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1. Reuse your plastic bags from the grocery store - most stores even pay you 5 cents each for bringing your own bags! You can also use canvas bags - they are easier to carry, and hold more weight. Plus, they can be reused forever.

2. Use the compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL). A CFL bulb uses 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb, thereby saving money on energy bills. Each CFL will save the user more than $45 over the life of the bulb.

3. Ride your bike. Excercise + gas-free.

4. Fix things, don't replace them. If your washing machine/car/lawnmower/etc breaks, have it fixed - don't run out and buy a new one. Even though sometimes the cost is a considerable amount of the cost of a new item, you still save money - and nothing is wasted.

4. Recycle.

Metal Recycling Energy savings:

Aluminium - 95% Copper - 85% Lead - 60% Steel - 62 - 74% Zinc - 60%
Data from the British Metal Recycling Association

Aside from the energy savings, the more metals that can be recycled, the less (or slower) destruction of the environment from mining. While the recycling process may produce toxic materials; mining certainly does.

Plastic Recycling Energy savings:

Post-consumer products may contain as many as 20 different types of plastic material; so one of the biggest challenges is sorting it all. However, according to Dr. Mike Biddle, President of MBA Polymers, recycling plastics uses only roughly 10 percent of the energy that it takes to make a pound of plastic from virgin materials.

Again, the savings aren't just in energy - plastics are still mostly made from petrochemicals; i.e. crude oil. Nearly 10 percent of U.S. oil consumption, which equates to approximately 2 million barrels a day - is used to make plastics. Recycling plastics also means saving oil - through the production process and base materials.

Energy savings - recycling glass

According to Waste Online, for every ton of recycled glass, 1.2 tons of raw materials are not required and after taking into account transport and processing needed to recycle glass, nearly 700 pounds of carbon dioxide is saved per ton of glass melted for the purposes of making bottles and jars.

The Glass Packaging Institute states recycled glass uses only two-thirds the energy needed to manufacture glass from raw materials

Recycled glass isn't just used for making more bottles - it can be turned into fiberglass (which is also used in house insulation), and as a component of bricks; requiring less energy to create the bricks and as the product is lighter, less energy is used in transport. Glass can be recycled indefinitely.

Energy savings - recycling paper

The Department of Energy states that a ton of paper made from recycled fibers conserves 7,000 gallons of water, up to 31 trees, 4,000 KWh of electricity and up to 60 pounds of air pollutants (not including carbon dioxide).

Overall, recycling paper uses about 60% less energy than making paper from new materials.

In case you've heard that there is a glut of old newspapers around and therefore paper is now often shipped to landfill and burned; that used to be the case in some parts of the world, but through new techniques, products and widespread consumer acceptance, demand has caught up with supply.

The recycling trap

Here's a trap that many people fall into - because an item can be recycled, they might feel that extra consumption is no longer a bad thing. Recycling is the last of the 3R's i.e. Reduce, Reuse... lastly, Recycle.

Reduction of consumption means that less needs to be produced in the first place (and you'll save a stack of cash too). Reusing gives old products new life with little or no energy being used for repurposing, whereas recycling still does require substantial energy.

Recycling Info Source:
Michael Bloch
Green Living
Green Living Tips is an online resource powered by renewable energy offering a wide variety of earth friendly tips, green guides, advice and environment related news to help consumers and business reduce costs, consumption and environmental impact on the planet.

5. Buy Recycled Products such as recycled toilet paper, towels, tissues, etc. And of course, when printing marketing materials, always try to use recycled paper stocks with soy inks if possible.


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