Don’t Let The Machine Get It

Good Morning!

Instead of investing in an answering machine, use voicemail.

Like power plants mean less emissions than everyone running a personal fossil fuel-based generator, centralizing voice mail requires less electricity.  If all answering machines in the U.S. were replaced with voicemail, we’d save nearly 2 billion kiowatt-hours.  That adds up to 250,000 cars taken off the road.

When answering machines break, become outdated or are no longer needed, many people just toss them in the trash.  This contributes to the growing glut of e-waste in landfills.

Insulate Your Pipes

Good Morning!

You can reduce energy loss by making sure your pipes are properly insulated.  Insulation decreases the chance your pipes will freeze and it cuts down on sweating which causes mold to grow.

Check to see if your pipes are warm to the touch.  If they are, the pipes are a good candidate for insulation.  You can find pre-slit pipe foam at most hardware and do-it-yourself stores.  Cut it to size and fasten it around the pipes with duct tape.  

Make sure your pipes are clean before you cover them, and don’t compress the insulation too much, because it will not work as well.

Leave It To The Pros

Good Morning!

Use a commercial car wash when you can.  Professional car washes use about 45 gallons of water per car, while doing it yourself will waste between 80 and 140 gallons.  Also, federal law requires car washes to drain their waste water into the sewer, while at home it runs across land.

If you choose to clean your own vehicle, check out waterless products like Eco Touch.  Many are non-toxic, biodegradable and chemical-free.  Just spray on, wipe and buff with a clean towel.

Turn Off The Tap

Good Morning!

When you aren’t using the water, turn it off.  

Many times everyday, we leave the tap running while brushing our teeth, rinsing the dishes or getting a cold drink.  The EPA reports the average bathroom faucet moves about two gallons of water a minute.  You can slow that down by getting a low-flow faucet.

Just turning off the tap while brushing your teeth and shave will save up to eight gallons of water a day.

Other tips: rinse soapy hands for 15 seconds to kill germs, scrape rather than rinse dishes, and soak your veggies before a quick rinse.

Empty The Toothpaste Before Tossing It Out

Good Morning!

Before tossing your old toothpaste tube, make sure it’s completely empty.  

You won’t waste money on something you already have and you’ll cut down on waste going to the landfill.

Try cutting your toothpaste bottle in half or adding water to it.  Another option, warm it up in the shower.  The heat will make the product softer and easier to get out.

Park It

When picking up food, going to the bank or filling a prescription, park your car and walk inside.

Every minute you idle in the drive-thru, you burn about 18 cents in gas.  Multiply that by the average three minute wait at a drive-thru, and that means America idles for about one billion minutes in front of Burger King alone.

Parking your car lets you get out and stretch your legs.  Plus, you can throw away trash and won’t be tempted to toss it out the window later.

Don’t Rush It

Good Morning!

Choose ground transportation instead of rush delivery for your mailing needs.

It’s easy to forget about birthdays or that mortgage payment, but avoid overnight shipping at all costs.  It burns the most fuel per item shipped, and is six time less efficient that ground shipping.

Planes release greenhouse gasses high in the atmosphere, where they do more damage than those emitted at ground level.  

Avoiding overnight delivery will also save you on that hefty price tag.

Download With The Cool Kids

Good Morning!

Instead of getting software from the store, download it from the provider.  You’ll save resources, along with time and fuel.

CDs are made from non-renewable petroleum products and are difficult to recycle.  They are placed in jewel cases and stuffed into boxes with manuals wrapped in more plastic.  ElectronicReports.com reveals more than 1 billion unwanted computer discs are tossed in the trash each year.

Downloading your software online also means you won’t have to drive to the store and the manufacturers won’t have to ship the product.

Reuse Your Mug

Good Morning!

Cut down on waste and toxic chemicals by grabbing a reusable mug.  

Buying a cup of coffee a day in the disposable containers means you are generating about 22 pounds of waste per year.  Plus, those cups take hundreds of years to break down, as they are made from non-renewable petroleum. 

Cups made from paper products are easier on the environment, but result in destructive deforestation.  Even recycled paper ones require considerable energy to produce and distribute.

The best options are ceramic or glass containers.  Plastics can leach out small amounts of potentially toxic chemicals over time.  If you are worried about breaking the container, opt for stainless steel.

Planting Now Saves In The Summer

Good Morning!

Summer is over, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to think about next year’s cooling costs.

Planting a shade tree can reduce the need for air conditioning between 7 and 40%.  Trees also raise property value and provide other great benefits.

Best results come from planting them to the west and southwest of your home.  Deciduous trees are probably your best bet, as they block sunlight in the summer but let it in during the chilly winter months.  Landcapers say the fall and spring are the best times to plant.

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