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Take the Stairs!

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Did you know that just one elevator uses about the same amount of energy annually as seven homes? Choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator is a win-win... this simple action not only minimizes your personal impact on the environment, but is also great for your health.

Next time you're on the move in a multi-story building, try taking the stairs!

Climbing stairs burns up to 10 times more calories than standing in an elevator. Please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's "Stairway to Health" page to determine how many calories you burn by using the stairs.

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Environmentally-friendly Fireplaces

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 Did you know that your wood-burning stove or fireplace could be creating indoor air pollution in your home? Indoor fires emit soot and carbon monoxide, two byproducts of your warm, crackling fire that aren't so cozy. Here are a few tips to make your fireplace more friendly throughout the remaining winter season:

  • Choose petroleum-free combustibles (such as Duraflame) that emit less carbon monoxide than conventional wood. If you prefer wood, use wood that has dried for at least 9 months, because it emits fewer pollutants and burns hotter and faster.
  • Leave the damper open to achieve complete combustion. When oxygen is limited your fire begins to smoke rather than burn, resulting in more indoor air pollution.
  • Have your chimneys, fireplaces, and wood-burning stoves checked once a year by a Certified Chimney Sweep. This inspection will determine if your fireplace is functioning properly. Visit www.csia.org for more information.
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Green Cleaning Products

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 Is your home in need of a good cleaning in preparation for holiday houseguests? Unfortunately, the chemicals in many conventional household cleaning products can cause indoor air pollution in your home. They can also pollute groundwater and ultimately affect the aquatic environment. Using green cleaning products can benefit you, your family, and the environment! 

 

When shopping for household cleaning products, look for Green Seal certification. Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of environmentally responsible products.

 

Visit www.greenseal.org for a list of Green Seal certified cleaning products.

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Cut Down on Plastic Bag Use

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Did you know that the U.S. consumes 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually? The manufacturing process required to make these bags uses the energy equivalent of 12 million barrels of oil! Even worse, plastic bags eventually break down into tiny bits of plastic. This plastic can contaminate soil and waterways, and also enters the food web when they are accidentally ingested by animals.

Save energy and reduce waste by using reusable shopping bags. Once you get in the habit of bringing bags with you when you shop, you'll be amazed at how simple it is! Here are some tips to help you remember:

  • Put your grocery coupons in your bag and keep it by the door or near your car keys.
  • Write yourself a reminder on your grocery list.
  • Keep reusable bags in the trunk of your car and put a note on the dashboard to remind you to bring them.
  • If you have kids, ask them to help remind you to bring your bags as part of their weekly chores.
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Water Users: 20 Gallon Challenge

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billboard_cityscape.gifDid you know that California is in a state of official drought? San Diego County water supplies are being impacted by historic dry conditions and court-ordered pumping restrictions. We can all help the region conserve more water!

Try running your dishwasher only when it's full, and you'll save  up to 4 gallons of water per load. Visit The 20 Gallon Challenge website for more information.

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