Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Thoughts

Did you know that widening the margin default on printed documents from 1 inch to ¾ inch will save MANY, MANY trees? Check it out. I heard about this go green initiative on WBUR this morning. It was a great story about a bunch of 4th graders who visited the Massachusetts State House to lobby the Governor to widen the margins on all official state documents.

Did you know that ceiling fans consume as little energy as a 60-watt bulb-which is about 98% less energy than most central air conditioners use? And ceiling fans can save energy in the winter as well as the summer. The secret: running their motors in reverse (there should be a switch on your fan). This pushes warm air caught near the ceiling down to where you can feel it.

Did you know that the average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons per minute? Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth in the morning and at bedtime can save up to 8 gallons of water per day, which equals 240 gallons a month!

Did you know Americans throw away 44 million newspapers everyday? That’s the same as dumping 500,000 trees into landfills each week.

Did you know that recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to make the material from scratch? That means you can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make one can out of new material. Energy savings in 1993 alone were enough to light a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.

Did you know that glass never wears out? It can be recycled forever. We save over a ton of resources for every ton of glass recycled -- 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone, and 151 pounds of feldspar.

Did you know that we could keep 200 million pounds of plastic out of landfills every year if every American household recycled just one out of every ten HDPE bottles they used?

Did you know that Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam cups every year, enough to circle the earth 436 times.

Did you that the average American will throw away 600 times her/his adult weight in garbage during her/his lifetime.. If you add it up, this means that a 150-lb. adult will leave a legacy of 90,000 lbs of trash for her/his children.

Earth Day is almost over. So...maybe tomorrow, we can use tupperware instead of ziploc baggies for our children's lunches; reuse a plastic shopping bag as a trash can liner; remember to rinse out the empty milk container and put it in the recycling bin; carpool, take public transportation, or ride a bike to work (or to lunch, if you go out with a group); drink water or coffee or whatever you're drinking out of a reusable cup (rather than one made from paper or styrofoam); turn the lights off when we leave a room; read documents and emails on your screen instead of printing then reading; widen our margins if we simply must print; and plant a tree if you have the time...maybe you can just hug one if you're too busy for gardening.

Happy Day, Earth!

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