Little things make a BIG difference

Everyone is talking about being environmentally friendly these days. But oftentimes, convenience wins. It’s hard to understand just how much of an impact one person makes. Did you know that if you eliminate plastic bags, plastic utensils, disposable containers, paper napkins and brown paper bags from your lunch ritual, you could save $250 a year! Not to mention, converting to a reusable lunchbox, reusable drink containers, cloth napkins and real silverware would eliminate more than 60 pounds of waste each year; and that is just from you!

Here are a few more fascinating tidbits from the green book: The EVERYDAY GUIDE to SAVING THE PLANET ONE SIMPLE STEP at a TIME, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen, that will hopefully make you think twice about some everyday practices.

  • Take a shorter shower. If you can hop out of the shower two minutes sooner each time, you can conserve more than 10 gallons of water. If everyone saved just a half-gallon a day, in one year it would add up to the amount of freshwater drawn daily from our largest source, the Great Lakes.
  • Unplug it when it’s off. Even though you pulled your cell phone off the charger this morning, that charger you left plugged into the wall is burning energy. Appliances and communication devices that are turned off account for 10 percent of the electricity used in most homes. If Americans would pull the plug when they were done charging their computers and cell phones each day, we’d save more than $100 million collectively. That could provide free health care to every low-income child under five in all of California!
  • Recycle. Yeah, you’ve heard it before. But did you know that by simply tossing paper, plastic, glass and aluminum products in a separate recycle bin, Americans could reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by 75 percent!

According to the green book, “Americans use at least twice as much water and energy per person as anyone else in the world.” With a scarcity of both, wouldn’t it feel good to know that you are doing your part to lessen the problem? These small steps don’t require a lot of effort but they can make a BIG impact.

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