Now is the time to go green and take care of the Earth. It doesn’t always take major lifestyle overhauls. Even small changes can add up, having a massive impact, not only for our own communities, but for the entire planet.
Here are some ways you can focus on small efforts that will, in turn, have big impacts:
Imagine if every New Yorker recycled just 1 aluminum can this year. That’d be almost 20 million cans, or about 322 tons of aluminum. Conserving 322 tons of aluminum is the equivalent to saving nearly 397,348 gallons of gasoline. Now imagine if you recycled ALL your aluminum cans.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a wonderful infographic with all kinds of information on how recycling saves. Take a look:
We all know that biking to work, or taking public transportation (e.g., bus, subway), is a great way to cut down on pollution. But you can also cut down on emissions by “what you drive, how you drive, and what fuel you use….” According to the EPA, US consumers have saved more than $28 billion dollars by purchasing new vehicles with better fuel economy and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. (2) Here are a few links to help you save on transportation costs, while saving the planet:
- FuelEconomy.gov – A great site that lists all the fuel economy (MPG) ratings for just about every make and model car you can imagine. A great resource in choosing your next car.
- EPA.gov/greenvehicles – This site from the EPA has all kinds of information about how to “make transportation greener.”
- Airnow.gov – This site lists the air quality forecasts across the country. This is a great site you can use to help determine when you should avoid driving due to a poor air quality index.
Do you know where you use the most water at your house? You may be surprised to know that the toilet and washing machine make up almost half of your water usage. Showers, faucets, leaks, and lawns make up most of the rest of the nearly 300 gallons of water that American families use each day. (3)
So what can you do to make a difference and reduce water usage? Here are some tips:
- Adjust the height of your mower (making it taller) to leave grass a little longer.
- Water during the evening or night to reduce water evaporation during the heat of the day.
- Water every other day (or less, depending on your municipal requirements/instructions).
- Turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth.
- Take shorter showers.
- Wait to do the laundry until there’s a full load.
- Repair leaks as soon as you notice them.
Doing small things—like turning off your facet when brushing your teeth—can make a big impact on your community, and even save you a little money in the process.
- Recycling Statistics
- Google Public Data – New York population – http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=kf7tgg1uo9ude_#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=population&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=state:36000&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en_US&ind=false
- RecycleUseInc.com – 31 cans equals 1 lbs – http://recycleusainc.com/aluminium-cans/how-many-aluminum-cans-equal-1-pound/
- EPA.gov – 1 ton of recycled aluminum cans conserves 1,234 gallons of gasoline – https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/advncng_smm_infogrphc.pdf