5 Easy Ways to Keep it Green in 2013
I had a an exceptionally fun morning Christmas Day on the set of Good Day NY on FOX 5. I talked with Dave Price and Anna about keeping it green in 2013 . . .
1. Remember those reusable bags . . . because . . .
- Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures a year
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas and it’s floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It weighs 3.5 million tons and is 80% plastic
- If everyone in the United States tied their annual consumption of plastic bags together in a giant chain, the chain would reach around the Earth’s equator 776 times!
2. Get rid of vampires and phantoms . . . no, not Edward the dreamy teenage vampire . . .
An energy vampire or phantom load is the electricity consumed by an electronic appliance when it is turned off or on standby
- According to the Environmental Defense Fund, 65% of pollution attributed to global warming (or climate change) comes from generation of energy and its use
- 5 – 20% of our home electric bill comes from vampire or phantom energy use
Shed light on those vampires and expel them!
- get a ‘smart stip’ or two to help manage a lot of those electronics – I found this Tripp-Lite Eco-Surge one at my local electronics store, Lashen Electronics
- Understand your energy use – The US Department of Energy offers this tool to calculate your household energy use
3. Just say NO to bottled water
- National Geographic estimates that 17 million gallons of crude oil is used on an annual basis to produce plastic bottles.
- If you fill a water bottle ¼ of the way with oil, this is about how much oil is used to manufacture that one bottle!
- It is estimated by the Container Recycling Institute and ReusableBags.com that 22 billion water bottles end up in landfills every year.
- Although many plastic bottles are being recycled for good re-use as a variety of materials, National Geographic Kids states that only 1 in 6 plastic bottles makes it to the recycling bin!
- According to Environmental Working Group’s scientific study on bottled water vs. tap water, bottled water contains distinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue and pain medication
Check out Green Diva Mizar’s water purification systems, Pur2o!
4. Buy less, Recycle more
In general, I really want to just be more mindful about buying ‘stuff’ I may not really need – I’ve been on this kick for a couple of years and it saves money and reduces the amount of junk I need to throw out from packaging, etc. I always ask myself now, do I really need this or do I just want it . . . or, do I have something at home I can use instead.
- About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%!
- Recycle as much as you can
- Avoid buying things are excessively packaged
- Buy in bulk (food, cleaning products)
5. Get local/Eat Local
- Reduce carbon footprint by reducing “food miles”
- A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table
- Support local farmers – enjoy farmer’s markets
- Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) – find a CSA, farmer’s market or food coop near you – LocalHarvest.org
- Stimulate local economy
- patronize restaurants that buy from local farmers