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Encouraging North Americans to Pollute Less, Consume Fewer Resources, and Use Less Energy since 2007.

(Better Late Than Never).
 
 

 

 

Miscellaneous

Below you can find advice that could not find a good home in other categories.

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Level of Change

Buy "clean" and "cruelty-free" gold and diamonds Gold production is tremendously damaging to the environment and often happens in places with few regulations to prevent such eco-damage. Google "dirty gold" to find better alternatives. Same with diamonds. Additionally, diamond trade may support civil wars and horrible actions against people. And where there is no peace and justice there cannot be a clean environment.
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"Regift" unwanted items Regifting means giving away the presents you do not want to someone who may like them. There is no good reason to keep (or throw away) what you do not like to have. Giving it to another person reduces the need for the production of a new item. Giving it back to the person you got it from may raise uncomfortable questions but also offers a good opportunity to talk about the environment.
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Say "No" more often It is not your children`s fault to try to get what they can. That is natural. You giving in is the problem and it may damage the environment depending on the request. Deny requests by your children, or other dependents to be transported everywhere anytime, receive eco-negative gifts, travel around the planet, eat meat every day, etc. Start early to raise the consciousness about eco-positive alternatives and it will be easier later.
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Register for the Green Party Depending on your state, they may get some money depending on the number of registered voters. And if there is one political party that focuses on the environment, this is the one.
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Quit small-talking when other cars are waiting The longer you take at tolls, drive-throughs, border crossings, etc., the more the cars (unless turned off) pollute. Hurry up! Talk on the phone with your friends. Make friends when there is no one waiting whith an engine running.
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Use unwaxed, not coated paper cups, plates, etc. If the paper is not coated you can at least recycle or compost the stuff.
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Join your local library Printing, selling, and buying books you only read once requires much more energy and causes more pollution than sharing the item with others in a library.
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Collect (your) dog's droppings in compostable bags That way you can pitch them in your backyard where they decompose to be good fertilizer. It may be better to keep it away from vegetable gardens though.
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Avoid gift wrapping with new paper Use reusable gift bags. Use natural materials. Use recycled paper. Use gift-wrapping paper that was made locally. Hide the presents instead of wrapping them. There are many other options that pollute less than using new paper (as well as decorative accessories made from plastic) that has to be manufactured and that has such a short life-span.
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Join a natural burial cemetery Most of us pollute even after we are dead! Traditional cemetaries pollute by constant maintenance of the property with fossil fuel powered machines and pesticides, embalming your body with toxic preservatives, dressing it in clothes that may not decay, and burying it in a coffin made from materials that lasts for decades. In a natural burial cemetaries or eco-cemetaries your body will be buried without being treated with preservatives inside a natural container or cloth and in an environment that will take care of your body the way nature intended it to do.
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Have your body prepared for cremation The human body is not all organic in many cases. Make sure that materials that should not be burned (such as tooth fillings containing mercury) are removed before your body is cremated.
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Donate your organs to a "green" person It is not always possible, but it may be something to consider because donating your organs to a person who lives a polluting live results in more pollution even though your live has ended. On the other hand, donating your organs to a person who spends her/his life living with less impact may result in spreading the word a bit further and this way reducing pollution. No guarantee though.
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Have few children The urge to have children is very natural. Unfortunately, having just a single child in North America means that you increase pollution levels significantly because North Americans pollute so much. Even if you plan to raise a model citizen who does not pollute and will be an activist in the struggle for a clean environment, this is just a plan. It may turn out to be the opposite. Having just one or two children may not result in any reduction. Not having children pollutes less for sure.
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Read news online- Avoid newspaper delivery Thousands of tons of paper are used for printing newspaper every day. It goes in the paper recycling or garbage after only a short while. Newspaper home delivery pollutes if it is done by car or other vehicle that requires fossil fuels to move. Often each paper gets delivered in a plastic bag. Getting such short-lived information online requires much less energy and creates less pollution. Just don't print what you find online.
