9) Don't use screen savers--they waste energy. Instead, set your
computer so that the screen "goes to sleep" or blacks out when it is not
10) Buy compact fluorescent lamps. Today's models aren't anything like
those awful overhead fluorescent lights we suffered with in school. If
you are replacing fixtures to switch over to fluorescents, start with
lights that are turned on for long periods, like an outside porch light.
The energy savings, and the pleasant, high-quality lighting, will
convince you to convert your whole house.
11) When purchasing new appliances, always look for the Energy Star
label, which tells you the product uses less energy than other new
12) Install a ceiling fan in your house to cool it in summer and heat it
in winter. For heating, switch the fan to the reverse mode, which pulls
warm air from below and pushes it out against the ceiling and down the
PERSONAL CHOICES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE
13) Buy your gasoline at stations that carry gas without the additive MTBE,
a known toxic. As of 2004, all gas stations in California may sell only MTBE-free
gasoline. But it's not so in other states. Choose your gas station wisely
when you travel out-of-state.
14) Buy and use a digital camera instead of a film camera. Developing
film requires the use of toxic chemicals. It also creates waste. Go
digital and you don't pollute.
15) Make sure that your carwash recycles their water. If they don't,
find another carwash.
16) Recycle glass, plastics, paper, and anything else you can. Equally
important: Buy recycled products whenever possible. This contributes to
the demand for more recycled products, and builds a solid,
17) Give the oceans a break--don't eat endangered fish. Stay away from
Chilean seabass, sea scallops, shrimp, swordfish, orange roughy, and
Atlantic cod. Instead, try eating seafood that isn't in danger of
extinction: albacore or tombo tuna, catfish, Dungeness crab, halibut,
California or Alaska wild salmon, calamari or squid, Australian rock
lobster, tilapia, and sand dabs. Mussels, oysters, and clams that are
grown on "farms" are also okay to eat.
Can't keep it all straight? Go to www.mbayaq.org and print out a
wallet-sized card you can carry with you.
18) Love to eat salmon? Buy wild salmon, not farmed salmon. Not only
does wild salmon taste better, it is also free of harmful antibiotics.
Farmed salmon are raised in floating net-pens; the process creates an
intense amount of pollution in a small area of the ocean. Ask your
butcher, or your waiter, if the salmon is wild or farmed.
19) Invest in a socially responsible manner. Think you can't earn
interest on your ethical values? Check out the following websites: www.greenmoney.com or
20) Join an environmental organization. My personal favorites are the
Sierra Club and the
National Resources Defense Council, but many other
good ones exist. Also, do some good in your own neighborhood--like
volunteer at your local park to maintain trails or pick up trash.