Waste Not Wednesday Green Tips
Justbag it! Help protect the environment when you shop. Keep reusable bags on yourcar seat or near your door so they are easy to grab when you go. And you caneven combine shopping bags - just tell the cashier that you don't need a bag,then put all your purchases together in one bag just be sure to hang on to yourreceipts! Don't trash it - reuse it! Be creative as you look for new ways toreduce the amount or kinds of household waste. Give cardboard tubes to pethamsters or gerbils. Plant seeds in an egg carton. Make a flower pot out of aplastic ice cream tub. By thinking creatively, you will often find new uses forcommon items and new ways to recycle and reduce waste.
Don'tbe a drip - fix that leak! Leaky faucets can waste thousands of gallons ofwater each year, like money down the drain. Repair or replace old or damagedfixtures. If you're not sure you have a leak, check the water meter before andafter a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not readexactly the same, you probably have a leak.Make it a full load! Run your dishwasher only when it's full. Don't pre-rinse dishes - testsshow pre-rinsing doesn't improve dishwasher cleaning, and you'll save as muchas 20 gallons of water per load. When you buy a new dishwasher, look for onethat saves water. Water-efficient models use only about 4 gallons per wash. Theaverage washing machine uses 40.9 gallons of water per load. If you buy a newwasher, shop for a high-efficiency washer that needs less than 28 gallons ofwater per load. To achieve even greater savings, wash only full loads oflaundry or be sure to choose the appropriate load size on the washing machine.
It'selectric! You can check how much of your electricity comes from renewable"green" power sources, such as wind or solar. Green power producesless carbon emissions, reduces air pollution, and helps protect against futurecosts or scarcity of fossil fuels. If green power is a consumer option, checkprice differences from suppliers before you buy. Make your home an Energy Star!When you do home maintenance, also do a home energy audit to find out how youcan save money by making your home more energy efficient. And if every Americanhome replaced just one conventional light bulb with a compact fluorescent lightbulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes a year.
Reduceyour carbon footprint! Leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhousegas emissions by 1,600 pounds per year. Save up errands and shopping trips soyou need to drive fewer times. If you commute to work, ask if you can work fromhome at least some days, and you'll reduce air pollution and traffic congestion- and save money. Don't idle! Remind your school system to turn off bus engineswhen buses are parked. Exhaust from idling school buses can pollute air in andaround the bus, and can enter school buildings through air intakes, doors, andopen windows. Constant idling also wastes fuel and money, and school busengines really need only a few minutes to warm up.REUSABLE
1. Shopping Bags - Why Posh Pouches?
Did you know that over 1 million bags are used every minute worldwide? Each reusable bag purchased can eliminate the potential use of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime. Most of us probably intended to reuse your plastic baggie, but threw it out instead. Please join us and help reduce, reuse & recycle. www.poshpouches.com
2. Cleaning Towels - Sham-WOW!
No matter how you look at it, paper towels create waste. During your next trip to the grocery store, buy some reusable microfiber towels, which grip dirt and dust like a magnet, even when they get wet. When you are finished with them, toss the towels in the wash and reuse them again and again. They are even great for countertops and mirrors. When you absolutely have to use disposable towels look for recycled products. If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber paper towels (70 sheets) with 100 percent recycled ones, we could save 544,000 trees.
3. Batteries - Rechargeable
Just think of all the batteries you go through in a year....Re-charge! Of the 15 billion batteries produced and sold each year, only a fraction are recycled (yes, batteries are recyclable). Look for electronic or batteries that are rechargeable. For removal batteries, lithium-ion batteries are cost effective. The fastest battery chargers can juice up in as little as 15 minutes and will pay for themselves quickly. Put your recycling bins out in the hallway today after school and remember to REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE and RETHINK!
4. Coffee Cups
If you buy that morning cup of Joe in a disposable container, you are generating about 22.75 pounds of waste per year! 25 billion Styrofoam cups are thrown away every year and it never breaks down! As an added incentive, many coffee shops offer discounts to those who bring in their own reusable containers. Starbucks, for example offers a 10-cent discount for using your own mug. Consider stainless steel, it won't break and unlike plastic, it does not leach out toxic chemicals.
