13 Simple Ways To Take Better Care Of The Planet by Jane Thurnell-Read
Here are 13 simple ways to take better care of the planet. They could save you money too:
- Growing plants remove benzene, formaldehyde and ammonia from the environment. Visit PlantsAtWork to learn more.
- Recycle obsolete computers. In the UK contact Computers For Charity.
- Don’t wear shoes when you drive. The UK Environmental Transport Association says that driving without shoes can save fuel, as the foot is much more sensitive on the accelerator.
- Join Free Cycle and give and get free stuff.
- Eat more vegetarian meals. Cows, sheep and goats produce methane, one of the main greenhouse gases.
- Visit Junkk.com to find wonderful things you can do with junk.
- Recycle cell phones. Mobile phones contain valuable minerals such as silver, which can be extracted and re-used. Some also contain substances toxic substances such as cadmium that need proper disposal. Components such as SIM cards, plastic housing and speakers may be reused. Many charities recycle cell phones to increase funds. (e.g. UK and USA)
- Don’t leave appliances on the standby mode. Did you know that leaving a microwave on standby means it uses more electricity that way than it does to heat your food? A paper published by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy outlines research in Florida, California, and Japan, and found that standby power accounted for as much as 10% of household power consumption. It has been estimated that powering a computer monitor accounts for 80 per cent of a computer's energy consumption and contributes to a third of the electricity used in a modern office. So turn off your microwave oven, televisions, videos and computers when they are not in use.
- Buy more local food. It hasn’t travelled so far, and it’s often fresher and may have used less chemicals in its production. Read about the 100-mile diet.
- According to the UK Energy Saving Trust turning your heating thermostat down by 1ºC could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent.
- Drive slower – it’s safer too. Driving at 80 mph (129 kph) rather than 70 mph (112kph) uses 10-15% more fuel. (Energy Saving Trust)
- Cell phone chargers use power whether or not they are in use. According to the UK Times newspaper if every household in the UK left one mobile charger plugged in for a whole year, this is equivalent to the total electricity needs of 66,000 households for a year. (Times July 8th 2006)
- Use energy saving light bulbs. The UK Energy Saving Trust estimate that in most homes, lighting accounts for around 10-15% of the electricity bill. Traditional bulbs waste a lot of their energy by turning it into heat. Each energy saving bulb can reduce your electricity bill by up to £9 [US$18] a year.
Take the ‘energy obesity quiz
’ from the UK Energy Saving Trust.