Posted by lotuspixel Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 11:50 PM
Here are simple tips to do our part in saving the planet.
Change existing incandescent bulbs in your house into compact fluorescent lamps or CFL's. Although they can generally be more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they have a longer rated life and they consume less power. Unlike incandescents, CFLs convert most of the energy they use into light rather than heat. They consume about 75 percent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer (10,000 hours as opposed to 1,500).
The modern CFL was invented by Ed Hammer for General Electric.
2 Unplug things that glow
Appliances left on standby mode still continue to draw electricity wether we like it or not. Try to make it a practice to completely unplug them before you leave a room.
Every year newer and better model upgrades of cellphones, computer parts, tv's, radio's, MP3 players, etc. come out. Sometimes we are left with obsolete gadgets that we tend to just throw out in the garbage. That's really bad for the environment. It's better to donate these items to authorized recycling centers so that they can be re-used. Some of these sites are: myGreenElectronics and Greener Choices.
4 Support local farmers or grow your own
If your food could talk, it would tell quite a tale. Typical grocery store produce travels nearly 1,500 miles before it ends up on your plate. All this traveling burns fossil fuels and results in carbon emissions -- a fancy term for pollution. Buying from local farmers means you're not only getting the freshest food possible, you're saving energy.
Or better yet, try to grow some vegetables if you have enough garden space. By doing so, you are certain that no pesticides were used on the next salad plate served on your table.
5 Stop that leak!
When you next fill your water glass, think about this: We each use about 100 gallons a day, enough to fill 1,600 glasses. Household water consumption has increased by 200 percent since 1950, even though the population has grown by only 90 percent. A dripping faucet can waste up to 74 gallons a day, a leaking toilet up to 200 gallons a day.
Spending less time tending to your lawn actually makes it greener -- in every sense of the word. Most grass species fare best when they're kept at least 2 1/2 inches tall. The length creates more surface area to absorb sunlight, which creates thicker turf and deeper roots, which means you won't need to water as often.
Save money by letting grass clippings remain on your lawn; it adds nitrogen to the soil and discourages weed seeds from germinating. You'll need less fertilizer and herbicide. Plus, leaving clippings on lawns means less in landfills.
When it's time to replace a household appliance, choose a product with an Energy Star label. Sponsored by the EPA and the Department of Energy, the Energy Star program rates products from light bulbs to kitchen appliances. Energy Star labels guarantee that products are energy-efficient. For example, a battery charger labeled with the Energy Star logo will use 35 percent less energy than a standard one. You may even be eligible for a tax credit when you purchase an Energy Star product. Information at energystar.gov.
8 Do full Loads
Whenever you wash just a few clothes or dishes at a time rather than waiting for a full load to accumulate, you're wasting water, power, and money. Most of the energy consumed by washers goes toward heating the water -- about 90 percent in the clothes washer and 80 percent in the dishwasher. Combining half-loads, choosing short cycles, and using cold or warm rather than hot water in the clothes washer racks up savings.
Wash two fewer loads of clothes and one fewer load of dishes a week and save up to 4,500 gallons of water a year.
Your backyard ecosystem is as intricate as any wild patch of land, and it pays in many ways to enlist its creatures on your side. Birds eat many insects; they just need a water source and trees and shrubs for cover and nesting. Many insects are beautiful -- and beneficial. Ladybugs aren't just cute; they are voracious eaters of aphids.