Here are a few simple things you can do to help the environment (if you want bigger, more complicated ideas, click here):
In The Kitchen
1.Don't eat off of paper plates or use paper cups- what's wrong with the reusable plastic and ceramic ones?
2.Same with the silverware. If you already have plastic silverware, don't throw it out- just wash it after you use it every time.
3.Fill the dishwasher completely before running it- it's not like it'll use less water and soap if it's not completely full.
4.Buy a water filterer and use it. Why ruin the earth and spend extra money on too- small plastic water bottles?
5.Don't eat beef. As a matter of fact, when cows 'pass gas', they release carbon dioxide! By not supporting companies that raise cows, you are actually helping the environment. Now, most of you are probably saying "but the cow's dead when you eat it, so aren't you actually helping the environment when you eat beef?". The thing is, if there were no companies raising cows, there would be less of them in the first place. If you don't support these companies, you are helping fight the raising of cows.
6.Use unbleached or reusable coffee filters if you drink coffee (if you don't, tell your friends, parents, grandparents, etc.).
7.By eating meals with other people/families, you can help reduce air pollution- you are using 1 less stove, 1 less microwave, 1 less light, etc.
8.When cooking on the stove, use a wide, shallow pot. Things heat up faster when they have more surface area.
1.Give your old clothes to a friend or neighbor. If no one can fit into them, donate them to Good Will or another consignment shop.
2.Hang your clothes out to dry on a clothesline when possible (it doesn't necessarily have to be outside- they can dry inside on rainy days).
At the Store
1.When you go shopping, bring your own cloth bags or ask for paper bags and fill them up as much as possible. If paper bags are not available and you forgot your cloth bags, recycle and/or reuse the plastic bags that you used.
2.Ask yourself "Do I really need more than one or two bathing suits?" and live by your answer.
3.Support 'green' companies like Seventh Generation (cleaning products), Wild Harvest, Nature's Promise, Nature's Gate, Shaklee (cleaning products), Back to Nature and Ecover (cleaning products) by buying their products.
4.If you need a sweater, buy a polartec- they are made out of recycled plastic.
5.Buy your groceries at CostCo's, BJ's, and other bulk stores as long as you are going to use them. By doing so, you can save money and packaging.
6.When buying a new fridge, get one with the refrigerator on the bottom and the freezer on the top- most of them use about 25% less energy than the ones with the refrigerator and the freezer side by side.
7.When buying new appliances, get the Energy Star ones. Better yet, some water-using appliances are labeled "WaterSense", which has even stricter guidelines than Energy Star does.
1.Ride a bike to school/work and other close places.
2.While driving on the highway, use the air conditioner. It's more efficent than opening the windows because open windows create friction, reducing your gas mialage. Just remember not to use either if it isn't necessary.
3.Don't idle in your car. You're burning up gas but not actually using it to get anywhere.
1.Turn down the heat when you are not home and wear sweaters when you are home.
2.Just because something is labeled 'disposable' (such as a paper cup) doesn't mean that you have to throw it away after using it just once; you can use it multiple times.
3. Open the curtains. Why use unnecessary electricity when you could use natural lighting and be able to see the outdoors at the same time? Opening the curtains can also help you heat your house.
In Your Yard
1.When you use your sprinkler (which doesn't need to happen every other day, let alone every day), make sure that it's watering the lawn, not the pavement.
2.If you need to cut down a tree, make sure you aren't just cutting it down because of one branch. If that is so, only cut off that one branch, or even just the part of it that is creating the problem.
3.Plant a tree. I know that this sounds so classical and unreal, but it really can help - one tree can generally absorb an entire ton of CO2 in its lifetime. Just make sure that it is on your property and in a low traffic zone.
4.Grow your own vegtables and fruits. Why? Because when you buy them, they have been shipped to get to the store. Also, by growing them yourself, you can be sure that they haven't been exposed to any type of pesticide.
5.Sharpen your lawnmower blade at the beginning or end of every summer. It takes more energy for the lawnmower to do the same job with a duller blade.
6.Water your lawn in the morning or the evening when there's less heat, so that less of the water evaporates.
1.When you're wrapping presents, don't use a lot of wrapping paper. Better yet, use bags or boxes, which you can then reuse.
2.When giving out candy for either Halloween or as presents, use the candy that is wrapped in waxed paper like Starbursts, mini Tootsie Rolls, and some fudges and caramels.
3.Don't give out little plastic party favors - they're basically random chunks of plastic that no one's going to remember they got a day after the party.
4.Hawaiian Leis are pretty much the worst common party favor that people give out. They're each about 355" of plastic!
5.If you're using a tablecloth at your party, don't use a disposable plastic one - get one cloth one to use now and at future parties, and just wash it after you use it.
1.Don't leave the water on while you brush your teeth or wash your hands- you're supposed to wash them for at least 20 seconds, anyway. Think of all that water you could save!
2.To save both money and water, your family can put an old plastic milk jug or 2 leiter soda bottle in the toilet tank where it's not in the way of the working parts. This reduces the amount of water that is used to flush the toilet. Be sure to fill it with rocks or water so that it doesn't float.
3.Fix leaking faucets. Leaky faucets can waste 15 gallons of hot water a day, plus the energy that's used to heat it!
4.Install low-flow faucets and shower heads.
5.Lower your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (the warm setting on most appliances).
1.Before doing a report, ask your teacher if you can write a single- spaced essay. Some teachers care, others don't.
2.Always print things on each side of the paper. If you don't know how to tell the printer to do this, print out all of the odd number pages, flip them over and make sure page #1 is on the top and the following pages are in numerical order, and tell it to print all of the even number pages. This should make it so it's on the front and back. Note: the printer may print things upside down, so you might have to insert it upside down for it to work.
1.The pop-tops on the soda cans can be donated to Ronald McDonald House. No, they are not helping make hamburgers (which are really bad for the environment, by the way), they are helping pay a light bill on a house that offers rooms to families staying out of town because a family member is getting medical treatment. You may be asking how this helps the environment. The pop- tops are sold to recycling centers. The only problem is, they can sell 1,267 for only 40 cents. Get collecting!
2.Tell others about protecting the environment. Even if you did all that you could to help the environment times 10, it wouldn't have a big effect because there would be other people creating problems. This is why it is important to spread the word.
3.Turn off all electronics when not in use.
4.There are usually battery recycling centers in larger communities, although they are not always open at certain times of year. If you cannot locate one, call your town dump to ask for the hours and a location of the recycling center.
5.Instead of using air freshener, get a potted plant. Some good choices are Golden Pothos, Gerbra Daisy, and Spider Plants. Not only do they naturally remove odor and pollution, but you don't have to worry about having ugly plastic things using up your outlet space.
6.If your family could stand to remember to turn off the lights more often, put one old but clean water bottle for each member of your family in an easily accessable place (the kitchen counter, for example). Then, put the same amount of nickles in each bottle. Whenever someone leaves a light on, the person who found it on gets a nickle from whoever left it on.
7.Count the total number of lightbulbs in your house. Then, after asking your parents' permission, take some of them out and replace the remaining ones with compact flourescent lightbulbs.
8.Don't leave your fireplace damper open when you don't have a fire. This is "like keeping a window wide open in the middle of the winter"!
Open the curtains. Why use unnecessary electricity when you could use natural lighting and be able to see the outdoors at the same time? Opening the curtains can also help you heat your house.
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