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Blue Crew Tips

Here are some Blue Crew Conservation Tips to help keep the planet green!


ACTIONS YOU CAN DO TODAY

  • AUTO FUEL TIPS – 
    • Drive less aggressively. Aggressive driving—rapid acceleration and braking—can lower gas mileage by as much as 33% on the highway and 5% in town.
    • In highway travel, exceeding the speed limit by a mere 5 mph results in an average fuel economy loss of 6%.
    • Air conditioning can decrease your fuel efficiency by as much as 12 percent in stop-and-go traffic, so crack the windows. At high speeds, driving with the windows open can decrease the overall efficiency of the vehicle.
  • BE PREPARED FOR POWER OUTAGE – First, know where your circuit breakers are located and how to check to see if a breaker switch is tripped or a fuse blown. Have spare fuses of various amp sizes if you don’t have breakers.
  • BUG OFF NATURALLY – Use less-toxic bug repellents, made with eucalyptus or other natural ingredients, to keep bugs away.
  • CAMP GREEN – Minimize your impact on your campsite. Select a site that has already been used, to eliminate further expansion of the campsite. In addition, leave campsite in as natural a state as possible.
  • CLEAN GREEN – Baking soda is a mild abrasive that provides economical and ecological alternatives to many cleaning chores, from removing scuff marks on linoleum floors to rinsing hairspray and shampoo buildup from hair and brushes.
  • CONSERVE ENERGY – Rearrange your rooms. Move your furniture around so you are sitting near interior walls – exterior walls and older windows are likely to be drafty. Don’t sit in the draft.
  • DON’T LITTER – Cover your stuff when transporting in a pickup truck.
  • E-CYCLE IT – Take your old computer, DVD player, or other electronics to a recycling center. This helps keep hazardous substances out of landfills.
  • GET INVOLVED – You can help our environment by joining a local community group that conducts stream monitoring to investigate its health, animal life and sustainability.
  • PACK A WASTE FREE LUNCH – Pack lunch in a reusable cloth bag or lunch box and use reusable containers.
  • PROTECT YOUR ENVIRONMENT – Take household hazardous waste to collection sites.
  • RECYCLE – After children’s drawings and paintings have been displayed for a while they can be used to wrap presents – this also makes the present special.
  • REDUCE WASTE – Pay your bills via e-billing programs to reduce the amount of waste you generate.
  • SAVE LANDFILLS – Contact community groups, churches, shelters and even schools before you discard used desks, filing cabinets and other office furnishings.
  • SAVE WATER – When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.

CONSERVE & SAVE ENERGY 

  • Adjust air conditioning and heating thermostats to use less energy when you’re sleeping or not at home.
  • Lowering your water heater’s temperature to 120 will suffice for most household needs and cut energy costs.
  • Keep your cooling system well tuned. Have it professionally maintained, and ask how the energy efficiency of the system can be increased.
  • Set your thermostat as high as possible, 78 degrees F, is often recommended as a reasonably comfortable and energy efficient indoor temperature.
  • If you have a small yard, consider using a manual push reel mower. This will save on gasoline and cut down on noise pollution.
  • Use small, efficient devices to cook food. If you are cooking a small meal, put it in a toaster oven.
  • Paint the walls of your home a light color. Dark colors tend to absorb light, using more energy from light bulbs to achieve the same effect.
  • Turn off lights and turn off computers and other equipment when you leave your office for long periods.
  • Use occupancy sensors to activate lights when you enter a room and turn them off after you leave.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost instead, and save gallons of water every time.
  • Reduce the need for ironing by taking clothes out of the dryer slightly damp and hanging them up. That can save energy – including yours.
  • Use your microwave when possible instead of a conventional one. They use 50% less energy.
  • Unplug your cell phone charger when not in use, since only 5% of the power from the charger actually works to perform the charge.
  • Be aware of drafts and fix them when they occur – much of the energy used in homes is actually lost through drafty windows and doors.
  • Keep shades closed when the air conditioner is on. Sunny windows account for 40 percent of unwanted heat and can make your air conditioner work two to three times harder.
  • Set energy-saving features on all your office equipment to put them into sleep mode when not in use.
  • Replace your windows with those having energy efficient features such as tinted glass coatings, low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, and multiple layers of glazing.
  •  To avoid running up your electric bill unnecessarily, use automatic timers on lights both indoors and out.

CONSERVE & SAVE WATER

  • Install ultra-low flow toilets, adjust flush valves or install dams on existing toilets.
  • Water the roots and soil around plants rather than spraying the leaves and flowers.
  • Collect and use rainwater for watering your garden.
  • Refrigerate a bottle or glass of water instead of letting a faucet flow until the water runs cold.
  • Group plants by their water needs. When possible, put high-need plants in naturally wetter areas of your property.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks.
  • Consider a smaller lawn and use native plants for beauty and low water use.
  • Direct downspouts or gutters toward shrubs or trees.
  • Install energy efficient shower heads and faucet aerators on water taps.
  • Do not use running water to melt ice or frozen foods.
  • Make sure you know where your master water shut-off valve is located. This could save gallons of water and damage to your home if a pipe were to burst.
  • Wash your produce in the sink or a pan that is partially filled with water instead of running water from the tap.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.  Each effort saves 3 gallons of water per day.
  • If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation. It will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals. This saves 1,000 gallons a month.
  • Using hot water for both washing and rinsing uses three and a half times more energy than washing in warm water and rinsing in cold.
  • Soak your pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  • Aerate your lawn. Aeration improves the movement of water and nutrients into the soil, decreases run-off and encourages the roots of grass to grow deeply and to become drought tolerant.
  • For cold drinks keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
  • Most people like to run the water until it warms up before getting into the shower. Get a bucket to put in your shower and catch the water so that it’s not wasted. You can use this water for cooking or watering plants.
  • When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants.

CONSERVE, SAVE & RECYCLE RESOURCES

  • Print on both sides of the paper. This is especially efficient for internal documents and drafts.
  • Bring a reusable cup to work, instead of using disposable ones.
  • Leave messages for family members/roommates on a reusable message board.
  • Stop unwanted junk mail. The junk mail that Americans receive could produce enough energy to heat 250,000 homes for one day.
  • Consider furniture made of recycled and renewable resources.
  • Create designated holding “bins” for each type of recycled product and place in convenient locations in your home/garage.
  • Choose stationery, office and publication papers and office paper supplies that have the maximum post-consumer content available, and no less than 20%.
  • Buy a water filter and drink water from the tap in a reusable bottle — that’s where 40 percent of all bottled water comes from anyway.
  • Plant native plants in your garden. They take less water and less fertilizer.
  • Reuse plastic bags by filling it with shredded paper and tie them off for cheap, reusable packing materials.
  • Combine bags. When you’re at the mall, don’t get a new shopping bag for every item—combine bags. Even better – bring your own bag!
  • Reuse plastic bags you already have. Use them as garbage bags in your house or your car.
  • Create and use note pads from once-used paper.