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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Easy Ways to Help Save the Planet


Plug in a laptop, not a desktop.
In the market for a new computer? A laptop uses about half the energy of its desktop counterpart. Choose a model with the federal government’s Energy Star rating and use 70 percent less energy than a noncertified model.
Curtail junk mail. It takes some legwork, but in the end, you’ll save trees, water, and emissions, too. If everyone reduced the junk mail he/she receives every week, 100 million trees would be spared each year.
Turn off the tap. The average faucet releases about three gallons of water a minute, so shut it off while you brush your teeth or shave.
Skip red meat once a week. Meat production―especially in mass-produced beef―is extremely resource-intensive. It can take seven or more pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef, and livestock consumes 70 percent of America’s grain. Eat less of it and choose pasture-fed, sustainably raised beef whenever you can. If you alone gave it up once every seven days, you would save the 840 gallons of fresh water it takes to produce a single serving.
Clean up your dishwasher. Switch to a dishwashing powder that’s biodegradable and plant-based (try Ecover Ecological or Trader Joe’s powders). These cleansers cut through grime, but they do it without the bleach and phosphates that threaten river and marine life and leave chemical residue on your dishes.