Aloha and Good Morning everyone! How is everyone in the Hawaiian Life community today? It's another hot summer day. Many months ago I did a story on Going Green and because of the importance of that subject, I've decided to share that article again. I will revise it a bit more. I really think it is vital that we all do our part so that our children and their children and so on, have the best possible planet to raise their families on. It does matter what we do now...
*Fifty Ways To Go Green*
1) Change your light! If every household in the US replaced ONE regular lightbulb with a new fluorescent bulb, the pollution reduction would be equivilent to removing one million cars from the road. If you're not a fan of fluorescent bulbs, us it in a closet.
2) Turn off computers at night. By turning off your computer you can save 40 watt-hours per day. That adds up to 4 cents a day, or $14 per year. Don't leave it in Sleep Mode.
3) Don't rinse! Skip rinsing dishes before using the dishwasher. Save 20 gallons of water each load. You're also saving time & energy that is used to heat additional water.
4) Don't pre-heat the oven! Put food in then turn on oven, unless you are making bread or pastries. Also when checking food, view it through the window instead of opening the oven door.
5) Recycle glass! Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent & related water pollution by 50 percent. If it isn't recycled it can take a million years to decompose.
6) Diaper with a conscience! By the time a child is toilet trained, a parent will change between 5000 & 8000 diapers, adding up to approximately 3.5 million tons of waste in the US landfills each year. Whether you choose cloth or a more environmentally-friendly disposable, you're making a choice that has a much gentler impact on our planet.
7) Hang dry! Get a clothesline or rack to dry clothes. Your wardrobe will remain colorful. You'll save money. Your favorite T-shirt will last longer & your jeans won't be too tight from shrinking in the dryer.
8) Go vegetarian once a week! One less meat-based meal a week helps the planet & your diet. It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. You will also save some trees. For each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rainforest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed.
9) Wash in cold or warm water! If all the households in the US switched from hot cycle to warm-cold, we could save the energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil a day. Do the laundry only when you have a full load.
10) Use one less paper napkin! During an average year, an American uses approximately 2,200 napkins-around six each day. If we all used one less a day, more than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year.
11) Use both sides of paper! American businesses throw away 21 million tons of paper every year, equal to 175 pounds per office worker. For a quick & easy way to halve this, set your printer's default option to print double-sided.
12) Recycle newspaper! There are 63 million newspapers printed each day in the US. Of these, 44 million, or about 69% will be thrown away! Recycling just the Sunday papers would save more than half a million trees every year.
13) Wrap creatively! Reuse gift bags, bows & event paper. You can also make something unique by using old maps, cloth & newspaper. Turn a paper grocery bag inside out & give your child stamps or markers to create their own wrapping paper. It's environmentally friendly & extra special for the recipient.
14) Rethink bottled water! Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled. It takes thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container & refill it with tap water. It's a great choice for the environment, your wallet, & your health. The EPA's standards for tap water are more stringent than the FDA's standards for bottled water.
15) Ban bathtime! Have a no-bath week & take showers instead. Baths require almost twice as much water. Not only will you reduce water consumption, but you'll reduce the energy costs associated with heating the water.
16) Brush without running water! A lot of us still brush our teeth while letting the water continue to go down the drain. If we stop wasting water, we can conserve up to five gallons per day. Daily savings in the US alone could add up to 1.5 billion gallons more water than people use in the Big Apple.
17) Shower with your partner! Sneak in a shower with your loved one to start the day. lol Sounds like fun! ;-) Not only will you have made a wise choice for the environment, but you may notice some other added benefits....just saying! ;-)
18) Take a shorter shower! Every two minutes you save on your shower, conserves more than ten gallons of water. If everyone in the country saved one gallon from their daily shower, over the course of the year it would equal twice the amount of freshwater withdrawn from the Great Lakes every day.
19) Plant a tree! It's good for the air, the land, can shade your house & save on cooling. Plant on the west side of your home & they can also improve the value of your property. Make it meaningful & plant a tree every year for each member of the family.
20) Use your cruise control! (Unless you're in the mountains & your 76 year old Dad is driving...sorry)! lol *smiles* Love you Dad. ;-) Anyway, you paid for those extra buttons in your car, so put them to work. When using cruise control, your vehicle could get up to 15% better mileage. Considering today's gas prices, this is a boost for your budget as well as the environment.
21) Second-hand doesn't mean second best! Consider buying items from a second-hand store. Toys, bicycles, roller blades, skateboards & other age & size specific items are quickly outgrown. Second-hand stores often sell these items in excellent condition, since they were hardly used, before being outgrown.
22) Buy local! Consider the amount of pollution created to get your food from the farm to your table. Whenever possible buy from a local farmer or a farmer's market, supporting your local economy & reducing the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in.
