Green in 10 steps
Ten Ways To Be Green:
1. Save energy to save money. Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out. Unplug appliances when you're not using them. Or, use a "smart" power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts "phantom" or "vampire" energy use. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water. Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.
2.Save water to save money. Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too. Install a low-flow showerhead. They don't cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment. Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high. Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out which occur naturally in your area.
3. Less gas = more money (and better health!). Walk or bike to work. This saves on gas and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity. Consider telecommuting if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term. Lobby your local government to increase spending on sidewalks and bike lanes. With little cost, these improvements can pay huge dividends in bettering your health and reducing traffic.
4. Eat smart. If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it's even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs. Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy. Watch videos about why local food and sustainable seafood are so great. Whatever your diet, eat low on the food chain [pdf]. This is especially true for seafood.
5. Skip the bottled water. Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste. Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminum rather than plastic, with you when traveling or at work.
6.Think before you buy. Go online to find new or gently used secondhand products. Whether you've just moved or are looking to redecorate, consider a service like craigslist or FreeSharing to track down furniture, appliances, and other items cheaply or for free. Check out garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday items. When making purchases, make sure you know what's "Good Stuff" and what isn't. Watch a video about what happens when you buy things. Your purchases have a real impact, for better or worse.
7. Borrow instead of buying. Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books. Share power tools and other appliances. Get to know your neighbors while cutting down on the number of things cluttering your closet or garage.
8. Buy smart. Buy in bulk. Purchasing food from bulk bins can save money and packaging. Wear clothes that don't need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use. Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. You might pay more now, but you'll be happy when you don't have to replace items as frequently (and this means less waste!).
9. Keep electronics out of the trash. Keep your cell phones, computers, and other electronics as long as possible. Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. E-waste contains mercury and other toxics and is a growing environmental problem. Recycle your cell phone. Ask your local government to set up an electronics recycling and hazardous waste collection event.
10. REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE as much as possible!!
Did you know?
- One plastic bag takes up to a 1,000 years to breakdown in a landfill? This year alone, over 36,000,000,000 plastic bags have already been consumed. The best thing you can do is to use reusable shopping bags. Throughout the lifetime of one reusable bag, you will have kept 1,000 plastic bags out of a landfill!
- About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%. Before you toss something in the trash check to see if their is a recycling symbol on the container. If yes, rinse it out and toss it into your recycling can! Over time you will see your trash can take longer and longer to fill up!
- In 2007, more than 830 million pounds of plastic bags and film were recycled, a 27 percent increase from 2005.
- More than 20 million Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of aluminum foil. Believe it not, ALL that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it so most it goes in the trash!
- A leaky faucet can waste 100 gallons a day.
- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours. In spite of this, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every three months!
- Americans consume more than 10 billion paper bags per year. Approximately 14 million trees are cut down every year for paper bag production.
- The primary greenhouse gas responsible for global warming is carbon dioxide. The U.S. is responsible for 25% of the carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
Any questions please contact Nancy Weil at firstname.lastname@example.org