SAVE THE EARTH FACTS

SAVE THE EARTH

Our planet has a natural environment, known as ‘ecosystem’, which includes all humans, animals, plants, land and water. Human activities have caused much depletion and destruction of this ecosystem. Environmentalism advocates the preservation, restoration and/or improvement of this natural environment by controlling pollution and protecting plant and animal diversity. Environmentalists attempt to balance relations between humans and the various natural systems on which they depend to achieve sustainability.

WILD PLACES

Wilderness or wildlands are natural places on our planet that have not been significantly modified by humans. These last, truly wild places that have not been developed with industry, roads, buildings and houses are critical for the survival of many plant and animal species. They also provide humans with educational and recreational opportunities, and are deeply valued for aesthetic, cultural, moral and spiritual reasons.

GOING GREEN BY EATING GREEN

While there are many lifestyle changes you can make to help the environment, no other lifestyle decision can compare with the positive environmental impacts of veganism. Veganism is a compassionate lifestyle of daily decisions that reject the exploitation and harm of animals. Vegans do not consume food that is derived from animal sources, do not purchase products made from animal sources, do not use services in which animals are harmed, and do not involve themselves in activities that cause intentional harm or exploitation of living beings.

LITTER HURTS CRITTERS

Humans dispose of trillions of tons of garbage every year. The average person in a developed country produces about 2.6 pounds of garbage every single day. Landfills take in most of this garbage, while a substantial amount of litter finds its way into the natural environment. Tens of thousands of cans and bottles are thrown out of moving vehicles everyday. An enormous amounts of waste is left behind on beaches, parks and river banks.

RECYCLING BASICS

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community and the environment. Benefits of Recycling: Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators; Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals; Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.

HOW TO RECYCLE

Deciding to recycle items is just the first step, you also want to make sure the items are recycled correctly. Below you will find common recyclables and the best options to recycle them. Paper makes up nearly 30 percent of all wastes Americans throw away each year, more than any other material. Americans recycle over 60 percent of the paper they use. This recovered paper is used to make new paper products, saving trees and other natural resources.

HOW TO COMPOST

Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste currently make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away, and should be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

HOW TO DONATE FOOD

By redirecting unspoiled food from landfill to our neighbors in need, individuals can support their local communities and reduce environmental impact. Non-perishable and unspoiled perishable food can be donated. Donated food can also include leftovers from events and surplus food inventory.

REDUCING WASTED FOOD AT HOME

Most people don't realize how much food they throw away every day — from uneaten leftovers to spoiled produce. About 95 percent of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities - more than 35 million tons of food waste each year. Once in landfills, food breaks down to produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.

REDUCING AND REUSING BASICS

The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. Making a new product requires a lot of materials and energy - raw materials must be extracted from the earth, and the product must be fabricated then transported to wherever it will be sold. As a result, reduction and reuse are the most effective ways you can save natural resources, protect the environment and save money.

HOW TO DONATE & RECYCLE ELECTRONICS

Electronics donation and recycling is a great way to help conserve resources and natural materials. It is important to make sure you are donating and/or recycling electronics safely and correctly. Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves our natural resources.

10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE EARTH

Earth isn’t perfectly round. Earth is thicker around the equator, the belt around the middle. How much thicker? Well, it’s about 0.3% thicker. It’s not much, so when you see a photo of Earth, it appears round. But it’s just barely not. Days are getting longer. When Earth first formed 4.6 billion years ago, a day was about six hours long. Since then, the Earth has slowed down. It takes longer to spin around. Every 100 years, the day gets 0.0017 seconds longer.

THE OTHER GREENHOUSE GASES

Just as too little greenhouse gas makes Earth too cold, too much greenhouse gas makes Earth too warm. Over the last century, humans have burned coal, oil, and gasoline in our cars, trucks, planes, trains, power plants, and factories. Burning such fossil fuels produces CO2 as a waste product. Putting so much new CO2 into the air has made Earth warmer. If we continue on our current path, we will cause even more warming.

SO WHAT IF EARTH GETS A TINY BIT WARMER

The sky is still blue. Trees are still green. Wind still blows. Clouds are still white and fluffy. Rain still pours from the sky. Snow falls and it still gets really cold sometimes in some places. Earth is still beautiful. So what is the problem? What is the fuss about climate change and global warming?

