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Green Tips

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Green Team Green Tips

Energy | Food | Transportation | Cleaning | Waste & Recycling | Water Conservation

Every little action has a big impact!

Energy & Gas

  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room to save energy. Our energy comes primarily from fossil fuels, which are the largest source of CO2 emissions in the U.S.
  • Change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs with the energy star logo), when they burn out. CFLs use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Unplug electronics and appliances when you are not using them, especially over vacations and breaks. They continue to draw power even when switched off; this is referred to as a "phantom load."
  • Use natural daylight whenever possible and forego electric lights.
  • Close your blinds and/or shades at night in the winter to keep heat from escaping. Open them during the day to allow sunlight to provide natural heat.
  • Shut down your computer and turn off your monitor when you are away from it for more than an hour and over night.
  • Don’t Pre-Heat the Oven – unless needed, just turn the oven on after you put the dish in it. Also, to see if it’s finished just look through the glass instead of opening it.
  • Use a desk or clip-on lamp instead of overhead lights.
  • Re-think your thermostat settings—a degree higher for air-conditioning and a degree lower for heating could save $100 per year on your utility bill.
  • Set your refrigerator between 37°F and 40°F, anything colder wastes energy.
  • Don’t keep the refrigerator door open. For every minute a refrigerator door is open, it will take three minutes for it to regain its temperature.
  • Use a dishwasher. A study done by the University of Bonn in Germany determined that a modern dishwasher uses only half the energy and one-sixth of the water, and less soap, than washing by hand.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water. Doing so will save energy and money. Except for the dirtiest of laundry, there are no drawbacks to using cold water.
  • Purchase Energy Star rated products. They use less energy and in-turn save you money on your utility bill.
  • Dry your clothes on an indoor clothes rack in the winter, when possible. It will save energy and keep your healthier by raising the indoor humidity in your room.
  • Ditch the elevator; take the stairs whenever you can. It is great exercise and better for the environment.
  • If you own a home, make sure it is well insulated so you do not waste energy. It will also keep your home more comfortable. Additionally, you can use a programmable thermostat to avoid cooling or heating your home when no one is home.

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Food

  • Buy local foods as much as possible. Buying locally reduces the amount of fossil fuels burned to get your food from the farm to your table and supports the local economy.
  • Buy organic foods when you can. Look for USDA Certified Organic labels. Organic foods are produced without conventional pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
  • Make a conscious effort to eat less meat. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates about 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions are derived from meat production.
  • Buy produce that is in season. Use this guide to find in-season produce.
  • Purchase only the amount of food that you are able to consume before it expires.
  • Start a compost for leftover food waste. You will keep that waste out of the landfill and create excellent soil for your garden!
  • Speaking of gardens, plant your own vegetable garden and reap the benefits.
  • Eat out rather than take out. If you eat inside the restaurant you will be reducing the amount of packaging associated with food to-go.

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Transportation

  • Carpool, walk or bike when you can. Use public transportation like a bus or train, if possible. You will save gas and money and prevent vehicle extra exhaust emissions. It is also great for your health and the environment.
  • Keep your vehicle’s tires properly inflated and the engine tuned to maximize your gas mileage.
  • Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.

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Cleaning

  • A cup of vinegar will clean a washing machine. Run it through a regular cycle — but not with clothes.
  • If using vinegar as a cleaning agent, pick the white variety. Brown will stain porous surfaces.
  • Clean the lint filter to ensure your dryer is running as efficiently as possible.

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Waste & Recycling

  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – in that order. Using less should come first but do remember to recycle everything you can.
  • Aluminum, steel and tin cans. It takes 95% less energy to make a can out of recycled aluminum and produces 95% less greenhouse gases. Most new aluminum cans are made from 50% recycled aluminum. Enough energy is saved in recycling just one aluminum can to run a TV set for three hours! Recycling steel and tin cans saves 74% of the energy necessary to produce them.
  • Plastics. Recycled plastic can be made into a number of products, which reduces the need for new materials. We recycle plastics #1, #2, #4, #5, #7 in Gloucester Township.
  • Paper products. Every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees; 2 barrels of oil; 4,100 kilowatts of energy; 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space; and 60 pounds of air pollution. For Gloucester Township residents: please do not mix glass, metal and plastic recyclables with your residential papers. Paper products must be recycled separately. The average American uses 650 pounds of paper during the course of one year. One hundred million tons of wood could be recycled each year if all of our paper is recycled.
  • Glass. Recycling glass reduces waste, saves energy, and conserves natural resources.
  • Electronics. Electronic recycling reduces the amount of hazardous materials that may enter our environment.
  • Bring your electronics to be recycled at the Public Works Building. We accept 15", 17", 19", 21" inch monitors, flat screens and all-in-ones; towers, desktops and laptops; uninterrupted power supply; keyboards, mouse and speakers; all type of wire; gold clip ends; printers, fax machines, scanners, modems, copy machines; all type of memory; any hard drives; fans and power supplies; mother, B, C, tweener and finger boards; AC adaptors, yokes and motor; plastic, baled or loose; aluminum, brass, light iron and copper; metals, baled or loose; any and all related computer parts; phones, cell phones, cell phone and laptop batteries; PC scrap and stereos (no wood); VCR’s, DVD’s, CD players, boomboxes; any audio and visual equipment, scanners and pagers; cash registers and scales (electronic or mechanical); rechargeable batteries; household appliance not containing compressors.
  • Gloucester Township recycles all of the items listed above (Paper, metal, glass, plastic, electronics).
  • How to recycle your old cell phone at a retail store or by mail.
  • Did you know grocery stores are promoting the use of cloth shopping bags? Recycle your plastic shopping bags at the recycling center or drop them off in your local grocery store, more and more are recycling plastic bags!
  • Re-purpose something – turn one of your well-worn t-shirts into basic play pants for your baby.  Or save egg cartons for paint wells, seed starters, treasure boxes, or a myriad of other crafts.
  • Use rechargeable batteries. They last about three years with average use, which translate into savings for you and fewer batteries in landfills.
  • Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Be frugal, and make these rags out of old towels and t-shirts.
  • Start a compost pile. Many home & garden stores sell bins especially made for composting in your backyard.
  • Use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water. You will save money and prevent plastic waste.
  • Use a re-usable mug for your coffee or tea rather than a disposable cup. Think about the number of cups you could keep out of the landfill – hundreds a year, thousands in your lifetime!
  • Donate to – and shop at – thrift stores such as Goodwill.  You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, and you’ll be supporting your local economy.
  • Double-side your print and copy jobs to save paper and space.¹ Recycle it after use.
  • Try to buy products with minimal to no packaging. You will save money and prevent waste from entering a landfill. On average, nine cents of every shopping dollar is used for packaging.
  • Reuse your water bottle. Avoid buying bottled water. In fact, reuse everything at least once, especially plastics.
  • Purchase products with environmental certifications when possible such as Green Seal, Greenguard and Fair Trade.
  • Purchase paper that contains recycled content. Paper products made with recycled content save trees, water and energy.
  • Every day in the U.S., we produce enough trash to equal the weight of the Empire State Building. We throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, produce enough styrofoam cups annually to circle the earth 436 times and trash enough office paper to build a 12-foot wall from Los Angeles to New York City.
  • Try to use cloth napkins, sponges and cloth towels instead of paper. You will save money and reduce waste.
  • Use a re-usable cloth or canvas bag at the grocery store. The benefits to our environment include less waste, less litter and resource conservation.
  • Consider paying your bills online to save paper, postage costs and reduce fuel consumption.
  • Choose paperless for your bank and credit card statements. Online statements save paper and reduce fossil fuel usage.
  • Donate lightly used unwanted clothing, furniture and appliances to a local shelter, Goodwill or Salvation Army.

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Water Conservation

  • Take a shorter shower.
  • When washing clothes, wash and dry full loads to save energy, water and time. If you must wash a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting.
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. If you have a standard faucet and brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day, you will save over 8 gallons of water per day!
  • If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.
  • Don’t take baths, take showers. You will in average save about half the amount of water that you would if you were taking a bath.
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