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5 Easy Ways to Help the Environment

Saving the planet can start at home.

April 22 is Earth Day, a time to think about ways to improve the environment. That's why Encino Patch has compiled a list of five easy things you can do to reduce waste and energy use.

Conserve water. By limiting your shower time and turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, you can make a big difference. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, even a leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day. Save water by fixing those leaks. Also, drink tap water or use a filter, instead of bottled water, so you can decrease the amount of plastic being used.

Walk or use a bike. Instead of using your car to run errands, why not walk or ride a bike? Unless you're trying to get out of the San Fernando Valley, riding a bike around Encino is relatively easy and a nice change of pace. You'll not only reduce greenhouse gases, but you can also improve your health and burn calories.

Use energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use two-thirds less energy than a traditional light bulb and last 10 times longer. When shopping, try to look for items that are Energy Star products, which meet the EPA standards for energy efficiency. Energy Star reported that in 2006, its program saved Americans $4 billion in utility costs and energy, equal to taking 25 million cars off the road.

Carpool with others. If you live far from work, try commuting with a co-worker or friend. The EPA found that not using your car for just two days a week can cut gas emissions by an average of 1,590 pounds per year. Hop on a city bus or take the Orange Line from Balboa Station in Encino.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Sort your trash into paper, metal, glass and organic waste. Reuse your paper bags as lunch sacks or book covers. As much as possible, avoid using disposable utensils and when choosing between two products, opt for the one with less packaging. According to the EPA, if an office building of 7,000 employees recycled a year's worth of its paper waste, it would be the same as taking 400 cars off the road.

Suzette Riley April 21, 2011 at 07:53 PM
You can learn about more simple ways to save energy from Energy Star. Today, the EPA is introducing ENERGY STARs Across America – a grassroots effort to help families learn about energy saving actions they can take at home and in their communities. To get involved, check out www.energystar.gov/changetheworld where you can learn about energy efficiency events in your community, take the ENERGY STAR Pledge, and even enter the Be an ENERGY STAR Video Challenge.

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