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"Walk-in" rather than "Drive-thru" If you choose drive-thru you pollute more than parking your car, turning off the engine, and going inside. Of course opening the door of a building that has A/C running pollutes a bit, but maybe one day the decision makers change dress codes that require A/C and stop using it.
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Use e-mail rather than the postal service
Letters, cards, bills, invoices, receipts, orders, ... all this can be sent via electronic mail reliably, much faster, and with less pollution than driving or flying a physical item to its destination. Paper is not needed, does not need to be recycled, nobody feels guilty for not knowing where to put/store the sent items, and in most cases the message arrives just fine.
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Talk to your post office to not receive junk mail They may be able to leave a note on your mailbox so that you do not receive mail that is not addressed to you.
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Cancel catalog mailings and magazines The fewer paper you receive in the mail, the less you pollute. Don't blame them for sending you stuff you do not need or have time to read. The senders believe it works for them, otherwise they would not do it. You have to call and tell them to stop. Shop or read online instead.
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Choose carefully which magazines you really need Magazines and newspapers have to be printed and transported. They also require paper which then needs to be recycled. Computers need electricity, but most likely you go read only what you really want to read. Make sure to not receive magazines in the mail you do not have time to read.
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Re-use shipping containers and supplies Re-using containers and supplies results in less need for the productions of those items. Keep boxes, cushioning materials, ribbons, decorative ties, wrapping paper, etc. until you need to use it again yourself.
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Choose your Christmas tree wisely Christmas trees are grown on tree farms. They are most likely exposed to human-made pesticides (which use energy to be manufactured and pollute) that end up in your living room for you and your family to enjoy. Depending on where you live, the trees get hauled by truck from far away locations. If you have to have such holiday decoration, at least buy organic and from a local source. How about decorating a house plant, or the tree in your yard?
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Buy LED holiday lights If you really need to buy decorative holiday lights, at least buy LED lights. They use a lot less energy and will last hundreds of times longer.
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Put holiday decoration on timer Putting your holiday lights on a timer will pollute less since you can program the lights to be only on at times when it makes sense, meaning when it is dark and many people are still out and about. At other times the lights are turned off and less electricity is consumed - less pollution occurs. Of course you could just turn them on and off manually, but some people forget.
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Have no holiday decoration that uses electricity Not using electricity to celebrate holidays requires less electricity production and pollutes less, especially if your electricity is made by burning fossil fuels.
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Avoid printing receipts at gas stations If you have the choice do not get receipts printed. Saves electricity, paper, maintenance, etc. Less pollution is the result. Not much though.
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Have a plant-eating pet Dogs and cats pollute more because the production of meat costs so much energy and is so inefficient. At least feed your meat-eating pet organic products. Of course, there may not be much real meat in the food your dog/cat is eating. But how about a goat/llama/rat/chinchilla/sheep/etc.?
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Watch fewer movies and less TV Watching TV, DVDs, or video at home requires some electricity and manufacturing costs. Going to a movie theater adds energy requirements for transportation, building maintenance, heating, and A/C. Furthermore the production of movies and TV shows costs a lot of energy and resources. Generally, the environmental impact of television productions or movies is not considered at all. What decides is good, old-fashioned marketing. If it looks better and/or is cheaper - it is done. And polluting is still cheap.
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Get local flowers that are grown organically Fresh flowers grow with the help of man-made herbicides and insecticides, occasionally in heated green houses, are transported in air-conditioned trucks, maybe even airplanes, are stored in coolers to stay fresh longer, and are often grown in areas where environmental regulations are less tough. All of this pollutes. Avoid the pollution that comes with "regular" fresh flowers, avoid exotic flowers, and choose local flowers that are grown organically. Best: Ask a local farmer if you can pick some flowers on their property.
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Shovel snow Shoveling the snow rather than blowing it or plowing creates no pollution. Hire some kids to do it if you cannot or do not want to do it. It depends on the length of your drive way too. Shorter drive ways are better.
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