Resolve to make a difference

Posted Jan 01, 2007

I found this list on the Orlando Sentinel website. It has a list of items to help increase conservation around the home. It was taken from this page,0,4618803.story?coll=orl-home-promo

Save water

- Use an automatic shut-off hose nozzle.

- Use a commercial carwash that recycles, or wash the car over the grass, not the road.

- Find leaks. Check your water meter when no water is being used; find toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. You have a leak if color appears in the bowl within 30 minutes.

- Use the dishwasher and clothes washer only when full.

- Avoid letting water run while brushing teeth, washing or shaving.

Conserve energy

- Air leaks can account for up to 30 percent of cooling and heating costs. Check for drafts by taping a piece of tissue paper to a metal clothes hanger. On a windy day, while inside your home, hold the hanger still at several places around the frames of windows and doors. If the paper moves, there is a leak. Seal cracks by recaulking or applying weather-stripping tape.

- Use a programmable thermostat. For every degree above 72{degree}F, you will save 5 percent on cooling costs. When it's cooler outside, lower the thermostat to 68{degree}F.

- Use ceiling fans.

- Insulate your water heater.

- Windows can account for 10 percent to 25 percent of a home's heating bill. During summer, windows make the AC work two to three times harder by letting in the sun's heat.

- Add overhangs to the outside of windows, or install awnings and shutters.

- Install shades, drapes or blinds in light colors.

- Close curtains.

- Replace single-pane windows with energy-efficient double-pane ones.

- Create less trash

- Buy in bulk, when practical.

- Avoid the disposable versions of razors, pens, batteries, plates, cups, napkins, etc.

- Reduce junk mail by having your name and address removed from mailing lists. Send a request to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735

- Reuse shopping bags or take your own.

- Carry food in reusable containers rather than plastic bags.

- Leave grass clippings and leaves on your lawn or compost them.

- Invest in cloth napkins for daily use and reusable wiping cloths and towels.

- Donate unwanted furniture, appliances, clothing and toys.

- Recycle paper, plastic and metals.

- Print and photocopy on both sides of the paper.

Reduce water pollution

- Direct downspouts and gutters to drain into the lawn or plant beds to avoid runoff. Water picks up pollutants and carries them directly into rivers, lakes and springs.

- Decrease soil erosion by planting ground cover where grass doesn't thrive.

- Use mulch, bricks, flagstone, gravel or other porous surfaces for walkways, patios and driveways.

- Collect and store runoff from your roof in a rain barrel or cistern.

- Create swales (low areas) or terracing to catch, hold and filter storm water.

- Pick up after pets. This reduces bacterial and nutrient pollution entering storm drains.

- Clean up oil spills and leaks on driveways; spread cat litter over oil, sweep it up and then throw away in the trash.

- Sweep grass clippings, fertilizer and soil from driveways and streets back onto the lawn. Remove trash from street gutters before it washes into storm drains.

- Use natural products to fertilize the lawn and kill weeds, such as corn-gluten meal, and use natural pesticides such as insecticidal soap or pyrethrin.

Reduce air pollution

- Use water-based products or those with low amounts of volatile organic compounds.

- Avoid using leaf blowers; choose a push or electric lawn mower.

- Store solvents in airtight containers.

- Paint with a brush, not a sprayer.

- Start your barbecue briquettes with an electric probe or use a propane or natural-gas barbecue.

Choose 'smart' communities

- Learn how to buy a green home. For details, visit:

- Choose a town with reliable public transportation, bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths.

- Look for a community pool, which decreases the incentive for families to build their own pools, saving energy and water.

- Stay informed

Visit and vote early next year on how you want the region to grow. The planning think tank will unveil several growth blueprints and wants your input.


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