We all have to start doing our part for the planet somewhere and what better
place to get going than with some simple suggestions from organizations like
the National Recycling Coalition, The Conservation Fund and other bright lights
in the sustainability movement.
Be Energy Smart
tips provided by the Alliance to Save Energy
- Turn off your lights
when they're not in use.
- Use compact
fluorescent light bulbs.
- Cut cooling costs by
as much as 30 percent with high-performance ENERGY STAR windows.
- Close blinds or shades
on the south- and west-facing windows during the day, or install shading
devices such as trellises or awnings to avoid heat build-up.
- Tune-up of your
heating and cooling system each year to improve efficiency and comfort.
- Clean or replace
filters monthly or as needed.
- Seal your heating and
cooling ducts and improve the efficiency of your cooling system by as
much as 20 percent.
- Cut your air
conditioning load and reduce pollution by planting leafy trees around
your home and installing reflective tiles on your roof.
- Install a
programmable thermostat and cut summer AC bills by about 10 percent.
- Seal up your home and
install the proper amount of insulation.
Reuse and Recycle
tips provided by the National Recycling Coalition
- Rinsing cans and
keeping boxes out of the weather makes them easier to process (keeps
- Take it upon yourself
to be an accurate recycler. A cereal box is probably great, but a greasy
pizza box may not be. Maybe milk jugs are good, but not the caps. Check
the lid of your recycling bin for guidelines, or make a call or visit
your municipal Web site to find out the rules. Then, follow them.
- Steel cans, aluminum
cans, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, plastic beverage
bottles, milk jugs, glass bottles and jars, cereal boxes, other clean and
dry cardboard boxes.
- Recycle your old
computers and cell phones. Check out Dell, Staples, and Waste
Management/Recycle America websites for information on how you can
recycle these items.
- Household hazardous
wastes like paint cans, motor oil, antifreeze, car batteries, pesticides,
pool chemicals, etc., usually need to be disposed of separately. Again,
check your community resources and guidelines.
Offset Energy You Can't Reduce
tips provided by the Conservation Fund
- Calculate your carbon
footprint: and then "zero it out" at www.conservationfund.org/gozero
- Decrease your carbon
footprint whenever possible:
- Walk, bike, carpool,
use mass transit, when possible.
- Check your car's tire
pressure regularly; it will get better gas mileage when the tires are
- Plant a Tree for Me:
The next time you make a purchase on www.Dell.com, you can help address
two of our planet's most pressing environmental challenges: habitat loss
and climate change.
Reduce Your Impact on Endangered Forests
tips provided by Forest Ethics
- Believe it or not,
paper and wood are still being made from endangered forests.
Avoid such products by using less paper and wood, and by buying products
that are post-consumer recycled and/or from Forest Stewardship Council
- Businesses can provide
guidance to their employees and suppliers by adopting a sustainable
wood and paper procurement policy.
- Climate changes also
threatens forest ecosystems—and deforestation and other logging
contribute roughly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. You can help
by reducing your carbon footprint and supporting more effective climate
- Consumers should also
and www.GreenDimes.com to avoid
unwanted junk mail.