How to Help the Planet
A great site to learn about easy ways to do your part is to check out the list at 50 Ways to Help
. Below are a few examples from their list to take into consideration as you continue your fun summer activities and help the planet too!
Turn Off Computers at Night
By turning off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode, you can save 40 watt-hours per day. That adds up to four cents a day, or $14 per year. If you don't want to wait for your computer to start up, set it to turn on automatically a few minutes before you get to work or boot up while you're pouring your morning cup o' joe.
You can reuse gift bags, bows, and event paper, but you can also make something unique by using old maps, cloth or even newspaper. Flip a paper grocery bag inside out and give your child stamps or markers to create their own wrapping paper that's environmentally friendly and extra special for the recipient.
Second-Hand Doesn't Mean Second-Best
Consider buying items from a second-hand store. Toys, bicycles, roller blades, and other age and size-specific items are quickly outgrown. Second-hand stores often sell these items in excellent condition since they are used for such a short period of time, and will generally buy them back when you no longer need them.
Picnic with a Marker
Some time in between the artichoke dip and the coleslaw, you lost track of your cup, and now there is a sea of matching cups on the table, one of which might be yours. The next time you picnic, set out a permanent marker next to the disposable dinnerware so guests can mark their cup and everyone will only use one.
Recycle Unwanted Wire Hangers
Wire hangers are generally made of steel, which is often not accepted by some recycling programs. So what do you do with them? Most dry cleaners will accept them back, to reuse or recycle.
Choose Matches Over Lighters
Most lighters are made out of plastic and 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.