Earth Day 2015: Go Green at Home
- The Goods
- Published on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 14:58
- Pam Miner
In honor of Earth Day and every day, here's a reminder that "Going Green" doesn't have to be a daunting task that means sweeping life changes. Simple things can make a big difference in conserving energy, saving water and reducing pollution.
The contents of this list might not be new, but they bear repeating. Sometimes it takes a few reminders to establish new habits. Here are things you can do at home to honor Earth Day on April 22 and to help save our environment.
1. Change a light bulb
If every household in the United State replaced one regular light bulb with one of those new compact fluorescent bulbs, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road.
2. Turn off your computers at night
By turning off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode, you can save 40 watt-hours per day. That adds up to 4 cents a day, or $14 per year. If you don't want to wait for your computer to start up, set it to turn on automatically a few minutes before you wake up or get to work.
3. Don't Rinse
Skip rinsing dishes before using your dishwasher and save up to 20 gallons of water each load. Plus, you're saving time and the energy used to heat the additional water.
4. Don't preheat the oven
Unless you are making bread or pastries of some sort, don't pre-heat the oven. Just turn it on when you put the dish in.
5. Recycle glass
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.
6. Wash in cold or warm water
If all the households in the U.S. switched from hot-hot cycle to warm-cold, we could save the energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil a day.
Only launder when you have a full load.
7. Use one less paper napkin
During an average year, an American uses approximately 2,200 napkins—around six each day. If everyone in the U.S. used one less napkin a day, more than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year.
8. Use both sides of paper
American businesses throw away 21 million tons of paper every year, equal to 175 pounds per office worker. For a quick and easy way to halve this, set your printer's default option to print double-sided (duplex printing). And when you're finished with your documents, don't forget to take them to the recycling bin.
9. Recycle newspaper
There are 63 million newspapers printed each day in the U.S. Of these, 44 million, or about 69%, of them will be thrown away. Recycling just the Sunday papers would save more than half a million trees every week.
10. Rethink bottled water
Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, instead taking thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet, and possibly your health. The EPA's standards for tap water are more stringent than the FDA's standards for bottled water.