Monday was Earth Day, a day created to show support for environmental protection. So, we asked our Facebook fans what they do to "go green." Here are the responses we've received.
Dawn Thompson Kazar: "Lots of recycling."
Gretchen Torrez: "Buy less processed food, which comes in a ton of packaging...which in turn is better for the earth and for yourself..."
Melinda Amaro Romesburg: "We recycle and teach our daycare kids to do it too, and the importance of recycling. And we encourage them to do it at their homes as well."
Want to make your home, community and life more green, but not sure how to get started? Here are 10 easy ways to help the environment, according to an article published in Better Homes and Garden.
• Change a light bulb. Installing a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) is a quick and easy was to save energy. They consume about 75 percent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer.
• Unplug things that glow. Things that are left plugged in continue to draw power even when not in use. Unplug them, and you could save up to $200 a year.
• Recycle your electronics. Five-and-a-half billion pounds of electronics were thrown in the trash in 2005, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That results is millions of pounds of chemicals and heavy metals end up in the ground. Instead of tossing an old phone in the trash, visit mygreenelectronics.org, and find an electronic recycling resource in the area.
• Audit your energy. It's easier to save energy when you know exactly how much and where you're using it. On average, an energy audit shows how to save up to 30 percent on utility bills.
• Support local farmers. Buying from local farmers not only means the freshest food possible, but you're also saving energy. Typical grocery store produce travels 1,500 miles before ending up on a plate.
• Fix that drip. The average person uses about 100 gallons of water a day. Fixing a leaky faucet can save up to 74 gallons a day, a running toilet can save up to 200 gallons a day.
• Let your grass grow. Spend less time tending your lawn, and you'll be green in every sense of the word. Most grass fares best when kept at 2.5 inches or more, it allows more surface area to absorb sunlight, and creates thicker turf and deeper roots, which can mean less watering.
• Look for the label. When it's time to replace a household appliance, choose a product with an Energy Star label. This means it's an energy efficient product. A household with Energy Star products uses about 30 percent less energy, which adds up to a savings of about $570 a year.
• Do full loads. The average family of four does about 540 loads of laundry, and 150 loads of dishes, consuming 22,500 gallons of water. Wash just two fewer loads of cloths and one fewer load of dishes a week and save 4,500 gallons of water a year.
Page 2 of 2 - • Work the critters. Several backyard animals are also great for your garden because they eat harmful insects, meaning less pesticides on food and flowers. To find out which backyard animals are beneficial, visit garden.org.