13 Ways You Can Save The Environment

13 Ways You Can Save The Environment

It’s official, lists of 10 are beyond cliche. And lists of 11, once a refreshing twist, are now even more banal than the lists of 10 they sought to avoid. So, in a weak attempt at originality, today I present you with my baker’s dozen list of ways to save energy and the environment!

 

1. Sweep It. Don’t Spray It. 

Limit, as much as possible, the use of water. Of course water is not that expensive (at least for now); but saving water saves energy and a valuable resource as well. When cleaning the driveway, the deck or patio, using a broom instead of a hose would save several hundreds of gallons of water a year. Now imagine your entire neighborhood doing it that way. We could save a ton of water (1 ton= 239.65 gallons, which is actually far less than what would be saved).

2. Push It Good. Push It Real Good.

A manual push mower is a good idea to mow a small lawn. Aside from not using electricity or fuel to ride or push the mowing machine, it is also good exercise. Alternatively, buy a goat to eat your excess turf.

3. Rake For Old Time Sake.

Rakes are good leaf movers. Like the manual push mower, you do not need energy to fuel up a machine to get the job done. There is also a sense of nostalgia in using this traditional tool. After raking you can even jump into the pile you formed. Just make sure to rake it all up again.

4. Let There Be (Efficient) Light.

Use compact fluorescent light bulbs or LEDs to light up your driveway or as a security light. LEDs and CFLs are some of the most handy and energy efficient products that you can have. If you are worried about bugs sticking to the light, there are yellow options available. Outdoor, driveway and security lights are often on the longest, so switching these from traditional to efficient bulbs could pay you the most reward.

5. Quality Beats Quantity.

When shopping, avoid going for the disposable option. Disposable products need more landfills and landfills emit dangerous gasses. Go instead for items that could be used several times over. Again when shopping, go for products that are made of better quality. They might be a little more expensive but generally, quality products last longer.

6. Become a Bag Lady (Or Man).

Bring your own bags when shopping. Luckily in Los Angeles where I live, and in many other cities across the country, there are now laws in place banning stores from providing plastic bags. So it’s becoming more common to travel with totes readily available. Plastic bags are oil based and are not biodegradable.  If you bring your bag with you, you not only help in saving energy, you might also get a discount from your store.

7. Battery Is a Crime. Rechargeable Battery Isn’t!

Batteries contain toxic materials. They produce heavy metal like arsenic, mercury, and Iron Maiden (okay, just kidding about the last one). Thus, disposal batteries need proper care. Once the heavy metal in batteries seeps into the ground, it has a good chance of contaminating the ground water and soil. When buying products that need batteries, pick those that are rechargeable. That way battery disposal is limited and you save on the cost of buying new batteries.

8. Bigger Cars Are Bigger Problems.

Good thing SUV sales everywhere are going down. SUVs use much more energy than compact sedans for the same distance. While using SUV’s could be fun, there is also that tinge of indifference to the current energy issues and environmental problems we are facing. Reducing the use of SUVs on the street may not mean too much in terms greenhouse gas emissions but it’s a signal to manufacturers to build more energy efficient vehicles. Meanwhile, smaller cars are more efficient, easier to maneuver and park, and most newer model small cars are packed with some serious safety features, meaning you won’t have to sacrifice size for security.

9. Solar Is SO Good!

The use of solar power is an excellent idea if you want to tackle the issues of energy conservation and environmental protection. If there is one thing that the world needs most at this time, it is the widespread use of solar power. Thankfully, it’s never been easier or more affordable to add a full or partial solar system to your home. Look into it!

10. Save Energy and Frustration.

Energy saving devices may cost a little extra but the pay-offs are much more than the extra cost in terms of longer life spans and energy saved. Seriously. Just go for it and you’ll feel a lot better about yourself too. Don’t you hate changing light bulbs? Well, switching to an LED bulb could mean you won’t have to change that bulb again for another 22 years if you use it 3 hours a day. Use it for 6 hours a day? Fine, you won’t have to change it for 11 years. Some of my light bulbs are harder to access than an impenetrable fortress, so the idea of having to change them every 11 years rather than every 3 months, like a traditional light bulb, is pretty enticing. Don’t you agree? Make the switch to energy saving devices.

11. It’s a Family Affair.

It is best if you get your whole family involved in your quest to conserve energy. This is because all of you would be consuming energy every day. Talk to them about the benefits of saving energy, as well as the consequences of not taking action. Explain things properly, and make sure to make it clear how everyone can help make a difference.

12. Power Up That Dishwasher!

It is always best to use your dishwasher with a full load. Doing it this way can help to conserve energy over washing the dishes by hand. Aside from that, keep in mind that using a dishwasher (with a full load) actually consumes less amounts of water as well as energy than washing the dishes manually. Newer models of dishwashers often include an energy saving or efficient mode that will clean your dishes using the least amount of water and energy possible.

13. Cover It Before You Cool It.

It is important to cover or wrap foods that you store inside your refrigerator. This is because foods that are uncovered can release moisture inside the cooling unit. When that happens, it actually makes the compressor work harder, which means more energy consumed. Besides that, it also makes your fridge smell funky. So please, wrap it up folks.

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Energy Saving Tips for Kids – Teaching Your Kids To Be Energy Efficient

Energy Saving Tips for Kids – Teaching Your Kids To Be Energy Efficient

Saving energy and saving money should not be your sole responsibility as parents. Your kids must also learn to contribute in keeping the electric bills down. This way, your effort will not get wasted and at the same time, your kids will learn good values while growing up.

