On Dreamland, prophet John Hogue says the election motto for 2008 will be, "It's the ECOLOGY, stupid." Want to begin to be more environmentally friendly in 2008 but can't afford a hybrid car? There are plenty of other ways to lessen your impact on the environment and go green.
Environmentalist Matt Malten says, "Focus on reducing your energy and water consumption and your waste generation, and you'll be on your way to reducing your footprint on the planet." How to do this? Use fluorescent light bulbs. They're more expensive to buy but you could save up to 30% on your energy bill. Malten says, "According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, they use about 7% less energy than incandescents and last 10 times longer. This, on average, results in $30 savings for the life of the bulb."
Another important thing to do is to keep your car in excellent condition. Of course, it's best to walk, bicycle, carpool or use mass transit for your daily commuting, but for those who must use their own vehicles, improving even the most inefficient of cars' fuel mileage is as easy as keeping your tires properly inflated and changing your oil and air filters regularly. Your car burns less fuel when you drive slowly and obey the speed limit on highways.
Make sure your dishwasher and clothes washer and dryer are full before using them. These appliances consume large amounts of energy, so reduce their use as much as possible by only running them with full loads. And if you're in the market for new appliances or other electronics, look for the Energy Star label to purchase the most energy efficient models available. Malten says, "These appliances have been certified by a rigorous third-party review. In addition to saving energy and water consumption, they also will save consumers money."
Wash clothes in cold water. Skip the bottled water. Take your own bags to the store and if you always bring food home from a restaurant, take your own leftover containers there. Buy items with less packaging.
Support local farmers (shop at your local farmers market). Food grown or produced halfway around the world didn't just appear in the supermarket?it was shipped by plane, boat, truck or rail, with greenhouse gases emitted along the way.
Plant a tree. Just one tree can offset tons of carbon over its lifetime.
When you need an item, try to buy it used, by shopping on Ebay or in the classified section of your newspaper.
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Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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