Let me start with the words of Roger Ebert about Al Gore's movie:
” In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to. “
Although I am not a big Ebert's fan, this time I cannot say it better than he does!
I have been postponing to see this movie for quite some time, but one of my New year's resolutions for 2007 was to see it and I decided that is better to do it on 30th of December, than not do at all.
Now I have to mention, that I am not easily impressed with “on greater good” movies and considering Al Gore is a political figure I was somewhat not fascinated with the idea of watching a “campaign movie”, as some people are describing it.
Since I am very concerned about my children's future ( if any) on this planet, I decided that is better to “waste my time “watching the movie than not seeing it at all. I was surprised and the surprise was nice ( although you don't see anything to be happy about in the movie) that somebody so famous took the uneasy job to make us open our eyes and smell the coffee.
It is time, guys!
Here is a list of....things you can actually do to SAVE OUR PLANET and SAVE SOME MONEY too! You would be surprised how many things you can do with little or no effort!
And please, don't wait until tomorrow! Start TODAY!
Buy products in the largest package you can use and thus avoid excess packaging! ( Do you know that 10 cents of every used dollar are used to pay for packaging? A family of 4r can save up to $2,000 a year in the supermarket by choosing large sizes instead of individual serving sizes) So no more individual serving sizes, no more juices and water in small bottles!
Buy products in containers and packages that you know you can recycle! ( Examples are products in commonly recycled containers made from aluminum, steel, plastic and glass)
Buy reusable and long lasting items! (You can save up to 1000$ a year from that!)Here are some examples:
Use already recycled products!
Follow the simple rules of RRR ( Reduce/Reuse/Recycle)!
Couple of simple rules:
Try to do one thing each day to save our planet! Don’t worry if the savings are minimal. Every little thing counts and every person can make a difference!
Make sure your children are aware what they can do to help save our planet too!
Simple things you can do every day to save the planet:
Buy rechargeable batteries instead of disposables
Use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers. (You’ll save $600 per child by using a laundry diaper service instead of disposable diapers)
Use a digital camera and make digital albums instead of paper ones, use digital frames too.
Don't use paper towels and napkins! You can use cloth napkins, sponges, and cloth towels or wipes and save up to $260 a year!
Don't use disposable plates, cups and silverware! Use washable plates, cups, and silverware for parties and picnics instead.
Use an electric razor or hand razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors.
Buy high quality/long life tires. They cost less per mile traveled and reduce the problem of disposing of used tires.
Use cloth bags! When buying only a few items, don’t take a bag. Using your own cloth bag instead of plastic or paper bags reduces waste and requires no additional energy.
Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded, or bent parts. Consider purchasing LowFlow toilets that can reduce indoor water use by 20%.
Install a toilet dam or displacement device such as a bag or bottle to cut down on the amount of water needed for each flushing. Be sure installation does not interfere with operating parts.
Avoid unnecessary flushing. Dispose of tissues, insects, and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
Replace your showerhead with an ultra low-flow version, saving up to 2.5 gallons per minute.
Take shorter showers. Try a "Navy" shower; get wet, turn off the water, soap and scrub, then turn the water on to rinse.
In the shower, decrease the flow to achieve the comfortable water, instead of increasing the hot or cold water flow to adjust the water temperature, try decreasing the flow to achieve a comfortable water temperature.
Don't let the water run while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.
Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run to get a cool glass of water.
Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost them overnight in the refrigerator, or by using the defrost setting on your microwave.
Consider installing an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so you don’t have to let the water run while it heats up. This will reduce heating costs for your household.
When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow stream of water from the faucet.
Fully load automatic dishwashers; they use the same amount of water no matter how much is in them.
Buy appliances with water and energy saving options! You can save a lot of money in a long run and save the planet too. Spur the renewable energy market and cut global warming pollution by buying wind certificates and green tags.
Adjust your washing machine's water lever according to load size.
Buy a horizontal loading washing machines, they use less water than top-loading machines.
Install a hot water recirculation device. By recirculating the water that would otherwise go down the drain, you can save 2-3 gallons of water for each shower taken or 16,500 gallons a year per household. This may mean an average annual savings of $50 on your water bill and $40 on your energy bill.
Install water-softening systems only when necessary. Save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regeneration necessary to maintain water softness. Turn softeners off while on vacation.
Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning.
