This presentation was given by Doug Krueger at our October Freethinker Meeting. It is based largely on Ed Begley, Jr.'s books _Living Like Ed_ and _Ed Begley, Jr.'s Guide to Sustainable Living_.
10 Tips For Living Greener
1. Change the Filters!
Replace heating/cooling filters every 30-60 days, and clean washer and dryer filters with each use. Clogged filters make the appliance use much more energy.
2. Use Energy-Saving Lightbulbs
Compact Flouresent Bulbs (CFL's) use 1/4 the energy of regular bulbs. LED bulbs use even less energy. Each CFL bulb could save you $30 during its lifetime.
3. Reduce Car Use
Cars use a lot of energy. If you can walk instead, do so. When you can't walk, bicycle. When you can't bicycle, take public transportation. When you can't do that, take an electric or hybrid car.
4. Turn It Off!
Turn off or unplug electronic devices when they are not in use. “Stand-by" energy can account for as much as 20% of a home's power use. Use a power strip/surge protector to turn off many at one time.
It takes less energy to “mine” the streets of America for material to make various products than it takes to mine the Earth for ores or wood overseas and transport the material to factories. Also, buy products made of recycled material when you find them available. Fayetteville has a good recycling center as well as a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Center.
6. Start a Food Garden
Transportation of food makes many otherwise cheap and nutritious foods environmentally unfriendly compared to food grown in your own backyard. What you don't grow, buy from local growers when possible.
7. Cook Wisely
Cooking can use a lot of energy. When you can, eat raw foods such as fruits and vegetables. When you cook, use a solar oven (if you have one). If you don't have one, cook with electric power. Last choice: cook with natural gas. Don't cook with charcoal if you can avoid it.
8. Eat Less Meat
More that 1/3 of all fossil fuels produced in the United States go towards animal agriculture. According to one study, the production of one calorie of animal protein requires more than ten times as much fossil fuel as a calorie of plant protein. Spome people go vegetarian, or vegan, but everyone can at least cut down the consumption of meat.
Almost half of the average home's energy consumption is used for heating.
Insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs. Fiberglass is not eco-friendly. When you insulate, prefer cellulose—often made of 80-85% recycled newspaper, or cotton/denim, made of 80% recycled denim. An Arkansas company even has insulation made partly of soy. (BioBased Insulation®) And don't leave your house half-caulked!
10. Bottle Your Own Water!
The U.S. consumes 1500 plastic water bottles every 1 second! 50 billion bottles of water are bought each year in the U.S., and 80% end up in a landfill. 17 million barrels of oil are used in producing U.S. bottled water each year. Green tip: filter your own tap water and use a reusable water bottle. Doh!
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Paint your body green....use non-aerosol paint.
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