Save energy by keeping in your body heat. Long-sleeved sweaters can add between 2-4 degrees in added heat.
Before purchasing a product, consider how you will dispose it.
Do pick-up after your pets—cats as well as dogs. Fecal matter gets washed into the storm drains and is a source of pollution.
Packaging accounts for 40% of an average beer’s emissions when you factor in transportation. Good reason to buy local beer in cans. Applies to wine purchases as well.
Clothing made with polyester, nylon and acrylic are sources of plastic pollution when laundered. If synthetic clothes are washed in cold water, the release of the micro-plastics in the material is reduced. Another option: micro-plastic filters on washers.
Check out Quiet Communities Inc., a non-profit “dedicated to helping communities reduce health and environmental harm from noise and pollution.
If your recycling bin is filled-up, put extra in cardboard box and place it next to the bin for pick-up.
Welcome mushrooms and allow them to grow in your yard and mulch. The mushrooms enrich the soil and provide nourishment for numerous organisms.
Sweep up leaves and sticks that are in your street so that the debris isn’t swept into the stormwater system when it rains.
Disposable masks, sanitizing wipes and tissues and plastic gloves are to be put in the trash. These items are NOT recyclable
Compact fluorescents, CFLs, are accepted for recycling at most Home Depot and Lowe’s stores. The long fluorescent tubes may not be so call first.
Replace your gas-powered leaf blower with an electric one or better yet, with a rake. Gas leaf blowers are identified by the CDC and EPA as sources of harmful noise: “ this type of noise is not just an annoyance, it is a public health problem.”
Leaves will enrich your soil. Rake them into small, low piles and then mow over the piles. The shredded leaves can then be gathered to use as mulch.
Security yard lights kill thousands of moths. Replace these lights with motion-sensor lights that light-up only when motion is detected.
Install covers over your window wells to prevent small critters like frogs from entering and becoming trapped in the window wells. The plastic covers are an inexpensive fix and easy to install.
Avoid using them!! “Bug Zappers.” are indiscriminate and non-selective: they attract and kill all kinds of insects unnecessarily.
Contact the Garden Helpline offered by Buncombe County Master Gardeners. Send questions and photos to email@example.com or call 828-250-4878.
Squash the plastic bottles and cans if you can but do not flatten them like a pancake because they would be hard to separate from paper recyclables.
Store in air-tight containers in the refrigerator to extend the life. If only using occasionally, store in freezer.
Cut down on packaging by choosing tea bags that don’t have strings and tags or are in individual wrappers.
Sunscreens labeled “reef-safe” may not mean that they are 100% reef-friendly (non-harmful to coral reefs) because the label is not currently regulated. FMI: Environmental Working Group’s guide to sunscreens.
To make ocean-friendly choices when you eat seafood, check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s consumer guide at seafoodwatch.org
No More Hormone Eggs
As reported in Consumer Reports, eggs labeled “raised with no hormones” are no different from eggs that don’t have that claim. By law, chickens that produce eggs cannot be given hormones.
Every once and a while, check the rubber gasket on your gas cap to be sure it’s not cracked and allowing gasoline to evaporate because of a poor seal.
When shopping for wood products, look for a FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label. The Council certifies that the wood comes from sustainably managed forests.
Your oven or pot retain heat well so consider turning off the stove or oven several minutes before timer rings. Your food will continue cooking.
Avoid putting tissue paper and facial paper and wipes into toilet. These products do not easily dissolve in water. Sewer systems are designed for only human waste and toilet tissue.
Do not use products containing neonicotinaids (neonics). Some chemicals associated with the neonics’ family are Acetamiprid, Cothianidin and Imidacloprid and are known to be harmful to bees. Read labels on products in your home and local garden center. Avoid using neonics.
Switch on bathroom exhaust fans when using hair spray or nail polish. These products release VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Who’s funding the fossil fuel industry? Check out “Banking on Climate Change—Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020” from Rain Forest Action Network ( ran.org )