This Earth Day, begin taking simple steps to line your pocket with a little more green. These resource-saving tips help give us a healthier environment, too:
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Reduce energy bills by 30 percent with Energy Star appliances and equipment. They can also help to cut electric lighting charges by 40 percent.
- Reduce the cost of water heating by 6 to 10 percent by setting the water-heater temperature to 120F degrees.
- Open blinds to let in sunlight rather than using electric lights.
- Improve your car’s fuel economy by easing up on the brakes and gas pedal, avoiding hard accelerations and reducing excess weight by removing unnecessary items from the trunk.
- Do not idle the car more than 30 seconds.
- Shop locally.
- Carpool with coworkers, go on group shopping trips with neighbors, use public transportation. Leaving your car at home for two days a week will reduce greenhouse emissions by about two tons annually.
Celebrate Earth Day at the Table
- Skip meat one day a week. Producing fruit and vegetables requires fewer resources and produces less greenhouse gas emissions than raising the animals for food.
- Bottled water costs thousands of times more than tap water—and doesn’t meet the EPA’s safety standards for tap water. Get a reusable water bottle (preferably stainless steel or glass) and use a pitcher with cups instead of ordering single-serving water bottles for business meetings.
- When grocery shopping, choose food that is less processed and that requires less packaging.
- Replace disposable serveware (forks/knives/spoons, dishes, cups) with “real” china and flatware.
Remember the Blue Bin
- Recycle your home’s newspaper, catalogs/magazines, cardboard, glass and metal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 850 pounds per year.
Track your progress with this online calculator that North Shore-LIJ employees are using for our Carbon Footprint Challenge. The health system has lowered its carbon footprint by more than 8 percent since 2010.
Come back on Friday to see how to help keep hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals from getting into your water supply.