“Eco-Friendly”

Understanding the Impact of Your Choices

Right now, the planet’s resources are being depleted far faster than they can be replenished. Reserves are dwindling and are becoming more common and widespread than ever before. Thankfully, it’s not too late to make the changes that the planet and its people need for a safe, healthy, prosperous, and compassionate future. Think about the impact that each individual decision has, and weigh the pros and cons of your everyday actions and choices.

Recycling

  • Fact: If you recycle one aluminum can it saves enough energy to power a television for four hours.

  • Fact: If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 25 million trees each year!

  • Fact: It takes aluminum cans 200-500 years to decompose if it is not recycled.

Pollution and Waste

  • Fact: Every 60 seconds, 37,000 empty soft-drink bottles are thrown away in the U.S.

  • Fact: An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!

  • Fact: Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.

  • What you can do: Set up a complete recycling system for bottles, cans, photocopier cartridges, batteries, printer ink cartridges, and plastic.

Energy

  • What you can do: Install water-saving taps, showerheads, and low-flush or dual-flush toilets.

  • What you can do: Make sure that all equipment or various household appliances are turned off before you leave the house or at night.

  • What you can do: Install task lighting and high-efficiency compact fluorescent lighting.

Saving and Investing Wisely

When it comes to saving or investing your money, you can make it work for both you and the environment by choosing where you bank. An increasing number of financial institutions offer savings accounts or investment services that support green, sustainable, and socially responsible programs, often in your own community. Some financial institutions not only offer these accounts but conduct their day-to-day operations in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

The kinds of financial programs that these institutions offer may include using the money in savings and investment accounts to leverage low-interest loans to help local businesses improve their energy efficiency or to build alternative energy infrastructures such as solar and wind power. Programs may also help non-profit organizations set up work or affordable housing initiatives.

When it comes to long-term investments such as mutual funds or the stock market, you can go green there, too, by opting for an ethical or green fund that invests in companies that meet various environmental or social criteria or by investing directly in the companies themselves. Some green-minded investment accounts ask you to accept a lower interest on your savings in exchange for these positive effects, but for others, you have the opportunity for just as much of a return as you would get if your money were in the conventional accounts.


• Source: Green Living for Dummies

It is time for all of us to make better CHOICES… Are you with us?