Friday, February 25, 2011

How can I do more to help the Earth?

Ask Ida


Dear Ida B. Green,

I've been recycling and buying family-friendly cleaners ever since I can remember. Now I want to do something that has more impact—without driving me, or my family, over the edge.

Signed,

Eco-Ready

Dear Eco-Ready,

When environmentally friendly choices become second nature for you, it's great to take a look at what more you might do. And, since you mention "driving," I'll jump on that band wagon and suggest you don't drive anyone crazy ... or anywhere else.

The incredibly important role transportation choices play in your energy/environmental profile are not mentioned as often as, say, energy-efficient dishwashers. However, it's not unusual for transportation to contribute as much as 35 percent to your household's overall carbon footprint. Taking a chunk out of the time you spend behind the wheel can improve you mental health as well as the health of our environment.

Three simple ways to reduce your transportation footprint;

- Leave your car at home at least one day a week. Choose the day that will be easiest for everyone to start their carpooling, busing, walking or biking to work, school and activities and cut your transportation footprint by 1/7th or more.

- Commit to errand-chains. Group your errands together into the most efficient driving loop or one-stop shopping.

- Turn off your car when parked more than 10-20 seconds.

Keep it Green,

Ida

—Elizabeth Jeffrey




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