8 WAYS YOU CAN IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

8 WAYS YOU CAN IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT

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It's easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with news about the planet's declining health. But there are many small steps things each of us can take to help. If each person follows one of these eight suggestions, imagine what an impact we'll have as a community!

  1. Go on a CO2 diet: Simple everyday actions can have a big impact on the amount of carbon dioxide we send into the atmosphere. Replace incandescent light bulbs in your house and office with compact florescent models. Shut off the lights when you leave a room. Unplug appliances, cell phone chargers, and lamps when they are not in use. Turn off the computer; even the "standby mode" uses energy.

  2. Buy Smart: Make a difference one shopping trip at a time! When buying new appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators, look for energy-efficient models with the ENERGY STAR label. Also, consider buying energy-efficient showerheads that keep pressure firm, but reduce your hot water bill.

  3. Stop Junk Mail: The energy used to create and deliver junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than two million cars. Stop your junk mail by signing up online with companies like http://www.41pounds.org, which contacts direct mail companies to take you off their lists.

  4. Drive Smart: Did you know you could improve on your miles per gallon by up to 30 percent? Just improve your driving habits! Studies show drivers can reduce CO2 by accelerating slowly and smoothly, driving the speed limit, and maintaining a steady speed. If you are stopping for more than 30 seconds, turn off your car.

  5. Get a Car Wash: When you wash your car in the driveway, dirt, suds, and waste flow straight to the storm water drains and into our oceans. Take your vehicle to a commercial car wash that collects and treats the car wash water.

  6. Plant Local: Planting drought-resistant native California species in your gardens will help save water and prevent non-native species from taking over. They also require less maintenance and have their own defenses against pests and diseases. For a database of native species, visit the California Native Plant Society at http://www.cnps.org.

  7. Be Water Conscious: On average, each of us use 150 gallons of water a day. We need to cut down to ensure we have water for the future. Limit your showers to five minutes or less. Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth. Wash only full loads of laundry. Water your yard only before 8 a.m. to reduce evaporation.

  8. Register to Vote: As a voter, you have a say in which candidates get to pass laws and regulations. By choosing candidates that share your viewpoints on the environment, you can help shape public policy.


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