Support the Earth and live greener. Save energy by gardening, reducing waste, and more in Boston. Save money while you do it.
Save Money and Energy
- Turn off lights when you’re not using them. Check the house before you leave and before you go to bed to make sure lights are off.
- Wash your clothing in cold water. Heating water takes up most of the energy needed to run a washing machine.
- Save money on LED light bulbs with Mass Save. LED bulbs use 80-85% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Use a clothesline or drying rack. You’ll reduce your energy bill, and your clothes won’t shrink the way they do in a dryer.
- Try these methods for saving water.
- Get rebates by making your home more energy efficient.
Cut Down on Waste
- Stop junk mail.
- Find free food outdoors. This online map shows foragers where to find fruit trees, edible plants and mushrooms.
- Get rid of leaf and yard waste.
- Keep recycling.
- Compost to turn your waste into soil.
- Recycle a firearm. Gun owners can bring a firearm to a gun buyback event or police station. Police supervise as skilled metalworkers disable the firearm and use the scrap to make garden tools. Guns2Gardens
- Reuse and keep stuff out of landfills. Give and get stuff for free.
- Help Boston become a zero-waste city.
- Break your bottled water habit. Try a glass jar, a mason jar, or any other reusable water bottle.
- Host a clothing swap with your friends.
Garden Like a Pro
- Find expert advice, from planting cucumbers and pole beans to handling garden pests.
- Get the scoop on garden poop.
- Get a victory garden plot on the Fenway for $25–$40.
- Learn WHEN and WHAT to plant—from indoor sprouts to outdoor transfer.
- Try Mahoney’s Garden Center for tips on fruit tree care and more. They offer curbside pickup and home delivery. Earn $5 for every $250 you spend through their Rewards Program.
- Start an urban farm.
- Find inspiration. The Harvard University Herbaria has six collections and more than five million specimens of algae, bryophytes, fungi, and vascular plants. View 4,300 Glass Flowers and images from Henry David Thoreau’s collection.
- Play Bird and Bug Bingo. Print out cards and see if you can be the first to find all the items in a row, column, or corner to corner. There are special cards for each season as well as 6 themed cards that can be used anytime.
- Name that (North American bird) tune.
- Observe and share pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi in your backyard or outside your window using the free mobile app iNaturalist.
- Was that a coyote? Get your question about Massachusetts wildlife answered.
- Super green. Take your child to the Boston Children’s Museum, the state’s first green museum and the recipient of LEED Gold Certification.
- Learn more about porcupine, hummingbirds, moose, ticks, and more. Consult one of 14 free quick guides.
- Consult a free Outdoor Almanac to see what’s happening outdoors fall, summer, spring or winter.
- Immerse your child in nature at this outdoor preschool.
- Shape the future of the Emerald Necklace’s largest park.
Save When You Bike or Drive Electric
- Get discounts for riding your bike.
- Ride a Bluebike for less.
- Tips for riding your bike in Boston.
- Save when you buy an electric vehicle.
Give Nature a Hand
- Build a bat house with your family.
- Please don’t pick the lady slippers.
- Help pollinators get buzzy.
- What to do if you find sick, orphaned or injured wildlife.
- Join or organize a cleanup in Massachusetts.
Slow Down Climate Change
- Try a Meatless Monday.
- Greenovate! Things you can do to support Boston’s Climate Action Plan.
Learn More to Be Green and Get Green
- Find out about erosion and flooding.
- Educate yourself about herbs with classes on herbal and holistic health topics, urban plant walks. Connect with herbal crafters and artisans.
- Brush up on your herb identification with clinical herbalists by listening to the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism’s free podcast. Take classes, get advice on growing herbs, and join a walk to identify herbs.
- Find out about the safety and purity of Boston’s drinking water.
- Learn how to deal with ticks.
- Stay informed. Subscribe to the City of Boston’s YouTube channel.