5. Halloween Costumes
Donate your old Halloween costumes to an elementary school or theatre company.
Donate used and unwanted books to the library or a local school.
7. Paper Lunch Bags
Quit wasting your $ on brown paper bags for your school lunch, use a non-disposable bag or lunchbox.
REDUCE and SAVE
1. Back to School
Green up back to school. Check out school supplies that are perfect green solutions. Such as “GreenSmart Kea Backpack” made out of recycled plastic bottles or upgrade to the backpack with solar panels to charge electronics on the go. A “re-use it” lunch bag is also a great idea. (www.thedailygreen.com)
2. Homemade Cleaning Solutions
Spring cleaning? Never pay for household cleaners again. Keep your bathrooms and kitchen tile spotless and hygienic with these natural cleansers:
· Baking Soda and Water: Dust surfaces with baking soda, then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. If you have tougher grime, sprinkle on some kosher salt, and work up some elbow grease.
· Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Got stains, mildew or grease streaks? Spray or douse with lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.
· Disinfectant: Instead of bleach, make your own disinfectant by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. It's easy!
3. Natural Products instead of Chemicals
Greening up your lawn?...consider using "greener" choices. It may cost a little more up front, but will last considerable longer and accumulate in your soil. Natural products won't harm your kids or pets either.
4. Rent instead of Buying
Don't buy it....rent it! From the wacky to the practical, renting instead of buying can save you serious money, as well as benefit the environment. Here are some of the things that can be rented...tools, cards, bikes, phones and gadgets, party supplies, books, sports equipment, camping gear, dogs...yep, pets, (flexpetz.com) community gardens, solar panels, handbags and caskets (saved the best to the last). The Daily Green
5. Turn off the Lights
Earth Hour? World citizens switch off lights Saturday March 27. Vote for "Earth" by turning off your lights at 8:30 pm for one hour. This event, now in its fourth year, is sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. Lights will dim on US land marks too...the Golden Gate Bridge to Mount Rushmore. So lights out!
Why use CFLs? They use 75% less energy, last longer and use the same soft white light.
There are now highly efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that last for years, use a third of the energy of regular bulbs and actually produce more light. Look for the government's ENERGY STAR label, which means the bulb has been tested for quality and efficiency. While each ENERGY STAR qualified bulb can cost more initially - anywhere from $4 to $15 a piece - remember that there are two price tags: what you pay at the register and what you pay in energy costs over the bulb's lifetime. You may pay more up front, but you will actually save hundreds of dollars in your household budget over the long term because of their long life. Five ENERGY STAR light bulbs will save your household at least $150 over their lifetime.
Here's the impact. If every household in the U.S. replaced a burned-out bulb with an energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent bulb, the cumulative effect is enormous. It would prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that from nearly 800,000 cars. It would also save enough energy to light 2.5 million homes for a year.
· Most of us have cars and most of us are concerned about the environment. And most, if not all of us, would like to save a few dollars when we fill up our gas tanks. Here's a couple of websites that can help you determine the most fuel efficient cars that are out there:
First, here's some information about how to calculate the miles per gallon for a car: http://www.mistupid.com/automotive/mpg.htm
Now here's a website produced by the federal government that contains MPG data for all makes and models that are available in the U.S.http://www.fueleconomy.gov/
Once you get to the webpage look for the "Compare Side-by-Side" and "Search by Class" options. You can then select the make and model of your own car so you have a baseline. Then start checking other vehicles to see what kind of gas mileage they get. The site also gives you information about greenhouse gasses, hybrid and alternative energy vehicles and ways to improve your gas mileage. (180techtips)
· Reduce the time your car idles. If you idle for more than 30 seconds, you are better off turning the car off and restarting it. Less carbon dioxide will enter the atmosphere and you will save gas. So avoid the drive though, just park and walk in.
· Change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles to reduce emissions into the air..and don’t forget to recycle your old oil!
8. Plastic Drink Bottles
80% of the 25 billion water bottles used in America a year, end up in landfills. Take a few extra steps and recycle! Also get your own refillable water bottle to take on the go.
