How You Can Help Save the Planet

Consider shifting your lifestyle to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly one by using these 37 suggestions.


  • Bike to work
    Riding your bike to work or school is good for both your health and the world's.
    Photo by Fotolia/Diego Cervo

  • Bike to work

OK, gang. Earth Day (April 22) is over. Remember all the slogans and the buttons and the long lists of great ideas that will save the planet? Where are they now ... now that we should be living them?  

Maybe — with the politicians and the slogan-sellers and the button manufacturers already three "causes" on down the road  — it's worth the effort to go back and reconsider at least one of those lists. This one, distributed by "Priority," is as good as any. It doesn't have all the answers and real purists are guaranteed to be offended by at least six different points. But the concern and good intentions shine through.  

Tips for Environmentally Friendly Living

1. Don't use colored facial tissues, paper towels or toilet paper. The paper dissolves properly in water, but the dye lingers on.

2. If you accumulate coat hangers, don't junk them; return them to the cleaner. Boycott a cleaner who won't accept them.



3. Use containers that disintegrate readily. Glass bottles don't decompose. Bottles made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) give off lethal hydrochloric acid when incinerated. (That's the soft plastic many liquid household cleaners, shampoos, and mouthwashes come in. Don't confuse it with the stiffer polystyrene plastic, used mainly for powders.) The Food and Drug Administration has now approved PVC for food packaging, too. Don't buy it. Use decomposable or "biodegradable" pasteboard, cardboard and paper containers instead. If you can't, at least reuse non-decomposable bottles; don't junk them after one use.

4. Don't buy non-returnable containers. Hold aluminum can purchases to a minimum.



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