Our planet is dying...
Let's face it, our planet is not doing well, the forests are on fire, ice caps rapidly melting and now are oceans and backyards are being filled with waste! Over the course of time humans have been messing with the laws of nature that we fully didn't and don't understand. By doing these activities it is a step towards clean earth!
Set a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the heat or the air-conditioning to match your daily patterns. You won’t waste energy while your home is empty, and you won’t have to remember to turn the thermostat up or down. Want to do better? Turn it down two degrees in the winter and up two degrees in the summer and you’ll keep nearly 880 pounds of carbon dioxide from warming the earth.
Don’t wash it. Standard washing machines use 40 gallons of water per load. If your clothes don’t stink, don’t wash them―and save a load a week. If American households were more judicious about laundry, each year they would save enough water to fill more than 7 million swimming pools. When you do wash, put full loads (saving 3,400 gallons of water a year) in cold water.
Free lint bunnies. The average U.S. household spends up to $135 a year in energy costs drying clothes. A dirty lint filter can use 30 percent more energy to get the job done.
In the Home Office
- Plug in a laptop, not a desktop. In the market for a new computer? A laptop uses about half the energy of its desktop counterpart. Choose a model with the federal government’s Energy Star rating and use 70 percent less energy than a noncertified model.
- Curtail junk mail. It takes some legwork, but in the end, you’ll save trees, water, and emissions, too. If everyone in the United States reduced the junk mail he receives every week, 100 million trees would be spared each year.
- Buy green power from your utility. In many states, you can opt to purchase renewable energy from your local power company for a few extra dollars a month. Visit the Green Power Network’s U.S. map
At the Recycling Center
Donate old cell phones. About 130 million mobile phones are retired every year, resulting in more than 65,000 tons of waste―including potentially hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury.
Recycle wisely. The good news: Americans already recycle about a third of their trash (double what was recycled in 1990). The not-so-good news: We need to do more and save more energy . To learn which items you can leave out for curbside pickup, and how to dispose of those you can’t, log on to earth911.org for contact info for local recyclers of more than 250 materials―from cooking oil to hazardous waste (including batteries).
Reuse everything. Change your mind-set and think twice before throwing anything out. Resealable plastic bags that held carrots today can hold crayons tomorrow. Coffee-cup cardboard sleeves from this morning’s brew can be tucked in a purse pocket to be used again at 4 p.m. Mom might just like that cashmere sweater you’re sick of wearing. And Fido doesn’t know the difference between a new chew toy.
On the Road
- Carry a water bottle with you. Buy a reusable bottle that fits your lifestyle (and your purse) and skip buying a new one at every lunchtime stop. Need a reason? Americans use 3.3 million plastic bottles every hour but recycle only one in five.
- Don’t idle. Pausing somewhere? Shut down your engine: Idling for any length of time burns more gas than it takes to restart the car.
- Give your car―and driving habits―a tune-up. Speeding, fast accelerations, and hard braking waste gas. Maintaining your car saves it. Tune up your car according to your owner’s-manual schedule (usually every 30,000 miles) and raise your car’s fuel efficiency anywhere from 4 to 40 percent. Bonus: You’ll increase your fuel efficiency and save on gas.
At the Store
Buy a package of recycled napkins. If every American household purchased one package of 100 percent recycled napkins, we would save 1 million trees. While you’re at it, buy recycled paper towels and tissues, too. Seventh Generation and Whole Foods’ 365 label use nearly all post-consumer recycled paper.
Purchase organic-cotton tees. Cotton is the second-most chemically sprayed crop in America (corn is first). Each traditional tee requires a third of a pound of synthetic fertilizers. Pull on an organic T-shirt and feel as if the earth is giving you a little hug.
Choose biodegradable cat litter. Most cat litter is made from bentonite clay, which is mined and never breaks down. Americans dump 2 million tons of this into landfills every year, so it’s worth rethinking what you buy. Try the biodegradable, flushable brands.
Think local food. Your last meal may have traveled 1,500 miles to get to your table. Find food near you. Green markets, farm stands, and conscientious supermarkets all offer locally grown produce. Buy it and you’ll conserve fuel, reduce pollution, and enjoy fresher food.
Bring your own bags to the market.
Sounds obvious, right? Well, in an average year, U.S. households use about 100 billion plastic bags, 99 percent of which are never recycled.
Choose the right fish.
Craving salmon? Go wild. And to prevent overfishing, heed the advice in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s regional Seafood.
And finally…slash the packaging.
Shop wisely: Choose concentrates, skip the tampons with plastic applicators, let your vegetables roll around the cart (no more plastic bags for every cucumber), and download your music.