Keep Up To Date:
Earth Friendly Daily Living Tips:
Each of us can lessen our impact on the environment and help conserve natural resources by making changes in our daily lives. It all starts with a single step by each of us to build a healthy, prosperous, sustainable environment for a new generation and hope for the planet.We each can help by practicing three simple things:
1. Reduce the amount of the Earth’s resources that we use
Small changes can add up to big differences, and it’s simply a matter of managing your water and energy consumption by eliminating waste and using only what you need.
Energy Use: Americans consume a disproportionate amount of the world’s energy resources, however, we can make a difference by conserving energy in our homes and our daily lives. Nationally, the energy used in the average home can be responsible for more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the average car. Using less energy at home helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and help protect our environment. A few examples include:
Support for renewable electric energy sources also helps reduce green house emissions by reducing the percentage of power obtained from fossil fuel-burning power plants and increasing the percentage obtained from renewable energy sources, such as hydropower (water), solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. More information is available from the Re-Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US Department of Energy, California’s Renewable Energy Program and Burbank’s Green Energy Program.
Water Use: California communities face a strong possibility of water shortages and even mandatory rationing this summer because of record dry weather in March and April, a fast-shrinking snowpack and below-normal reservoir levels, according to state officials.
We need to take a smarter, more efficient approach to water management to continue to provide clean water for California farmers, businesses, and a growing population. Many farmers have implemented irrigation water saving practices, restaurants and other business have also developed ways to conserve water. Residents have also been asked to reduce water use in their homes and yards. Suggestions include:
Transportation: In California, transportation is the source of more than half of the carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. This can be reduced by reducing the amount we drive when possible, consolidating trips, using mass transportation (provided by MTA or Metrolink), carpooling, walking or riding a bicycle where possible. Fuel conserving tips are available at the Fuel Economy, Car Talk, and Cars.com websites.
Waste prevention: also refereed to as “source reduction,” means consuming and throwing away less. Source reduction actually prevents the generation of waste in the first place, so it is the most preferred method of waste management and goes a long way toward protecting the environment. It includes:
2. Reuse – don’t just toss it, could someone else make use of it?
Reuse starts with buying reusable items. When something is no longer needed, reuse becomes a simple concept “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Repairing items, donating them to charity and community groups, or selling them reduces waste. Reusing products, when possible, is even better than recycling because the item does not need to be reprocessed before it can be used again. Ways to Reuse include:
Benefits of reuse include:
Unique to reuse is that it also brings resources to individuals and organizations that might otherwise be unable to acquire them. Several non-profit organizations accept donations of goods and materials and either give them to people in need or sell the items in thrift stores to help raise needed funds. For more information visit: American Cancer Society’s Discovery Shops, Goodwill Industries, Out of the Closet Thrift Stores and Salvation Army Thrift Stores.
3. Recycle – Can the materials be made into something new?
Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. In addition, it generates a host of environmental, financial, and social benefits. Materials like glass, metal, plastics, and paper are collected, separated and sent to facilities that can process them into new materials or products. Old computers and other electronic items can also be recycled. Benefits of Recycling include:
Recycling is one of the best environmental success stories of the late 20th century. Recycling, including composting, diverted 79 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators in 2005, up from 34 million tons in 1990. By 2002, almost 9,000 curbside collection programs served roughly half of the American population. Curbside programs, along with drop-off and buy-back centers, resulted in a diversion of about 32 percent of the nation’s solid waste in 2005.
Exploring Nature & Our Planet:
In March 1872, Congress established Yellowstone National Park beginning a worldwide national park movement. Today our national parks include a network of nearly 400 natural, cultural and recreational sites across the nation. In addition, states and local counties have established parks where peple can explore and enjoy these natural areas. Learn more at our Exploring Nature & Our Planet links page.
On the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans of all ages and from all walks of life participated in celebrations from coast to coast, raising public awareness about protecting and cleaning the nation’s environment and conserving natural resources. Today Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains America has made including cleaner air, cleaner water, reduction of solid waste, restoration of ravaged landscapes, and the creation of new urban and national parks. Earth Day is also a time to to further our commitment to conservation and protection of the environment, to reduce pollution and to reduce energy consumption. Learn more at our Earth Day links page.