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Ten Painless Planet-Savers


10. Instead of using paper OR plastic at the supermarket, get re-usable bags (many grocery stores now sell cloth bags with handles and even zippers).

9. Use lights only as necessary, turning off lights when you leave a room empty and using outdoor lights only when necessary.

8. Use water carefully. Don't run the water while brushing your teeth. Take short showers, not baths. Use only as much water as you absolutely need for plants, lawns, or car washing.

7. Keep the lint screen clean in your clothes dryer. Air-dry clothes as much as you can.

6. Keep your tires properly inflated, your brakes checked, and your engine tuned, and use a high-grade synthetic motor oil, so that your car is as fuel-efficient as it can be.

5. Drive fuel-efficiently. If you see a red light coming up, coast, don't race and then stop abruptly. The more coasting you can do, the better, and the less fast acceleration or abrupt stopping.

4. If you are in the market for a new vehicle, go as green as you possibly can: start with the highest-mileage hybrids and go up to larger, less efficient products only if your needs truly demand the size or power. A powerful car is "fun," but not on a dead planet.

3. Minimize the use of air conditioning and heating – be a little colder in the winter and a little warmer in the summer. Also, don't keep your refrigerator or freezer any colder than they have to be. Government recommendations are for 38 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge, 5 degrees in the freezer. Any more is over-using electricity.

2. Replace incandescent bulbs with low-energy fluorescent ones. The "twisty" low-energy fluorescents don’t tend to work well in fixtures that are on a dimmer, however, so start with your fixtures that are on regular on/off switches.

1. Eat less meat. Experts say that a vegetarian contributes more to the fight against global warming and other forms of pollution in one year than a person who switches from an average car to a high-mileage hybrid. Recent research also supports cutting meat out, or largely out of your diet in order to reduce your chances for getting cancer.



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