23) Adjust your thermostat! Adjust your thermostat one degree higher in the summer & one degree lower in the winter. Each degree celsius less, will save about 10% on your energy use. In addition, invest in a programmable thermostat which allows you to regulate temperature based on the times you are at home or away.
24) Invest in your own coffee cup! Ahh coffee cups!! *smiles* ;-) If you start every morning with a steamy cup, a quick tabulation can show you that the waste is piling up. Invest in a reusable cup! Hmm (Hawaiian Life) cups come to mind! ;-) It not only cuts down on waste, but also keeps your beverage hotter longer. Most coffee shops will gladly fill your own cup & many offer a discount in exchange.
25) Group errands together! Do you feel like you spend your whole week trying to catch up with errands. Take a few minutes once a week, make a list of the errands that need to be done & group them together into one trip. The extra time saved may surprise you, not to mention how much gas you saved...
26) Turn off the lights! Always turn off incandescent bulbs when you leave the room. Fluorescent bulbs are more affected by the number of times it is switched on & off, so turn them off when you leave a room for 15 minutes or more. You'll save energy on the bulb itself, but also on cooling costs, as lights contribute heat to a room.
27) Greener lawn care! If you must water your lawn, do it early in the morning before any moisture is lost to evaporation. Do you have some weeds? Who doesn't! Spot treat them with vinegar. Not sure if you should rake? Normal clippings act as a natural fertilizer, leave them alone, & if you've waited too long rake by hand. It's an excellent exercise, but wear gloves so you don't get blisters. ;-)
28) Picnic with a marker! Somewhere between the potato salad and the coleslaw, you lost track of your cup & now there are a sea of matching cups on the table, one of them might be yours? Mine would be noticable. It would have Hawaiian Life all over it...hint! lol *smiles* ;-) The next time you picnic though, set out a permanent marker next to the disposable dinnerware, so guests can mark their cup & everyone will only use one.
29) Recycle old cell phones! The average cell phone lasts about 18 months, which means 130 million phones will be retired each year. If they end up in landfills, the phones & their batteries introduce toxic substances into our environment. There are plenty of reputable programs where you can recycle your phone, many of which benefit noble causes.
30) Maintain your vehicle! Not only are you extending the life of your vehicle, but you are creating less pollution & saving gas. A properly maintained vehicle, with clean air filters & inflated tires can greatly improve your vehicle's performance. It also might not hurt to clean out the trunk. All that extra weight could be costing you extra at the pump.
31) Recycle unwanted wire hangers! Wire hangers are generally made of steel, which is often not accepted by some recycling programs. So what on earth do you do with them? Most dry cleaners will accept them back to reuse or recycle.
32) Recycle aluminum & glass! Twenty recycled aluminum cans can be made with the energy it takes to manufacture one brand new one. Every ton of glass recycled saves the equivalent of nine gallons of fuel oil needed to make glass from virgin materials.
33) Telecommute! See if you can work out an arrangement with your employer that you work from home for some portions of the week. Not only will you save money & gas, but you can work in your pajamas! It is pretty comfortable! lol ;-)
34) Keep your fireplace damper closed! Keeping the damper open (when not using the fireplace) is like keeping a 48 inch window wide open during the winter. It allows the warm air to go right up the chimney, which adds hundreds of dollars each winter in energy costs.
35) Cut down on junk mail! Feel like you need to lose a few pounds? It might be your junk mail weighing you down. The average American receives 40 pounds of junk mail each year. All that does is destoy 100 million trees. There are many services that can help reduce the clutter in your mailbox, which saves trees & precious space on your countertops.
36) Choose matches over lighters! Most lighters are made out of plastic & filled with butane fuel, both petroleum products. Since most lighters are considered "disposable" over 1.5 billion end up in landfills each year. When choosing matches, pick cardboard over wood. Wood matches come from trees, whereas most cardboard matches are made from recycled paper. Better yet, if you smoke please STOP! I watched my mother go through countless years of health related issues due to smoking which ultimately took her life way too soon! She wasn't around to watch her grandchild grow up & the images I have watching her gasping to take one of her last breaths will NEVER go away from my mind.
37) Let your fingers do the walking...online! Consider if you really need that paper telephone book. If not call & let them know you don't want one delivered. Why not use the online directory. Some say that telephone books make up almost ten percent of waste at a dump site. If you do feel need to use the book, just don't forget to recycle it.
38) Give it away! Before you throw something out, consider giving it to someone that can use it. You might be done with it, but to someone that is in need or just plain could use it, it could just mean the world to someone...just saying!!!
39) Go to a car wash! Professional car washes are more efficient with water consumption. If everyone in the US who washes their car themselves took just one visit to the car wash we could save nearly 8.7 billion gallons of water.
