water. In 2006, more than 17 million barrels of oil were used to produce bottled water, releasing 2.5 million
tons of carbon dioxide, a major global warming gas. 1,500 water bottles per second end up in the garbage.
Recycle the bottles.
2. Use fabric bags instead of stores’ single use plastic bags. 100 billion bags are used each year in the
U.S., requiring 12 million barrels of oil. More than 100,000 birds & marine animals die each year from
eating plastic. Plastic bags are the second worst litter problem in the world. They are banned in 126 U.S.
cities and 10 countries worldwide.
3. Bring a leftover container when eating in a restaurant. It reduces overeating, and stops Styrofoam use.
4. Recycle waste. Put non-animal food scraps in your garden, compost pile or bin. Recycle clean office
paper and cardboard. Recycle glass, plastics 1-7 and metal.
5. Change incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use 70-90% less energy.
6. Think before you print. Save to a flash drive or email.
7. Check labels. Buy and use recycled paper for printing, toilet tissue, facial tissue, paper towels, etc.
About 27 million trees are used each year for paper towels alone. Use cloth when possible.
8. Turn off lights and machines when not in use. Set your computer screen to sleep mode when not in
use, rather than a screen saver, saving $25-$75 per desktop a year.
9. Take your name off junk and catalog mailing lists by sending a postcard with your name (note all
name variations that appear on your mail), home address and signature to: Stop the Mail, P.O. Box 9008,
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008. Request that your name and address not be rented or sold.
10. Buy local foods such as at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market, 242 W. Western Ave., May-December
Tues, Thurs, Sat. 6 am – 3 pm, December to April Saturday 9 am – noon.
For more ideas see Planet Hero! 365 Ways to Save the Earth! By Lauren Wechsler Horn, 2009
(Compiled by Darlene DeHudy, MCC adjunct reference librarian)