PAPER OR PLASTIC

Let’s say you go to the grocery store and buy a pineapple. Why are you buying a pineapple? They’re delicious. You get in line to pay for your pineapple. The clerk says, “Paper or plastic?” Paper or plastic? Hmmm… What should you say? What things should you think about before you answer?

RECYCLE THIS

If you throw a plastic bottle in the trash today, that bottle will sit in a landfill—or worse, float in the ocean—for thousands of years. No one knows what Earth—or humans—will be like in thousands of years. But that plastic bottle will still be a plastic bottle! So why do Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour? And why do they throw most of them in the trash?

VEGANISM CAN END WORLD HUNGER

One of the top causes of world hunger is the focus on the production of animal-based foods. A breathtaking 925 million people all over the world, mostly in the underdeveloped and poor countries of Africa and Asia, are suffering from hunger. Out of those, 870 million are suffering from malnutrition. The 925 million hungry outnumber the current population of the European Union, United States, and Canada, combined. The world contains so many people plagued by hunger to almost fill up two continents.

HELP NATURE TO HELP US

We can all take notice of our environment. We can learn how our planet works. We can learn how to live on it without making a mess of it. We can help to keep it magnificent for ourselves, our children and grandchildren, and other living things besides us. You can help by growing your own vegetables and fruits. You can help by planting a tree. Your new plants and trees will help to remove the greenhouse gas CO2 from the air.

HOW TO CHOOSE LIGHT BULBS

If you need a new light bulb, you have a hard decision to make. There are several kinds of light bulbs to choose from. What are they? Does it make a difference? Lights use a lot of electricity, so it's important to use the most efficient ones. Efficient bulbs use less electricity to make light. Using less electricity in turn creates less pollution and saves you money. It's better for everyone.

BE A POWER SAVER

Turning on lights in our homes is as easy as flipping a switch. We do it all the time. But do you ever wonder where the electricity comes from? It all starts at a power plant. It might be hundreds of miles away from your light switch. A power plant makes electricity. There are different kinds of power plants, and they make electricity in different ways. Many of them are coal power plants and natural gas power plants.

10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ENERGY

Always turn off lights when you leave the room, unless... You should always turn off the light when you leave a room. This can save a lot of energy. But if you have special light bulbs called CFLs, you don't always have to turn them off. Turning them on and off too many times shortens their lifespans. You should turn them off if you'll be gone for 15 minutes of more. If you'll be right back, you can leave them on.

THE STORY OF FOSSIL FUELS

Around 4,000 years ago, someone in northern China came across an odd black rock. It was one of many. Then this person discovered something. Somehow this person discovered that the rock could burn. Life was harder back then. Keeping warm and getting food were big worries. With no electricity or gas for heating or cooking, everyone burned wood.

HUMAN HUNGER

Despite the rich diversity of foods found all over the world, one third of its population does not have enough to eat. Around 6 billion people share the planet, one quarter in the rich north and three quarters in the poor south. While people in rich countries diet because they eat too much, many in the developing world do not have enough food simply to ensure their bodies work properly and stay alive. 826 million people around the world are seriously undernourished - 792 million people in developing countries and another 34 million in industrialized countries.

POLLUTION

Air pollution is anything that contaminates our air or affects its composition. Polluted air can contain dust and chemicals, such as smoke from chimneys, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen monoxide. When the air is not clean, the entire environment is affected because both plants and animals depend on air to breathe. Breathing unclean air causes health problems, even in humans. It is important for us to realize that pollution is not isolated. Toxins from the United States can travel by air currents across the oceans and harm our friends overseas, and we all share a common atmosphere. The solutions that we decide upon must be implemented on an international scale.

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE

Reducing waste does not mean you have to reduce what you buy, it means shopping with the environment in mind. Consider the environmental impact of each product before you buy it. Make a list of what you need before you go shopping; this will reduce impulse buying. Buy in bulk. It is cheaper and eliminates small containers and excess packaging, which accounts for 50 percent of our domestic trash. You have bought your laundry soap like this for years. Think about what else you can buy in bulk! Avoid buying throwaways that can't be recycled. For instance, carry a camera but if you need to use a disposable camera make sure it can be recycled when you get the film developed.

YARDS GO NATURAL

Manicured, chemical-laden lawns are out, and woodsy yards with groundcover, hedgerows, and dead wood are in. Today's ecology-minded, health-conscious citizens find the latter far more interesting and beautiful. So do the animals, birds, and fish! Lawn chemicals poison the earth and all its creatures. They poison the yard they're applied to and also travel via storm drains, streams, and toxic clouds to poison other areas. Birds and wild animals suffer even more than humans do.

