EARTH DOCS

For Adults


 

Purchase renewable energy from your local power company.

Turn down the heat!  Get a programmable thermostat or adjust your thermostat settings to 68 or lower in the winter 72 or higher in the summer.

Look for the Energy Star label on appliances.  Energy Star labels guarantee that products are energy-efficient.

Did you know that the single biggest electricity user in your house is the fridge?

Keep it set between 38 and 40 degrees with the freezer between 0 and 5.  Clean the coils every six months.

Use a toaster oven when you can instead of the oven as it uses less energy.

Use energy efficient light bulbs!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that if every household replaced just one incandescent light with an Energy Star–approved bulb, the energy saved would provide light to three million homes for one year and the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road.

Replace or clean your air filters regularly.

Use a high-efficiency showerhead and in a year’s time you’ll save between 1,000 and 8,000 gallons of water. Bonus: The added air makes the pressure feel greater, too.

Turn off the water while shaving. The average faucet releases about 3 gallons of water a minute.

Water your yard early in the morning or late in the day.

Fix leaks!

Drink filtered water from the tap rather than bottled water.   Americans use 3.3 million plastic bottles every hour but recycle only one in five.

Run a completely FULL dishwasher.

Do an extra large load of laundry instead of small loads.  Plus, wash in cold and eliminate 500 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year!

Free lint bunnies – a dirty lint filter can use 30% more energy to get the job done.

Unplug appliances when they are not in use.

Clean green – Switch to a dishwashing powder that’s biodegradable and plant-based. These cleansers cut through grime, but they do it without the bleach and phosphates that threaten river and marine life and leave chemical residue on your dishes.

Close the damper when you’re not using your fireplace.  Keeping it open is like keeping a 48-inch window wide open during the winter.  This can add up to hundreds of dollars each winter in energy loss.

Stop junk mail!  Put an end to incessant mailers and waste and save 69 lbs of junk mail sent to your home each year. Opt for e-newsletters, online catalogs and paperless billing whenever possible.   Use these resources to stop the mailings: Optoutprescreen.com to stop pre-approved cc offers and Catalogchoice.com.

Pay bills on-line.  It’s a sanity saver!  By some estimates, if all households in the US paid their bills online and received electronic statements, we would save 18.5 million in trees, 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste.

The obvious – Recycle!  Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and related water pollution by 50 percent. If it isn’t recycled it can take a million years to decompose.

Wire hangers are generally made of steel, which is often not accepted by some recycling programs. So what do you do with them? Most dry cleaners will accept them back to reuse or recycle.

Take a travel cup to your favorite java joint

Batch your errands.

Buy recycled.

Buy local.  Shop at your local farmer’s market – local products require less fuel to transport, store and refrigerate.

Bag it!  Take cloth bags to the grocery store.  In an average year, U.S. households use about 100 billion plastic bags, 99 percent of which are never recycled.

Donate to and shop at thrift stores.  Every time someone in your family buys a new item, have them donate a similar item.

Eat less beef and choose pasture-fed, sustainably raised beef whenever you can. It can take seven or more pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef, and livestock consumes 70 percent of America’s grain.  If you alone gave it up once every seven days, you would save the 840 gallons of fresh water it takes to produce a single serving.  If every American skipped meat and dairy one day a week for a year, the decrease in carbon emissions would be equivalent to removing half a million cars from the roads!

Inflate your tires and your gas mileage will improve by at least 3%. You will also prevent 20 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere for each gallon of gas that you save.

Keeping your car regularly maintained will improve your gas mileage and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. If only 1% of automobile owners regularly maintained their car, they would prevent approximately one billion pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Participate in green activities with your kids – plant a garden or a tree each year.  Make it meaningful for the whole family and plant a tree every year for each member.

Teach your kids – There are many little things we can do in our homes to play a small part in reducing landfill waste, cleaning the air, and preserving the natural landscape, but we double our efforts when we get our kids involved, helping them understand the why to our what.  Share easily illustrated facts like those above with your kids to help them draw connections between their activities and the big picture.