Earth Day 2011

April 22, 2011

It’s Earth Day! SupermarketGuru has some more tips on how Americans can do their part in keeping the Earth green

It’s Earth Day! And, as environmental issues and climate changes are a hot topic these days, this is an important time for spreading awareness on what we as Americans can do to protect our planet and natural resources.

Pioneered by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1962, Earth Day is a time to reflect on the consequences of our actions when we choose not to nurture and protect our planet. It’s a time to think about what product choices we make, reusing, recycling, and packaging. Knowledge is the key to respecting our environment. Here are a few tips on how you can contribute to the cause:

Recycle! And use recycled goods. According to the EPA benefits of recycling are far reaching and include protecting and expanding US manufacturing jobs, reducing the need for landfills and incineration, preventing pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials, conserving natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals and helping to sustain the environment for future generations. If your town doesn’t provide containers for recycling, designate a bin for recyclables to make it easy for you and your family to recycle things like the newspaper and aluminum cans.

Use a Reusable Water Bottle- Carrying a reusable water bottle actually saves nearly 26 bottles of water. How? Because it takes nearly that many bottles of water to produce one, one-liter bottle of water! What a waste! Use reusable water bottles instead made from materials like stainless steel or aluminum – choose ones that can be washed easily.

The Running Faucet - Do you leave the water running while you brush your teeth for 2 minutes? …Nearly ten gallons of water (and your money) just slid down the drain. Now, think about saving water when you shave, wash dishes, do laundry, water the lawn, wash the car, hose off the sidewalk and more. Being more aware of how much water you use unnecessarily not only helps the planet, but saves you cash as well.

Idle Time - Ever wonder if you should leave the car running while you wait for the kids to be dismissed from school? Leave it on if you'll be there less than a minute, otherwise it's more efficient to turn it off and restart it when you're ready to go. Also make sure your tire pressure is ideal, as anything less will waste gas.

Turn Down the Heat - Not just the furnace, but the water heater too. Set it at 130 to 140 degrees and turn the setting to low or off when you leave for the weekend or for a long vacation; put a note on your bathroom mirror so you'll remember to turn it up when you return.

Fill up the Washing Machine - Washers can use more than 50 gallons of water per load, so avoid washing a lot of small loads whenever possible. Also, be sure to choose the lowest level of water needed for each load, use warm water instead of hot, and set the rinse cycle to use cold water. Same rules for the dishwasher.

Check the Ice Chest - Refrigerator temperatures should be set around 38 to 42 degrees. Freezer temps between 0 and 5 degrees are just right. Colder settings waste energy and won't help food.

Snip Six-Pack Rings - Those innocent looking soft plastic holders for soft drink cans and other products can entangle birds, fish, and small animals. Snip apart each ring before throwing it in the trash, or inquire whether they can be recycled locally.

Get a Charge Out of It - Never throw spent batteries in the trash. Most contain mercury, a hazardous substance that will leak into groundwater or be burned and released into the air. Either switch to rechargeable batteries or collect used batteries in a shoebox out in the garage, clearly marked. Then take them to a recycling facility once or twice a year.

For more information on Earth Day events and things you can do, visit Earth Day 2011: A Billion Acts of Green