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We would all like to do more to save our money and reduce emissions that harm our atmosphere, but it's not just the big items that count. Every little thing we can do to reduce harmful emissions adds to a better world. Here are three simple things you can do to contribute to the cause.
1. Use CFL Bulbs
There is an upfront cost for compact fluorescent bulbs because they are considerably more expensive than incandescent ones, but they last an estimated 10 times longer, too. Part of the savings here is the number of incandescent bulbs that will not see the landfill, but it doesn't stop there. You use about 75% less energy with CFL bulbs.
The exciting part of these bulbs becomes evident when you consider what a difference they make in quantity and time. Only one bulb change reduces the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 500 pounds per year. If you replace 17 of your incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs, it is like removing one automobile from the highway for a year.
You must be concerned with disposing of bulbs when they complete their lifecycle because there are traces of mercury in them. One bulb is not a problem, but many placed in the same area of a landfill could allow the mercury to leach into the soil.
2. Plastic to Canvas
Americans go through plastic bags to the tune of 100 billion each year. These end up in landfills, in the ocean, and in the homes of unsuspecting wild life. They don't go away either. Since they don't biodegrade, it is expected for them to last at least 1000 years. Get your own canvas totes to use when shopping and reuse them over and over to eliminate some of the plastic waste.
3. Go Paperless
Did you know that 1/4 of all carbon emissions come from cutting, hauling, and burning trees? Although many trees only have a limited lifespan, you can save some old-growth forests by getting away from the useless paper in your life.
Catalogs are available online; you don't need printed copies. Get off those direct mailing lists, and don't be afraid to let people know you don't want their fliers. Many companies now offer paperless billing, which is more convenient for customers and less paper waste they have to deal with, also.
See how easy these are to do, and imagine what it would mean if every American made the effort to the cause.