1. Don't use colored facial tissues, paper towels or toilet paper. The paper dissolves properly in water, but the dye lingers on.
2. If you accumulate coat hangers, don't junk them; return them to the cleaner. Boycott a cleaner who won't accept them.
3. Use containers that disintegrate readily. Glass bottles don't decompose. Bottles made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) give off lethal hydrochloric acid when incinerated. (That's the soft plastic many liquid household cleaners, shampoos, and mouthwashes come in. Don't confuse it with the stiffer polystyrene plastic, used mainly for powders.) The Food and Drug Administration has now approved PVC for food packaging, too. Don't buy it. Use decomposable or "biodegradable" pasteboard, cardboard and paper containers instead. If you can't, at least reuse non-decomposable bottles; don't junk them after one use.
4. Don't buy non-returnable containers. Hold aluminum can purchases to a minimum.
5. At the gas station, don't let the attendant "top off" your gas tank; this means waste and polluting spillage. The pump should shut off automatically at the proper amount. (True, too, for motorboats.)
6. If you smoke filter-tip cigarettes, don't flush them down the john. They'll ruin your plumbing and clog up pumps at the sewage treatment plant. They're practically indestructible. Put them in the garbage.
7. Stop smoking.
8. Stop littering. Now. If you see a litterer, object very politely (e.g. "Excuse me, sir, I think you dropped something").
9. If you're a home gardener, make sure fertilizer is worked deep into the soil — don't hose it off into the water system. Phosphates (a key ingredient) cause lake and river algae to proliferate wildly.
10. To reduce noise, buy a heavy-duty plastic garbage can instead of a metal one. Or sturdy plastic bags, if you can afford them. They're odor-proof, neater, lighter.
11. When you see a junked car, report it to your local sanitation department. If they don't care, scream till someone does.
12. If you don't really need a car, don't buy a car. Motor vehicles contribute a good half of this country's air pollution. Better, walk or bicycle. Better for you, too.