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Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

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I think it is a great reminder to take a step back from our busy lives and look at ways that we can all make a difference. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and is always celebrated on April 22nd of each year.

Some Earth Day Trivia for you today: (answers will be below)

1) Which household appliance uses the most energy?
A) Refrigerator
B) Toaster
C) Dishwasher
D) Washing machine

2) “Phantom carriers” is a term used for electronic devices that:
A) Move from room to room
B) Continue to consume electricity even when switched off
C) Are really expensive
D) Are energy efficient

3) What percentage do heating costs rise by for every degree above 20°C that you set your household thermostat in the winter?
A) 2%
B) 4%
C) 5%
D) 7%

4) A typical 5-minute shower uses ____ litres of water:
A) 50
B) 100
C) 150
D) 200

5) How much water is used to produce 1kg of paper?
A) 100 litres
B) 200 litres
C) 300 litres
D) 400 litres

Here are the Top 10 actions to reduce your impact on the environment according to Earth Day Canada:

1) Smart Shopping
• “Buy what you need, not what you want”
• Consider renting and borrowing things that are
seldom needed
• Buy used items from garage sales and second-hand stores

2) Simple Savers
• Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact
fluorescent bulbs
•Use aerators on faucets and shower heads
•Weatherstrip windows and doors
3) Transportation Alternatives
• Walk, cycle, car pool and use public transportation
• When driving, reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure
• Consider car sharing programs or renting

4) Food Choices
• Choose local and organic foods that are in season
• Eat less meat

5) Washing and Drying
• Wash full loads of clothes in cold water and hang to air dry

6) Heating and cooling
• For summer air conditioning, set your thermostat to 24°C or 25°C
• For winter heating, set your thermostat to 19°C or 20°C
• Install ceiling fans and programmable thermostats

7) Close to Home
• Vacation, travel and work as close to home as possible

8.) Bathroom Basics
• Take short showers instead of baths
• Close water taps while brushing your teeth

9) Careful Cleaning
• Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products
• Make natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water

10) Don’t Discard
• Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash
• Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc.
should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers

11) Set up a a kitchen compost
•You can reduce your waste output by 33% by simply discarding your food scraps and yard wastes into a compost. You don’t need anything fancy, just a small garbage container or an unused pail you have lying around the house! Then line it with compostable bags or paper bags.

Answers to the quiz:
1) Answer: A – Refrigerators use about 11% of a household’s total energy consumption.
Take Action: Buy Energy Star endorsed refrigerators, which will use less energy and save you money. Also, make sure your refrigerator is set to optimal energy use temperatures (between 2°C and 3°C).

2) Answer: B – “Phantom carriers” are products that draw power 24 hours a day. Appliances that have a clock or programming displays such as coffee makers, DVD players, computers, printers, and stereos are considered phantom load carriers. 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics
is consumed while the products are turned off.
Take Action: Unplug electrical appliances and equipment when you leave the room or use a power bar that connects all of these units and then simply switch the bar off.

3) Answer: C
Take Action: Don’t overheat your home in the winter. Put on a sweater and dress accordingly in order to save money and to use less energy.

4)Answer: B
Take Action: Use a low flow showerhead and you can reduce the amount of water used during a five minute shower to 35 litres. You will save water and money on your water bill.

5) Answer: C
Take Action: Use both sides of a sheet of paper before recycling it. Buy products that are labeled: contains “post-consumer” recycled material. This means it is made from things that you put into your blue box.

Have a wonderful Earth Day and let's all do one thing to keep our Earth in good healthy condition!!!

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