Car Related Tips
- Keeping your tires properly inflated boosts gas mileage by at least 3.3%.
- Driving 55 MPH uses 30% less fuel than driving 70 MPH.
- Each gallon of fuel saved, prevents 20 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere.
- Consider using biofuels if you own a diesel vehicle. Not only does it reduce emissions, it also eliminates cooking oil waste and provides an alternative to foreign oil.
- Switch your air filter to a reusable, high efficiency air filter to increase your miles per gallon and to reduce waste.
- Plan out your days so that your errands are close together, you save both time and reduce your fuel consumption.
House Related Tips
- Switching to the compact florescent bulbs, reduces energy consumption by 77% and could save you upwards of $68-92, depending on wattage, over the life of the bulb.
- Installing a programmable thermostat could reduce your heating and cooling expenses by $180 per year.
- Keeping the temperature at 78 degrees in the summer and 68 in the winter, can save as much as 7-10% per year in annual heating/cooling costs.
- Regularly change your home’s air filters, dirty filters can reduce efficiency by 20% and damage your heating/cooling equipment.
- Reuse your plastic shopping bags as garbage bags, to hold wet clothing, to clean-up after your dog or to go shopping with again. Better yet, buy reusable totes, which eliminate the need for the bags in the first place.
- Buying locally grow produce reduces carbon footprint and supports local businesses. Did you know, you do not have to look for local produce just in your grocery store? In Porter’s Neck on Wednesdays and in Downtown Wilmington on Saturdays, there are farmer’s markets, which offers a wide variety of locally grown products.
- Reduce your use of plastic water bottles by refilling them with filtered water from your home. Plastic is one of the largest space hogs in our landfills today and uses up non-renewable fossil fuel.
- Buy rechargeable batteries. Not only do you reduce waste, you are also helping the environment by preventing chemical leakage.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
- When running a bath, do not wait for the water to reach the correct temperature before plugging the tub, just adjust the hot water until the appropriate temperature is reached.
- Washing your clothes in cold water, reduces energy consumption.
- Begin composting fruit, vegetable and yard waste. Not only does this save landfill room, but it also provides you with a great fertilizer.
- Fill 3/4s of the way with soil, plant seeds and use as flower starter. Once seed have germinated, cut individual sections apart and transplant to garden. The paper will breakdown over time.
- Make a caterpillar. Cut through the middle length-wise, creating two separate strips with 6 cups each. Using 7 pipe cleaners, create antenna and legs, by lacing cleaners through the cups of the carton. Paint and/or decorate caterpillar body as desired.
- Use the blank side of mail, copy paper and bills to write your grocery list on or for your kids to draw on.
- Use them to make a piggy bank; see http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and- crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=12131 for detailed instructions.
- Fill the bottle with a little glitter, a few shells and 1/2 way with water and the rest of the way to the top with mineral water. Tightly screw on the top and tape, you have your own wave bottle!
- For even more fun ideas, go to FamilyFun.com.
Another way to get rid of items that you no longer need, but that are useful, is to donate them. Not only are you helping out others who may be less fortunate, reducing landfill usage, you can also benefit. Make sure you get a receipt and you can get a tax deduction!
- Find a local pet shelter by visiting Pets911.com. They can always use old towels, blankets, etc.
- NationalFurnitureBank.org takes your old furniture and gives it to disaster, low income or abuse victims.
- If you have old electronics including computers, game systems, cell phones and/or televisions; try WorldComputerExchange.org, Earth911.com, Cristina.org, ncadv.org, gamesforheroes.com or getwellgamers.com. Some electronics stores like BestBuy also will accept old electronics.
- Old clothes and shoes can find new wearers as well. Check-out DressForSuccess.org, DonateMyDress.org, bridesagainstbreastcancer.org, patagonia.com and 4souls.com.
- Used athletic/sports equipment and shoes can find new life at iLoveSchools.com, SportsGift.org, nikereuseashoe.com and oneworldrunning.blogspot.com.
- Your well read books can continued to be enjoyed if you send them to glpinc.org or ProjectNightNight.org. Libraries, Goodwill and Salvation Army stores will also generally gladly accept them.
- Tired of a movie? Check out KidFlicks.org. They give your movie DVDs to hospitals so the pediatric patients can enjoy.
- Not playing your flute, trumpet or clarinet anymore? Learn how your instrument can benefit a child at mhopus.org (Mr Holland’s Opus Foundation).
- Do you have a pair of eye glasses that are old fashioned or with an old prescription? People in Africa can still use them. Go to UniteForSight.org to learn more.
- Cars, trucks and other vehicles can be donated too. A number or large organizations will accept them Big Brothers & Big Sisters (bbbs.org), Habitat for Humanity (habitat.org), American Diabetes Association (diabetes.org) just to name a few.
Below are a number of websites which we thought might be of interest. If you have others that you enjoy, please send them to us.
- enviromom.com Great ideas on how to live green.
- greenandsave.com Helps to calculate savings associated with green home improvement projects.
- greenlivingtips.com A forum to obtain more ideas on how to live greener.
- greentoys.com A company that makes toys out of recycled plastic milk jugs.
- energy.gov Learn what the Department of Energy is trying to do and find additional resources that are available to you.
- terracycle.com A company that makes products out of food/product wrappers and donates money on your behalf for collecting.
- freecycle.org Find and give away usable items within your local area.
- ussif.org Provides information on socially responsible investment funds.
- recycleguys.org Information and activities on recycling targeted at kids and provided by NC.