It’s Easy Going Green

Live green wherever you are. It's not hard. Check out these simple ideas to go green and see what good it will do Mother Earth.

19 photos
Ronald Blea
Don't let the water run. It's estimated that hand-washing dishes uses nearly 6,000 gallons a year per household. By turning the water off while you scrub, you can cut your usage by more than half.
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Carry canvas. Paper? Plastic? Say it with me: "I don't need a bag." Americans use about 380 billion plastic bags a year and throw away 100 billion. Saying no to plastic 5 times a week will spare the earth 5,000 years (the amount of time it would take those plastic bags to break down).
Bike or walk to work. Leaving the car at home even one day per week can make a difference. If everyone who lives within 5 miles of work did this it would save almost 5 million tons of pollution each year.
Ditch a car. If biking or walking to work isn't feasible, try carpooling. By sharing a ride with three other people, you could save more than 75 million tons of pollution each year.
Buy green. Many manufacturers are taking the earth into consideration. For example, Samsung's Blue Earth phone is made from recycled plastic water bottles, is solar powered, comes wrapped in recycled packaging and even includes a pedometer so you can calculate your decreasing carbon footprint.
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Watch drips. Leaky faucets and running toilets account for an average of 11,000 gallons of wasted water per home per year. That adds up to over 1 trillion gallons of waste in the US. So, turn the knob, shake the handle and get funky with water conservation.
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Go veg for a day. Consider that it takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, but only 200 to make a pound of corn or whole wheat flour... and that's not even counting the effects on pollution, fossil fuel use and land productivity.
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Reduce your time in the shower. One minute can save 2.5 gallons. Set a timer to slowly reduce the time you spend or try a "Navy shower," which involves turning on the water, getting wet, turning off the water, soaping up, turning the water back on to rinse off the suds. Total time is usually less than two minutes.
RK Studio/Kevin Lanthier
Go fluorescent. Fluorescent bulbs produce less heat and are 4-6 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. If every home replaced just one regular bulb with a fluorescent bulb, America would save more than $600 million in energy costs.
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Get rid of the junk in your trunk. Each year more than 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail and over 5 tons are thrown away. On average Americans spend 8 months of their lives opening junk mail. If you won't do it for the earth, do it for yourself.
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Use both sides. In addition to limiting what you print, reuse the blank side. The average American uses about 750 pounds of paper per year. Cut your use in half simply by printing double sided, or using blank sides for scrap paper.
Florida's Department of Health
Buy local. While the impact varies by region, simply reducing the journey that food takes to get from the soil to your table helps cut down on costly, wasteful packaging and emissions.
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Recycle. If every home in the US recycled one out of 10 high density polyethylene bottles, it would reduce the amount of plastic in landfills by 200 million pounds per year.
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Pour your own. It takes about 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce water bottles each year and 90% of the cost of a bottle goes to something other than the water itself.
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Get your compost on. DIY recycling of organic matter is no longer a smelly, dirty affair. Cute bins make it easy to make better use of natural waste. Food and yard "trash" currently accounts for about 30% of waste in the US. Most of these can be composted and would reduce the amount solid waste by 25%.
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Light a candle. If every home went lights out for one hour a day in each household, Americans could collectively save nearly $1 trillion dollars a year.
Nichola Evans
Get switched off. Power indicator lights, the little red and green light that simply show you whether or not an appliance is ready to go, account for about 5% of energy use. Power off... completely.
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Give back. Recycling your old electronics can give you peace of mind and help people in need. People get rid of old cell phones every 18 months, on average, and more than 100 million new phones are introduced each year.
Don't shun the dish towel. About 90% of US households use paper towels, which adds up to 3,000 tons of waste a day. If you can't use a linen, cotton or bamboo towel, at least buy recycled paper towels.
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