Green Tips: Reduce

Bring Your Own Coffee Cup

Bring your own coffee cup. Most coffee cups are not made from recycled materials, and Americans were estimated to have used over 23 billion coffee cups in 2010.  For more information about the importance of reusing coffee cups, check out: http://www.sustainabilityissexy.com/facts.html

Reduce Your Water Usage

Take shorter showers and turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth. You use 3.8 gallons of water for every minute that you are in the shower, 6 gallons per flush of your toilet, and 5 gallons for every minute you have the sink running. Check out your H20 footprint at: http://www.h2oconserve.org/wc.php

Use a Reusable Waterbottle

Drink from a reusable water bottle. Bottled water uses 17 billion barrels of oil every year (enough to fuel 100 million cars for a year) and takes 3 times more water to make than it provides to the consumer. For more, check out: http://www.onlineeducation.net/bottled_water

Buy Fewer Pens, Use Less Plastic

Rather than buying new pens each time that yours run out of ink, buy ink refills for your pens.  This reduces the amount of waste and decreases the amount of oil needed to create a new plastic pen.

Buy in Bulk

Buy large containers of products rather than small individually packaged ones. You can divide a large container of yogurt into small reusable containers and a large bag or box of cookies, chips, or crackers can be put into smaller reusable bags. Cut back on the packaging and cut back on your spending.

Bring Your Own Bag

Bring your own bag to the market or the grocery store, or if you have just a few items, then carrying them in your hands rather than in a bag. The EPA estimates that between 500 billion and a trillion plastic bags are consumed every year and that many of these bags end up as litter. Once they are in the environment, the bags leak toxins into the ground and take hundreds of years to breakdown. Reusable grocery bags can be purchased at the MacCracken Market, Kroger, and many other retailers. For more information, check out; http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/09/0902_030902_plasticbags.html

Ride the Bus

As the weather starts to get colder, take the Miami Metro to class, the rec, or your group meeting rather than driving or having a friend drop you off. You can check out Miami Metro's schedule at: http://www.units.muohio.edu/prk/images/2011MetroRouteSigns.pdf Although you may think it is just a short trip, 0.916 pounds of CO2 and 20.9 grams of carbon monoxide are emitted for every mile driven. Think about how quickly that adds up! For more information about car emissions, check out that EPA's website: http://www.epa.gov/oms/consumer/f00013.htm

Bundle Up and Turn Down the Thermostat

Consider putting a few extra layers on and bundling up in a blanket rather than turning up your heat. Turning your heat down 10-15 degrees while you are not home for about 8 hours each day can save 5-15% on your energy bill. Think about how much you can help your wallet and the environment by putting on another sweater. http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12720

Consolidate Your Laundry

Wait to wash a load of laundry until you have a completely full load. Each time you run the washing machine, you use between 20 and 40 gallons of water. Combine loads with your roommate, housemate, or friend and start conserving water today! For more information about water conservation, check out: http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/water-conservation-tips/

Use Fewer Paper Towels

Use dish towels rather than paper towels. The average person uses 2,400 to 3,000 paper towels at work or school every year, and every day over 3,000 tons of paper towel waster are produced. For more information about paper towel waste and more environmentally friendly options, check out: https://www.peopletowels.com/aboutpt/BountifulEcoBenefits

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