Bag the Use of Plastic Bags
Did you know there’s so much plastic in the ocean that it kills 100,000 sea mammals—and 10 times that number of seabirds—each year? Fortunately, one way to help cut the carnage is also one of the simplest: Stop taking plastic bags from retailers. You can also take part in beach cleanups; visit Ocean Conservancy at www.oceanconservancy.org or call 800-519-1541.
Clean Without Chlorine
Chlorine, a common ingredient in bleach and other cleansers, is bad business as far as water purity is concerned. Use greener cleaners, including bleaches based on oxygen or hydrogen peroxide. To get involved in clean water activism, visit Food & Water Watch at www.foodandwaterwatch.org or call 202-683-2500.
Green Your Household Energy
Fossil fuels energize not only our cars but our lives in general—more than 70% of all electricity generated in this country comes from coal, gas or oil. Fight the fossil power by buying green energy, such as that generated via wind or solar. You can also look into renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset your usage; visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/gpmarket/rec.htm.
Look Up Your Local Air Quality
Keeping track of what pollutants are passing through your skies is easier with the Pollution Outlook Map. This interactive service from the Environmental Protection Agency provides the Air Quality Index (AQI) daily for five major pollutants: carbon monoxide, ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide, particulates and sulfur dioxide. See it for yourself at http://cfpub.epa.gov/airnow.