Category:  Thoughts

Arbor Day

This week people across America were encouraged to plant trees. Arbor Day is celebrated at different times in 41 different countries all across the world. The first American Arbor Day celebration was held in 1872, when one million trees were planted in Nebraska by Sterling Morton, the Secretary of Agriculture for President Cleveland.

There are many ways to help the environment on days other than Arbor Day. The easiest place to start is at home. Making simple adjustments such as turning off lights when they’re not being used and applying timers to electronics can go a long way. Turning off one 60-watt bulb when not in use can save .06 kilowatts of energy per hour.

There are some habitual changes that can be made to conserve energy. A good example is air drying clothing instead of machine drying. Clothes dryers are among the top electricity draining appliances in households. If a dryer must be used, it should be completely filled, using cold water.

Aside from saving energy, conserving water is another excellent way to help the environment. If someone is not interested in saving the environment, these life changes are also cost effective. Annually, the typical American family expends 400 gallons of water. Easy ways to limit water usage are filling tubs one third of the way, covering pools when not in use, and installing low flow faucets.

Every household should recycle actively. The consequences of not recycling are heartbreaking. Not recycling leads to landfill build up, environmental depletion, and economic waste. Utilizing reusable shopping bags saves consumers and producers money, saves wildlife from becoming entangled in them, and reduces the need for plastic production.

Aluminum cans, bags, and water bottles are the most common things recycled. Newspapers, batteries, cardboard, and glass can also be recycled. Bigger products, such as cell phones, eyeglasses, and computers, can also be recycled. There is no need to throw something away when it can be used for a much larger purpose and can save lives.

Modern technology has made saving the environment even easier. Instead of having to print things out constantly, pages can be emailed or reports can be submitted electronically. Even tickets, photos, and mail can be transferred online instead of in person.

Modern technology has also gifted us the convenience of not having to use disposable products. Water bottles are a thing of the past. There is no need to use a new water bottle every time someone wants a drink, then for that water to just be tossed out. Reusable bottles save 45 million plastic bottles a year, and can save the average consumer $550.00 a year. Saving the planet is not expensive.

A dramatic lifestyle change in doing your part to save the environment would be not driving to work. Riding a bike or walking to work or any short distance will cut back on toxic emissions being released that deplete the ozone layer. Of course this is only if applicable.

If your commutes are longer, consider carpooling. If you are going the same place as someone, why not go together?  Mass transit is another option. Not driving to work one day a week reduces your weekly emissions by 20%. One mode of transportation to avoid is planes. Planes release obscene amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.

There are several eco-friendly improvements you can make to your home. First, skylights reduce the need to turn on electric lights. Second, LED light bulbs waste less, shine brighter, and last longer. Next, make sure sinks and toilets do not run. Finally, decide if solar panels are right for you. Solar panels can be a large investment, but they can be a worthy investment. The price of solar panels is decreasing as new materials are being tested; their popularity is growing. Solar panels may reduce your monthly utility bills by as much as 20%.

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