GREENWASHING

Greenwashing is hiding harmful activities behind the guise of environmentalism and conservation. It's a tactic many corporations and organizations use to manipulate and deceive the public. A clean, safe and healthy environment is important, and everyone wants to see it protected. With this goal, many people donate millions of dollars each year to organizations that say they are working to protect the environment and wildlife. Many people also buy products that they believe to be animal and environmentally friendly. But how much do we really know about these organizations, companies and products?

REDUCE TOXIC CHEMICALS

Over 87,000 man-made chemicals are currently in use--virtually all have not been tested for threats to wildlife and humans.

Buy products that say "biodegradable" and "non-toxic" on the label

Use natural alternative to pestisides

Don't use chlorine bleach

Avoid products with EDTA, NTA, phosphates, sodium hypochlorite or chlorine bleach

Use rechargeable or mercury-free batteries

WATER CONSERVATION TIPS

Water is a precious resource in our environment. Growing populations and ongoing droughts are squeezing our water resources dry, causing natural habitat degredation and impacting our everyday use of water. We have no choice but to pay more attention to how we are using water, and how we may be wasting it. We must bridge the gap between our understanding of how important water is to our survival and what we can do to ensure that we have an adequate supply of clean water for years to come. Below is a list of the many simple ways you can take action and conserve water, both inside and outside our homes.

ENERGY CONSERVATION TIPS

Turn thermostats down to 68 degrees or below - reduce settings to 55 degrees before going to sleep or when away for the day (for each 1 degree, you'll save up to 5% on your heating costs). Turn off non-essential lights and appliances. Avoid running large appliances such as washers, dryers, and electric ovens during peak demand hours from 5 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm. Close shades and blinds at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows. Buy Energy Star appliances, products and lights.

GO WILD

Increasingly today, corporations and apartment complex owners are planting lawns only in the areas around their buildings. They are leaving the outer areas of their property woodsy and natural, with tall grasses, wildflowers, evergreens, hedgerows, and bushes to provide cover and homes to wildlife. Homeowners can follow these examples on a smaller scale within their own yards. Plant a mix of shrubs, trees, and flowers that will provide nuts, berries, seeds, and nectar to creatures throughout the year, and that will attract birds, nature's best insect controllers. Foster hollies, for instance, provide winter berries, for food, winter foliage for cover, and places to raise young. A butterfly bush (buddleia davidji) is irresistible to butterflies.

50 THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR CLEANER AIR

About half the air pollution comes from cars and trucks. Two important ways to reduce air pollution are to drive less -- even a little less -- and to drive smart. Taking fewer trips in your car or truck helps cut air pollution. And adopting smart driving habits reduces your car's emissions. Driving less doesn't mean you have to stay home. Try combining driving with alternative modes of transportation:  Carpool; Walk or ride a bicycle; Shop by phone or mail; Ride public transit; Telecommute; Accelerate gradually.

SAVE THE EARTH AT HOME

Insulate your home

Buy energy efficient appliances 

Caulk and weather-strip

Install storm windows 

Wear warm clothing and turn down your thermostat 

Close off unused areas in your home 

Buy low wattage or compact fluorescent light bulbs

SAVE THE PLANET WITH YOUR CAR

Recycle motor oil and batteries  

Call your local transit system for bus schedules 

Call your local carpool program or start one in your town 

Carpool the kids to their school events 

Carpool to the ski slopes 

Carpool to go shopping 

Eat lunch at the office instead of going out 

Call stores first to see if they have what you want 

SAVE THE PLANET AT THE OFFICE

Schedule deliveries together 

Subsidize and sell employee bus passes in the office 

Encourage employees to phone first rather than driving 

Use teleconferencing instead of driving to meetings 

Take the bus, walk or ride your bike to meetings 

Offer employees incentives for not driving 

Buy gas-efficient or alternatively fueled vehicles for your fleet

SHOP FOR THE PLANET

Buy cereal in a large box instead of in individual serving sizes.

Buy juice in concentrates and use reusable containers instead of single serving packages.

Save money by buying bottled water in a large plastic jug instead of six packs of 16 ounce bottles.

Reuse plastic water bottles.

Buy large packages of sugar and flour.

Avoid the small boxes.