Archive for September, 2009
Only 3% of the Earth’s water is freshwater and of this small percentage, only 30% is unfrozen. What does this mean for you? Take good care of our freshwater sources—protect them from sediments (like sand) and other non-point source pollutants like motor-oil, gasoline drips, garbage, animal waste, fertilizers and pesticides. Do your part by clearing out storm drains, use natural fertilizers in responsible amounts and keep your car in great working condition.
In a study organized by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, research showed that houseplants remove not only carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but also other harmful elements like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. Many of these harmful elements are found in building supplies, cleaning products, paint, varnishes and some cleaning products. Using multiple varieties of houseplants will provide the best benefit. Here are some excellent houseplants to fill up your living space:
- Oxycardium (Philodendron scandens)
- Elephant ear (Philodendron domesticum)
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Hate washing dishes by hand and love using your dishwasher? The good news is that dishwashers built after 1994 use on average 7-10 gallons of water per cycle compared to 15.7 gallons when dishes were washed by hand. Remember to only run your dishwasher when it is completely full and try not to run the rinse cycle in-between washes. Use a phosphate and chlorine-free dishwashing detergent. If you are updating your dishwasher soon, look to purchase an Energy-star model.
Remember the first two R’s! You all know that common phrase—reduce, reuse, recycle—but sometimes it’s easy to focus only on recycling. When cabin fever cleaning, remember to think of how items can possibly be reused at your business or living area. If you can’t find another use for it, then donate it to a charitable organization in the community.
Do you have old batteries, cell phones or ink cartridges lying around? Prevent these old, unwanted devices from going to the landfill by recycling them. About 130 million cell phones are retired each year—that adds up to a lot of waste! Some non-profits recycle cell phones by passing them along to individuals or families in need.
Like your java during the morning, afternoon or evening? Invest in a reusable cup to both reduce your waste and keep that steaming beverage warmer longer. At some coffee shops, discounts are given when you bring your own cup.
Don’t forget to turn the lights out when you leave a room and remember to unplug those electric appliances like televisions, radios and computers, too. Even though these devices are turned “off,” they still use up a small amount of energy. This small amount adds up over time. Adding a power strip with an “on/off” switch can make this change easier to remember.
Working out? Playing sports this fall? Then you know how important it is to stay hydrated.
New American Dream reminds you that you can keep up the fluids without bottled water. Just fill your own container with water from the tap. You’ll save money and practice your environmental commitments.
Visit the Lake Superior Harvest Festival and Energy Fair, this Saturday, September 12, at Bayfront Park in Duluth.