Hi, friends! We hope you enjoyed our conservation books. Here are some great ideas that you and your family can do together to create a greener planet!
Foreword Even if you have not yet read the five Eco Bean books with your kids, you can still start implementing ideas and projects from this guide. Be sure to include your children. They will be happy to do their part in working with you. You will empower them to go forward, and conservation will become part of their lifestyles. There are many things you can change in your households and lives to help save our natural resources and the Earth. Some of the changes offered in this guide may seem small, but together they add up to big position shifts in the state of the environment. Start with some of the easy ones, like changing some lightbulbs to CFLs (Compact Fluorescent lightbulbs). By making a few changes at a time, you and your kids—and your budget—won’t become overburdened. What you do locally is quite important. The Green Revolution will not be easy, but as the world begins to come up to speed, green living will become transformational—a basic philosophy and a way of life that everyone will embrace. The climate is warming up, and we have to do all we can to slow it down. We need to teach our children to think in a sustainable way. The toxic garbage dumps are filling up, the oceans are over-fished and polluted, and water shortages are occurring in many parts of the world. By continuing to burn fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal), we are filling the atmosphere with CO2 and that is contributing to warming our temperature. We all have to work together to demand that our government enact legislation that supports clean and sustainable energy sources. This can be done if we work together. By reducing your demand for energy, you will save money and, cumulatively, we will develop a new mind-set and change how we think of and use our natural resources. That’s a “Being Green” mind-set.
Table Of Contents Water. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Energy.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Recycling.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Community.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Our Final Word. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 3
Water is the lifeblood of all living things. Clean, drinkable water is becoming scarce in many places in the world. Here are ways you can save and use less water so there will be enough for everyone.
• Stop leaks in the bathroom sink and toilet, and also in the kitchen and laundry. • Check pipes in the basement for leaks. • Repair leaks in garden hoses and lawn irrigation systems. • Use low-flow shower and sink heads. • Take short showers. Use a kitchen timer to ensure your showers are between three and five minutes.
• When shaving, fill the basin half full instead of letting the water run. • Brush teeth the Eco Way (see pages eight and nine) in Eco Bean Saves Water. • If a family of four brushed twice a day the Eco Way, they will save more than 190 gallons of water a day. Plus, they’ll save money.
• Don’t let the water run when you are washing up or washing the dishes. Instead, fill the basin half full.
• Put an object like a brick or a plastic bottle filled with water into the toilet tank. This takes up space, and the toilet uses less water.
• Buy low flush adapters for your toilet. • When buying a new toilet, choose one that has a dual flushing system. This saves water.
• Don’t over-water your lawn; twice a week (early in the morning) is usually enough.
• Be careful not to water paved areas (driveways, streets); this wastes water. • Consider less lawn and more natural, local plantings that need less water. • Wash clothes only when they are dirty. • When you are away from home (in other homes, restaurants or traveling), be considerate and conserve their water and power and materials. Don’t take extra napkins or condiments from restaurants. Turn the lights and television off when leaving a hotel room. What we each do everywhere counts. The CO2 problem, water and natural resources shortage is worldwide.
Energy, of course, powers cars, trucks, planes, and heats and cools our buildings. The United States uses 25 percent of the world’s energy, and most of it comes from fossil fuel (oil, coal, gas). Burning fossil fuels produces CO2, and CO2 in the atmosphere is warming our planet. Our energy suppliers must switch to renewable energy (wind, solar and geothermal) as quickly as possible, because renewables produce little or no CO2. In becoming energy efficient, you and your family will save money as energy
costs are climbing rapidly. Here are some of the things you can do:
• Turn the lights off when leaving a room. • Turn off the hot water heater when you are away for more than two days. • Put an insulation cover (blanket) on the hot water heater. • Lower the temperature of the hot water heater. Check with your plumber. • Use cold or warm water when washing clothes. • Consider replacing your hot water heater with a tankless unit installed near the use area (water doesn’t have to travel across the house). The water is heated instantly on demand.
• Insulate hot water pipes. • Replace your regular lightbulbs with CFLs, especially in heavy-use
lights, such as the kitchen and bathroom fixtures, as well as reading and table lamps. CFLs use 75 percent less energy (costing you 75 percent less money) and last eight to ten times longer than conventional bulbs.
• Install power bars next to your television/stereo/VCR and at your computer/printer locations. One switch turns everything off. Be sure to shut them down when you are finished. Standby lights draw “vampire power” that costs you money and adds CO2 to the atmosphere.
