Eco-Tips 2015 Q2

Energy

Open Windows Opening windows creates a cross-ventilation, replacing stale, winter air with fresh, spring breezes and naturally cooling your home on mild days.
Use Ceiling Fans When temperatures rise, ceiling fans keep air circulating and help keep your home’s temperature comfortable while lowering your electric bill.
Fire up the Grill As temperatures rise, keep the heat out of your home by cooking on an outdoor grill rather than in an indoor oven.

Food

Shop Smart Think before heading to the grocery store. Planning your meals ahead of time and making a list saves time and money. Be sure to check the fridge, freezer and pantry to see what you already have– you’ll end up throwing less away.
Feed Your Garden Composting creates a free, nutritious fertilizer for your garden. Everything from uncooked vegetable scraps to fruit peelings, teabags, coffee grounds and eggshells can be composted at home. Bananas release ethylene gas, which controls browning and ripening. Much of that gas is released by the stems: Wrapping them in plastic wrap slows down the ripening process.

Transportation

No Idling Unnecessary idling of vehicles wastes fuel, creates carbon emissions and emits pollution. Idling for as little as 10 seconds uses more gas than it takes to switch off and restart your car. So, “if you’re stopped for more than 10, turn it off and on again.”
Drive to Paradise When going on vacation, drive instead of fly whenever possible. Air travel is the least eco-friendly mode of transportation. If you must go by plane, fly direct as taking off and landing consume tremendous amounts of fuel.
Scoot to Town Investing in a scooter or moped equipped with a storage container for groceries and other purchases is a fun, fuel-efficient way to get around town, especially during the spring and summer. While still in development, hybrid scooters, once available, could change the face of transportation worldwide.

Building

Insulate Insulation in the attic, walls and other empty spaces reduces air leaks year round, keeping house temps cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Blown-in and spray foam insulation can help full gaps and spaces not suitable for traditional fiberglass insulation.
Ventilate Wood needs to breathe to keep from rotting. Attic fans, roof ridge vents and other sources of fresh air allow hot air to escape from your attic while reducing moldloving moisture and possible water damage.
Locate When building a new home, position it on the site to best reduce heat gain in the summer when trees provide shade and capture sunlight in the winter after the leaves
have fallen. It’s usually best to orient the house on an east-west axis.

Waste & Recycling

ReCycle Buying a new computer, television, printer or other gadget? Recycle your old electronics free of charge at the Wilton Transfer Station. unused cell phones at the Library’s circulation desk.
Ban Plastic Of the approximately 14.4 million tons of plastic discarded each year, only about 13% are recycled. Curb the harmful impact of this hazardous material: invest in a stainless-steel drinking bottle and thermos; choose loose fruits and veggies rather than bagged ones; shop local and bring your own reusable tote; buy detergent that comes in cardboard boxes; bring your own garment bags for dry cleaning pick-up so clothes are returned free of plastic wrap.
Parting with Paint Latex paint is recyclable, but oil-based paint is consideredhousehold hazardous waste and requires proper disposal. Wilton Hardware will take upto 5 gallons of paint per day off of your hands and safely dispose of it free of charge.

Natural Resources

Welcome Back Birds Make your yard an inviting sanctuary for birds by creating places for them to nest, feed, drink and wash. If suitable nesting habitats are in short supply, build or buy birdhouse and install in out of reach of cats, squirrels and other predators. Commercial bird feeders are available at hardware stores. Birds are most comfortable with birdbaths that are about two-feet wide, have a rough surface and are no more than two-inches deep. Put birdbaths out in the open away from shrubs of places that cats can hide.
Water Wisely Wise use of water for outdoor use helps protect the environment, saves money and provides optimum growing conditions. Landscape with plants with low moisture requirements, such as cacti, succulents and narrow leafed evergreens, mulch to retain water in the soil, and water in the early morning to help reduce evaporation. Installing rain gutters and collecting water from downspouts also helps reduce water use.
Plant a Tree Trees are home to many different types of wildlife. They can also reduce your heating and cooling costs, help clean the air, add beauty and color, provide shelter from wind and sun, and add value to your home. Select your tree carefully, considering where it will be planted, its purpose, size at maturity, average life expectancy, and the
particular characteristic of its species.

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