The average consumption of water for a single-family household is around fifty to seventy gallons of water per day. Yearly, that figure is around seventy thousand to one hundred thousand gallons of water for a family of four. Lowering the consumption of water at home is not only a great way to help the environment, but it also helps the family save on their water bill. If you want to put a little more slack on your budget, here are some 5 water saving tips for your family.
1. Reduce the water in the toilet tank
A toilet tank accounts for 28% or more than a quarter of a family’s daily water consumption. Reducing the water in the tank can result in big savings for the family. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to get this done. It will only take a few minutes to adjust the toilet’s tank to allow it to save a half a gallon of water for each flush.
Here’s how to do it. Look for a half gallon container. An empty juice or milk bottle will do. Make sure its dimensions fit inside the tank. Fill it with sand or gravel halfway through. Put it in the toilet’s tank. The bottle with the sand will displace water and the tank won’t contain that much water. For a lot of people, being able to save half a gallon of water with every flush might not seem to be a big deal. But when you compute it annually, this measure alone results in savings of about fourteen thousand gallons of water a year.
Another tip to save water from a toilet tank is to check for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and if water starts to seep through the bowl within half an hour. When it does, the tank obviously has a leak.
2. Reduce shower time
One of the 5 water saving tips for your family is to reduce everyone’s shower time. Eighteen percent of the total water consumption is consumed during showers and baths. A person showering for eight minutes normally consumes forty to eighty gallons of water. Just by cutting everyone’s shower time in half, a family will be able to save twenty to forty gallons of water. That’s around seven thousand to two thousand gallons per year.
Another trick in the list of 5 water saving tips for your family list is to turn off the water while shampooing or soaping. It can be turned back on when it’s time to rinse.
3. Always turn the faucet off
This is the most commonly forgotten tip in the 5 water saving tips for your family list. It takes a lot of discipline for everyone in the family to get into this habit of turning the faucet on only when it’s needed. Examples of this would be turning off the water while brushing your teeth.
This tip is not only applicable to bathroom faucets. Even in the kitchen, a lot of water can be saved when you fill the sink with water to rinse your vegetables instead of using running water.
4. Wash with a full load
Never run the dishwasher or the washing machine if it does not have a full load. Doing so can save the family around twelve thousand gallons of water annually.
Getting into the habit of stacking the plates in the dishwasher properly does not only make use of the maximum space in the washer, but also allows for lesser consumption of water since every plate gets the same amount of washing.
When looking for a new dishwasher or washing machine to buy, it’s best to search for more efficient models that use less water and have multiple cycle settings.
5. Be wise in using cooking water
The idea of reusing cooking water might sound absurd, but there is actually good reason for doing so. The water used in boiling meat and vegetables can be used as stock for making other recipes like gravy or soup.
For dishes that do not really require all that much water, make sure that you use only the required amount. The water will heat up faster. This will save not only water but gas as well.
These 5 water saving tips for your family are useful not only in helping you save on your water bill, but also in saving and protecting the environment. Always remember that changing water habits is easy, saves a lot of money, and provides a way for the family to work together on water conservation.
Paints are common items in decorating a home. It comes in different colors to brighten up a room. It is also used in different community and school projects. Depending on the base material of the paint, it can be hazardous to health and presents the risk of contamination. Nevertheless, disposing of leftover paint and paint cans require proper handling and management.
Here are the three steps on how to dispose of old paint cans.
1. Check if the leftover paint can be stored or reused prior to disposal
Before you completely dispose of your leftover paint and cans, it might be a good idea to check if it can be stored and reused. This will help in lessening your waste production and can save you money the next time you need to buy some paint. Latex paint can last up to 10 years if sealed correctly. Oil-based paint can last longer up to 15 years.
Here are some tips should you find your leftover paint suitable for further storing:
Keep the paint in its original container. Never transfer the paint to another can, and most importantly, never place your paint in a food container.
Keep the labels intact. This will help you and the proper personnel in the future to know what to do with the paint once disposed.
Mark the can with the date you first opened the paint. It is also a good idea to indicate the room where you used the paint in case you forget after few years of storing the paint.
Seal the paint can by adding a layer of plastic wrap on the lid, then placing the original paint cover tightly.
Make sure that the paint is stored away from direct sunlight and out of reach of pets and children.
Leftover paint and cans are also accepted by some local groups for their community projects. You might want to check with them and make good use with the leftover paint. Though the exact color wanted might not be achieved with old and leftover paint, it is still useful for base coats and general painting jobs. Not only it is economical but also earth-friendly.