• Set your air conditioner two to three degrees higher in the
summer, and open some windows. Set your thermostat (heat) two to three degrees lower in the winter.
• Many homes can reduce air conditioner costs by installing a whole-house attic fan.
• Utilize floor fans; they consume less energy than air conditioners. 5
• Consider installing an energy (electric) monitor in your home.
Feedback tells you when you’re using too much power. They pay for themselves in less than one year.
• Use timers to program your dishwasher, washing machine and
dryer to operate after midnight. Demand is less and the cost per kilowatt is much cheaper. Charge your cell phone in your car.
• Try drying some of your clothes on a clothes rack or an old-
fashioned clothesline. Clothes dryers consume large amounts of energy.
• Keep clothes dryer lint filters clean. • When you are away from home (in other homes, restaurants or traveling), be considerate and conserve their water and power and materials. Don’t take extra napkins or condiments from restaurants. Turn the lights and television off when leaving a hotel room. What we each do everywhere counts. The CO2 problem, water and natural resources shortage is worldwide. Electric Power = Fossil Fuel Burning = CO2 = Warmer Climate
• In the winter, change the air filter on your heating system once a month. The furnace uses more energy when the filter is dirty.
• Change the filter on your central air conditioner monthly when in use, and keep the filter in your window air conditioner clean.
• Buy Energy Star-rated appliances. They are getting better and smarter all the time.
• You can request from your utility company that a portion of your electric power comes from renewable energy sources (wind and solar).
• Un-plug small appliances in the home; they draw “vampire power.” • Don’t leave the refrigerator door open. The fridge loses temperature and then uses electricity to cool down.
• Set the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer a little higher. • Close window blinds to keep the sun out in the summer, and open the blinds to let sun in during the winter.
• Check your home for air leaks. Caulk around windows and doors. • Add additional insulation in ceilings, walls and the garage. 6
• Fireplaces leak considerable air, drawing hot and cold air out of the house. Make sure the flue seals tightly and other air leaks are sealed.
• Consider installing solar panels to heat your hot water. • Burning fossil fuels (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and natural gas) contribute almost 30 percent to U.S. greenhouse emissions.
• Consider buying a hybrid vehicle or at least a vehicle that gets 30+ miles per gallon • Cut down on trips by combining several stops (errands, shopping, etc.) into one trip. Cold starts use more fuel.
• Drive at the speed limit or just below, and avoid quick, jackrabbit starts. • Keep your tires properly inflated for better gas mileage. • Carpooling to work has excellent advantages: Four people in a car cuts gas
consumption and toll costs by 75 percent. It would cut traffic (faster commutes), accidents and wear and tear on cars. Most importantly, less CO2 would be released into the atmosphere. Remember fossil fuel burning = CO2 = warmer climate.
• Don’t let your car idle while waiting in line or when you wait to pick someone up. • You use more fuel while waiting with the engine idling and the air conditioner on. Turn off the engine and open the windows instead.
• While driving, keep the windows up and the vent or AC on; this yields better mileage.
• Keep the engine tuned and replace air filters frequently. • Use a bike or motor scooter for short trips. Biking is great
Don’t take water or electricity for granted.
exercise, good for the wallet and the environment.
• There are many bike rental businesses popping up in cities around the world. Consider using them when it is fitting.
• Be careful how you view Biofuels. It takes more total energy (resources)
to produce Biofuel. If the Biofuel is derived from corn, it forces the price of corn up and therefore creates higher food costs worldwide.
Recycle, Reuse, Reduce The three Rs are good for the planet. It’s important and can be fun to practice them at home with your family. When your children have input, they feel they are an important part of the process and then they’re eager to participate. Check out the following Rs you can do:
• Get serious about recycling and reusing, and separating paper, glass, plastic and metal products.
• Collect newspaper, household paper, office paper, etc., for recycle pickup. • Use both sides of the paper when writing or doing art projects. • Get your name removed from as many junk mail lists as possible. This will cut down on the massive amount of paper used in that industry and be far less annoying for you.
• Recycle telephone books; some telephone companies take them back. • Avoid kids drink/juice boxes, which are made of many layers of paper. Instead, use reusable Sippy cups for home or a thermos for school.
• Buy recycled paper products, thereby using 60 percent less energy than it takes to make new paper. Plus, you are not killing trees.
• Use cloth napkins instead of paper and handkerchiefs instead of tissues. • Buy cloth reusable shopping bags for groceries instead of plastic and paper. • Avoid using Styrofoam. It does not degrade easily so it remains in landfills for hundreds of years.
• Use sponges, rags or cloth towels in the kitchen instead of paper towels.
• Stop using foil and plastic wrap; instead use reusable containers for food storage.
• Avoid using plastic bottles for water. Try reusable stainless steel instead. • Americans throw away 60 million plastic bottles a day. Most of which go to landfills. Some wind up in our streets.
• Testing shows that the majority of bottled water is no better than tap water. Drink filtered tap water from reusable containers.
• Collect aluminum cans and other metal to be recycled. 8
• Pack school lunches in a reusable lunch box, not a paper or plastic bag. • Use rechargeable batteries for games and toys. • Recycle your electronics, computers, televisions and cell phones. • When getting takeout food, only take the napkins, condiments, and plastic utensils you need. The excess is usually thrown out.
• When you can, buy items in bulk. They cost less, and bulk cuts down on packaging.
• Trade used clothes and toys with friends, have a yard sale, or give them to needy causes. Don’t just throw them out.
Community— Community efforts really get going when you use Eco Bean’s fourth R: Remember to tell your community and friends to do their part. Here are a few ideas to get you going:
• Organize a recycling collection day through schools and clubs. If you collect from others, it will remind them that they should be recycling.
• Be a good example to friends by what you do and
by telling them how they can conserve.
• Arrange a litter pickup event. You can start around your home.
• Have a tree planting fundraiser. Work with a local nursery to get some small trees to plant.
• Buy a live Christmas tree that you plant after Christmas instead of a cut or artificial tree.
• Buy from stores and companies that are selling green products and promoting the planet.
• Give brief talks at clubs (Lions, PTA, etc.) about conservation. • Create a community petition to local politicians to enact green legislation.
Our Final Word This guide has come to an end and, as many things do, this leads to a new beginning. It is your beginning and your responsibility to be alert and pay attention to everything that has a bearing upon you and your children’s future. It is time to bring sustainability to everything you touch. Al Gore likes to quote an African proverb, “If you want to go quickly, go alone, and if you want to go far, go together.” Conserving to save our environment—and yes, us—is what we must all do now.
The view for generations to come is up to you.
Resources Here are many green sites for you to explore and to stay informed. Be sure to visit www.ecosplace.com to find out the latest from Eco Bean. www.eia.doe.gov – Energy/Recycling kids information www.nrc-recycle.org – Recycling Coalition www.rbrc.org – Recycling rechargeable batteries www.celfoundation.org – Promotes green education for children www.earth-policy.org – Great solutions for the earth’s problems www.worldwatch.org – Keeping track of the globe www.ucsusa.org – Creative, informative ideas www.liveearth.org – The climate crisis spelled out www.bottledwater.org – Information on bottled water www.epa.gov – Environmental Protection Agency www.bikesbelong.org – All about bikes www.climatecounts.org – Eco-friendly companies www.greenerchoices.org – How to and how not to shop www.responsibleshopper.com – Co-op America www.fueleconomy.gov – Get the most for your gas dollar www.howtocompost.org – Composting made easy http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu – How to work the earth www.treehugger.com – Your sustainability site www.ipcc.ch – Intergovernmental panel on climate change www.mtv.com/thinkmtv/environment - Stopping oil addiction
It’s time to take better care of the Earth!
Our New Hero and L’il Sprout show children what being green means and that conserving our planet’s precious resources is important—and fun!
In Eco Bean Recycles, the kids and their families have fun while they reduce, reuse and recycle.
Eco Bean Saves Energy shows where energy comes from, how we use it and why we can’t waste it.
Eco Bean Saves Water illustrates how necessary water is and why we should all work together to conserve and keep our water clean— “That’s Being Green!”
Care and concern is what we mean, so follow your new friend Eco Bean:
That’s Being Green! becomes the community slogan as the kids pass on all they’ve learned at a school rally.
ISBN: 978-0-9819226-6-9 (Volume 6) ISBN: 978-0-9819226-0-7 (6 Volume set) To unlock more secrets to being green, log on to www.ecosplace.com. © 2009: Milen & Milen Publishing, LLC. Illustrations by Erik Craddock & Gary Doodles Designed by Neo9 Design, Inc., www.neo9design.com
P U B L I S H I N G, L L C
Books that Lift, Enlighten and Sustain
Printed on recycled paper.