Q:

What are some simple ways to reduce your footprint on the environment?

A:

Quick Answer

To reduce your footprint on the environment, cut down on the amount of energy you use, make wise travel choices, buy sustainably produced products and recycle whatever you can. Check your carbon footprint using the household carbon footprint calculator on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website, and set a goal to try to improve it.

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Full Answer

Reduce home energy use by replacing old light bulbs with Energy Star-approved compact fluorescent bulbs, and when you need to replace appliances, choose Energy Star-qualified products. Perform regular maintenance on your heating units and air conditioners to keep them running efficiently, and turn them off when they are not in use. Use insulation, weather stripping and caulk to seal leaks that drain heat or cold. Conserve water by repairing leaks, not letting water run unnecessarily, and watering your lawn or garden during cool parts of the day.

To reduce energy use while traveling, plan your trips wisely so that you use the car as little as possible by combining errands and having video conference business meetings. Avoid plane trips for short distances, and take the train instead. To maximize efficiency while traveling to work, join a car pool, or use public transportation. When using your car, drive slowly and safely.

When shopping, look for organically grown local foods and products with recycled content. Choose biodegradable cleaning products. Avoid buying products with too much packaging, and bring your own reusable bags. Recycle paper, food containers and other rubbish, and compost food and yard waste.

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