Make a Difference

Tips for Home


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Transportation


Did you know that HOW you drive can make a big difference in the amount of fuel you consume and carbon dioxide you produce?  By accelerating slowly, driving at a moderate speed, and avoiding the need for hard breaking, you can dramatically increase the mileage you get from a tank of fuel.  Keep your tires properly inflated and maintain speeds of 60mph or less to save fuel and emissions released into the atmosphere. 

Action: Walk, ride a bicycle, or carpool.
Why: Alternative transportation reduces gasoline consumption, which reduces oil drilling globally. This helps maintain coastal habitat for the California sea lion and other wildlife.

Learn more tips about saving fuel and biking to work:  San Diego Ride Link 

Food & Water

Buy produce at your local Farmer’s Market to reduce the miles your food has to travel, thus reducing the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere.  The amount of food shipped between nations has grown fourfold over the past 40 years.

Action: Buy water-efficient appliances.
Why:  Water-efficient washing machines and dishwashers, low-flow showerheads, and low-flush toilets can reduce water consumption by 60 to 90 percent.  That means more clean water stays in our rivers where river otters live.

Health & Beauty

“You are what you eat!”  We’ve all heard this phrase before, and are conscience of what we put into our bodies, but are we conscience of what we put onto our bodies?  The average person uses between 10-45 pounds of soaps, toiletries and cosmetics each year.  Many cosmetics and toiletries have been found to contain chemicals that are either known carcinogens or are simply untested.  Although small amounts you absorb through your skin may not cause noticeable harm, when washed down the drain, these ingredients accumulate to equal levels of agrichemicals.  natural alternatives when buying beauty products.

Closing the Loop

Bring your own bags to carry purchases from the grocery and retail stores and help save sea turtles Unfortunately, plastic bags resemble jellyfish (a sea turtle’s food source) and when these plastic bags get placed into landfills, it takes hundreds of years to degrade.  Americans go through approximately 380 BILLION plastic bags each year and it is estimated that about 100 million of these bags escape into the wild and waters.  So say “no” to plastic bags offered at stores and bring your own!                               

Action: Use canvas bags or recycle plastic grocery bags.
Why: When plastic bags aren’t recycled, they can find their way to the ocean and can be mistaken for food by sea turtles.

For more info about plastic bags and what you can do, visit the California integrated Waste Management Board.)

Grow the Green

Plants and soil loose water during the day through evaporation. Watering during the cooler times of the day gives water a chance to permeate the soil and be absorbed by the roots of the plants.  Encourage your family and neighbors to water their yard early in the morning or late in the evening. You can also conserve water by replacing little-used grass areas with a native garden or put a ground cover like mulch in.  Putting mulch around plants can cut the amount of water lost through evaporation by up to 70 percent!  It also limits weed growth and improves the soil!  To learn more tips on water conservation or xeriscape landscaping for your own yard or garden, visit the San Diego County Water Authority Web site.

Action: Don’t over-water the lawn.
Why: The endangered horned lizard is starving to death!  When we over-water our yards, we attract water-loving Argentine ants.  These displace native Southern California ants, which are the horned lizard’s food source.  What can you do to help?  If you live in Southern California, use a hose, set your sprinklers manually, or only water during cooler times of the day to avoid over-watering.

 

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