Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. Earth Day is a time to unite around new actions. Earth Day and every day is a time to act to protect our planet. • The nation's air is much cleaner today than it was in on the first Earth Day in 1970. • The trend of annual loss of wetlands has been reversed. • Restoration and redevelopment of abandoned industrial sites is accelerating. Earth Day and every day is a time to act.
Things you can do at home
Save energy • Use the Energy Star program by logging on to http://www.energystar.gov to find energy efficient products for your home. The right choices can save families about 30% ($400 a year) while reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases. • Turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room. Use motion detectors if you forget • Use the microwave to cook small meals. (It uses less power than an oven.) • Have leaky air conditioning and refrigeration systems repaired. • Cut back on air conditioning and heating use if you can. • Add an insulation blanket to your water heater. • Keep in mind that every trip adds to air pollution. • Replace incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star qualified Compact Fluorscent Light bulbs (CFL). Use less water • Look for the WaterSense label to identify water-efficient products. The WaterSense label indicates that these products meet water-efficiency and performance criteria. WaterSense labeled products will perform well, help save money, and encourage innovation. • Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth. • Take short showers instead of tub baths. • Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool. • Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher; wash only full loads. • Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine. • Buy high-efficient plumbing fixtures & appliances. • Repair all leaks (a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day). • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). • Water plants differently according to what they need. Check with your local extension service or nurseries for advice. • Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only – not the street or sidewalk. • Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation systems for trees and shrubs. • Keep your yard healthy – de-thatch, use mulch, etc. • Sweep outside instead of using a hose. • Plant a tree, build a pond and compost.
Reduce/Reuse/Recycle Practice the three R's: first Reduce how much you use, then Reuse what you can, and then Recycle the rest.
• Reduce: o Buy permanent items instead of disposables. o Buy and use only what you need. o Buy products with less packaging. o Buy products that use less toxic chemicals. • Reuse: o Repair items as much as possible. o Use durable coffee mugs. o Use cloth napkins or towels. o Clean out juice bottles and use them for water. o Use empty jars to hold leftover food. o Reuse boxes. o Purchase refillable pens and pencils. o Participate in a paint collection and reuse program. o Donate extras to people you know or to charity instead of throwing them away. o Reuse grocery bags as trash bags. • Recycle: o Recycle paper, plastic, glass bottles, cardboard, and aluminum cans. If your community does not collect at the curb, take them to a collection center. o Recycle electronics. o Recycle used motor oil o Compost food scraps, grass and other yard clippings, and dead plants. o Close the loop - buy recycled products and products that use recycled packaging. That is what makes recycling economically possible.
Things you can do at work
Reduce energy use • Use Energy Star’s energy-efficient office products. • Make sure that you turn on the energy saving features. • Turn off your computer monitor, non-network printers and the lights when they are not being used. • If possible, take the stairs instead of using the escalator. • Use high-efficiency lighting or natural light. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle office products • Buy recycled content, remanufactured, and recyclable office products, and recycle them when appropriate (including e-cycling electronics). Buy recycled paper and recycle it again. • Clean out Your Files and recycle papers you no longer need. • Use spell check and proof read before you print or copy. Print double sided whenever possible. Minimize the amount of paper you use. • Buy reusable office supplies instead of disposable supplies. • Set up an area to store and exchange reusable office supplies, such as binders. • Recycle fluorescent bulbs properly to prevent hazardous mercury from entering the environment.
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