Monday, 4 March 2013

Here's How You Can Help The Environment In 2 Minutes A Day

Saving the planet is not difficult. You can help the environment in 2 minutes a day by using common sense and logic. It does not take expensive ingredients to go green, but a desire to do your part. There are hundreds of tips and tricks written and suggested and you can probably think of many more.

Change your Bulbs

One of the best ways to help the environment in 2 minutes is to change your lights. You need to replace your old regular light bulbs with a new fluorescent bulb. The contamination reduction is equal to removing thousands of cars from the road in a one year period. There are regulations in place that require electric light bulb manufactures to cease producing traditional bulbs. Get used to those swirly fluorescents.

Turn off Computers

Do you leave your computer on all the time? Computers need sleep too and instead of leaving in it sleep mode all night you can save 40 watt hours per day buy turning your computer totally off at night. If you have a timer you can set it to turn on your computer automatically a few minutes before you get to work.

Don’t Rise Dishes

Many consumers have the feeling that they have to wash their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Today’s dishwasher models are designed to take excess foods off the dishes and flush them away. By not rinsing your dishes before your load them, you can save up to 20 gallons of water each load. You are also saving the time and energy that it takes to heat hand washing water.

No Pre-Heating

Avoid preheating the oven. Just turn it on when you put in your food. You do, however need to use the pre-heat selection when you are baking. Check the condition of your food through the oven window instead of constantly opening the door.

Recycle Glass

If you recycle your glass instead of throwing glass in the trash you will reduce pollution by almost 20 percent. Related water pollution that is caused by glass can be reduced by 50 percent. Glass does take almost a million years to decompose.

Cloth Diapers

You will have a terrible time convincing mothers and fathers that they need to use cloth diapers. Yet we use about 4000 to 8000 diapers on a child from the day of birth until they are potty trained. Diapers are nasty, generally do not decompose quickly, and fill up trash sites. Find a friendlier disposable if you insist on using these types of diapers. You can find eco-friendly diapers in the organic section of your supermarket.

Vegetarian Diets

If you have ever wanted to jump on the vegetarian bandwagon for a meal or too, you can switch in no time and save the planet. One less meat based meal during a one week period will give both you and the planet increased health. It requires 400 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. It takes only a couple of gallons of water to produce lettuce. Save trees by eating vegetarian. Every hamburger that comes from animals raised on rainforest land costs approximately 44 square feet of trees.

No Bottled Water

Almost 100 percent of plastic water bottles never hit the recycling bin. They do take thousands of years to decompose and when throw away water bottles on the ground you produce an ugly landscape and damaged ecology. Your tap water is better for you than most bottled waters, which is really fancy tap water. The FDA has more stringent requirements for home tap water than bottled water manufacturers.
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While working with DATS Environment Services, the author, Craig Miller, has been working to educate people on how they can do their part in helping to take care of the environment. He has contributed many articles to different sites and spoken at several green conferences.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Decreasing Your Personal Carbon Footprint

Unless your name is Al Gore, you probably can’t afford solar panels, a house remodel to increase energy efficiency and a new Hybrid car. Although efficient, these ways of reducing energy consumption and lowering your carbon footprint can be costly. These types of endeavours don’t only require thousands of dollars – they necessitate a large time commitment and plenty of forethought and planning. Some of the best methods to lower your carbon footprint are the small changes you can make to your daily life. Like crash dieting, doing something drastic isn’t as effective as making smaller, incremental changes you can pursue for the long-term. Here you’ll find a comprehensive list of several tactics that that will help you develop sustainable lifelong practices that will help you help the environment.

What is a Carbon Footprint and why it Matters

Your personal carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated to your consumption. Examining your carbon footprint is an effective way in determining your indirect effect on the environment. There are many tools available that can help you estimate your carbon footprint, and knowing this number can provide a clear view of your consumption and how it’s affecting Mother Earth. Knowing your “number” isn’t everything; whatever it is, most people can still make small improvements to their overall consumption habits. Greenhouse gas emissions matter – especially for global warming believers and evangelists. If you haven’t caught on yet, excess greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of global warming – which is bad for everyone.

Buying Local Products Results in Less Emissions

Production of local products, like produce, cheeses, and honey, are the least likely to contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike large production plants local establishments are smaller and have limited resources, making their production processes different from those of their larger competitors. The carbon footprint of local facilities is usually a fraction of a larger plant’s footprint. Local products also travel a fraction of the distance to get to distributors, like your local food market. Shaving cream that has been manufactured in London and that is sold in a London shop has a much lower carbon footprint than a product that would have been manufactured in China, due to the transportation-related emissions. Sometimes it’s just impossible to buy local products, like coffee. Coffee beans are cultivated from approximately 70 countries around the globe and Germany is the world’s largest transfer point of coffee beans. This doesn’t mean that Germany produces the beans. In fact coffee beans aren’t cultivated in Europe at all. The largest cultivators and exporters of coffee beans are Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa and India. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation alone should definitely incite cutting back on your trips to Starbucks.

Reduce Heat in Your Home

The most obvious issue to address is the temperature of your home. Did you know that simply reducing the temperature on your thermostats by one or two degrees can result in a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions? Whether your heating is electric, oil or slow combustion stove (the kind you fill with fire wood), reducing the temperature, consumption and general use of the heating source will lead to a reduction of your carbon footprint. Reducing consumption will also be good to your bank account. With the rise of heating oil prices, did you know that turning down the heat by one degree could reduce your heating costs by up to 10%?

Another heat source to consider cutting back is the temperature of your water heater. Most households have their water heater set too high anyway, and reducing the temperature by the same one or two degrees will lower your carbon footprint and save you money on heating oil prices.
Finally when considering heat for your home, think of the hot water used to wash your clothes. Most detergents work just as well in cold water and, in fact, washing your clothes in cold water prevents stains from setting in the fabric. Washing your clothes in cold water will save you money on your power bill, reduce your carbon footprint, and lengthen their lifespan.

Nick Thorping is a writer with an interest in sustainable business practices. He suggests that just as reducing consumption of heating leads to a reduction of heating oil prices, reducing consumption can lead to cost savings in your home.