Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Alternative: Change Purchasing Patterns

Recycle materials you use and buy recycled products!
Recycling saves resources, decreases the use of toxic chemicals, cuts energy use, helps curb global warming, stems the flow of water and air pollution, and reduces the need for landfills and incinerators.

Case study: As USA’s number-one specialty coffee retailer, Starbucks goes through a lot of cups, 1.9 billion of them. Environmental Defense calculates that Starbucks’ move to use new hot cups with 10 percent postconsumer recycled paper will achieve the following annual environmental improvements:
Resource savings // Equivalency
11300 fewer tons of wood consumed // about 78000 trees
58 billion BTUs of energy saved // enough to supply 640 homes for a year
47 million gallons of wastewater avoided // enough to fill 71 Olympic-sized swimming pools
3 million pounds of solid waste prevented // equivalent to 109 fully-loaded garbage trucks

Use durable goods!
Bring your own cloth bags to local stores. Replace plastic and paper cups with ceramic mugs, disposable razors with reusable ones. Refuse unneeded plastic utensils, napkins, and straws when you buy takeout foods. Use a cloth dishrag instead of paper towels at home, and reusable food containers instead of aluminum foil and plastic wrap.

Buy energy-efficient products!
When buying new appliances and electronics, look for the highest energy-efficiency rating. The most energy-efficient models carry the Energy Star label, which identifies products that use 20-40 percent less energy than standard new products.

Case study: According to the EPA, the typical American household can save about $400 per year in energy bills with products that carry the Energy Star. Refrigerator typically accounts for 20 percent of the electric bill. On the average, new refrigerators and freezers are about 75 percent more efficient than those made 30 years ago, so investing in a modern refrigerator can cut hundreds of dollars from your electric bill during its lifetime.

Switch to compact flourescent bulbs!
Each compact fluorescent bulb will keep half a ton of carbon dioxide out of the air over its lifetime. Though compact fluorescents are initially a lot more expensive than the traditional bulbs, they last ten times as long and can save $30 per year in electricity costs.

p.s. My sheet contains quite a lot of text, so here I did some editing, if you need the whole text, I can e-mail it to one of you.

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