Friday, April 22, 2011

Today is Earth Day - Simple ways to make a difference


There are MANY ways to go green & help the environment.  Below are just a few ways.  You can find many more by doing a Google Search.  WHAT WAYS ARE YOU HELPING?  COMMENTS ARE ENCOURAGED!

1. Unplug electrical items from the wall.  The EPA says that 10-15 percent of home energy loss is caused by “vampire,” or phantom power loads—electricity consumed by electronics when they are powered off yet still plugged into an outlet. Everything from a clock radio to a DVD player sucks phantom power, raising electric bills and wasting resources. By remembering to unplug all electronics or using a power strip to cut the power of multiple items, you’re saving the environment and your budget.

 2. Make your own cleaning products. Using environmentally safe cleaning products made at home saves money and ensures toxic chemicals will not leak into the earth, sacrificing drinking water quality and causing harm to lakes and rivers. With a refillable spray bottle and a few common household pantry items, most anything can be effectively, and safely, cleaned. Recipes for environmentally friendly household cleaning solutions can be found by visiting EcoCycle.org.

3. Properly insulate your home. Heating and cooling systems are costly to operate and emit harmful greenhouse gasses. Making sure your home is sufficiently insulated from air leaks will prevent costly energy consumption.

 4. Switch your shower head. There was a time when “low-flow” showers meant having to sacrifice water pressure. Thankfully, the advancement in shower head technologies means there’s no reason to not make this simple, and cost effective, change. By replacing your current shower head with one bearing the EPA WaterSense Label, the average household could save 2,300 gallons of water each year.

5. Plant a tree. Trees are not only beautiful, but they help reduce greenhouse emissions by taking in harmful CO2 gasses. They are also natural weather barriers during peak heating and cooling hours, and can increase property values. For advice on tree planting and care, talk to the friendly people of Graf Tree Care in St. Charles. Graf employs four certified arborists among their staff of 11 and are dedicated to the care and preservation of trees.

  • Pay your bills online. If every house in the United States did this, we would save 18 million trees every year.
  • Make the most of your reusable bags - bring your own reusable bags to the store to spare the use of plastic bags. They now come in all different types of patterns and colors, so being green can be trendy.
  • Green is beautiful. There are many beauty and personal care products that are good for you AND the environment. EcoTools and Physicians Formula are great brands that offer many varieties of products that are kind to both Mother Nature and your body.
  • Your four-legged friend wants to reduce their carbon footprint too! Use biodegradable plastic bags to pick up pet waste.
  • Clean green by making your own environmentally friendly cleaning solution or find one of the many choices available now in your local store. 
  • Ditch the bottled water.  Buy a water filter and filter your tap water into re-usable bottles.
  • Get with a group of friends or gather your family and pledge to clean up your block, your neighborhood, a highway, a stream, a park, etc.

Earth Day posterFigure out how to make every day Earth Day. 

1. Turn off the lights! And the screens, printers, etc. I know this seems like an obvious one, but it is amazing how many empty rooms still have lights on, and how many electronic devices that are rarely used are left perpetually on--just in case.

2. Don't print. Try your best to solely use electronic documents during Earth Day. How many documents have you printed just so you could read it and throw it away? How many sheets of paper are wasted from printing gone wrong--printing too many copies, or printing an entire 50-page document when you only needed to read a couple pages? But if you must print...   

3. Use both sides of paper for printed documents. Why use double the paper, when you can cut your waste in half immediately? This is a great policy, particularly for internal documents and drafts. Another paper-saving option for printing of drafts and internal documents is to use a smaller font and wider margins to maximize the use of the paper.

4. Offset your carbon footprint. Give something back to the environment on Earth Day. Workers consume resources all year. On Earth Day, plant a tree or three to give back to the Earth and make sure that the planet's natural resources are not exhausted.

Recycle:
EDCO has made it easy to do curbside recycling. Items that are accepted for recycling are paper products, including computer paper, catalogs, junk mail, copier paper, phone books, grocery bags, gift wrap and envelops, even if they have “windows”; cardboard, including food packaging such as cereal boxes, cake-mix boxes, frozen food boxes, egg cartons and soda/beer carriers; all beverage containers marked “CA Redemption Value” or “CA Cash Refund”; plastic containers labeled #1-#7; aluminum and tin cans, liquor bottles, empty aerosol cans, pie tins, glass jars and bottles. See the full list here. Just drop the recyclables in the blue bin and put it on the curb on trash day.

Ditch your Dryer:
We pay a lot of hidden taxes for the wonderful sun that we get all year long, why not put some of that instant solar power to work and reap the reward of sun-fresh clothes. The dryer takes a lot of energy to run, so start out trying half-time loads, hanging the clothes out to dry when they're damp, then eventually go all the way and ditch that dryer.



3 comments:

  1. Plant a garden - grow your own organic vegetables and buy from local farmers markets.
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Make and use your own grocery/shopping bags!

    ReplyDelete

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