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Simple Tips for EarthDay 2009
Written by Geoff Jones   
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 00:00

Hello Everyone,

Today is EarthDay and it's a great opportunity for all of us to stop and think about what we do during the day and whether there are some simple things we can do for the environment.  In many cases, simple changes in what we do not only benefits the environment but can also result in benefits for us as well.  Whether it's saving energy/money/water, recycling, making different choices in our daily plan, or just slowing life down for a few minutes to relax there are many simple things we can do without turning our lives upside down.

Below you will find a list of some simple ideas.  You might already be doing many of these and some might not be possible for you, that's okay.  Take a look at the ideas and maybe one or two will jump out as things you can do, very easily, to help the environment.  If you have additional ideas share them with everyone and add a comment.

Saving Water & Energy

  • Take short showers instead of baths (you save water and energy required to heat hot water)
  • Don't let the tap run while brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Install low flow shower heads, low flush toilets, and aerators on your taps (you save water and reduce energy used to heat your hot water)
  • Wash full loads of laundry in cold water and hang to dry when possible
  • Consider a clothes line for drying clothes in the summer
  • Wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher and use the energy saver cycle if you have one
  • Use a rainbarrel (or similar) for outdoor irrigation
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Weatherstrip windows and doors
  • Turn off lights and the TV/Radio when nobody is in the room
  • Unplug the second fridge if it's not really needed
  • Unplug electronic devices that you aren't using that might still be drawing power

Heating and cooling

  • For summer air conditioning, set your thermostat to 24°C or 25°C
  • For winter heating, reduce your thermostat by even 1°C
  • Install ceiling fans and programmable thermostats
  • Keep your furnace filter clean
  • Open the windows on cool/dry summer nights and close them during hot summer days

Reduce/Reuse/Recycle

  • Purchase things you need and resist buying things you really don't need and will likely throw out in a few days/weeks
  • Consider renting and/or borrowing things that you only need once in a while
  • Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the garbage
  • Use a re-useable water bottle whenever possible (for water, juice etc.) to reduce waste
  • Purchase refills for common houshold items (i.e. soaps etc.) - you reduce packaging and save money
  • Look for alternate uses for items that you plan to throw out - they may be effective in another role around the house
  • Properly dispose of hazardous materials and chemicals (contact your local waste management facility for more info)
  • Recycle your electronic waste

Transportation alternatives

  • Walk, ride a bike, roller blade, car pool and use public transportation
  • When driving, don't idle when parked and plan your trip so you only have to make one
  • Consider car sharing programs or renting

Food choices

  • Choose local and organic foods that are in season and support local food producers

Cleaning

  • Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products
  • Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water

 

 

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