1. Use less energy.
• Change a Light, Change the World
We really can "Change the World" with just one light
bulb. The key is that the more people that take this
step, the more we can change the world.
Simple ways that may help change the
• In Bedrooms:
Don't leave lights on when no one is in the room. If
you are going to be out of the room for more than five
minutes, turn off the light.
Where possible, use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Those funny-looking bulbs produce the same amount
of light by using 1/4 of the electricity. Plus, they last
for years and years without burning out.
There's one light bulb that firefighters in Livermore,
California, never turn off. It uses very little energy and
has been burning for 101 years. Which is the
• Don't Leave Things Turned On
Turn off the TV when no one is watching it. The
same goes for computers, radios and stereos - if no
one using it, turn it off. Turn off all the appliances at
the surge protector/control strip - that four- or six-
plug extension chord that you plug all your computer
things into. Some devices, like modems or other
networking boxes are drawing small amounts of
power all the time.
• In the Bathroom
Wasting water wastes electricity. Why?
Because the biggest use of electricity in most
cities is supplying water and cleaning it up
after it's been used.
About 75 percent of the water we use in our
homes is used in the bathroom. Unless you
have a low flush toilet, for example, you use
about five gallons to seven gallons of water
with every flush. A leaky toilet can waste
more than 10,000 gallons of water a year.
Drippy faucets are bad, too. A faucet that
leaks enough water to fill a soda bottle every
30 minutes will waste 2,192 gallons of water a
Another simple way to save water AND
energy is to take shorter showers. You'll use
less hot water - and water heaters account for
nearly 1/4 of your home's energy use.
• In the Kitchen
According to researchers, a load of dishes cleaned in a
dishwasher uses 37 percent less water than washing dishes
by hand. However, if you fill up one side of the sink with
soapy water and the other side with rinse water - and if you
don't let the faucet run - you'll use half as much water as a
dishwasher does. Doing the dishes this way can save enough
water for a five-minute shower.
If you need to warm up or defrost small amounts of food,
use a microwave instead of the stove to save energy.
Microwave ovens use around 50 percent less energy than
conventional ovens do. For large meals, however, the stove is
usually more efficient. In the summer, using a microwave
causes less heat in the kitchen, which saves money on air
Don't keep the refrigerator door open any longer than you
need to. Close it to keep the cold air inside. Also, make sure
the door closes securely.
• Outside the House
Remember how saving water
saves energy? Use a broom
instead of a hose to clean off the
driveway, patio or deck - this will
save hundreds of gallons of water
Don't use an electric or gasoline
leaf blower. Instead, use a rake.
If you need to leave a security light
on over night, change the
incandescent bulb to a compact
fluorescent. It will last months and
maybe years and save you energy
and money. Some compact
fluorescent bulbs even come in
yellow so they won't attract bugs.
• In Your School
The energy-saving ideas you used at home can also
be used in school. Consider creating a weekly
"energy monitor" - someone who's job it is to make
sure lights are out when there's no one in a room. He
or she can also make sure that machines are turned
off when not being used.
2. Don’t burn wastes.
• What You Can Do:
Dispose household and yard wastes properly:
o Don’t burn yard and household waste.
o Mulch or compost your yard waste, or participate in
composting programs in your community.
o Recycle household wastes.
• Taking Out the Trash …
Anyone who lugs heavy garbage cans to the curb for
pickup probably realizes that households generate a
lot of waste. What we do with all that garbage
matters. It’s important to dispose of household
waste in ways that protect the environment and
follow state and local laws. Most communities have
access to effective collection and disposal services
either through local government or private haulers.
Many communities provide opportunities to recycle
• Alternatives to Open Burning. Yard
Waste is not allowed in landfills.
Choose from these options instead:
Mulch grass clippings and leave them on the ground for
a healthier lawn.
Mulch fallen leaves to use on your lawn, shrubs and
Compost yard waste and add to your soil to enrich it.
Check with your solid waste hauler or local sanitation
department to see if a collection or drop-off program is
available for yard waste. Household Waste collection
options include curbside collection, transfer stations, or
drop-off programs for wastes and recyclables.
Reducing the amount of waste you produce is the best way to
help the environment. There are lots of ways to do this. For
o Buy products that don't have a lot of packaging. Some products
are wrapped in many layers of plastic and paperboard even
though they don't need to be. You can also look for things that
are packed in materials that don't require a lot of energy or
resources to produce. Some products will put that information
right on their labels.
o Instead of buying something you're not going to use very often,
see if you can borrow it from someone you know.
o Cars use up energy and cause pollution. Some ways to reduce
the environmental damage caused by cars include carpooling
with friends, walking, taking the bus, or riding your bike instead
o Start a compost bin. Some people set aside a place in
their yard where they can dispose of certain food and
plant materials. Over time, the materials will break down
through a natural process called decomposition. The
compost is good for the soil in your yard and means that
less garbage will go to the landfill.
o You can reduce waste by using a computer! Many
newspapers and magazines are online now. Instead of
buying the paper versions, you can find them on the
Internet. Also remember that you should print out only
what you need. Everything you print that you don't
really need is a waste of paper.
o Save energy by turning off lights that you are not using.
o Save water by turning off the faucet while you brush
Instead of throwing things away, try to find ways to use them again! For
o Bring cloth sacks to the store with you instead of taking home new paper
or plastic bags. You can use these sacks again and again. You'll be saving
o Plastic containers and reusable lunch bags are great ways to take your
lunch to school without creating waste.
o Coffee cans, shoe boxes, margarine containers, and other types of
containers people throw away can be used to store things or can become
fun arts and crafts projects. Use your imagination!
o Don't throw out clothes, toys, furniture, and other things that you don't
want anymore. Somebody else can probably use them. You can bring
them to a center that collects donations, give them to friends, or even
have a yard sale.
o Use all writing paper on both sides.
o Use paper grocery bags to make book covers rather than buying new
o Use silverware and dishes instead of disposable plastic utensils and plates.
o Store food in reusable plastic containers.
Many of the things we use every day, like paper bags, soda cans, and
milk cartons, are made out of materials that can be recycled. Recycled
items are put through a process that makes it possible to create new
products out of the materials from the old ones.
• In addition to recycling the things you buy, you can help the
environment by buying products that contain recycled materials.
Many brands of paper towels, garbage bags, greeting cards, and toilet
paper, to name a few examples, will tell you on their labels if they are
made from recycled materials.
• In some towns you can leave your recyclables in bins outside your
home, and a truck will come and collect them regularly. Other towns
have recycling centers where you can drop off the materials you've
collected. Things like paper and plastic grocery bags, and plastic and
aluminum cans and bottles can often be brought to the grocery store
for recycling. Whatever your system is, it's important to remember to
rinse out and sort your recyclables!
• Recycle Symbol: