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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Great Ways to Use Less in 2011

If you think about all that you do in a day, from getting ready in the morning, to getting to work, to making dinner, it all adds up to waste and consumption. But we can do less, and it’s easier than you’d think. In 2011 have a smaller carbon footprint and make the year count.

Use Less Coal. Simply turn your furnace down 1 or 3 degrees. More than 90 percent of U.S. coal, a non-renewable resource, is used to heat our homes, so grab a blanket and snuggle with a loved one for extra warmth.

Use Less Energy is a common goal we all have, and while you might think “just this once it won’t hurt…”, it still does. So be conscious of everything that you use or do that requires energy. For example, by just washing your clothes on cold you save almost 90% of the washing machine’s energy, That’s A LOT!

Use Less Water because it won’t be around for ever. Experts say that the water crisis we are in the middle of is only going to get worse. So do you part and shorten those showers. A one-minute-shorter shower equals 150 gallons of water per month!

Use Less Paper and the trees will cheer. Use mail as scrap paper; reuse envelopes; and be sure to print on both sides. According to the EPA, reusing 2,000 pounds of paper can save 7,000 gallons of water and 380 gallons of oil.

Use Less Packaging and the world will be better for it. Buy in bulk so there is no packaging. When mailing something that needs to be cushioned, use real popcorn. It’s biodegradable, tastes good, and gets the job done just the same.

Use Fewer Hazardous Materials and we’ll all benefit. Many times there are cleaner, less toxic alternatives to hazardous materials, so try using natural pesticides and try making your own cleaning products.

Use Less Gas and slow down. We in the US use 1 million gallons of oil every 2 minutes. Slowing down can help us save it. Also remember that gas is denser when it’s colder, so fueling up in the morning gives you more for your money.

Create Less Trash. An average American throws away 90,000 pounds of trash in his or her lifetime. So try to compost some, use canvas bags when shopping, buy cloth napkins, and buy in bulk.

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