In 2003, the average U.S. citizen spent more than 100 hours commuting to work each year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data (see References 1). If you're among them, you can make a positive impact by adopting habits that make those 100 hours as green as possible by choosing an eco-friendly mode of transport and, if going by car, maximizing fuel efficiency. Fewer cars on the road also means less space needed for ...
American households received 15 percent less junk mail in 2009 than in the previous two years, according to the United States Postal Service survey "The Household Diary Study." This may seem like a significant decrease, but more than 85 billion advertisements still arrived in the mail. (See References 3, page 41) This figure not only represents a lot of unwanted junk mail arriving in your mailbox, it also signifies ...
Greenhouse gases, of which carbon dioxide and methane are the most important, result from the burning of fossil fuels such as petroleum, natural gas and coal. Because fossil fuels are the primary source of energy for the modern global economy, eliminating the emission of greenhouse gases altogether is impossible. But reduction is possible; commitment to personal change is required.
Slay the energy vampire to reduce your household electricity consumption. Standby power, the power your electronic devices draw if you leave them plugged in when you're not using them sucks up at least 5 percent of U.S. households' annual electricity use, according to researchers (see References 5, page 6). Lighting is another major electric expense; the U.S. Department of Energy estimates it consumes about 11 ...
More Articles on Other Reducing & Recycling
The strains resulting from population growth, excessive consumption and the effect of pollution on nature and human health have led to questions regarding the methods by which people conduct their lives. Reduce, reuse and recycle are separate but interconnected concepts that support the same goal of maintaining a healthy world. Though they sound and appear similar, reduce, reuse and recycle are distinct elements in the language of resource conservation.
Eating locally-grown food is a great way to support your community farmer, the local economy and celebrate the flavors of fresh foods. Challenge yourself to eating a few food items a week sourced from the local area. In the process, you'll likely find a number of outlets for obtaining fresh and local foods for your meals.
Every April 22, communities across the country observe Earth Day. Bringing Earth Day into the classroom allows students to explore the purpose and significance of the holiday and raises their awareness of environmental issues. Through writing assignments, students research deeper into the topic and then show their understanding in the final essay. Because Earth Day encompasses a wide variety of environmental activities and issues, from recycling to pollution to energy conservation, your essay topics can be as diverse as your classroom.
In terms of outdoor recreation, dirt biking can be one of the most fun and rewarding ways to enjoy the open air. With its rugged construction and small body, a dirt bike can access many places other off-road vehicles cannot, and it can cover more ground than what can be traversed by bicycle or on foot, allowing a rider to explore a wide range of natural habitats in a relatively short amount of time. But what effects do dirt bikes have on the environment? Are they bad for the very thing to which they provide access -- the great outdoors?
A green, gentle facial treatment for wrinkles could be sitting in your refrigerator. Yogurt contains lactic acid, an ingredient found in many high-end, commercial wrinkle treatments. Unlike those treatments, though, you know exactly what is in organic yogurt. It is also considerably less expensive than a prescription or over-the-counter wrinkle cream.
The compact fluorescent lamp was designed to be the energy-efficient alternative to the traditional incandescent bulb. The most popular CFL has two tubes and a twisted shape, but it isn't the only type of CFL bulb available. The various bulbs come in different shapes and sizes and give off different colors that can mimic an incandescent bulb or even daylight. Today's CFL bulbs also come compatible with the various types of lamps that dim and have other special functions. A choice in a CFL requires you to decide on these and other qualities in the bulbs.
Leather, rubber and other textiles made up 8.4 percent of all solid municipal waste disposed of by Americans in 2010, for a total of 21 million tons. (See Reference 1) Each of these materials can be easily recycled to reduce the carbon footprint of the disposal process, as suggested by the Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation. (See Reference 2) Instead of throwing old boots in the trash, repurpose them for a new function.
Americans throw away 25 million Styrofoam cups on average each year, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. (See Reference 1) Once those Styrofoam cups hit the landfill, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports they can take up to 50 years to decompose. (See Reference 2) The easiest way to keep Styrofoam cups out of the landfills is to reduce your own use.
Whether you are building your new residence or live in an existing house, modifications in your home's roof design can offer economic and environmental advantages. For example, a study released by Canada's National Research Council found that green or vegetated roofs can reduce summer energy demand by more than 75 percent. That is only one of several ecological options for upgrading your existing roof to one that is more energy and resource efficient. (see Reference 1, page 2.)
High carbon dioxide levels inside a home can contribute to what the EPA terms "sick building syndrome," which leads to symptoms such as fatigue, headache, breathing difficulties, strained eyes and itchy skin (see References 1). Homes accumulate carbon dioxide because humans and animals breathe out the gas, which can lead to a buildup of CO2 (see References 2). Fortunately, CO2 levels will quickly diminish when using the appropriate ventilation strategies. However, if you or your family members are experiencing such symptoms at home, don't assume it's from CO2 rather than a more deadly gas such as carbon monoxide. Take your pets, leave the premises and have your home inspected immediately before implementing ventilation strategies.