05 November 2007
World Environmental Clock
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Easy Steps to Start Going Green
Buy a battery recharger. "Batteries contain dangerous metals that aren't combustible and shouldn't go in a landfill," says Hershkowitz. Over time, the charger will pay for itself, since you'll no longer shell out for new batteries every time your Walkman runs out of juice.
Ditch the paper towels and napkins. Hershkowitz says that the paper industry is the number-one consumer of fresh water and the number-one industrial cause of deforestation. Do your part by using cloth napkins, dishtowels and sponges in the kitchen and dining room.
Keep your tires properly inflated. Your car will run more efficiently, using less gas and emitting fewer pollutants.
Patronize local businesses. When you buy from stores that get their products locally, like farmers markets and food co-ops, you're supporting companies that don't waste precious natural resources by shipping products across the country. "You're also supporting your local economy,".
Pack refillable juice boxes in your kids' lunches. "You can buy them for $1 at bargain stores, instead of using disposable juice boxes,". "It saves paper, plastic and money." Set a good example for the kids by bringing a coffee cup to work, or finding a coffee shop that will refill a travel mug.
Keep your lawn pesticide free. You won't pollute water, and you may safeguard your children's health. "There's a documented increase in child leukemia in homes that use pesticides on their lawn, and there is an even greater incidence in homes that use them indoors,".
Shop at thrift stores and tag sales. Whenever you opt for used clothing, appliances or furniture, you're not just saving cash. You're also reducing the demand for newly manufactured products. "We're a wasteful society, and it's good to make use of that waste,".
Install a low-flow showerhead. "This is a high-efficiency showerhead," says Hershkowitz. "It will perform as well as a standard showerhead but uses less water."
Reduce the office paper jam. One-third of all our garbage is paper. Making double-sided photocopies and printing on the back side of used paper goes a long way.
Get a bike. Do you drive five minutes to pick up a loaf of bread at the supermarket? Hershkowitz says that 25 percent of all car trips are less than a mile. By riding a bike or ‑- egads! ‑- walking for short trips, you'll save energy and money, and you just might slim down in time for swimsuit season.
Put a big shade tree in front of your house. "It will keep your home cooler, and you won't need to use the air conditioning as much,".
Look for the recycling symbol on toilet paper and tissues. The manufacturing process for making paper from other paper products is less wasteful than making it straight from trees. Marcal, Seventh Generation and CVS are all made from post-consumer recycled paper.