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A PSNA Environmental Health Committee Update

Eco-Friendly Tips


  • Turn off lights, use energy-efficient bulbs, and unplug electronics or unused appliances
  • Purchase efficient appliances with an Energy Star rating
  • Wash clothing in cold water and hang it to dry
  • Prolong clothing life by reducing fabric wear caused by dryers
  • Walk, bike, use public transit, or carpool
  • Increase your car’s fuel economy by avoiding rapid acceleration or excessive braking
  • Conserve water to reduce energy requirements and carbon emissions
  • Turn off water while brushing teeth or shaving
  • Switch to green power and research your power company (wind, water, coal, or solar)
  • Review renewable resources through
  • Recycle packaging and consumer goods
  • Purchase items with minimal and recyclable packaging
  • Call 800-RECYCLE or visit Ecology’s recycling site
  • Dispose of electronics in an environmentally responsible manner
  • Recycle or re-purpose clothing and household goods
  • Recycle newspaper, plastic, glass, and metal
  • Use a chipper to grind up branches and yard waste for mulch or compost
  • Compost kitchen waste
  • Be aware of tick season
    – According to the CDC, 2017 has been the worst in several years
    – A milder winter in 2016 has caused a surge in the mouse population
    – Mice carry Lyme and ticks feed on mice
  • Use low-phosphate liquid and washing powders
    – Phosphates stimulate algal growth when discharged into the water supply
    – Phosphates lower oxygen levels, as well as kills plants and fish
  • Buy local, or better still, grow your own food
  • Buy from companies with eco-friendly policies
  • Eat no meat or animal products at least once a week
    – Studies estimate that production of a 1/4 lb. of beef requires 460 gallons of water
    – There are also effects from methane
  • Reduce reliance on plastic, especially avoid plastic straws
  • Refuse plastic bags or reuse/recycle the bags
  • Reuse cloth bags (in the U.S., nearly 14,000 trees are cut each year for paper bags)
  • Carry a mug to avoid disposable cups in landfills
  • Save files electronically – think twice before printing
  • Make gifts of experience or service to create a more meaningful (less stressful) holiday



  • Plant a tree for shade and removal of carbon from the atmosphere
  • Select plants that are suited to your climate and require minimal watering
  • Start a compost heap to reduce waste to landfill sites
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Eliminate or reduce chemical fertilizers
  • Use an efficient irrigation system
  • Mulch around plants to conserve water
  • Participate in Earth Day activities
  • Become informed about your local watershed
  • Collect rainwater for watering plants


  • Use fans to circulate air
  • Set air conditioners to make your home comfortable (not icy cold)
  • Limit sun exposure, wear protective clothing, and use non-chemical sunscreen
    – Sunscreen chemicals kill coral reefs
    – These chemicals have led to lymphoma in humans and dogs
  • Use solar panels – they are effective even in areas without extreme sunshine


  • Don’t sweep leaves and clippings into the street
    – Clippings in storm drains causes algae growth in local water sources
    – Pesticides in the grass can harm fish
  • Compost yard waste
  • Burn dry wood – wet wood releases pollutants into the air
  • Never burn treated wood, magazines, color newsprint, plastics, or garbage
  • Purchase reusable stainless steel containers for packed lunches


  • Wrap gifts in fabric and tie with ribbon – both are reusable
  • Insulate your home and pipes
  • Purchase window coverings to keep in warmth and seal any existing cracks
  • Reduce your thermostat by 3.5° F and lower water heater temps to 120° F
  • Decorate with earth-friendly trees
  • Prevent pollution when camping or skiing
  • Reduce fuel in gasoline-powered lawn mowers or garden equipment
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