40) Plastic bags are not good! Each year the US uses 84 billion plastic bags, a significant portion of the 500 billion used worldwide. They are not biodegradable & are making their way into our oceans & subsequently, the food chain. Stronger, reusable bags are an inexpensive & readily availabe option. There just so happens to be a Hawaiian Life Bag as well! (It's very well made & sturdy...just saying)!! ;-)
41) Fly with an E-ticket! The cost of processing a paper ticket is approximately $10, while processing an e-ticket costs only $1. In the near future e-tickets will be the only option, saving the airline industry $3 billion a year. In addition to financial savings the sheer amount of paper eliminated by this process is commenable.
42) Download your software! Most software comes on a compact disc, & more than thirty billion compact discs of all types are sold annually. That's a huge amount of waste, not to mention the associated packaging. Another bonus to downloading your software is that it's often available for download at a later date when you upgrade to a new computer or are attempting to recover from a crash.
43) Stop your answering machine! Answering machines use energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When they break, they're just one more thing that goes in the landfill. If all answering machines were replaced with voice-mail services the annual energy savings would total nearly two billion kilowatt-hours.
44) Skip the coffee stirrer! Each year Americans throw away 138 billion straws & stirrers. Skipping the stirrer doesn't mean drinking your coffee black. Simply put your sugar & cream in first, then pour in the coffee & it should be mixed well. If you really need to stir lol try a piece of spaghetti. You can eat it afterwards or throw it into a compost pile.
45) Find a better way to break the ice! When a big winter storm heads our way, most of us use some sort of ice melter to treat the steps & sidewalks. While it makes the sidewalks safer for people, it is hazardous to our pets. They could ingest the product which is poison. Rock salt & salt based ice melting products can cause health problems as well as contaminate wells. Look for a pet-safe deicer which nowadays are readily available in stores. ;-)
46) Use cotton swabs with a paperboard spindle! Some brands of cotton swabs have a paperboard spindle & some have a plastic spindle. If 10% of the US households switched to a paperboard spindle, the petroleum energy saved per year would be equivalent to over 150,000 gallons of gasoline.
47) Pay bills online! By some estimates, if all households in the US paid their bills online & received electronic statements instead of paper, we'd save 18.5 million trees every year, 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide & other greenhouse gases, & 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste.
48) Stop paper bank statements! Some banks will pay you a dollar or donate money on your behalf when you cancel your monthly paper statements you receive in the mail. If every household took advantage of online bank statements, the money saved could send more than seventeen thousand recent high school graduates to a public university for a year. OMG! That is huge!!! ;-)
49) Use rechargeable batteries! Each year 15 billion batteries are produced & sold. Most of them are disposable alkaline batteries. Only a fraction of those are recycled. Buy a charger & a few sets of rechargeable batteries. Although it requires an upfront investment, it will pay off in time. On Christmas morning, when all the stores are closed & you need batteries for little Tommy or Suzie, you'll be fully stocked & ready to go.
50) SHARE! Take what you've learned & pass on the knowledge to another person. That is all I'm doing. If every person you know could take just one step closer toward being greener, the collective effort could be phenomenal!!! ;-) Even though this study was based on the United States, this information is vital to every one of us on this beautiful planet. Together we all CAN make a difference!!!
Well, I hope you all enjoyed this article. Pass it around to your family, friends & everyone you know. We are the ones that have to take care of this beautiful planet of ours... I am including the powerful message Mike wrote on The Wheel Of Life. Also, if you are thinking about a vacation & you're lucky enough to be able to go to Hawaii, Mike has an interesting article on that as well. For a video, I didn't have far to look...it was because of this video that I met my friend @GregSlawson. I'll send a link to his site as well. He has many videos to choose from, but my second favorite ;-) of his is a great example of our beautiful planet & it's right in Kauai!!! I have a new favorite of his I hope to share soon...just saying!!! ;-)
Don't forget if you need a coffee cup with a beautiful quote of Mike's or want to show your Hawaiian Life love with the logo on a cup, or a Tiki on them, we have many to pick from in the Store Front. There are other Hawaiian Life goodies to choose too. Check it out! There are also Hawaiian music & books through the Store Front as well. Those Tiki's on the Hawaiian Life Facebook Fan Page are free to a good home!!! ;-) I'll send a link. Need to contact Mike? Check out his website http://www.mike-dolan.com/ There you can follow along with the Virtual Book Tour he is on and check out the Media Room to learn more about Mike & his book, A Pecunious Life! I'll send a link to a great interview from the Tour! Also here is today's Pit Stop http://walkermuse.blogspot.com/2010/08/book-tour-pecunious-life-by-mike-... Soon you'll have more thoughts of his to ponder... ;-) I hope you all have a safe & happy week.
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Until next time, Mahalo!