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5 Simple Techniques to Limit the Environmental Impact of Plastics

I hate plastic items in many ways because most of them never biodegrade and litter the landscape as well as cause direct impact to wildlife. Many sea creatures for example turtles die from eating plastic bags as they look like jelly fish to them, birds get caught up in six pack holders and plastic based strings and ropes, and plastic nets caught on the bottom of the ocean and lakes kill creatures for almost ever. However plastics are also very convenient and useful. They a re simply not going away and can be used more responsibly for most of us. Here are five simple techniques to limit the environmental impact of plastics.

1) Do not use plastic grocery bags when you can avoid it! Many plastics give you a choice of plastic or paper. Even better, buy cloth bags and bring them to the stores with you. Some not only give you a discount per bag, but often sell reusable cloth bags right at the checkout counters. These cloth bags can be used over and over indefinitely, and most are attractive and fashionable as well. I have several, and always carry some in my car just in case I make an unplanned grocery store visit.

2) Reuse plastic items in your house and office. Sometimes plastic bags can be reused as can plastic boxes and jars. We have some plastic jars we have been reusing for many years for example. Many plastic items designed to be disposable can be reused many times. Even some flimsy packaging may be reusable a couple of times. A little creativity can go a long way here. A lot of plastics that are normally thrown away can be reused.

3) Try to get others to reuse plastics you cannot. A prime example is plastic packaging peanuts that you may receive with mail order items but have no use for. Most packaging stores are very happy to take them off your hands! I also give all my empty milk jugs to a friend who reuses them for the beer he brews. This is much better than letting all this stuff fill up landfills or litter the side of the road!

4) You may be able to reuse plastic items others have no use for. We regularly get 5 gallon plastic pickle jars from a local restaurant that they have no use for and reuse them for many purposes, including storing bird seed, sand and gravel, fishing bait, and much more.

5) Do not buy items that come with too much packaging, and if you must, write or otherwise contact the manufacturer or distributor and let them know. They usually aim to please their customer base and may be able to make more environmentally friendly choices.

Of course the final choice, and the least carbon friendly one, is traditional recycling. I sort and recycle all items possible in my house, plastic included. Not all of them are recyclable, but a great majority are and recycling is convenient in most areas, often with home pickup.


The Reasons For Choosing Hybrid Vehicles Go Beyond Fuel Savings

This article will give an explanation on the technology behind a hybrid car along with the benefits you can reap when purchasing a hybrid car.

We all see the high price of gas a day and how much it can cost to fill up the car. There have been attempts throughout the years to find a better method to help cars run. The hybrid has been the best attempt yet. Electric cars have existed for a number of years but they did not make sense for many people. To truly work, the electric battery had to be plugged into a power outlet and you could not travel long distances due to not having a recharging station potentially at the place which you were traveling to. The hybrid car has entered the market and it is the first commercially viable option anyone has as an alternative to a gasoline powered vehicle.

A hybrid car has certain advantages to it which you cannot find at a gasoline powered vehicle. Depending upon the type of car, you often can receive between 50 and 60 miles to the gallon. Imagine the kind of savings this can have for your wallet. The average person in the United States is rumored to drive around 12,000 miles year. If you receive 60 miles to the gallon, you will need to buy 200 gallons of gas a year. If you have a gasoline powered vehicle with 30 miles to the gallon, you need to buy 400 gallons of gas a year. This difference of 200 gallons of gas at today's price of $2.60 is $520. Look the amount of money you save by using a hybrid car. Hybrid cars also have lower levels of toxic fumes emitted when used in with gasoline powered vehicles.

When you're looking at the recent hybrid releases, there were a couple of different cars which you can look into. The Chevrolet Silverado has a particular kind of battery called the mild hybrid. Not much energy is stored within this battery so it will not have the same sort of energy boost as other hybrid she may look into. The thinking behind this mild hybrid is that is perfect for camping or when you're outdoors because it can be a generator for some of your electronic devices. Toyota has been able to develop its Prius to operate in only electric mode. This allows the gasoline powered part of the engine to remain off so that you are minimizing your gas consumption and keeping more money in your pocket.

Hybrid releases continue to grow in number as for car manufacturers enter this particular segment of the market. Nissan is coming out with a hybrid along with other companies such as General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, and BMW. Depending upon the next time you hit the car market, you may want to look into a hybrid car. The improvements in technology through the years have now made a hybrid car feasible for you to buy while receiving strong benefits with less disadvantages than in the past.


Saving Energy: at Home, at Work, or While Out and About

People often implement energy-saving activities in their homes for two reasons: to save money, and to help the environment by saving resources. But once you leave your house, there's no reason to hold back on environmental friendliness. After all, the fate of the environment still stands as a massive issue, and can be helped by way of significant changes in human activity.

Of course, significant changes often result from the collective influence of smaller changes - a notion that certainly applies to environmental conservation. If each and every household in Britain were to make small changes with regard to resource conservation, all those changes would collectively amount to a big difference. And, if individuals in each of those households took further measures to conserve resources throughout the day - whether at work or while out and about - the resulting change would be even more significant. The great thing is, the habits required to make a difference for the environment aren't difficult to adopt, and won't significantly change anyone's lifestyle. They're easy to implement, and they're sure to make a difference if everyone pitches in.

So what are some basic steps you can take each day to do your part for the environment? In your home, it's a good idea to insulate your loft and to fit a jacket to your hot water tank. With 75 per cent of homes wasting energy due to inadequate insulation and loss of heat in their water tanks, these two simple measures can make a big difference to your energy bills and the amount of energy you save. Updating your boiler is another simple yet effective step, as old boilers aren't as efficient in heating your house. Of course, it's always a good idea to switch lights and electrical items off when you're not using them - including appliances left on standby - and to use energy efficient light bulbs throughout your home. Finally, opt for showers over baths, as they use less water and energy for heat, and fill your kettle only with as much water you'll actually need.

Keeping an eye on energy usage at work is great way to make a difference. Many people leave their computers on at night, leave the heat running, or even leave the lights on in the building when they leave. But ensuring everything gets turned off at the end of the day will ultimately make a big difference in energy saving efforts. If your workplace hasn't already adopted an energy-saving scheme, why not initiate one yourself? You can even incorporate recycling into these measures for a more environmentally friendly workplace.

Finally, there are various ways to help the environment when you're out and about. For instance, before jumping into your car, ask yourself whether you can walk, bike, or take public transportation to your destination. Recycling is another way you can contribute. Many people will recycle in their homes, but often fail to do so in public when there are no recycling bins within convenient reach. Consider hanging on to your plastic bottle or glass container until you do reach a recycling bin. You might also consider whether you can re-use any items yourself, such as glass jars or plastic bags, instead of placing them in a recycling bin.

With so many simple ways to incorporate resource conservation in our everyday lives, anyone can positively impact the environment. So do your part starting today - whether it's in your home, at work, or while out and about.


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