We all want to do our part to help the environment. Authors Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen have made it simple in “The Green Book.” With tips from celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Will Ferrell, and TODAY’s own Tiki Barber. Here they offer some more simple tips for going green:
HomeThe big pictureThere are about 1.6 billion homes in the world, about 100 million in the United States alone. Yours is where you spend most of your time. It’s where you use the most energy and water and create the most waste. You create 4.5 pounds of trash every day. Over the course of your life, that will total 600 times your average adult weight... in garbage. Broken down, your torso would be paper. One leg would be yard trimmings, the other food scraps. One arm would be plastic with a rubber hand. The other would be metal with a wood hand. Your head would be glass, and your neck would be all the other stuff. In the end, we will each leave a 90,000-pound legacy of trash for our grandchildren.
But waste isn’t our biggest impact on the planet: Americans use at least twice as much water and energy per person as anyone else in the world. Those are big problems considering there’s a scarcity of both to go around. By 2025, the world must increase its water supply by 22 percent in order to meet its needs. Meanwhile, 40 percent of the drinking water supplied to homes is flushed down the toilet. As far as energy goes, it’s used mostly for heating and cooling.
The microwaveKeep your microwave clean and you’ll be able to maximize its energy. This means less electricity used, less money spent, and less time cooking. Microwaves are between 3.5 and 4.8 times more energy efficient than traditional electric ovens. If it costs ten cents to cook one item in a microwave, it would cost forty-eight cents to cook the same item in a standard oven. If everyone in North America cooked exclusively with a microwave for a year, we’d save as much energy as the entire continent of Africa consumes during that same time.
The refrigeratorKeep your head out of the refrigerator and the door closed! The refrigerator is the single biggest energy-consuming kitchen appliance, and opening the refrigerator door accounts for between $30 and $60 of a typical family’s electricity bill each year. The amount of energy saved in a year by more efficient refrigerator usage could be enough to light every house in the United States for more than four and a half months straight.
At the movies
Share your popcorn when you’re at the movies instead of buying multiple cartons or bags. You’ll save money and packaging. Americans today consume seventeen billion quarts of popcorn each year (54 quarts per person), 30 percent of which are eaten at movie theaters,sporting events, entertainment arenas, amusement parks, and other recreational centers. If half the people shared their popcorn, we could save the paper packaging for more than 2.5 billion quart-size servings.
From Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen, authors of "The Green Book." To learn more about "The Green Book," you can visit their website at: