Tomorrow, April 22nd, is Earth Day and all of us here at NCES are very excited. In order for us to be healthy, our planet has to be healthy. Earth Day is a great opportunity to begin celebrating Mother Earth and brainstorming ways to keep her healthy. Have you jumped on board yet? Here are 6 ways that many Americans have started ‘Thinking Green’ to conserve our planet (Courtesy Readers Digest).
Green Driving: Roughly 1.5 million hybrid cars were sold in the US between 2004 and 2009. Most of us drive our vehicles on a daily basis. So, this is a great place to start.
Turn off the Lights: 1 in 2.17 adults claim they always keep unneeded lights off or turn the lights off when leaving a room. Not only does turning off the unused lights help save the planet, it will also have a direct impact on your electric bill.
Recycle, Reduce, Reuse: 1 in 2.38 adults claim they always recycle. But, 1 in 20 admit they never recycle. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling creates jobs, reduces pollution, energy use, and conserves national resources. Many cities are currently offering new programs to encourage residents to recycle. Check with your city to see what you can do today.
Trash Can: The average American produces 1,600 pounds of garbage a year. 1 in 3.7 adults claim they always reuse things instead of throwing them away or buying new items. But, 1 in 25 admit to never reusing things. Garbage is sitting in landfills all across this country. By reducing our personal trash, we can reduce the size of these landfills.
Running Water: 1 in 3.85 adults claim they always make an effort to use less water. However, 1 in 16.67 admit they never make an effort to conserve water. The average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water a day. You may be asking; if water is constantly recycled through Earth’s water cycle, why do we need to conserve it? The truth is that we currently use water faster than it can be replenished. So, conserving water eases the burden on treatment facilities, uses less resources and energy and costs us less.
Vampire Power: 1 in 6.25 adults claim they always make an effort to unplug electrical appliances when not using them. However, 1 in 6.67admit they never make such an effort. The electricity used by appliances plugged in but not in use is estimated to account for 1% of global C02 emissions. Where do you start? Begin by unplugging the items around your house that you don’t use often. For example, you may only use your toaster once every couple weeks. Therefore, it doesn’t need to be plugged in 24/7. This is also a good rule of thumb for your home printer, if you don’t use it often.
Now that we have discussed the 6 things you can do to start being green around your house, let’s discuss a few things you can do to in order to start ‘Eating Green’. Eating Green is not only great for the planet but is great for our bodies as well . Some things you can do to eat green include:
- Buying local food items, including fruits, vegetables and meat.
- Using natural food products in your recipes.
- Plant your own garden, any size is great.
- Pack your own lunch
- Avoid processed foods
There are many great resources available to help you begin ‘Living Green’. For a full list of NCES products to get you started visit our ‘Green Products’ section. Also, check out this Earth Day video created to encourage everyone to begin considering our planet when making decisions.