The Green Train
 

The Green Train
Promoting Environmental Education

It is Easy Being Green.
My old pal Kermit the Frog once sang, “It’s not easy being green.” Given the state of our global environment he surely has changed his tune and you can too. Being green is easier than you think. Saving the planet can begin in your own back yard; start at home by following these simple, energy saving, money saving conservation tips.

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Water is one of our most valuable resources and here’s how you can make every drop count.water

Take shorter showers. 
This not only saves water and therefore money, it reduces the loss of moisture in your skin caused by prolonged exposure to hot water. You can keep yourself looking younger while doing your part to protect the planet.

Use low flow devices
Switching to a low flow showerhead can conserve 2.5 gallons of water a minute. Create a low flow toilet by placing a 20 oz jar of water in the toilet tank, but be sure to place it out of the way of the flush valve and other operating parts.

Turn off the water
when you are washing your hands, brushing your teeth or shaving.

Repair or replace
leaky faucets and toilets that run.

Collect water from rain,
shower (while waiting for hot water), and sink. Use the collected water for plants, dishes, laundry, etc.


Saving energy also saves you money while reducing
the amount of pollution we create every day
.switch

Turn off unused lights
and appliances-- eliminating unnecessary wattage.

Unplug it
Appliances that are plugged into an electrical outlet continue to use energy even when they are not in use. Unplug and eliminate the constant drain on our resources and your wallet.

Adjust your thermostat
For every degree you reduce your thermostat from its current setting you can save 5% on energy costs. In winter, set your thermostat to 68 degrees and reduce it to 55 at night for sleeping or any time you leave the house for the day. In summer, keep things a little warmer than usual.

Let them work while you sleep
Avoid running major appliances during times of peak energy usage which are 5 – 9 AM and 4 – 7 PM. Turn your dishwasher or clothes dryer on at night when you are ready to go to bed.

Replace a light bulb
If every person in the world replaced 1 incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb this would save enough energy to light 3 million homes annually. These bulbs will also last up to 10 times longer than regular light bulbs. Remember that compact fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and incandescent light bulbs contain lead so both should be properly recycled at a household hazardous waste disposal center. Never throw light bulbs in the trash.



Food -
What you eat and where it comes from impacts your body and the earth. Here’s what you can do to make sure you are eating what is best for you and our planet!

local

Buy local
Fewer fossil fuels are used to get food to you, reducing pollution. Plus local food is fresher, needs fewer preservatives, and generally supports farmers in your community.

Eat organic
This means there are no added or artificial hormones, pesticides, or antibiotics in the food, which is healthier for you and the planet. Plus- a 22-year study conducted by the Rodale Institute determined that organic farming operations use 30% less energy than conventional farms.

Compost
Returns the nutrients of uneaten food back to the earth. 20-30% of household garbage is yard and kitchen scraps, instead of sending this to landfills (which are filling at alarming rates) return it to the earth. Composting can be as easy as-- digging a hole, creating or buying a system, giving scraps to a local farm or someone who already composts.

Grow your own vegetables,
fruits, and herbs. If you have the room, plant a garden which will allow you to reconnect with the Earth and know exactly where your food is coming from. If you don’t have a lot of room, try a windowsill garden or start a community garden.

Ask for it!
At your favorite grocer and restaurant ask for local and organic food. You may even learn they are already serving it.


Understanding the Basics: The Three R's

Reduce
Reuse
Recyclers

Just like learning reading, writing, and arithmetic, once you learned the basics it became second nature. Understanding the basics of reducing, reusing and recycling can help make green living become second nature as well.

We are a consumer society. We want it. We get it. We use it. We throw it away when we are done. Keeping the three R’s in mind when we make consumer decisions will go a long way towards environmental health.


Reduce / Reduction is to make something smaller or use less, resulting in a smaller amount of waste. Source reduction is reducing waste before you purchase it or by purchasing products that are not wasteful in their packaging or use.

Some simple tips for waste reduction include:

Buy less packaging.
Purchase products in packaging that can easily be recycled. Fancy, flashy packaging is designed to do little more than grab your attention. This packaging is also expensive and is often reflected in the purchase price.

