Wednesday, January 28, 2009

15 "Green" Tips, Hints and Interesting Facts

Here are some miscellaneous "green" tips, hints and interesting facts:
  1. According to the The Auto Channel, 147 million gallons of gas, each year, vaporize into the air due to loose, damaged or missing gas caps. Keep your fuel in the tank by making sure you screw the cap on tight.

  2. It's time to get out those cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, shampoos, toothpastes and mouthwashes and check the labels. 1,4-Dioxane is a known eye and respiratory tract irritant. It is suspected of causing damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys. The State of California, under proposition 65, listed 1,4-Dioxane as a chemical known to cause cancer on January 1, 1988. Like many solvents, it forms contamination plumes in groundwater when released to the environment. Groundwater supplies have been adversely impacted in several areas. But you won't find 1,4-Dioxane on the label ... instead look for names that include: myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth (and any other "eth"), PEG, polyethylene, polyoxyethylene or oxynol.

  3. Here's another good reason to look for products made out of recycled materials. According to the executive director of the Zero Waste Alliance, recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy than producing it from scratch. Recycling glass uses 31% less; newsprint, 45%; steel, 61%; and plastics, 57-71%.

  4. Thinking of a new TV? Those with the Energy Star label are up to 30% more energy efficient than others.

  5. Do you use flea collars on your pets? According to Pets for the Environment, they are a "source of constant toxic exposure for your pet and family. Instead, vacuum often and thoroughly, bathe your pet regularly, and ask your vet or local pet store about safer flea treatments and repellents." For more great Eco-friendly pet care tips, click HERE.

  6. Pat yourselves on the back. Accordingly to a 16-month survey conducted in 2007 by the research firm Mintel, 36% of adults regularly buy green products. That's an improvement of 12% over previous studies.

  7. Want to persuade your boss and co-workers to green up the office? Check out Ideal Bite's Top 10 Easiest Ways to Green your Office. They have a great list which can be printed out (on recycled paper, of course) and posted for all to see ... and hopefully act on.

  8. Here's a great idea ... help our bird friends stay warm all winter. Instead of tossing out dryer lint, put it in your yard. Birds will collect it and use it to cozy up their nests.

  9. Want to have a little fun? Host a green-cleaning party. Women's Voices for the Earth conceived the idea ... basically, people get together with glass jars and Eco-friendly ingredients and then ... they mix up everything from laundry detergent to furniture polish ... all environmentally safe. Check out their site for information and party kits (which are for sale) ... or ... click HERE for their favorite recipes and design your own party.

  10. Got the sniffles? Instead of using disposable tissues ... use a handkerchief.

  11. According to the EPA, Americans toss out 2 million tons of "e-waste" each year. That includes approximately 130,000 computers. Instead of sending them to a landfill, consider these ideas:

  • Donate computers and any peripherals to a nonprofit organization. Many will refurbish them for disadvantaged or disabled people.
  • Check with stores like Staples for recycling programs ... some offer credit towards another purchase.
  • Check with manufacturers ... some, like Dell and Apple, recycle their own brands for free. Others will take any brand when one of their own is purchased.
  • Another idea ... turn them in to a local Computer Recycling shop where usable components will be turned into new products.
  1. Each year, the average American throws away 68 pounds of clothing (from Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association). Think reduce, reuse and recycle instead.

  2. Replace one outside incandescent light ... yearly CO2 savings: 210 pounds. Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit ... yearly CO2 savings: 214 pounds. Wash clothes in cold water ... yearly CO2 savings: 327 pounds. Source: Rocky Mountain Institute.

  3. Interested in watching a short "green film"? Click HERE to watch dozens of them ... for free.

  4. Here's a unique recycling idea ... put your used green tea bags in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Use them as cleansing pads in the morning. The bag helps exfoliate skin gently and tea has anti-inflammatory properties which will help to reduce puffy skin on the face.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!