with your children, such as removing trash and non-native plants and planting trees in their place. Groups run clean up events through the year, including the annual Charles River clean up on Earth Day.
  12. Got an older house? Install double-pane windows and you’ll see immediate savings on your heating bill.
  13. Plant a tree. A certified arborist can help you select and plant trees that will provide privacy and shade and even years of fresh fruit. Find a certified arborist in your area.
  14. Dump your bottled water costs. You could save hundreds of dollars by buying snazzy metal water bottles for everyone in the family and a personal filter for your kitchen faucet. Rite Aid has an assortment of kid-pleasing water bottles.
  15. Organize a Halloween costume swap in September. This can be a great service project for a Girl Scout troop. Reserve a room at Acton Memorial Library and publicize to local parenting groups and preschools. Check out the preschools in town on Patch
  16. Replace your old light bulbs with LED bulbs. They last 15 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. You can find bulbs at ACE Hardware.
  17. Expand your hand-me-down circle. Organize a clothing swap for your kids’ preschool or a group of friends. Everyone brings gently used and clean kids’ clothes to your garage and parents can take as many items as they donated. The rest goes to charity. You can also swap toys and books.
  18. Replace your showerheads with low-flow models. Low-flow showerheads can save you up to 15 percent on water heating costs and reduce your water usage by as much as 20,000 gallons a year.
  19. Save up to 30 percent on your monthly heating bills by having a home energy audit done by a professional. NSTAR offers energy audits for businesses and Mass Save offers home energy assessments.
  20. Give service and experience gifts this year instead of stuff. Make homemade gift certificates for services and experiences that could include tech support, dinner and a movie, yard work, pet walking or babysitting, or a day of organizing support for the clutter challenged.

TELL US: Will you be going green this year? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments sections below.

Debra Simes February 25, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Re: #1: Don't know how, but you left out Acton's very own farmers market — the awesome Acton-Boxborough Farmers Market — which operates June through October on Pearl Street in West Acton. Dates for the 2013 season are June 16–Oct. 20. The ABFM accepts SNAP benefits and provides fresh local food, music, art, community education, and kids' activities. Real Food from Real People! www.ABFarmersMarket.org. Also, don't forget another Acton farm, Cucurbit Farm on Parker Street. And fyi: though Concord has several farms that sell directly to consumers, there is no farmers market in Concord (though there is a once-a-year market during Concord's Ag Day).
Lisa V February 28, 2013 at 03:53 PM
To add to Number #4, check out Cornerstone Thrift Shop in Acton Center, 12 Concord Road. They are open on Mon., Fri and Sat. (www.actonc.org) 978-263-1050


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