2. If the paint cannot be stored and reused, empty the can first and dry the leftover paint for disposal.
If your paint can no longer be stored and has nowhere it can be donated, then the next best option is to dispose of it properly. Take note that paint, especially when wet, can be hazardous and cannot be simply thrown away.
Here are the things you can do to empty properly your cans and dispose of the leftover paint:
For latex, water-based, and acrylic paints, place the paint to be discarded in another container with shredded paper. Allow it to solidify, and then you can place it in the bin as these types of paint are not considered hazardous waste. You can also place newspaper and kitty litter to help in drying the paint. Hardener that is available from household stores is also an option if there is too much leftover paint.
For oil-based paint, you need to bring it to your local hazardous waste facility. Just make sure to keep it tightly sealed in its original container and labels.
Depending on your location and existing rules, dried paint can be recycled into concrete or as additives. Check with your local recycling facilities first instead of simply throwing away the dried paint.
3. Dispose and recycle empty paint cans
Empty paint cans should be recyclable. But it depends on your local recycling centers whether empty paint cans are acceptable or not. As a general rule, paint cans with more than one inch of dried paint at the bottom of the can is no longer recyclable. This is because the remaining paint might compromise the other cans for recycling. However, a hazardous waste facility should have the necessary equipment to recycle your empty paint cans. You can contact your local municipality to know where the nearest hazardous waste facility is. Paint containers made from plastic tubs might not yet be recyclable. You can contact your local facilities and check if they accept plastic tubs.
Here are other tips on how to dispose of old paint cans:
Never dispose of empty paint cans with residual wet paint. The wet paint might leak and risk contamination to human health and other materials for recycling.
Never empty the cans by pouring the leftover paint into the ground or sewage. This is illegal and poses a great threat to health and environment.
Make sure that the empty paint cans are tightly sealed and have the original labels on it.
Methods on how to dispose of old paint cans are now available for both residential and commercial waste. You can always check with your local facilities for additional information on proper disposal and management of waste paints.
Information and communication technology is one aspect of the modern world that advances so fast. New models of gadgets are being released almost every month while research and development are at a great pace for new inventions. While these technologies may be useful, along with this comes the trash caused by improper disposal and non-recycling of the existing gadgets and other electronics.
As of 2014, 3.412 million tons of electronic waste was produced in the US alone. But only a 1 million tons, or 29.2%, was recycled. The remaining tons of electronic waste was either dumped in landfills or incinerated.
Electronic waste is becoming a big problem and is garnering interest. Some reasons include:
The rapid acceleration of information and communication technology warrants an increasing number of consumer products needing proper waste management
Electronic products often use components made up of natural resources, and some of those resources are considered scarce
Electronic components have various substances that could be hazardous and require greater consideration for proper handling
Collection and recycling of electronic components open opportunities for resource recovery
Modern electronic products are complex devices with substances like lead, cadmium, nickel, and mercury. These substances could pose a threat to human health and further contribute with negative impact to the environment. Despite this threat, information to minimize electronic waste seems to be unknown to most people.
Here are some of the options on how to recycle electronics:
Pass along your old electronics
Computers and mobile devices are large contributors to electronic waste. New models of these gadgets are often released, and people tend to buy new ones from time to time regardless if their old models are still working. Buying a new model of your favorite gadget can be a time to pass along your old and unused device to a friend or family. As long as the device is still in good working condition, it can even be as a gift without your loved one minding it as a used device.
How to recycle electronics? Re-sell, buy-back, and trade-ins
There are websites that accept swapping and selling of used devices. You can post your old electronics there, and other people will gladly take it in an exchange with another device or with cash. Buy-back and trade-ins might not be as profitable as reselling your device, but it can greatly help in minimizing the amount of electronic waste.
Donate usable electronics
Your old electronics can be a great treasure for other people. Old computers, printers, and TV sets among others are very useful to educational organizations. It can help a lot to aid the learning of students. There are also other charities and groups where you can donate your old electronics. For instance, there are groups that allow you to donate easily old mobile phones to members of the military and their family members. These donations allow duty men and veterans with cost-free communication services.
Bring it to a local recycling unit
The substances inside an electronic device are often hazardous and require special handling to avoid health issues and accidents. Your municipality might have a recycling unit that accepts electronic waste. They will know what to do with your electronics and prevent these waste from reaching the landfill, just make sure that the recycling unit legitimate and is the right one for your old electronics. Some manufacturer and online groups also accept electronics for recycling. You can check with your manufacturer if they accept old devices for recycling. You might even get a discount the next time you buy their product for each recycles you make.