Avoid single serve containers.
Eliminating the use of plastic water bottles will go a long way towards minimizing waste and conserving the energy used in the manufacturing process. Consider purchasing a reusable container for hydration on the go. This is healthier for the planet and healthier for you as many studies have shown that carcinogens can leach from these containers over time especially if you reuse them or if exposed to heat and sunlight.

Carry your own reusable bags
when you go to the grocery store.

Don’t use plastic or paper grocery bags. These can be purchased for a minimal amount at many grocery stores, and most stores provide convenient recycling bins for paper and plastic bags. Never throw these in the trash.

Buy durable goods.
If an item can last for a long time and be passed along when you are through with it you will save money and waste. Disposable can be convenient for the moment but a sick planet will create more inconvenience in the long run.

Print or copy on both sides of paper.

Stop junk mail.
Request that your name be removed from mailing lists by writing to:
Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008


Reuse - materials in their original form instead of throwing them away or pass items along to someone else who could use them.
Consider reuse potential when making purchase decisions and before throwing anything away consider if you or someone else could reuse the item.

Some examples of reuse include:

Repair it
when a durable good breaks. New is not always better.

Donate old items,
if you do decide to replace something, to a charity such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity. These groups can often make the necessary repairs and then resell items.

Hold a yard sale.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Find another direct use for the item.
An old tire can become a swing or a sand box. An empty jar can become a leftover storage container. Be creative.

Share
magazines and books with friends.


Recycling occurs when raw materials are remade into the same product or new products instead of ending up in a landfill. When making purchase decisions, look for products that are made from recycled materials

Find a recycling center near you by visiting: and typing in your zip code
at the top of the page.

Here is a list of materials that should always be recycled:

Metals including Aluminum, Steel, Tin
Glass
Paper
Cardboard
Motor Oil and Filters
Lead
Electronics and Appliances (including cell phones!)
Wood
Batteries
Light bulbs
Plastics 1 & 2 (and maybe more depending on your recycling center)


Do-It-Yourself in Your Own Home:
Very Simple Tips and Amazing Resultslight
This information is from the organization known as "Kilowatt Ours" and was taken from their website and facts that appear in the highly acclaimed documentary of the same name "Kilowatt Ours." This is how simple it really is to be green and make a monumental difference.

1. Turn off lights, computers and electronics when not in use.
(Time= 1 minute)

2. Replace the old style pear shaped light bulb (incandescent), with the squiggly one (compact fluorescent). Just do the top 5 mostly used lights in the house at first.
(Takes about 15 minutes)

3. Set the thermostat at 68 degrees F in the winter &at 78 degrees F in the summer.
(This takes all of 2 minutes)

4. Fill in outside gaps, weather-strip and caulk windows, doors and any outside cable or pipe spaces letting in the elements. The average home has an equivalent of 5 square feet of leakage.
(Approx time 2 hours)

5. Add insulation to your attic and outside walls,
if possible, and your floors.
(Approx time: let’s say 3 hours depending on home size)

6. Choose energy star products as you replace old appliances (washers dryers, refrigerators etc.)


Doing these six simple little adjustments (less than 6 hours invested), and look at the RESULTS for 1 MONTH—Actually before you read these amazing facts, we ask you to remember we are talking about one home, multiply that by just 500,000 homes around the world. Image the savings of money and energy, and the amount of coal that won't get stripped from the earth, the large reduction of sulfur and nitrogen oxide that won't be released into our atmosphere along with cutting down incredibly on CO2 emissions!

Per Month: 1 Home / 500,000 Homes
(A tiny percentage of world housing)

Money savings
$42.00 US/ $21,000,000.00 US

Pounds of black coal that's not needed and left in our earth
5,091 lbs/ 2,545,500,000 billion lbs

Eliminated
61 lbs/30,500,000 million lbs of asthma-causing
sulfur and nitro oxides

CO2 emissions NOT released into the air we breathe
8,708 lbs/4,354,000,000 billion lbs

 


 

 
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