Saturday, March 8, 2008

Simple Steps to Leaving a Lighter Footprint

As global warming becomes more of an issue, whether you agree that it exists or not, changes need to occur in order to preserve Mother Earth for future generations. Here are a few simple ways to make changes in your daily life that will make a difference.

*Carpool: transportation consumes about 25% of the total energy used in the United States (source)
By sharing a ride to work, extracurricular activities, or running errands you can help reduce the amount of emissions being blasted into the air

*Keep your vehicle properly maintained
A well running vehicle reduces gas use, thus reducing emissions

*Switch to environmental friendly cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice

*Bring your own shopping bags: reuse the plastic ones or there are many reusable cloth bags, many which are available for purchase at your local grocery store

*Replace just 1 roll of toilet paper cut from ancient forests with 1 roll of recycled toilet paper

*Buy organic when ever possible: this means not just food items. Studies have shown that many cotton fabrics have been treated with pesticides during the growing process.

*Sign up for paperless billing: this option is available for almost all of your bills. Also, most banks have an option for online bill pay. This not only reduces the amount of paper used, but can help avoid identity theft.

*Use a water filter for your home instead of buying bottled water.
"Bottled water costs more fossil fuels to transport than tap water, and i
t also takes 1.5 million barrels of oil each year to create enough polyethylene terephthalate plastic to make the bottles" (source)

*Create your own compost: is great for reducing the amount of organic garbage thrown out and supplies some wonderful topsoil for your garden.

*Contact your local waste removal facility, many offer curbside recycle programs that are free

*Last but not least, remember the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

There are a multitude of little steps we can take to minimize our impact on this planet. I have barely scratched the surface. By performing even the simplest of these tasks we are making a difference. Leading by example will show our children, our friends, and our neighbors that one person can make a difference, and together we can transform the world.

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