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Guide to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle

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There are many simple ways to live a more evironmentally lifestyle. This page will try to describe ways to change and emphisize the most important ones.

Really RecycleEdit

Recycling can go far beond filling your recycling bin.

Know the RulesEdit

One of the biggest problems with recycling is contamination. It causes more work for the recycling workers and it adds more impurities in the recycled products. This makes them less desirable to manufactures, and consequently they will be less willing to use recycled materials. It's usually lazy or ignorant people who throw trash in bins, but it's better to not add to the problem.

Every recycling company will be able to give you their rules and they are usually quite simple.

Common un-recyclables (via recycling bin)
  • Stuff with food on it or in it
    this varies between companies, but in general remove food from bottles and jars. Don't recycle greasy pizza boxes or napkins.
  • Know which plastic numbers they accept
    • They usually accept #1 and/or #2
    • Yoghurt containers and lids are #5 or #6, they are usually not accepted, but check.
    • Plasic cups, plates, utensils are not usually recycled.
    • styrofome is usually not accepted but check. styrofoam food containers are almost never accepted

Things NOT to trashEdit

These are items that are very dangerous to the environment. They are often illegal to trash, and often easy to recycle.

  • Very harmful chemicals to people and the environment.
  • Refrigerators and air conditioners
    They usually contain freon, or CFC's that depletes the ozone.

Recycle other thingsEdit

  • Cell phones and ink cartridges are accepted at a lot of places and can help many charities
  • Metals
    • Steel, iron, aluminum, brass, copper, copper wire
    • There are places to drop off metals but you have to search for them, but they usually will pay you for the metal


By recycling paper, aluminum cans, and plastic bottle along with composting you will easily reduce your garbage in half.

Energy ConservationEdit

  • Turn off your computer at night
    • screen savers save no energy, use standby energy
  • Check for drafts/leaks in your windows and doors
    • If you have drafty windows or doors, fix them or get plastic covering for the winter to add an extra layer of protection, this is really important.
  • Heating and Cooling use the most energy
    • Clean air conditioning filters regularly
    • Adjust temperatures to save energy
    • In winter close binds and face them upwards, it reflects heat inward
    • In winter, block off drafts under doorways by using "door snakes" (a long, thin, snake-like pillow that sits along the bottom of a door)
    • In winter, make sure your curtains touch the floor to prevent hot air from being pulled underneath them towards the cold glass
    • Close door to rooms that are not used often and cover there air vents

Reducing your impactEdit

  • Drive less
    • Most driving done less than 5 miles from your home
    • If you can walk or ride a bike it really makes a difference
  • Don't buy disposable items
    • Buy (or make) reusable items
    • Use rechargeable batteries
      NiMH have about the same energy capacity, and NiMH batteries will drain as much with high energy devices like digital cameras
    • Use reusable cloth bags instead of plastic bags
  • Collect paper that has been used on one side, and use the blank side as scrap paper, or printer paper
  • Buy local products to reduce the amount of transport needed to bring products to you, e.g. buy locally grown fruit and vegetables
  • Grow organic food for yourself
    • So food doesn't need to be transported to you
    • So harmful chemicals aren't used

Things to purchase or replaceEdit

  • Refrigerators and air conditioners
    • Usually refrigerators and air conditioners use the most energy in the house. There has been significant breakthroughs in technology with refrigeration and a refrigeration can now take 100 Watts instead of 1000 W.
  • Washing machines
    • Front loading washing machines take less energy, less water, and less detergent.
  • Durable reusable items.
    • good vacuum cleaner, fans, and furniture

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