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WHY GO GREEN? CAN YOU REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Why Go Green Graphic

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if the approximately 100 million households in the U.S. each changed five of their most frequently used light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights, it would be equivalent to taking 10 million cars off the road each year or preventing 54.8 million tons of carbon dioxide emission.

Did You Know?  Compact fluorescent light bulbs last 10 times longer and use 75% less energy

Each ton of paper we recycle saves 4000 kWh of electricity (enough for one home for 6 months), 7,000 gallons of water, and over 17 trees. It takes 60% less energy to recycle paper than to make it from virgin pulp.

Did You Know?  The recycle rate of paper in the U.S. is only approximately 50%? 
We use (on average) over 900 million trees to make paper pulp each year!  Also, more than 5,000 products can be made from recycled paper!

Did You Know?  It takes about 14 trees to produce enough oxygen for one adult each day.

Make the switch to cloth bags. Less than 3% of the 500 billion plastic bags distributed annually across the globe are recycled (although that is improving). Plastic bags do not biodegrade - they photodegrade, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces that enter our soil, water, and food webs.

Did You Know?  The U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic bags annually, which cost retailers $4 billion.

Turn off the water! If everyone in your household turned off the water while brushing their teeth, an average household of four could save 40 gallons of water each day, which is over 14,000 gallons each year!  Now think about this - if every household (100 million) in the U.S. did this...we could save over 4 billion gallons each day.

Did You Know?  Using water also consumes energy.  Letting your faucet run for five minutes consumes 15-25 gallons of water and as much energy as a 60 watt light bulb running for 14 hours!

Turn off and unplug your appliances, electronics and computers when they are not in use.  Think about this - if your computer uses 60 watts and it is on for eight hours per day, then it uses 480 watt hours per day, or 480/1000 = 0.48 kWh.  Households typically pay 9.4 cents per kWh, meaning that each day that you leave your computer on, you are spending $4.50 - and that adds up to $1,646.88 each year!  If you turned off your computer when it is not in use, you could save money and also cut your greenhouse gas emissions.

Did You Know?  In 2007, Americans generated 254 million tons of waste!  About 85 million were recycled or composted – 33%. This equals a reduction of 193 million metric tons of carbon dioxide or removing 35 million automobiles.

You are what you eat!  Eat local and organic.  Eating local will save on transportation costs and reduce emissions.  Eating organic makes a healthier environment and a healthier you!  The U.S. spends $5 billion each year on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Pesticides and fertilizers get into food webs and can dramatically alter aquatic ecosystems.  Pesticide residues from at least one pesticide occur on 73% of conventional foods.

Did You Know?  On average, food travels over 1,000 miles before it gets to you! Think about it!

Start a compost bin. Yard trimming and food scraps account for roughly 23% of the U.S. waste stream.  On average, only about 2.6% of food waste and approximately 50% of yard trimmings is composted.  Compost also has many benefits:  it eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers, enriches soils, suppresses plant diseases and pests, and can help clean up contaminated soil.

Did You Know?  The average American generates 4.6 pounds of waste each day.  The best ways to reduce this are to prevent it, by reducing consumption and reusing, and to recycle food and yard scraps, along with paper, glass, aluminum, and many other household items.

In 2008, Waukesha county residents recycled 23,000 tons of materials, which brought $725,000 from the sales of those recyclables into its communities. This recycling saved 174,396 trees, reduced greenhouse gases equivalent to taking about 11,000 cars off the road for one year, decreased water pollution by 100 tons, and saved enough energy to serve 2,500 homes for one year!

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