Make a Difference
Green Living - Tips and Resources for Making Environmentally Responsible Choices in Your Daily Life
Bookmark this page and check the "10 Things" list below for seasonally updated actions you can take to live greener right now! Or subscribe through GovDelivery to get an email when new seasonal tips are posted!
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Ten Things You Can Do to Help The Environment Right Now - Fall
- Recycle incandescent holiday lights now
Between Nov. 7 and Nov. 17, you can take old incandescent holiday lights to any Home Depot store for recycling and get $3 to $5 off select ENERGY STAR-qualified seasonal LED lights. Look for the recycling box near the holiday section of the store.
- Top picks for fall hikes
Visit the Great Autumn Hikes page for the best places across the state to take in the foliage, watch migrating birds and enjoy fall's cool crisp (bug-free!) air.
On a clear day, the 15-mile view
from the tower at Sugar Hill is
- Batten down the hatches against rodents, squirrels and bats
Seal all holes and openings that are more than ¼-inch wide with cement, caulk or stainless steel scouring pads. Check floor drains, around pipes, wiring and foundations. Bats can enter through 1cm-wide cracks in rotted eaves, where the chimney meets the house and through ventilation slats.
- Big cash incentives for photovoltaics
Thinking about installing solar panels? NYSERDA is accepting applications for its Solar PV Program that will cover up to 40% of the cost of residential and commercial systems. The system must be put in by an eligible installer. Get program details on the NYSERDA website.
- Cut down on spoiled food
Where you put food in the fridge affects how long it stays fresh. Store meat on the bottom shelf. Milk should go on a middle shelf, and not in the door. Keep apples in the crisper, separate from other fruits and veggies, as they give off ethylene gas which ripens produce
- Protect your property from flooding
Hurricane season lasts through November, with most storms happening in the fall. Be prepared for flooding and you'll reduce damage to your home and property. See "Be Prepared for Floods" and "Shoreline Stabilization Techniques" for advice and resources.
This expensive wall did not last
through a major flood. Find out how
to stabilize a stream bank effectively.
- Have a car battery to get rid of?
The lead-acid batteries used in cars, trucks and RVs can't go in the trash and must be recycled. If not disposed of properly, they can leak contaminants. Find out how to recycle them (it's free!)
- You don't need a special mower to mulch leaves.
Use a regular, side-discharge mower (without the bag). Start mowing from the outside of the yard, shooting leaves toward the center. This way, the leaves will be cut multiple times. Do this regularly during autumn; otherwise a thick layer of shredded leaves can be just as damaging as doing nothing. Strive for no more than a 1-inch layer of leaf mulch on lawns.
- What's lurking in your garage?
Make some space for your car.
Bring oil paints, solvents, pesticides
and other dangerous or hazardous
substances to a collection.
Now's the time to clean it and dispose of any oil-based paints, pesticides, automotive fluids, home chemicals, compact fluorescent bulbs and other household hazardous wastes you might have forgotten there. See if your community offers collections.
- There's still time for one more camping trip
Fall is a perfect time to catch a hawk migration, take in the foliage from a mountain peak or enjoy quiet paddle on a lake. You can camp at North South Lake (Catskills) and Cranberry Lake (Adirondacks) until October 26 and at Fish Creek Pond in Saranac Lake until November 9.
Common Environmental Misconceptions and Myths Exposed and Explained by DEC Experts
Myth: People actually read and use our Green Living tips
Well, we hope it's not a myth, but YOU tell us!
We'd like to think many of you read, use and enjoy the tips and find the myth busters informative and interesting. We'd love to hear what you think as well as any ideas on how to make Green Living better meet your needs and interests.
Please take this short (just five questions!) survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/V3XGR9R
Thanks for your feedback!
The Green Living Editors
More about Make a Difference:
- Keep Water Clean - Tips for protecting New York's water resources from all forms of pollution
- Save Energy and Water - A selection of tips to help you save energy and water around the house and in your yard
- Keep Air Clean - Tips to use every day to prevent air pollution
- Use Less-Toxic Products - Suggestions and tips for less-toxic and non-toxic products for use in your home and yard
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Compost - Tips on recycling, reducing solid waste, reusing and composting
- Protect Fish, Wildlife and Open Space - Tips for creating wildlife habitat and preventing the spread of invasive species
- Connect To Nature - Different ways to experience and learn about the natural world
- Myth Buster Archive - previous Myth Busters