Practical Environmentalist

Mar 3, 2010

Dear All,

I bump into this website =) just like to share.

If you are interested in making the world a better place.. you could check you this link here

But if you are lazy to do so... kat bawah ni ada some of the important notes from the website for you to browse =)


1. Prevent energy leaks at home.

Check this out: Did you know that heating and cooling can make up to 50 percent of your energy bill each month? If you heat and cool your home more efficiently by fixing leaks, you’ll save money and reduce your impact on the environment.

2. Lower your home thermostats!

That’s right, thermostats, plural! Most people have their heater, hot water heater, and refrigerator thermostats set at unnecessary temperatures.

You could be saving money on energy costs and help the environment at the same time. It’s win-win, baby!

3. Switch as many bulbs as possible in your home to compact fluorescent bulbs.

Good news! Compact fluorescent bulbs are really going mainstream nowadays, which means they’re cheaper and easier to find than ever. That’s great, because the California Energy Commission reports that lighting can make up to 25 percent of the average home’s electricity consumption. When you switch your incandescent light bulbs to ultra efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, you’ll be making a big difference in your energy use.

4. Use a low-flow shower head.

You may associate a low-flow showerhead with one that reduces your shower to a frustrating trickle. Thankfully, technologies have improved so that you can enjoy a high pressure shower while saving water at the same time!

5. Compost!

Return your organic waste where it belongs: the soil! Rather than sending banana peels, grass clipping, etc. to the municipal dump, start a compost pile instead. If you recycle your yard and garden waste, you’ll reduce the amount of energy used to send this waste to the dump. Compost also makes your plants stronger and healthier, reducing the need for fertilizers and chemical .Need more info about the benefits of compost, how to compost, and what to compost? Check out our guide to garden compost for lots of tips.

6. Use drip irrigation systems in your garden.

Drip irrigation systems, also known as micro-irrigation systems, are designed to deliver water directly to your plants, with minimal waste. According to Colorado State University, drip irrigation systems are around 90 percent efficient, whereas traditional sprinkle systems are only around 50-70 percent efficient. The Colorado State University Extension Service has a great website on the benefits of setting up a drip irrigation system in your garden.

7. Plant trees in your yard and community.

Everyone knows that planting trees can help the environment. Trees sequester (trap) CO2 emissions, minimizing the effects of global warming. They also have many other beneficial effects. Trees cool your home, reducing the energy used for cooling. Trees improve mental health. Trees increase property values. Trees reduce urban runoff and capture dust particles from the air. Trees reduce noise pollution. The list goes on and on!

8. Go “mostly organic” in your lawn and garden.

Using organic gardening products and techniques is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. You don’t necessarily have to go 100 percent organic either. Try out a few organic pesticides or fertilizers and see what works for you! By going mostly organic in your garden, you’ll help to stimulate beneficial soil organisms, reduce harmful wastewater runoff, and create a healthier place for your pets and children to play.

9. Use a reel or electric lawn mower.

Today’s reel mowers are a far cry from the one your grandfather used. “Reel mowers are light, quiet, and virtually maintenance-free,” notes Hundley. The mowers are environmentally friendly, and also better for your grass. “Rotary mowers tear the grass — reel mowers cut grass like scissors, leaving a fine spray of clippings as mulch for your yard,” he explains. They do take some effort, but they aren’t any harder to push than an 80-pound gas mower that isn’t self-propelled.

10. Turn off lights and electronic devices when you’re not using them.

We all know it’s important to turn off the lights when you leave a room to save energy. How about turning off your T.V., radio, computer, etc.? We’re not talking about simply turning the off switch. Many electrical appliances continue to use a small amount of energy when turned “off.” This energy will add up over time.

So, we recommend connecting several appliances to one of those surge suppressing power outlet strips that has an on/off switch. When you leave for work in the morning, flip the switch and your devices will be completely turned off. Try that for a few months and see how much energy you save!

12. Fix water leaks in the bathroom, kitchen, landscaping, etc.

You know those tiny leaks you’ve been meaning to fix inside your house and in your landscaping? Guess what? That water loss adds up over time and can cost you big money. Not to mention all that wasted water! Protect our freshwater resources and save money by fixing those leaks!

