70 Things You Can Do About Climate Change

July 1st, 2019

Since 1949, The Watershed Institute has worked to protect and restore clean water in central New Jersey through conservation, advocacy, science, and education. Over the past 70 years our membership has helped form a vast volunteer water monitoring network, built a far reaching environmental education program, and coordinated opposition to harmful projects along the way. Many of the programs we pilot are the culmination of effort by scientists and researchers, engineers, teachers, and citizen advocates. It takes the combined energy of our watershed community to help keep our water clean, safe and healthy.

In 2002, The Watershed Institute launched the River-Friendly Certification Program to guide residents, schools, and business towards practices that reduce pollution, conserve water, restore habitat for wildlife, and educate the public about becoming better environmental stewards. Small actions add up to big impacts. We can all have a more positive impact on our environment from our homes and places of work – which is why we made a list of 70 things we can all do about climate change.

Conserve Water


1.  Take shorter showers – avoid filling the bath tub

2.  Turn off the tap while brushing or shaving

3.  Only wash full loads of dishes and laundry

4.  Avoid watering your lawn

5.  Scrape instead of rinsing your dishes

6.  Install water saving faucet and shower fixtures

7.  Fix leaky fixtures, running faucets, and toilets

8.  Adjust the fill level or offset the flush volume of your toilets

9.  Re-wear clothes that aren’t dirty

10.  Limit car washing to a single soapy bucket


EPA – How We Use Water

Reduce Consumption


Earth Overshoot Day

11.  Skip the straw

12.  Carry your own water bottle / coffee mug / utensils

13.  Consolidate online purchases into combined shipments

14.  Reject single-use plastic containers, packaging, & bags

15.  Turn off lights when you leave a room

16.  Unplug idle electronics

17.  Switch to energy saving fixtures, appliances, and lights

18.  Use automatic or timed sensors on lights and devices

19.  Buy package-free foods

20.  Only buy what you need – (esp. don’t over-purchase food)


Reuse Things


21.  Reuse takeout containers for electronics and hardware

22.  Make rags from old sheets and clothing scraps

23.  Keep old jars for canning and storing dry goods

24.  Hold onto gift bags and wrapping paper for future gifts

25.  When hosting a party, avoid disposable serving items

26.  Get creative – make functional items from your junk bin

27.  Use a food compost pile to feed garden & house plants

28.  Switch to reusable batteries in everyday electronics

29.  Save shipping materials for packaging and storage

30.  Start seedlings in empty egg cartons


25 Ways to Repurpose Old Junk

Recycle Waste

Recycling Resources in NJ

31.  Drop off old clothing and furniture at a donation center

32.  Visit a pharmacy to discard unused prescription meds

33.  Recycle electronics at office supply stores

34.  Sell or discard spare metal at your local scrap yard

35.  Pass on old books to a free library or used book store

36.  Shred junk paper to add to your compost pile

37.  Drop off used engine fluids at automotive repair shops

38.  Discard plastic bags in grocery store receptacles

39.  List items on local trading sites for free or for sale

40.  Contact your town about household chemical disposal


Try Your Green Thumb


41.  Plant a Rain Garden

42.  Redirect downspouts away from your driveway

43.  Install a rain barrel

44.  Get connected to solar power or renewable sources

45.  Grow a native plant meadow or garden

46.  Avoid the use of fertilizers and pesticides

47.  Leave grass clippings on your lawn

48.  Shovel to avoid winter salt usage

49.  Install bird/bat houses and feeders

50.  Pick up after your pet


8 Ways to an Eco-Friendly Lawn

Put Climate Change Where Your Mouth Is


Climate Change Food Calculator

51.  Reduce your meat consumption – consider a plant-based diet

52.  Buy local produce – get to know your local farmer

53.  Grow your own garden vegetables

54.  Compost your food waste

55.  Participate in a community cleanup

56.  Make purchases from reputable companies

57.  Divest or redirect investments to sustainable companies

58.  Encourage friends and family to change habits

59.  Advocate for environmentally-friendly laws & policies

60.  Join your local environmental organization


Travel Green


61.  Walk & ride your bike more – drive less

62.  Consider traveling by hybrid or electric instead of gas power

63.  Take public transportation when you can

64.  Carpool or ride share when you can

65.  Book vacations with eco-friendly accommodations

66.  Pack refillable toiletry products like shampoo and sunscreen

67.  Keep up with regular maintenance on vehicles you own

68.  Don’t top off your tank when refueling

69.  Avoid hard accelerations and heavy braking

70.  Don’t fly when driving is an option


10 Eco-Friendly Travel Tips

Do you recognize some of the things on this list? If you’re already on your way, consider becoming a certified River-Friendly Resident here. Strengthen your Water-IQ, pick up a good habit, and share with your friends. Become a member to support efforts to protect clean water and healthy environments in central New Jersey.

Take Our River-Friendly Survey

Grow Your Water IQ

Get Involved

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