9. Junk Mail and Catalogs
If you're tired of receiving junk mail, do the planet and yourself a favor and get your name off mailing lists. We use 100 million trees and 28 billon gallons of water to produce junk mail for just one year. You can stop 75% of all junk mail by registering for the Mail Preference Service on the "Direct Marketing Association" Website. Take your name off of catalog mailing lists as well. Most catalogs are available on line.
If you were at the mall this past weekend, you would know that the gift giving season is upon us. How about “Greening-up” your holiday this year? There are many ways to give without giving “stuff” and help the planet at the same time. Consider making a donation to clean the air, save the bees or plant a tree. How about adopting a polar bear, a cheetah or sea creature? Go big… feed an elephant for a day! You can also help to preserve an acre of the rainforest, give clean water to a developing nation. The possibilities are endless.
The list of websites for these charitable organizations is on today’s bulletin.
Think about the most important gift, give your TIME to a volunteer organization.
Remember the 3 R’s…Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.
Addition for the bulletin....
Cleaner Air www.carbonfund.org
Save the Bees www.mercycorp.org
Plant a Tree www.treepeople.com or
Preserve and Acre of Rainforest www.rainforest-alliance.org
Adopt a polar bear www.worldwildlife.org
Save a water Buffalo www.heifer.org
Adopt a Cheetah www.hesc.co.za
Clean Safe Water for developing nations www.charityworld.org
Feed an elephant for a day www.elephants.com
Adopt a Sea Creature www.oceana.org
11. White Paper
· Did you know that simply changing the margins of your paper before you print from 1.25” (the default) to .75” will result in 4.75% less paper used? For a single ton of paper, that’s equivalent to 19 reams, which is equivalent to 1.14 trees. That’s roughly equal to about $47.50 per ton of paper.
It all adds up. You can check out my math at http://www.changethemargins.com/
· When printing from the computer, consider printing on both sides of the paper. Our library has already set their printers to do this. To do this, go under programs, printer, right click printing preferences and check off print both sides. Also increase the margin size as well on the top and bottom margins.
· Here's how you can get out of doing the dishes...If you have a dishwasher, use it. Running a fully loaded dishwasher--without pre-rinsing the dishes--can use a third less water than washing by hand, saving up to 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. And by using the air-dry setting (instead of heat-dry), you will consume half the amount of electricity without spending a dime. Unfortunately, you still have to put them away.
· Turn off the water when you brush your teeth, you’ll save over 5 liters of water a minute!
· Car pool with friends to different events and take the bus to school…No extra air pollution is needed!
· Use a bike, a skateboard, or walk for once to do both your body and your planet a favor.
14. Plastic Scraps from Laminator
From Denise Buckbee (firstname.lastname@example.org), a Spanish teacher at Brookwood High School in Ontario, Wisconsin:
"We use the laminating machine at our school quite often, and there is a lot of scrap plastic that is cut off and tossed in the trash. I like to use these plastic scraps in class. I give my students a writing task such as a sentence, vocabulary word, drawing, etc. Each student writes on the scrap plastic with an overhead marker, and at the end of the exercise I put up each student's response to the problem on the overhead. It is a great feedback exercise since students can immediately see what works and what doesn’t. I get to see how many students understand the concept, which helps me see if they need more practice. The scrap plastic gets washed and reused. This overhead exercise makes class fun."
Aside from writing, these scraps could probably be used in math and science with exercises/problems and formulas.
How can you save energy every time you turn on your computer? Set Blackle (spelled B -L- A- C- K- L- E) as your homepage. Blackle saves energy because the screen is primarily black. A monitor requires more energy to use a white or light screen than a black or dark screen. Although the energy savings may be small, it adds up considering the amount of time we are logged on. Secondly, the black screen is a daily reminder to keep taking small steps to save energy.
Did you know: Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees?
2. Cardboard to Paint
Did you know that Northampton Township now recycles cardboard? Do you know how to dispose of latex paint? All this and more is available on Northampton's website. Go to http://www.northamptontownship.com/information/waste/ for more information.
3. Motor Oil
Motor oil never wears out, it just gets dirty. Oil can be recycled, refined and used again, reducing our reliance on imported oil. A quart 6f motor oil if disposed of improperly can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.
