How does the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommend that we deal with solid waste?
The EPA recommends that sold waste be dealt with in the following order: 1. Waste prevention 2. Recycling 3. Disposal (last resort). The way we consume products requires a change of mindset away from the idea that disposable is better.
What is the key to successfully becoming a green consumer?
It is best to ease into green by making one or two green changes a month. If you try to do too much quickly, you will likely fall back into old habits.
What are you trying to achieve by going green with one or two items a month?
According to experts, it takes about 21 to 28 days to create a habit. With the monthly approach to slowly going green, you are creating new habits one month at a time.
Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy:
Recycling that bottle you are considering throwing out will save enough energy to power your computer for 25 minutes. Putting that bottle in a recycle bin surely beats going with a blank screen on your computer for 25 minutes.
Recycling one tin can saves enough energy:
Congratulations, you recycled that tin can and saved enough energy to enjoy your favorite television programs for 3 hours tonight. If you get a friend to do the same, you can walk to a movie rental spot together and pick up a couple of DVDs to watch with the power you both saved.
What is a key secret to slowing down and eventual turning around the current abuse of our Earth?
People need to realize that small changes made by many can make a big impact, if everyone works together to create a green future. Sustainable development should be a goal of any company or individual.
What is the fourth “R” that the green movement recently added to the traditional three green principals?
In addition, to Reuse, Reduce and Recycle: Rethink has been added to the original trio. Rethinking how you do things and what products you use to do them with, can make a bigger impact on greening the Earth than the other three put together.
What is one category of items that you can recycle that many people overlook and simply discard?
Many municipalities have recycling programs in place to receive electronic items and if your area does not have a program, there may be charities that will take items they can repair or refurbish.
How can you recognize products that help green the world by using recycled content during manufacture?
Look for the wording: "This product contains post-consumer recycled material" along with a percentage to indicate amount of recycled content. The higher the percentage, the more recycled content an item contains.
What is a great way to save money and prevent some waste from entering the system at the same time?
You can buy bulk sizes of products that you use often. Packaging is one of the main costs of food, not to mention the gas and time you use for smaller purchases.
What else can you do to cut down on using items that require recycling?
If you are not crazy about tap water, then instead of buying bottled water for your home purchase a good water filter for your kitchen sink. You can keep a glass container or two of purified water in your refrigerator.
What is one good way almost all of use can do to reduce waste without making a major adjustment?
Taking public transport or starting a car pool is a great way to reduce, but they often require major adjustments. Buying a travel cup and making coffee at home is easy and will save hundreds of disposable cups from reaching a landfill.
What is a good way to implement the green concept of reuse in your home?
Composting programs can keep tons of waste out of landfills and improve soil so it does not require fertilizer as well. You can also catch water that is normally wasted to water your plants or garden.
How much energy is saved for every degree higher you set a cooling thermostat?
According to the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources, every degree that your home's thermostat is raised in the summer saves 4 to 8 percent on cooling costs. Properly sealing your homes envelope can also save up to another 10 percent annually on heating and cooling.
How much of the worlds annual paper production is consumed in the United States?
Americans consume one third of the world’s annual paper production. It is imperative that we make an effort to consume as little paper as possible by e-mailing documents, printing only when necessary and by using double sided printing and copying.
What can you do to reduce the amount of harmful cleaning chemicals that you use in your home?
Make your own cleaning products from common kitchen ingredients. Homemade cleansers are nontoxic, cut down on waste and save a lot of money as well.
Why are organic foods considered not only healthy for you but also good for the environment?
Production of organic foods does not allow harmful chemicals like pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Excess fertilizers and insecticides leach into ground water and runoff ends up affecting water quality in rivers and lakes.
What other green-smart strategy can be employed to make a difference for the world?
You can support your community and reduce carbon emissions by buying produce grown locally. Nothing can compare to eating vegetables from your own garden nourished from compost from your kitchen.
What is one easy change to make at your grocery store that can have a huge benefit for our environment?
Bring your own cotton or canvas grocery bags to the supermarket and avoid plastic or paper bags.
How much more efficient are fluorescent tubes in producing light than a typical incandescent light?
Fluorescent tubes produce four to six times more light than an incandescent bulb with the same wattage rating. The increased efficiency applies to regular tubes, circular tubes and the newer compact fluorescent bulbs.
The green movement has come a long way since it began several decades ago. Multitudes of companies and individuals are now taking every possible measure to green their homes and buildings. Regardless whether you are a seasoned green activist or a novice just catching green fever, take our quiz now to test how green you can be.
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