13. Consider switching to a low-flow toilet.

Want to get extra fancy? Well, the EPA has a new WaterSense label for toilets that use even less water than a standard low-flow toilet. These models are based on extensive studies of fluid dynamics over the last several years, so they work, and they work well.

If you don’t switch to a low-flush toilet, you can also use low-tech methods like putting a brick or a small milk jug in the tank to reduce water use. You can also take this sage advice, “If you pee, leave it be, if you strain, pull the chain!”

14. Use ceiling fans to cool off in the summer.

If you use ceiling fans during hot summer days, you can create a cooling effect similar to “wind child.” A few ceiling or regular fans strategically placed in your home can reduce the amount of time you spend with the air conditioning on. There are even Energy Star certified ceiling fans out there that use even less energy than typical ceiling fans!

15. Use solar energy to dry your clothes!

Here’s something you can do that is easy, practical, and won’t cost a penny to implement. In fact, it will save you money! No matter where you live, the sun has to come out eventually. When it does, hang your clothes out to dry.

So, take advantage of this natural energy to dry your clothes! It may take you 10 extra minutes out of your day to hang up your clothes, but that’s a small price to pay in the long run.

Of course, there are days where drying outdoors on the line is not practical. That’s fine. Use your drier! Don’t feel guilty! However, you should read some of the suggestions on the Energy Star website about washing and drying clothes to make more efficient use out of your drier.

16. Invest in solar energy.

There are many ways to invest in solar energy. Unfortunately, some solar energy products for the home can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and have a payback period of a decade or longer.

However, there are lots of inexpensive solar gadgets out there you can try out. For example, solar-powered landscaping lights can help you reduce how much energy you get from the “grid.” How about solar cell phone chargers?

If you can afford it and you’re going to be living in the same spot for many years to get the payback, outfit your home with a few solar panels. Additionally, there are many forms of passive solar energy out there as well that can help you take advantage of the sun. See this U.S. Department of Energy website for more information about solar energy.

17. Rethink transportation.

This tip encompasses several different ideas. It involves a lot of thinking, some basic planning, and finally putting your plans into action. Yes, hybrids are great. Yes, biofuels are cool. Yes, using public transportation is important. Yes, you should get out and walk and use your bicycle more often.

However, don’t feel bad that you don’t make enough money to buy a fancy hybrid. Don’t feel bad that public transportation sucks in your city (as it does it mine!). Don’t feel bad that you had to take a job with an hour commute to make ends meet!

Even if you don’t buy a hybrid car, walking instead of driving to the grocery store is a great way to help the environment!

18. Use small, efficient devices to cook food.

You love to cook and you’ve got a big fat oven that you use to cook everything. Cool. But consider that toaster ovens, pressure cookers, crock pots, microwaves, and electric grills are efficient and won’t heat up your kitchen in the summer. Less heat, less energy to cool your home. On that note, bake lots of cookies and casseroles in your big fat oven in the winter! See this interesting website from the City of College Station about food cooking costs to help you decide what devices are best for you.

19. Use some Xeriscaping principles in the garden.

You may have heard about Xeriscaping from your friends who live in arid regions of the U.S. However, Xeriscaping is not just for those who live among cactus and sage brush. Xeriscaping simply means that you use water wisely in your garden and landscaping. Some concepts of Xeriscaping are: using efficient irrigation systems, using low-water use plants, reducing turfgrass, and creating thoughtful water-wise garden designs. Texas A&M has a great site about basic Xeriscaping principles.

20. Use some native plants in the garden.

Why grow native plants in your garden and landscaping? First off, native plants are better adapted to your area. This means that they require less maintenance and less water. They are also more resistant to pests and diseases. That translates to water savings and reduced use of pesticides and fertilizers. Additionally, native plants attract native wildlife and native beneficial insects. You don’t have to plant 100 percent natives to make a difference, consider just planting a few.

When you grow native plants, you help blend your landscaping with the native landscapes you find outside of your town or city.

Ecobackyard is a blog about making urban landscapes look more like natural landscapes using native plants and other techniques. Kent Swanson who writes for the Practical Environmentalist also writes for Ecobackyard.com.

21. Look for small ways to help the environment in your community!



Nak more info check out the website ay =)

here

1 comment:

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment :)

I love reading it <3 Big hug!!

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