Because teaching your kids to be energy efficient requires some effort, here are easy to follow suggestions you can do:

Education

Teaching your kids the importance of saving energy should be your first goal. Take note that making them understand the value of being energy efficient is more effective than enumerating the ways to save energy and leaving it at that. Teach them how conserving energy helps the environment. Tell them stories or read educational books about the importance of energy.

Lead by example

You know very well that kids tend to follow what elders do. Practice what you preach. You may have listed and posted a litany of things-to-do to conserve energy but if you donít follow them yourself, you cannot expect your kids to follow it too. Do not just tell them to turn the lights off before leaving their room; show them by always turning the lights off every time you leave a room in your house. Education and leading by example are a good combination if you want to make good habits stick.

Make it fun

Find educational materials where your kids will learn the value of conserving energy as well as the ways on how to save it. Computer software, educational websites, books and television shows that educate and entertain kids would really make a difference on how well they will respond. This is especially applicable to kids from 5 to 10 years old.

Get your kids involved

Family activities should not limit to eating, playing and entertainment. Chores can also be a good way to bond with your kids. Manually wash the car, water the plants, clean the table, wash the dishes, clean the house etc. These are some of the things you can do with your kids while conserving energy.

Teach your kids according to their age.

Kids of different ages have different attitude on things around them. If your 5-year son doesnít know how to turn off the lights before leaving the room, all you need to do is to talk to him well about its importance and showing him that you practice what you teach.

Your 10-year old daughter may require different approach like showing her your electric bill and explaining to her that it will greatly help if she will change her bad habits. You are teaching your 5-year old good habits while you are teaching and emphasizing your 10-year old good habits and responsibility.

Same thing applies to kids of different ages. The point is, make sure that you teach your kids proper ways to conserve energy using an approach suited to their ages.

Energy saving tips for kids

  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • Always turn the lights off before leaving the room.
  • Turn the computer off after use.
  • Do not hold the refrigerator open.
  • Unplug unnecessary appliance.
  • Use natural light if possible.

Saving energy is not so hard if your kids are involved. And just like any family activities you do, energy conservation should be fun, educational and driven by good motivation.

 

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How to Conserve Water and Keep Out of Financial Drought

How to Conserve Water and Keep Out of Financial Drought

This scene is familiar to anyone who has witnessed a particularly oppressive summer. The soil cracks in a thousand places, looking like the skin of a very dry lizard. Plants wither slowly, as they go from green, to yellow, to brown, from lack of water. The air seems to be smoky or watery, and heat seems to rise from the ground in snaking, slithering currents. Everyone seems to be in a foul mood, no matter how bright their day is, and how much progress they have made at school or work.

A drought-stricken area is a poor one, but it isn’t a hopeless one. Even with very little water, you can deal with the scarcity and still emerge triumphant, with a wallet filled with enough money to pay the rest of your bills. Even with very little water, a cooperative community can pull through a drought and enjoy the rains when they come.

If you live in a drought-stricken area, you will need to conserve water using every method of water conservation that there is. Here are a few tips that you might want to follow as you work on keeping what water you have.

- Instead of soaking in a tub, or using a pail and dipper to take a bath, take a brief shower. Soaking in a tub will only force you to fill up a tub with gallons of water that you might not end up using. A pail and dipper might make you careless, so that you splash water everywhere and end up using more than a bucket to clean yourself.

A shower, on the other hand, can force you to regulate the use of water. Confine your shower to no more than fifteen minutes. Turn off the shower while you shampoo, or while you soap your body. To save more water, wet your entire body, turn off the shower, then apply your shampoo and start soaping yourself. Rinse your entire body all at once. To save even more water, have a bucket standing by as you shower. Collect your shower water in the bucket, and use it to flush your toilet. By relying on your toilet’s flushing machinery, you also use a total of five gallons of water each time you flush! Save this water for more useful purposes, such as washing the dishes and your body. You can use your bath water to flush your toilet, and a bucket will usually be enough.

- An old wive’s tale of water conservation revolves around the use of soapy, collected water to water plants. Although this may seem like a good water conservation mechanism, you also need to remember that the detergents in soap can damage plants and destroy nutrients in the soil. Instead of recycling water to water plants, control the amount of water you use to water your garden. Instead of using a hose or a sprinkler, take a small bucket of water with you and water plants with moderation. If you use too much water, you can kill plants by weakening their roots and stems.

- Your health comes first, so analyze each move that you make before conserving water. When rinsing dishes, don’t soak them in a basin of water along with the rest of the things that you need to rinse. This unclean practice can lead to bacteria and fungi accumulating in your utensils. Don’t reuse bath water for any other purpose, except to flush your toilet. The dirt, dust, and grime from your body can do more damage to your plants if you water them with your bath water. And whatever you do, don’t conserve your drinking water! You need at least eight glasses of water a day to function properly; in fact, your body can go longer without food than it can without water! If you are in a drought-stricken area, you are more prone to dehydration, so scrimp on everything except drinking water.

- If you don’t finish the water in your glass, don’t throw it down the drain. Put the water into a bucket, where it can be used to flush your toilet later. If the drinking water you have left is relatively clean, you can use it to water your plants. Don’t give your half-consumed glass of water to your pet: your mouth can house certain bacteria and viruses that can be deadly to your pet, or can cause them to have certain diseases.

- Save on washing water by using paper plates that you can throw away after their first use. If you find paper plates expensive, you can also use paper plate safe wax covers, which are cheaper, and which can be discarded after every use, leaving the paper plate clean. You can also use cheap paper cups: they not only allow you to save money, but they are recyclable too!

 

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