Creative recycling and reusing
Creativity goes a long way. While most electronics contain hazardous substances, you can still utilize the non-hazardous component for personal recycling. For example, you can remove the circuitry and other elements of a monitor or TV set to a recycling unit, and you can now transform the case to your pet hideaway or even an aquarium. Old smart phones can be used as a remote by installing certain applications. You not only reused the phone but also helped in minimizing battery consumption as you only need to recharge your phone. Some artist also uses old electronics as the main medium of their artwork.
Knowing how to recycle electronics is a great help in minimizing waste. But just as important, is by buying fewer electronics and thinking ahead. Most people buy new electronics just to upgrade even if their old electronics are still perfectly usable. As a result, some people end up in having multiple devices that do the same thing. Recycling and minimizing purchases of electronics contribute a lot in reducing electronic waste.
Environmental pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the environment, and these substances cause an adverse change to the environment. Excessive noise, light can contaminate the environment, and foreign substances such as dust, littering with plastics, paper bags as well as heat and smoke. Environmental pollution can be reduced by pursuing many measures.
First of all, this kind of pollution can be controlled by implementing the re-use and recycle methods out from waste materials. Used materials such as nylon paper bags and plastics that easily pollute the environment can be re-used again. For instance, paper bags used in many supermarkets can be re-used by customers to grow seedlings on their farms. Another, used plastics can be recycled to other products and by-products. This will help reduce environmental pollution caused by such pollutants.
Similarly, it is imperative to state that environmental pollution can be decreased by making composite manure. Foreign materials that pollute the environment can be heaped together in a composite pit and decomposed to make composite manure. Examples of such materials include waste water and decomposable waste such as green leaves.
Also, this kind of pollution can be reduced by purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles and encouraging more people to ride to work instead of using vehicles. For those who use public vehicles, it is advisable that an oil change is regularly done like after every three months. Doing this will automatically reduce the smoke emitted to the environment and reduce environmental noise. This is tied to the fact that the more the vehicles and fuel used, the more the pollution caused.
Nevertheless, this kind of pollution can be reduced by planting more trees and doing sustainable agriculture. Planting trees on the bare land will control causes of environmental pollution such as dust blown by the wind and volcanic eruptions. Following smart agricultural practices such as planting cover crops on the bare farm and cultivating responsibly will help minimize environmental pollution.
Lastly, proper waste and chemical management in industries will help reduce this kind of pollution. Many industries use a lot of industrial chemicals in their manufacturing processes. Such chemicals cause pollution once released. This kind of pollution caused by industrial activities can be reduced by using more of solar energy and other types of clean energy that will not emit a lot of chemicals and smoke to the environment. A superior example is using electricity in industries rather than kerosene or diesel.
If we are talking about green environment then we have a comprehensive discussion. The environment has many elements both living and non-living. The non-living factors are consist of water, air and land, and the living things are the trees, humans, animals. These are treated in particular ways to maintain its balance in order to create a green and healthy environment.
To have a concept of what green environment is like, it is better to extract its definition. A green environment is an environment that does not harm or which that causes very minimal danger to its ecosystems and inhabitants.
If we try to orient ourselves closely on the elements of the environment, we will be aware of the important role of humans either to harm the ecosystem or to conserve the environment. Humans harm the environment by the usage of certain chemicals and contributing to pollution. The daily usage of detergent, smoke from vehicles, smoke from burning plastic, and many other pollutants lead to the destruction of nature and the ozone layer.
However, humans can also take part in maintaining a clean and green environment simply by formulating environmental-friendly ideas. Now, another challenge is how to create such movement with minimal pollution. It is actually difficult to realize knowing that humans have long been accustomed to electrical devices, vehicles, plastic material and the like.
There are so many things that people can do that will give a huge impact to save the Earth such as reducing or eliminating the usage of plastic. People can also prevent pollution by recycling and by burying non-biodegradable materials instead of burning them. Choosing paper bags over plastic bags also help so much to reduce the destruction of the ozone layer. Changing standard light bulbs will also help you decrease the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and at the same time it will cost you less of your bill. Reducing carbon dioxide can also be done by planting more trees.
Those helpful tips can be done when you are at home and everywhere you wish to go in your community. Today, the world credits companies, business establishments and organizations that supports environmental projects and campaigns.
Green environment means eliminating pollution to have cleaner and better air, water, and soil. It is not just for the sake of the non-living thing but also to humans most importantly. Having a better environment leads to a better living.