Recycle your old batteries so their chemicals are disposed of properly, or invest in rechargeable batteries which will quickly pay for themselves. (Battery recycling cans are in each science room!)
· Best Buys is becoming a "Green" retailer. One of the great things is their recycling program for electronic equipment. One example is; bring in a CRT monitor or a TV under 32” and they will recycle it for $10.00. In return Best Buys gives you a $10 gift card. Here is the link to Bet Buys website for additional information. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/null/Recycling-Electronics/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025&DCMP=rdr0001422
· Staples (including the one in Newtown) takes computers or printers for recycling. You have to pay $10 for each item. However I just purchased a printer there, and they gave me $50 for my old printer, so ask about recycling if you buy something new from them.
6. Things you Throw Away
For every trash can of waste you put outside for the trash collector, about 70 cans of waste are used in order to create that trash. To reduce the amount of waste you produce, buy products in returnable and recyclable containers and recycle as much as you can. The energy saved from recycling a single aluminum can will operate a television for three hours!
Glass that finds its way into recycling systems is usually comprised of clear, green and brown bottles and broken glassware--and when recycled the process uses less energy and produces less carbon dioxide than manufacturing glass from scratch. A glass bottle takes 4,000 years or more to decompose, or even longer if it's in the landfill.) The Daily Green
1. Recharging small electronics
Cut that cord. Charge your iPod, your BlackBerry, your GPS or your phone on the go with a backpack-cum-solar-power charger. Reware sells three styles — a backpack, daypack and messenger bag. All of the bags are made from reclaimed soda bottles to create a fabric that is both durable enough to withstand inclement weather and stylish. On the back of the bag there is a thin layer of solar cells that turns light into electricity.
2. Buy Recycled
Using recycled paper will save 7,000 gallons of water, about 30 trees, 60 lbs of air pollutants, and 4,000 hours of energy.
3. Machines are Efficient
Dishwashers save water over doing them by hand but make sure you completely fill the dishwasher before you start a load.
4. Creative Wrapping
Next time you’re wrapping a gift for someone use newspaper, magazine pages, or other materials you’re ready to throw away. It saves paper, energy, and looks cool too!
5. Don’t Buy Disposable
Use an electric shaver to avoid having to waste money and products that will soon just be thrown away but don’t forget to use rechargeable batteries.
6. Buy in Bulk
Purchase food and candy in bulk, it’s cheaper and also saves the hassle of extra unwanted wrappers.
KEEP IT CLEAN
· Get your mind in the gutter! In urban and suburban parts of the state, manmade systems change the way water flows. Where does the water in the street gutter go? In most places in Northampton Township, that gutter leads to a storm drain along the curb which goes directly to a local waterway. Whatever flows down the storm drain enters a series of underground pipes that lead to an outfall pipe that flows into a local waterway. The storm water does not get treated. All the litter, motor oil drippings and other debris goes with it into the local waterway. That's why it's important to keep storm water clean! For more storm water information, please visit the Township website at www.northamptontownship.com.
· Don’t be a litter bug! Our everyday needs make an impact on the planet as it is, we don’t need trash just laying around in our neighborhoods.
· World Oceans Day, it's not too late to green up one of our great summer destinations, the beach. Here are some tips from Oceana:
1. Keep plastic and garbage out of the ocean when you’re at the beach, on the boat or in the water. Do not use plastic bags. Choose reusable ones and recycle your water bottle. Do your part to collect litter from the beach and clean up after your pets and kids!
2. It all runs into the sea. Stop the over-use of lawn and garden fertilizers because they end up in the oceans and create “dead zones,” pollute coastal wetlands and kill corals.
3. Choose nontoxic products, and take your toxic materials like old paints, solvents, used motor oil and batteries to your hazardous waste collection site.
4. Do not buy bluefin tuna, red coral, endangered sharks or other threatened species. Overfishing of these species is driving them toward extinction.
5. Protect yourself and your family from mercury in tuna fish and other big sea fish like shark and swordfish. Mercury in small amounts has neurotoxic effects in humans and it’s bad for sea life, too!
6. Use your buying power to stop trade in endangered sea life – don’t buy things like coral jewelry, sea turtle shells or shark products. (thedailygreen.com)