Here is an article I ran across and thought it was good information. My comments showing my hubby and I’s status on these 11 things are in red. Have you done any of these things to shrink your carbon foot-print? If so, tell me about them.
11 Ways to Be an Earth-Friendly Couple
By Alonna Friedman
Here are a few new weekend projects for you as a duo: Embark on some (or even just one) of these simple Earth-saving strategies -- you can both feel that you're helping those future generations your parents and in-laws keep talking about!
The goal here is to limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which are the big offenders in the global-warming crisis.
Change your light bulbs. We're sure you've heard this before -- and we know it's tempting to buy the four-pack of bulbs for $2 -- but compact fluorescent bulbs use two-thirds less energy and last 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.
If Americans replaced just one bulb in their home, it would save enough energy to light 2.5 million homes in one year and prevent an amount of greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of 800,000 cars.
Hubby and I have done this in the three lamps that are used the most. Need to find and buy bulbs for four ceiling fans.
Bring your own mug to Starbucks. You'll get a 10-cent discount, and it's one less paper cup to end up in a landfill. While you're there, pick up some free bags of spent coffee grounds to use as "green" fertilizer in your garden.
The store won't create more waste when they throw away a cup, and you can start growing carbon dioxide-eating plants au naturale.
Hubby and I do not visit these type of specialty stores but once or twice a year. No help here from us.
Save water. Run the dishwasher only when it's full, and don't pre-rinse dishes (a waste of time, water, and energy). But the real water drain is the shower -- take shorter ones (and take them together!).
By skipping pre-rinse, you'll save 200 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released and $40 a year. And by taking shorter showers, you'll conserve 350 pounds of CO2 and keep about $100 in your pocket each year.
Look into low-flow shower heads. They still have great pressure but conserve gallons of water from each shower.
I try not to pre-rinse dishes, but living in a rural area with crappy water pressure for the dishwasher, they don’t always come clean. The dishwasher is always ran full. I also have quit doing small loads of laundry. The washer is now full anytime it’s ran. We do have a valve on shower head, so it can be shut off while shampooing, shaving, or soaping to save water.
Turn off your computer. When in standby mode, your PC is still using energy. In fact, 75 percent of electricity used in your home comes from electronics that are turned off. Stop this phantom electro rush by plugging your computer into a power strip and shutting down completely at the end of the day. Also, remove your iPod, digital camera, and phone chargers from outlets when not in use.
Turning off a 75-watt monitor for 40 hours a week might only save $4.38 a month, but it reduces CO2 (greenhouse gas emissions) by 750 pounds, burning 450 fewer pounds of coal each year!
We have two laptops and one desk computer. They are always off unless they are being used. :)
Cancel catalogs. Many of us have a steady flow of unwanted and unsolicited junk mail, catalogs, and magazines. Let's say everyone in New York City received 10 a month: That would make 240,248 tons of paper waste! Call 888-5-OPTOUT or get off the lists at NewDream.org. Make sure to recycle what you do receive. Find out where to recycle in your area at Earth911.org.
Less energy is spent on creating paper (which kills trees we need) and less trash is created when we can reuse products. The immediate return? Less clutter at home!
Our Pledge for 2008: We will recycle junk mail, magazines and newspapers. 2007 Pledge: We no longer will buy & use paper plates, plastic cups or paper napkins.
Reuse plastic bags. Instead of chucking 100 billion plastic sacks a year (wow!), try and get a second, third, or tenth use out of them. Tote your lunch to work or your groceries home, or at least use them as garbage bags. Better yet, next time you shop, try a reusable bag. Learn how at ReusableBags.com.
You're reducing pollution. The amount of oil it would take to make just 14 plastic bags would run your car for one mile.
Our Pledge for 2008: 4 re-usable shopping bags have been purchased and will be deligently used. 2007 Pledge: Re-use all plastic shopping bags for trash can liners.
Green your car. The next time you're in the market for a new car, check out an eco option like a hybrid model -- whatever you do, don't get an SUV. In the meantime, take care of your current ride with regular tune-ups and properly inflated tires.
Driving a 13-mile-per-gallon SUV wastes more energy in one year than if you left your refrigerator door open for six years! Getting regular tune-ups, performing maintenance, and having clean air filters will help you burn less gas and therefore pollute the air less. And properly inflated tires could save around 2 billion gallons of gas each year.
Not feasible at this time.
Use recycled paper...in the bathroom. Most of the TP we use is made from virgin trees found in forests previously untouched by humans. Seeing as trees absorb carbon dioxide, we'd get better use from them living than we would as a roll in the powder room.
If every household in America replaced one roll of toilet paper with a recycled post-consumer waste roll, 424,000 trees would still be standing. Look for eco paper towels and napkins too. If every household used recycled napkins, we would spare one million trees.
That’s a lot of saved trees! Hopefully more TP companies will start using recycled materials for their products.
Our Pledge for 2008: Will look into the brands further for more information and try to purchase greener products.
Buy energy-efficient appliances. The old fridge conked out. Great! Replace it with an Energy Star appliance (EnergyStar.gov) and you'll use at least 15 percent less energy and water in your home. It might be a little pricier to buy, but you'll be saving money on your utility bills and helping the environment.
If we all installed one Energy Star appliance, it would be like planting 1.7 million acres of new trees.
I thought ALL appliances made in the last ten years were energy star? I guess I took this for granted, but all our appliances are energy star.
Plant a tree. Adding green to your garden is aesthetically -- and earth -- pleasing.
Just one tree (native to your region) will help make cleaner air and save the environment from 5,000 pounds of hot carbon dioxide each year.
Pledge for 2008: Plant 12 trees on our property. 2007 Pledge: Plant twelve trees. We actually planted around 48 trees, but only about 12-15 survived the winter.
Give and voice your support. Contribute or volunteer with the green organization of your choice. And tell a friend to do the same. Some we like: OnePercentForThePlanet.org, SaveOurEnvironment.org, SierraClub.org, and ConservationFund.org. Sign the "Emissions Petition" at EnvironmentalDefense.org, and send the message to your local government representatives that you want to undo global warming.
Together time. Oh, and feeling like you're doing something about this Earth-destroying epidemic.
Will check into these organizations. No 2008 Pledge will be made at this time.