Reuse fish tank water on your household plants -- it makes nice fertilizer, too.
Verify that your home is leak free, because many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year.
Insulate your water pipes. You'll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water and energy.
If you want to water your lawn the best thing is to use rain harvesting system! The water can be used also in the kitchen and the bathroom too! If you can't afford rain harvesting system, and you want to water your lawn, follow the next couple of examples:
Don't overwater your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days in the summer. A hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks.
Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation.
Don't water your street, driveway, or sidewalk. Position your sprinklers so that your water lands on the lawn and shrubs and not the paved areas.
Install sprinklers that are the most water-efficient for each use such as micro and drip irrigation and soaker hoses.
Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. Your garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn the water off.
Raise your lawn mower blade to at least three inches. A lawn cut higher encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture better than closely-clipped lawns.
Avoid overfertilizing your lawn. The application of fertilizers increases the need for water and is a source of water pollution.
Mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching also helps to control weeds that compete with plants for water.
Buy a rain gauge to determine how much rain or irrigation your yard has received.
Avoid hosing down your driveway or sidewalk; use a broom instead and save hundreds of gallons of drinkable water.
If you have a pool, consider a new water-saving pool filter. A single backflushing with a traditional filter uses from 180 to 250 gallons of water.
Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you wash your own car, park it on the grass, use a bucket with soapy water, turn off the water while soaping, and use a hose with a pressure nozzle to decrease rinsing time.
Avoid purchasing recreational water toys that require a constant stream of water.
Encourage your employer to promote water conservation at the workplace. Suggest that water conservation tips be put in the employee orientation manual and training program.
Report all significant water losses (broken pipes, open hydrants, misdirected sprinklers, abandoned or free-flowing wells, etc.) to the property owner, local authorities, or your water management district.
Encourage your school system and local government to promote a water conservation ethic among school children and adults.
Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs. Replace 3 frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Save 300 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $60 per year. Use them with caution, because they contain mercury!
Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated. Check them monthly. Save 250 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $840 per year.
Check your car's air filter monthly. Save 800 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $130 per year.
Make sure your printer paper is 100% post consumer recycled paper. Save 5 lbs. of carbon dioxide per ream of paper.
Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer. Save 2000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $98 per year.
Keep your water heater thermostat no higher than 120°F. Save 550 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $30 per year.
Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended. Save 350 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $150 per year..
Buy locally and reduce the amount of energy required to drive your products to your store.
If you can afford it, buy a Hybrid car. The average driver could save 16,000 lbs. of CO2 and $3,750 per year driving a hybrid
Buy a fuel efficient car Getting a few extra miles per gallon makes a big difference. Save thousands of lbs. of CO2 and a lot of money per year.
Carpool when you can. Carpooling with friends and co-workers saves fuel. Save 790 lbs. of carbon dioxide and hundreds of dollars.
Don't idle in your car . Idling wastes money and gas, and generates pollution and global warming causing emissions. Except when in traffic, turn your engine off if you must wait for more than 30 seconds.
Plant a Tree. Trees suck up carbon dioxide and make clean air for us to breathe. Save 2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year.
Insulate your water heater. Keep your water heater insulated could save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $40 per year.
Insulate your home. Caulk and weather strip your doorways and windows. Take sure your walls and ceilings are insulated. Save 2,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $245 per year.
Use a Push Mower Use your muscles instead of fossil fuels and get some exercise. Save 80 lbs of carbon dioxide per year.
Unplug unused electronics Even when electronic devices are turned off, they use energy. Save over 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide and $256 per year.
Air dry your clothes. Line-dry your clothes in the spring and summer instead of using the dryer. Save 700 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $75 per year.
Switch to double pane windows. Double pane windows keep more heat inside your home so you use less energy. Save 10,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide and $436 per year.
Turn off all electronics and appliances when not using ( and yes, that includes your computer too!)
Find local utility companies that use green power
Find a way to use alternative electricity power( solar panels, water and wind systems)
Let everyone you know about the problem of global warming and what they can do about it!
Print this list and if you can manage to accomplish even half of them in 2008 this would be more you can do about your children and grandchildren, than buying all the toys in the store and put them under that artificial Christmas tree you are going to buy in 2008 instead of the real one!
Happy New Year and let us pray to be wiser, luckier and healthier in 2008!
Information used from the following sources: