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Green Tips

Pump up.

Properly inflated tires could improve your gas mileage by up to three percent. The average American who drives 12,000 per year could save about 16 gallons of gasoline annually.

Lose the phone book.

You're probably using an online directory anyway. So call to stop the delivery of your traditional paper phone book. Telephone books make up almost 10 percent of waste at dump sites.

Forget the receipt.

Don't take the ATM receipt. ATM receipts are one of the top sources of litter on the planet. If everyone in the U.S. did not take a receipt from the ATM, it would save a roll of paper more than 2 billion feet long, or enough to circle the equator 15 times.

Stop junk mail.

There a variety of vendors online that you can register with to reduce the amount of junk mail you get. Each year, the average American household receives about 1.5 trees' worth of junk mail. Some of the sites cost money to register but it's worth it.

Don't wash your own car.

Commercial car washes use up to 100 less gallons of water to wash a car. They often recycle and reuse rinse water. If everyone who washed their own car chose to go to a professional car wash just once, up to 8.7 billion gallons of water could be saved and some 12 billion gallons of soapy, dirty water could be diverted from possibly entering rivers, lakes and streams.

Cool down.

Use a warm-cold cycle on your washing machine instead of the hot-hot cycle. You'll save 90 percent in energy used. If everyone in the U.S. did it, it would save 100,000 barrels of oil a day.

Use a water-filter pitcher

Bottled water isn't necessarily cleaner or better for you than tap water. Get a water-filter pitcher or an in-sink faucet filter. Take advantage of what you already pay for and save the environmental cost of transporting bottled water to the grocer's shelf.

Free lint bunnies

The average U.S. household spends up to $135 a year in energy costs drying clothes. A dirty lint filter can use 30 percent more energy to get the job done.

Carry a water bottle with you

Buy a reusable bottle that fits your lifestyle and skip buying a new one at every lunchtime stop. Need a reason? Americans use 3.3 million plastic bottles every hour but recycle only one in five.

Turn off your screen saver.

Did you know the EPA has estimated that using a computer's "sleep mode" reduces its energy consumption by 60 to 70 percent and, on a large scale, ultimately could save enough electricity each year to power Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, cut electric bills by $2 billion, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of five million cars?

Greenscaping

When organic wastes, such as leaves, grass clippings, food waste, and paper are recycled, we reduce the generation of methane gas in landfills. Almost 60 percent of the municipal solid waste produced in the United States (including paper) is compostable material. Second only to fossil-fuel combustion, landfills are a leading source of greenhouse gases. In 2005, 79 million tons of waste material was diverted away from disposal through recycling and composting.

Slow the flow

Did you know that only one percent of water on our planet is readily available for drinking? That's because only three percent of the world's water is fresh water rather than salt water; and of that amount, icecaps and glaciers account for two thirds. In a typical household, four people use approximately 9,000 gallons per month or 108,000 gallons per year. That's enough water to fill a bathtub more than 2,500 times! More than half of this usage occurs in the bathroom--from toilets (24 percent), baths (9 percent) and showers (21 percent). Leaks in bathroom faucets add another five percent, so the total amounts to much more than just a drop in the bucket.

Paper Waste

Did you know that every year enough paper is thrown away to make a 12 foot wall from New York to California? Recycling of each ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water. Recycled paper also saves 60 percent energy in comparison to new paper and generates 95 percent less air pollution. Since one-fifth of all wood harvested in the world ends up in paper it just makes sense to recycle and conserve this valuable resource.