Friday, April 20, 2007

RE: 52 ways to tread lightly on the earth

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: dave
Date: Apr 20, 2007 1:12 AM


----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: ....:the empty mirror:..... {loves vegans}
Date: Apr 19, 2007 8:17 PM


52 ways to tread lightly on the Earth



1. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains. It takes 7,500,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of beef, compared to only 250,000 to produce one ton of corn! Plus, cattle ranching contributes to deforestation. Eating more fruits, vegetables and grains is better for you as well as the environment-even lions don't at red meat three times a day!

2. Use less. Use less electricity, gasoline, food, water. The average U.S. citizen consumes 100 times as much of the world's resources as the average person in the world's poorest countries.

3. Reuse things. Every five years, the average American produces a mound of waste equal to the mass of the Statue of Liberty! Wear things out before discarding them, and if you have an item you don't need anymore, don't throw it away--give it to someone who does need it.

4. Recycle what can't be reused. Even if it's too much trouble to recycle your batteries and food scraps, it's easy to recycle newspaper, glass, and aluminum cans. Recycling some of your waste is much better than recycling none. More than a ton of waste per person living in the U.S. is generated every year!

5. Buy recycled products. It is far more efficient to make new items out of recycled material than new material. For example, it takes only 1/20 as much energy to create a new aluminum can out of recycled aluminum as it does to produce one from newly extracted ore, and it takes 60% less energy to make new paper from recycled paper than it does to manufacture paper from a newly cut tree. But if we don't buy recycled products, manufacturers will have no incentive to make them.

6. Walk, skate, or bike wherever you can. Avoid using your car for short trips. When you do drive, don't circle the parking lot looking for a closer space. Park in the first available space and walk. It's healthier for you as well as the environment!

7. Carry canvas bags in your car to use at the store. Recycling paper or plastic bags is great, but it's even better to carry reusable bags of your own. And if you purchase just one item at a store and don't need a bag to carry the item out, say so. It's okay to just say no to a bag!

8. Use less water. Although there seems to be a lot of water on Earth, over 97% of it is in the oceans. Of the total fresh water, over 70% is in ice, mostly the polar ice caps. The fresh water on the continents makes up less than 1% of the Earth's total water. While a human being requires about a gallon of water a day to survive, about 1,800 gallons of water are consumed per day for each person in the U.S.!

9. Plant things. Grow trees, plants and flowers in your yard if you have one or in pots in your home if you don't. Plants fight the greenhouse effect by removing carbon dioxide from the air.

10. Be nice to people. people who are treated nicely might treat others (spouses, children, pets, wildlife) more nicely.

11. Respect wildlife. They are willing to share the earth with us, so we need to be willing to share it with them. It is estimated that human activities drive two to eight wildlife species to extinction every hour.

12. Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones.

13. Car pool or take public transportation. The burning of gasoline by automobiles is far and away the largest producer of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere. Carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in the blood's hemoglobin in animals (including humans), reducing the ability of blood to carry oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body. If 1% of U.S. car owners didn't use their cars one day a week, 42 million gallons less gas would be burnt!

14. If you carry a lunch, invest in canvas bags and plastic containers. Stop throwing away paper lunch bags and plastic wrap.

15. Cut down on your use of disposable anythings. Just about anything "disposable" is harmful to the environment. Use razors with replacement blades instead of disposable razors and a diaper service instead of disposable diapers. Even if you can cut back your use of disposables to special occasions such as when you are traveling, it will help.

16. Stay off fragile ecosystems. If you visit the dunes, don't walk on them, where you can trample the precious plants that keep the dunes from blowing away. If you are in a park and the sign says "Stay on path," stay on the path!

17. Compost food scraps. Food that goes into landfills can be preserved for decades! Composting helps return needed nutrients to our soil. Compostable items make up 70% of the garbage Americans create.

18. Cut six-pack rings apart before throwing them away. They make their way into our oceans, where seabirds and other marine life get stuck in them and drown, suffocate, or starve to death.

19. Support groups that seek environmental justice. Give them your time, money, and moral support.

20. Drive slower. As your speed increases, so does wind resistance, causing you to use more gas.

21. Lower your standard of living. Do you really need another TV, VCR, or whatever? It takes energy and resources to make all of those things. Per capita consumption of energy resources is higher in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. Fewer than 6% of the Earth's people live in the U.S., and yet we consume 25% of the oil produced each year in the world, 30% of the aluminum, 30% of the silver, 40% of the lead, 40% of the platinum, and on and on.

22. Don't use hot water when cold water will do. And keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator so you don't have to run the tap to get the water cold.

23. Don't top off your gas tank. The new nozzles on gas tanks are designed to decrease spilled gasoline, which evaporates and pollutes the atmosphere. Let the nozzles do their job.

24. Repair that leaky toilet or faucet. Two gallons of water an hour can be lost from a leaky faucet, and a leaky toilet can waste 45,000 gallons in just six months! Repairing leaks will save substantially on your water bill as well.

