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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Progress Report 2010

EPA's mission is to protect human health and the environment. To honor the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we invite you to join us by taking individual action—here are 40 things we can each do to reduce greenhouse gases and help save the planet:

At Home
At School
On the Road
At Work
Everywhere
1.

Stop junk mail (opt out)

9.

Perform an energy audit of school buildings

17.

Drive a more fuel efficient car, or join a car share

25.

Print less, use 100% recycled paper and print double sided

33.

Get involved—exercise your rights to promote sustainable choices

2.

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights—and turn them off when not in use

10.

Teach students how to make eco-friendly choices

18.

Walk, bike, carpool or take transit as much as possible

26.

Reduce and green your vehicle fleet, increase use of public transit

34.

Switch to reusable items, such as bags and lunch containers

3.

Buy local, sustainably produced food

11.

Start a recycled materials art program

19.

Reduce your air travel and use e-tickets instead of paper

27.

Use environment-friendly cleaning supplies (e.g. Green Seal approved)

35.

Turn off lights, appliances and electronics when not in use

4.

Adjust your thermostat—up in summer, down in winter

12.

Create a compost bin for food scraps—and recycle cans, bottles and paper

20.

Go easy on the accelerator, use cruise control, and keep your car tuned up and tires well inflated

28.

Buy EPEAT certified computers and monitors

36.

Bring your own reusable mug when you go out for coffee or tea

5.

Install water saving fixtures in bath and kitchen

13.

Create an organic vegetable garden

21.

Make sure your mechanic recycles used automotive oil and coolant

29.

Use video and telephone conferences to reduce travel

37. Buy recycled and recyclable products, eliminate plastic and styrofoam
6.

Buy Energy Star certified appliances

14.

Reduce or recycle toxic chemicals in school laboratories

22.

Choose a green hotel, eco-tours and other earth-friendly travel choices

30.

Green your meetings—replace paper handouts with e-documents, recycle waste

38.

Compost your food/organic waste

7.

Install solar panels or switch to renewable energy sources

15.

Help students volunteer for local habitat restoration projects

23.

Ask hotel staff not to replace your towels and sheets every day

31.

Start a composting program and set a goal of zero waste

39.

Recycle paper, glass, plastics, electronics

8.

Shop at thrift stores and buy used or refurbished products

16.

Rent college textbooks instead of buying them

24.

Bring a reusable water bottle

32.

Organize co-workers to carpool or bike to work

40.

Keep reusable shopping bags handy and use everywhere you shop

40 things bar graph

DO JUST ONE THING FOR A YEAR… AND IT ADDS UP

If one person drinks tap water instead of one liter of bottled water each day, it would save the energy equivalent 1.6 Kilowatt- hours per day, 46 gallons of gas per year, or 0.41 metric tons of CO2. If all 49 million people in the Pacific Southwest Region did the same, it would save the equivalent of 2.3 billion gallons of gas per year—the amount used by 3.8 million cars, or 20 million metric tons of CO2. If everyone in the USA did the same, it would save the equivalent of 14.2 billion gallons of gas per year—the amount used by 24.1 million cars, or 126 million metric tons of CO2.*

*This is an estimate of the greenhouse gas savings for bottled water produced and used locally. For bottled water from distant locations, the carbon footprint may double! The calculation assumes that the water is bottled using electricity with the U.S. average carbon emissions.
[Sources: Gleick & Cooley, "Energy Implications of Bottled Water," Pacific Institute, Oakland, Calif., 2009; U.S. EPA, Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator]

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