Don’t forget about Earth Day 2015 ! April 22nd is the 45th annual Earth Day celebration, and it’s an excellent day to look at your daily habits and find ways to conserve more energy, water, and the environment. You don’t necessarily have to do anything major like remodel your entire home with solar power, but just some small things here and there can really add up.
1. Reduce Driving — Carpooling, biking, or walking twice per week instead of taking your own car can reduce carbon emissions by 1600 pounds per year.
2. Public Transportation — Especially for those living in the city, public transportation is a great way to cut back on carbon emissions. Some bus fleets use biodiesel or solar assisted power, and every passenger on the bus is one less car on the road
3. Refueling — Refuel your car during the early morning or at night when it’s cooler outside. On a hot day, fuel dripping from the pump evaporates quickly, putting the harmful chemical compounds into the atmosphere. Don’t top off your tank, either, as that frequently leads to extra fuel drips
4. Energy Star — If you’re looking to replace your appliances, look for ones with the Energy Star label. These products are rated to be 20-30% more efficient than their uncertified counterparts. In the long run, they will save energy and money in your home
5. E-Cycling — Electronic components should be recycled. Nearly all of the components in electronics, like wires, transistors, chips, and disc drives can be reused for new computers and other electronics. Many big box stores like Best Buy have e-cycling programs
6. Water Use — Cutting back on the time you shower, shutting faucets off when not in use, and not pre-washing your dishes can cut way back on your water consumption and energy use
7. Repurpose Common Items — Glass jars and plastic takeout containers are great for food storage after they have served their original purpose. Even egg cartons can be repurposed as drawer organizers, holding spools of thread, beads, coins, rubber bands, and paper clips. If you ship a lot of packages, they also make great packing material
8. Shopping Bags — Some grocery stores offer reusable shopping bags, made from durable fiber rather than thin plastic. Some of these stores charge per plastic bag used, so bringing a reusable one will save you some money as well. If you prefer something your own style, you can find many suitable totes online and in stores to serve as your shopping bags.
9. Chemicals and Dyes — Be sure to read the labels of food, clothing, and other products for indications of harmful chemicals or dyes. Yellow clothing and products contain PCB-11, a derivative of the Polychlorinated Biphenyl chemical that was banned by the EPA 35 years ago. Foods that contain the preservative BHT should be avoided as well. BHT is believed to be a carcinogen to humans.
10. Clean Up Duty — Be sure to pick up waste from your dog when walking in parks or other public areas. We wouldn’t want this waste to flow into storm drains and pollute any water supplies.