IT'S Easy Being Green


It's Easy Being Green   Climate change is considered by many scientists to be the most serious threat facing the world today. It is caused primarily by the carbon dioxide released when burning fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas. simple changes in our everyday lives can make a difference. These tips will help you find ways to take action and help slow climate change. Many of the recommendations are not only good for the environment, but they will benefit you as well - by reducing your energy bills and improving your health.

YOUR HOME Choosing energy-efficient alternatives for the home can help you cut your energy bill by as much as one-third, while reducing green house-gas by a similar amount. Get a home energy audit. Many communities now have local groups that will come into your home and give you an energy audit. Insulate your house. Check for drafts around windows and doors and seal-up leaks. Replace regular incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient compact fluorescent lights. Turn off lights in the house when they are not needed. Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases - Look for the "Energy Star" logo. Unplug appliances when they are not being used toaster, coffee machine, kettle, ect. or even better plug them into a power *****, which can be switched off. Avoid phantom loads. Wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry. run full loads - in your dishwasher and washing machine instead of frequent partial loads don't let the faucet run when it's not needed. Use natural cleaning products, such as lemon and vinegar - both excellent disinfectants. Take care of your trash composting all organic waste - and recycling paper, cardboard, cans and bottles - will help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with landfills.

YOUR YARD Garden wisely - plant native species in your region and aim for drought-resistant plants. When you mow, leave grass cuttings, they serve as organic mulch and help make your grass healthier. Do not use pesticides on your lawn or garden. Install motion detectors or timers on outdoor lights. Plant a tree or many.

YOUR SHOPPING Reduce , reuse and recycle - make it your motto to reduce your emissions by buying less, choosing durable items over disposable ones, repairing rather than discarding and passing on items that are no longer needed to someone who can make use of them. Decisions we make about what we eat can also have an impact on climate. There are several factors that contribute to foods climate impact including how much meat is consumed, whether food is grown organically or with chemical inputs, and how far the food has to travel before it gets to you. Buy products from local certified organic farmers when possible. Grow your own organic herbs and vegetables. Bag your groceries and other purchases in reusable totes. Do not buy individually wrapped fruits and vegetables. Try to buy products with less packaging.

YOUR RIDE -GETTING AROUND Almost one third of carbon emissions produced in North America comes from cars, trucks, airplanes and other vehicles that transport us from place to place, or are used in the course of producing and delivering the goods and services we consume. A typical car produces tree times its weight in carbon dioxide emissions. Reduce the number of miles you drive - walk or bike - it is good for the heart. Carpool. Drive smarter - avoid rush hour, unnecessary idling and keep your car in good running order. Plan ahead and combine various errands in one trip. check the air pressure in your tires. this saves on fuel. Consider buying an energy efficient car. think hybrid.

AT WORK Recycle paper. Only print what is necessary. Use your own reusable coffee/tea mug and water bottle. Turn off your office light and computer and screen at the end of the day. Fly less Take advantage of new technologies such as video conferencing and web casting. Travel by rail. Pack a litter less lunch.          

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46-50, F
May 24, 2009