25. Buy a fuel-efficient car and appliances. Less energy used means less carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. In the past century, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air has increased by an estimated 25%. Carbon dioxide traps the sun's heat in the Earth's atmosphere, possibly raising the Earth's temperature. In some parts of the world, a temperature increase of only a few degrees could make farming virtually impossible.

26. Plant an acorn and be patient. Oaks take a long time to grow big and strong, so many homeowners choose faster growing, less hardy, shorter-lived trees and shrubs. If you have a treeless area in your yard, invest in an oak. Your children and grandchildren will appreciate it.

27. Drive a light-colored car. A light-colored car will stay cooler in the summer and will need less air conditioning.

28. Don't support companies that pollute or engage in environmentally damaging practices. About 99% of environmental spending in the U.S. goes toward pollution cleanup and only 1% to pollution prevention.

29. Don't buy exotic pets. The pet trade is a major contributing factor to the endangerment of wildlife species.

30. Don't put chemicals on your lawn. Fertilizer helps turn fresh water into slimy streams and ponds filled with algae, and pesticides contain poisons that are toxic and persistent. Lawn-owners use 10 times more toxic chemicals per acre than farmers!

31. Stop energy leaks in your home. Install storm windows, hang heavy curtains to keep the heat out or in, and stop leaks around windows and doors with draft stoppers, caulking, and weather-stripping.

32. Put on or take off more clothes. In the winter, wear more clothing and use less energy to heat, and in the summer wear less clothing (within reason!) and use less energy to cool.

33. Don't drive all-terrain vehicles. They destroy vegetation, leaving land open to erosion.

34. Don't pollute. Don't dump toxins down the drain or onto the ground. Don't believe in "out of sight, out of mind." Everything has to go somewhere!

35. Compost leaves and grass clippings. Yard waste makes up 13% of our landfills! Even better, plant your yard with natural species that need no chemicals, watering, or mowing.

36. Wash full loads of clothing and dishes. The same goes with drying clothes, but air dry whenever possible. Also clean out the lint–lint in the dryer filter makes the dryer consume more energy.

37. Travel light. Extra weight in your car makes it less fuel efficient.

38. Let your elected officials know that the environment matters to you. Tell them that you want clean air, clean water, national parks, and wildlife and habitat protection.

39. Cut down on junk mail. Ask to be removed from mailing lists. What you do get, recycle. Landfills are made up of 50% paper!

40. Buy products with less packaging.

41. A borrower and a lender be. If you need something you won't use often or ever again, borrow it from a neighbor, and lend that same neighbor something of yours. Consider sharing the purchase of a snow blower or other items.

42. Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning to cool your home whenever possible.

43. Grow a garden and support local food-growers. Transporting food takes energy, and locally grown food is likely to be fresher. Be willing to pay more money for food grown in an environmentally friendly way. U.S. cropland loses an estimated 4.8 tons of topsoil per acre per year. Although there are ways to decrease soil loss, they do cost the farmers money.

44. Turn off the lights and use timers. Rather than leave a light on while you are at work or on vacation, use timers so they come on only when it is dark.

45. Don't buy products that contribute to habitat and species loss. Don't buy ivory products, big cat pelts, or furniture made from South American hardwood. Over half of the world's species live in the 2% of the world that is rain forest, and the Amazonian rainforests alone produce 40% of the world's oxygen.

46. Don't build or buy on a flood plain. There is a reason floodplains are called floodplains–they flood. Floodplains are needed to handle excess water. The more ground that is covered by a substance that won't allow the water to soak into the ground, the worse flooding will be. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent building and rebuilding homes in places where they are bound to be flooded regularly.

47. Go solar. Buy products that run on solar energy such as solar watches and calculators. The sun's energy is inexhaustible (at least for as long as there is life on Earth) and pollution-free, and the amount reaching the Earth far exceeds the world's energy needs. Research into harnessing solar energy needs to be encouraged through purchase of solar-run articles.

48. Be an eco-tourist. Visit wildlife preserves. Help make habitat preservation profitable for the preservers. Most parks that charge no fee have a box for donations–contribute generously.

49. Put gasoline containing ethanol in your car. "Gasahol" is cleaner burning than gasoline, and car manufacturers need to be encouraged to find new energy sources for cars. Worldwide, an estimated 400 billion barrels of oil have been consumed throughout history, and an estimated 900 billion barrels remain. However, more than half of the consumption has occurred in the last two decades!

50. Waste less food. If you go to a buffet-style meal, take only as much as you will eat. A human being requires about 2,000 kilocalories a day to survive. In the U.S., about 224,000 kilocalories per day are consumed per person, and about 10,000 of those go into food production and consumption (agriculture, food processing, and preservation).

51. Resist advertising. An average of $48 is spent per year per person in the world on advertising but the amount is $448 per American! Don't give in to the lure of "new and improved" if what you have is perfectly adequate.

52. Enjoy the Earth! To know it is to love it, and the more we love our home planet the better stewards we will be.

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