Environment / Lifestyle / Reporting / Research / Self-Help / Slideshow / Uncategorized

Saving Our Planet

Earth Day is April 22, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Earth Day is April 22, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Earth is our home, so naturally we need to take care of it by reducing our carbon footprint. You’d be surprised how the little things that you do or don’t do everyday can significantly impact our planet. You want to chip in and do your part to protect the earth, right?

Making Everyday Earth Day

For starters, by buying local, fresh or organic food, we can decrease the amount of emissions that go into the air. In short, emissions is a term used to describe the gases and particles which are put into the air or are emitted by various sources. Keep in mind that food travels roughly 1,200 miles before we can purchase it, which can wreak havoc on the planet.

While we’re on the subject of food, you can take care of the earth by buying food that is fresh instead of frozen. By doing this you can cut-down on energy up to 10 times. For your part, consider buying food that is available at a farmers market. What’s more, the Web site USDA.gov posts a list of farmers markets in your area.

Checking for the Energy Star label is increasingly important. What does Energy Star mean and why is it so important? Energy Star is a government-backed program that helps people and businesses safeguard the environment through energy efficiency. When a product has the Energy Star seal, it adheres to various energy efficiency standards. The electronics that we can’t live without, windows, home appliances such as air-conditioners and refrigerators are just a few of the products that bare this label. If you have any questions about whether a product has this label, you simply can ask a salesperson if the product of interest is Energy Star compliant.

Looking for the words “recycled” and “postconsumer,” when buying is yet another step you can take to reduce your harmful effects on the earth. Case in point, there are more than 4,500 recycled-content products on the market, which include packing boxes, laundry detergent bottles, along with trash bags and trash cans. Be aware that postconsumer content in a product can be a small percentage or up to 100 percent. Always check labels and opt for products with the highest percentage.

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Look for the words “recycled” and “postconsumer,” when buying.

Many still use traditional light bulbs in their homes. But, by swapping traditional light bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), you can save on one of the earth’s most precious resources, electricity.

Did you know that nearly all of the electricity used by an incandescent bulb is converted to heat and not light? Besides, Energy Star labeled CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. What does this mean for your wallet? You can save nearly $30.00 over the life span of every bulb. Not too shabby, there.

Drip, drip, drip! We are all-too-familiar with the annoying sound of a leaky faucet. However, these faucets do more than just aggravate us. Just one drip each second may waste more than 3,000 gallons of water a year. So fix that leak, now.

We just love electronics because they can entertain us and make our lives a whole lot easier, too. Nonetheless, many are not aware that even though electronics may not be turned on, they still can consume energy if left plugged into an electrical outlet. As a matter of fact, 25 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is used while products are on the off mode.

And, finally, by disposing of hazardous waste properly, you can know that you genuinely did your best to help ‘Mother Earth.’ CFLs, various batteries, electronics and other household hazardous wastes contain toxic materials, so by hauling them off to landfills, they can contaminate nearby land and water. In order to help combat this growing problem, hosts of companies and municipal governments provide free collection programs, and in some instances you can even receive cash for your old electronics.

Lending a Helping Hand

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac Earth Day, a day when many will plant a tree is right around the corner. But, fortunately enough for you, you don’t have to wait until April 22, to celebrate it; when in doubt rinse, reuse and recycle.

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Web Links:

http://www.ourearth.org/education/greentips.html;

http://www.epa.gov/oaqps001/emissns.html;

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/farmersmarkets;

http://www.energystar.gov/;

http://www.almanac.com/content/when-earth-day

-Kimberly Williams

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3 thoughts on “Saving Our Planet

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