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At the Store
- Look for Products with the Design for the Environment Label
- The U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment http://www.epa.gov/dfe/ program helps consumers, businesses, and institutional buyers identify cleaning and other products that perform well, are cost-effective, and are safer for the environment. Look for products with the DfE label and protect your family's health and the planet.
- Practice Waste Management
- If you use a battery operated flashlight or radio, instead of buying new batteries, buy rechargeable batteries. The rechargeable batteries and the charger cost a little more initially, but will save money in the long run. In addition, this will reduce the number of dead batteries in our landfill. We can also recycle batteries that are not rechargeable.
- We can donate or recycle old eye glasses and hearing aids . Many organizations collect used eyeglasses and hearing aids, clean them and distribute them to those in need.
- E-waste from discarded cell phones and computers is a growing problem. Donating used electronics to be reused extends the lives of valuable products and keeps them out of the landfills. Reuse, is an environmentally preferable alternative and benefits all of us. By donating used electronics, we allow schools, nonprofit organizations, and families to obtain equipment that they otherwise could not afford.
- Recycle aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic, cardboard, and newspapers. Recycling can reduce your home's carbon dioxide emissions by 850 pounds per year and keep trash out of the landfill.
- Buying Green
- Shop at the local farmers' market. Though the offerings seem more expensive, we can generally count on a higher quality product-and the entire purchase price goes to the farmer. Buying any goods produced locally saves energy by reducing the fossil fuels needed to transport food and other items across the country.
- Whether moving to a new area or trying to downsize, consider garage sales and thrift stores for buying and donating clothing and everyday items.
- Use creativity in gift giving, including making homemade gifts or even giving away an unused gift.
- Skip the bottled water at the grocery store and filter your tap water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it produces large amounts of container waste. Container waste is responsible for 4% of U.S. energy consumption. Use reusable grocery bags to reduce the volume of used bags in landfills. This can save consumption of oil to produce plastic bags. Many grocery stores now sell sturdy cloth grocery bags. Keep a stash of reusable bags in the pantry.
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