It's green they say

March 11, 2007

The Environmental Protection Agency offers the following tips, which, if practiced at home or on the road, can reduce the effect a person or a household has on the environment:

At home

· Change light bulbs: Change regular light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs. A compact fluorescent light bulb saves 150 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

· Clean and service appliances, computers and tools regularly: Before replacing them, check to see if they are repairable.

· Recycle more and buy recycled products: If half of household waste is recycled, up to 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide is kept from the ozone.

· Recycle aluminum: Recycling one can saves enough energy to keep a television running for three hours. A commercial air fleet could be rebuilt four times every year for the amount of aluminum thrown away.


· Recycle glass: Recycling one glass container saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb lighted for four hours.

· Recycle paper: Each ton of paper that is recycled results in 60 pounds less air pollution. A recycled ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water. Enough paper is thrown away each year to make a 12-foot wall from California to New York.

· Recycle plastic: Two billion tons of plastic could be kept from landfills if each used plastic bottle was recycled. Consumers use enough plastic wrap to wrap the entire state of Texas every year.

· Reduce hot water use: It saves on energy bills and reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Washing clothes with cold water saves 500 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

· Use a low-flow shower head: It reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 350 pounds.

· Keep hot water tank temperature at or below 120 degrees.

·Buy air conditioning systems with nonozone-depleting refrigerant.

· Remove the refrigerant from refrigerators, air conditioners and dehumidifiers before throwing them out: Doing this alone would prevent the release of about 4 million pounds of chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) each year. Used refrigerant can be recycled or reused.

·Monitor the thermostat: In the winter, keep the thermostat at 68 degrees and, in the summer, keep it at 78 degrees. A two-degree difference in the summer or winter could mean a reduction of 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

· Buy products with less packaging: Reducing garbage by 10 percent drops carbon dioxide emissions by 1,200 pounds. A family of four could save $2,000 per year at the grocery store by choosing larger package sizes over individual serving sizes. It saves money, reduces waste and helps the environment.

· Buy reusable and long-lasting products.

· Take cloth bags or old paper or plastic bags along on shopping trips.

·Use rechargeable batteries.

· Use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers. Using a laundry diaper service instead of disposable diapers could translate to a savings of $600 per year.

·Use electric or hand razors instead of disposable razors.

· Plant a tree: One tree can absorb 1 ton of carbon dioxide in its lifetime.

·Turn off the television and other electronic devices when they're not in use.

· Use regular cameras instead of disposable cameras.

· Use cloth napkins and cloth towels instead of paper napkins or paper towels.

· Avoid using disposable plates, cups or silverware at parties or picnics.

· Throw out paint cans only if no paint can be removed from the can with a brush and no paint falls from the can if it's turned upside down. Read labels on cans for proper disposal.

On the road

· Drive less and walk, bike, carpool or use mass transit more: Consumers save 1 pound of carbon dioxide for each mile not driven.

· Keep tires properly inflated for better gas mileage: Twenty pounds of carbon dioxide are kept from the ozone for each gallon of gas saved.

· Buy high-quality tires with long lives.

· Use a washable commuter mug instead of a Styrofoam or plastic cup each day.

· Service your car regularly and ensure your mechanic is EPA-certified.

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