Photo: Marty M. Ito (flickr)
With Earth Day right around the corner, A Moment of Science decided to learn how to better conserve natural resources. Try some of our tips and add your own in the comments section!
The Top 20:
- Make sure to use your clothes washer and dryer only when you have a full load. You could save 1,000 gallons of water/month!
- Water your lawn in the early morning when it is cooler and drier. Watering in mid-day, especially when it is hot and dry, leads to water evaporation. Watering in the evening can also work, but some lawn care experts say that can put your lawn at much higher risk for fungus and other grass ailments.
- Pick up some reusable cloth bags to use at your local grocery store. Say no to both, “paper” and “plastic!” It can take up to a thousand years for plastic bags to degrade. Paper bags (although recyclable), aren’t much better. In the US alone, approximately 14,000,000 trees are cut down each year to be made into paper bags.
- Replace your old light bulbs with energy-saving fluorescent; and LED bulbs. Sure, they may cost more money, but you will save on your energy bill in the future and they last longer. An LED light can be seventy-five percent more energy efficient than your old incandescent light bulbs and can last up to twenty-five times longer.
- Try shortening your shower by just a minute. You could save 150 gallons of water per month! And it’s not just water your shower uses. Running your shower for just 5 minutes is the energy equivalent of leaving a light on for 14 straight hours.
- Skip the dishwasher built-in dry option and simply air dry your dishes. Doing this conserves energy.
- Collect rainwater and save it to water your lawn. You can buy rainwater barrels at your local home improvement store or even make your own.
- Get rid of objects containing mercury in your home. They’re a health risk and harmful to the environment. Some cities have designated locations where you can easily turn in and recycle hazardous waste like mercury. You can look up which locations will take mercury (and also batteries and other hazardous waste objects) using Earth 911‘s recycling center search locater.
- Set your fridge between 36-38 F degrees and freezer to be between 0-5 F degrees.
- Eat no meat and animal products for one day a week. One study estimated that a quarter pound of beef is equal to approximately 460 gallons of water. Factor in the methane, as well as other greenhouse gay emissions of cattle, and the fossil fuels it took to get the beef to you. Even one day of being a vegetarian is good for your health and the Earth.
- UNPLUG unused appliances. Even when powered off, plugged-in appliances use electricity.
- Plant trees to shade your home. You can save money on air conditioning.
- Print double-sided. If possible, advocate to make your office or school paper-free.
- Buy used furniture and re-purpose it. You save money and trees (plus, create original furniture!)
- Close vents and doors in unused rooms to conserve heat.
- Buy a stylish ceramic mug for your daily cup of coffee instead of using a disposable cup. If you’re someone who buys a cup of coffee or tea in a disposable cup every day, your cups alone are an estimated 23 pounds of waste per year.
- Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket.
- Try a dimmer switch. They’re easy to install and save energy!
- Turn your computer off when you go to sleep. You’ll conserve energy.
- Make sure to inflate your tires properly. This preserves the life of the tires, creates a safer ride, and saves gas.
Make A Pledge
Check out the Earth Day website and make your green pledge and learn more ways to help the environment.
This post was updated in April 2017.