The Running Faucet
- Do you leave the water running while you brush your teeth for 2 minutes? Then nearly ten gallons of water just slid down the drain. Remember, you PAY for that! Now, think about saving water when you shave, wash dishes, do laundry, water the lawn, wash the car, hose off the sidewalks.... avoid sending water and $$$ down the drain.
- Ever wonder if you should leave the car running while you wait for the kids to be dismissed from school? Leave it on if you'll be there less than a minute, otherwise it's more efficient to turn it off and restart it when you're ready to go.
Turn Down the Heat
- Not just the furnace, but the water heater too -- set it at 130 to 140 degrees. Turn the setting to low or off when you leave for the weekend or for a long vacation, then put a note on your bathroom mirror so you'll remember to turn it up when you return.
Keeping It Clean
- Washers can use more than 50 gallons of water per load, so avoid washing a lot of small loads whenever possible. Also, be sure to choose the lowest level of water needed for each load, use warm water instead of hot, and set the rinse cycle to use cold water.
- Refrigerator temperatures should be set at about 40 degrees, give or take a degree or two. Freezer temps between 0 and 5 degrees are just right. Colder settings waste energy and won't help food.
Snip Six-Pack Rings
- Those innocent looking soft plasting holders for soft drink cans and other products can entangle birds, fish, and small animals. Snip apart each ring before throwing it in the trash, or inquire whether they can be recycled locally.
Get a Charge out of It
- Never throw spent batteries in the trash. They contain mercury, a hazardous substance that will leak into groundwater or be burned and released into the air. Don't go there. Either switch to rechargeable batteries or collect used batteries in a shoebox out in the garage, clearly marked. Then take them to a recycling facility once or twice a year.
- Does your office recycle? Chances are it generates a vast amount of clean paper waste. Ask your building management about recycling programs. If none are in place, then put boxes (marked "Recycled Paper Only") under every desk and next to copiers. Arrange to have a recycler pick them up or take them to a recycling facility periodically.
Use Cloth Instead
- Carry cloth shopping bags. Use rags or towels instead of paper towels for cleaning. And yes -- consider using cloth diapers for your baby at least some of the time.
Reuseable and Unbleached
- Store food in bowls or Tupperware that can be reused endlessly. Use unbleached coffee filters (not bleached). Use more waxed paper that is biodegradable (instead of foil and plastic wrap).
- Newspapers, junk mail, office papers, corrugated boxes, and paper bags are just a few of the items that can be recycled. Use local recycling facilities or call local authorities to learn about recycling options.
Recycle Glass, Plastic, and Cans
- Get your local recycling requirements for these items and recycle every them every day. Collect cans and bottles when you travel, when you picnic, or eat a drive-ins. Recycle what you can.
- Recycle both paper and plastic shopping bags. Decline bags for smaller purchases such as stamps, greeting cards, etc. Or, better still, carry a lightweight cloth or string bag.
Credit: About.com Saving The Earth
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