Friday, August 1, 2008

A little of this and that ...

Here are a few hints, tips and interesting facts:

Make reusable tote bags from quilting and sewing scraps.

Did you know ... According to Food and Water Watch, the average American uses 1,190.5 gallons of H2O a day (spent on energy, cleaning and eating).

Take fewer left turns ... UPS has been using this trick for years. Stopping to turn left takes longer and wastes more gas than turning right. UPS estimates that in 2007, it saved more than 3 million gallons of fuel and reduced it trucks' CO2 emissions by the equivalent of taking 5,300 cars off the road, just by route planning with right turns in mind.

The healthiest foods don't come in a wrapper.

Like picnics? Keep them eco-friendly by bringing along cloth napkins and your own beverage containers. Instead of using plastic utensils, check your local secondhand stores for inexpensive silverware.

Try making your trash can the smallest bin in your house, putting everything allowable into your recycling and compost bins.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Climbing stairs burns up to ten times more calories than standing in an elevator. Depending on type, capacity and usage, an elevator's yearly energy use can equal that of seven homes. The average person squanders as many as 62 minutes a day waiting (in elevators, traffic, lines).

If all Americans viewed and paid bills online, we could keep 18.5 million trees growing each year. And an added benefit: people who bank online reduce their chances of identity theft by up to 10% since there's no paper trail.

Washing and drying less often keeps your clothes looking newer, longer. Petrochemicals in conventional laundry detergents can harm fish and human health after they go down the drain, so the less we use, the better. A load of laundry costs about $1.50 to do at home - with the price of gas these days, it all adds up.

You can decrease your dryer's energy usage by up to 30% just by cleaning the lint filter (clogged ducts resulting from lint buildup reduce its efficiency). Cleaning out your lint filter could save you up to $40 per year in energy costs. An added benefit: prevent dryer fires which usually start as a result of lint blocking the exhaust duct.

As always, I would love to hear your ideas for reducing, reusing and recycling. Just click on the comments link, located at the bottom of each post, and let me know what you think and how you conserve.