1. Use less energy.• Change a Light, Change the World We really can "Change the World" with just one light bulb. The key is that the more people that take this step, the more we can change the world.
Simple ways that may help change theworld: • In Bedrooms: Dont leave lights on when no one is in the room. If you are going to be out of the room for more than five minutes, turn off the light. Where possible, use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Those funny-looking bulbs produce the same amount of light by using 1/4 of the electricity. Plus, they last for years and years without burning out. Theres one light bulb that firefighters in Livermore, California, never turn off. It uses very little energy and has been burning for 101 years. Which is the Centennial Bulb.
• Dont Leave Things Turned On Turn off the TV when no one is watching it. The same goes for computers, radios and stereos - if no one using it, turn it off. Turn off all the appliances at the surge protector/control strip - that four- or six- plug extension chord that you plug all your computer things into. Some devices, like modems or other networking boxes are drawing small amounts of power all the time.
• In the Bathroom Wasting water wastes electricity. Why? Because the biggest use of electricity in most cities is supplying water and cleaning it up after its been used. About 75 percent of the water we use in our homes is used in the bathroom. Unless you have a low flush toilet, for example, you use about five gallons to seven gallons of water with every flush. A leaky toilet can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water a year. Wow. Drippy faucets are bad, too. A faucet that leaks enough water to fill a soda bottle every 30 minutes will waste 2,192 gallons of water a year. Another simple way to save water AND energy is to take shorter showers. Youll use less hot water - and water heaters account for nearly 1/4 of your homes energy use.
• In the Kitchen According to researchers, a load of dishes cleaned in a dishwasher uses 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand. However, if you fill up one side of the sink with soapy water and the other side with rinse water - and if you dont let the faucet run - youll use half as much water as a dishwasher does. Doing the dishes this way can save enough water for a five-minute shower.If you need to warm up or defrost small amounts of food, use a microwave instead of the stove to save energy. Microwave ovens use around 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens do. For large meals, however, the stove is usually more efficient. In the summer, using a microwave causes less heat in the kitchen, which saves money on air conditioning.Dont keep the refrigerator door open any longer than you need to. Close it to keep the cold air inside. Also, make sure the door closes securely.
• Outside the HouseRemember how saving water saves energy? Use a broom instead of a hose to clean off the driveway, patio or deck - this will save hundreds of gallons of water each year.Dont use an electric or gasoline leaf blower. Instead, use a rake.If you need to leave a security light on over night, change the incandescent bulb to a compact fluorescent. It will last months and maybe years and save you energy and money. Some compact fluorescent bulbs even come in yellow so they wont attract bugs.
• In Your School The energy-saving ideas you used at home can also be used in school. Consider creating a weekly "energy monitor" - someone whos job it is to make sure lights are out when theres no one in a room. He or she can also make sure that machines are turned off when not being used.
2. Don’t burn wastes.• What You Can Do:Dispose household and yard wastes properly:o Don’t burn yard and household waste.o Mulch or compost your yard waste, or participate in composting programs in your community.o Recycle household wastes.
• Taking Out the Trash …Anyone who lugs heavy garbage cans to the curb for pickup probably realizes that households generate a lot of waste. What we do with all that garbage matters. It’s important to dispose of household waste in ways that protect the environment and follow state and local laws. Most communities have access to effective collection and disposal services either through local government or private haulers. Many communities provide opportunities to recycle some wastes.
• Alternatives to Open Burning. YardWaste is not allowed in landfills.Choose from these options instead: Mulch grass clippings and leave them on the ground for a healthier lawn. Mulch fallen leaves to use on your lawn, shrubs and flower beds.Compost yard waste and add to your soil to enrich it.Check with your solid waste hauler or local sanitation department to see if a collection or drop-off program is available for yard waste. Household Waste collection options include curbside collection, transfer stations, or drop-off programs for wastes and recyclables.
Rather than burning them, do the 3R’s•Reduce•Reuse•Recycle
• Reduce Reducing the amount of waste you produce is the best way to help the environment. There are lots of ways to do this. For example:o Buy products that dont have a lot of packaging. Some products are wrapped in many layers of plastic and paperboard even though they dont need to be. You can also look for things that are packed in materials that dont require a lot of energy or resources to produce. Some products will put that information right on their labels.o Instead of buying something youre not going to use very often, see if you can borrow it from someone you know.o Cars use up energy and cause pollution. Some ways to reduce the environmental damage caused by cars include carpooling with friends, walking, taking the bus, or riding your bike instead of driving.
o Start a compost bin. Some people set aside a place in their yard where they can dispose of certain food and plant materials. Over time, the materials will break down through a natural process called decomposition. The compost is good for the soil in your yard and means that less garbage will go to the landfill.o You can reduce waste by using a computer! Many newspapers and magazines are online now. Instead of buying the paper versions, you can find them on the Internet. Also remember that you should print out only what you need. Everything you print that you dont really need is a waste of paper.o Save energy by turning off lights that you are not using.o Save water by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth.
•Reuse Instead of throwing things away, try to find ways to use them again! For example:o Bring cloth sacks to the store with you instead of taking home new paper or plastic bags. You can use these sacks again and again. Youll be saving some trees!o Plastic containers and reusable lunch bags are great ways to take your lunch to school without creating waste.o Coffee cans, shoe boxes, margarine containers, and other types of containers people throw away can be used to store things or can become fun arts and crafts projects. Use your imagination!o Dont throw out clothes, toys, furniture, and other things that you dont want anymore. Somebody else can probably use them. You can bring them to a center that collects donations, give them to friends, or even have a yard sale.o Use all writing paper on both sides.o Use paper grocery bags to make book covers rather than buying new ones.o Use silverware and dishes instead of disposable plastic utensils and plates.o Store food in reusable plastic containers.
•Recycle Many of the things we use every day, like paper bags, soda cans, and milk cartons, are made out of materials that can be recycled. Recycled items are put through a process that makes it possible to create new products out of the materials from the old ones.• In addition to recycling the things you buy, you can help the environment by buying products that contain recycled materials. Many brands of paper towels, garbage bags, greeting cards, and toilet paper, to name a few examples, will tell you on their labels if they are made from recycled materials.• In some towns you can leave your recyclables in bins outside your home, and a truck will come and collect them regularly. Other towns have recycling centers where you can drop off the materials youve collected. Things like paper and plastic grocery bags, and plastic and aluminum cans and bottles can often be brought to the grocery store for recycling. Whatever your system is, its important to remember to rinse out and sort your recyclables!• Recycle Symbol: