University of Illinois Extension LaSalle County 1689 North 31st Road, Ottawa, IL Phone

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1 University of Illinois Extension LaSalle County 1689 North 31st Road, Ottawa, IL Phone Ways to GO GREEN In a world where concern for the environment is growing because of things that harm the environment, it can sometimes feel as if there is little that can be done by an individual. But small steps can be taken to help the environment by making wise, informed choices. Going Green Indoors Nearly 97% of the world s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just1% for agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs. National average indoor residential water use is gallons per person per day. Approximately 346,800 million gallons per day of freshwater and 61,200 million gallons per day of saltwater were used by the nation s homes, farms, and industries. Prepared by: Pat Hildebrand, educator University of Illinois Extension Effingham Center, 2008 Publication) Sources: Ways (NC Region) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences - United States Department of Agriculture Local Extension Councils Cooperating University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment Energy Users Top energy user in the typical US home (not including the central heating unit): 1. Water heaters 6. Clothes washers 2. Refrigerators 7. Clothes dryers 3. Freezers 8. Dishwashers 4. Air conditioners 9. Portable space heaters 5. Ranges 10. Lights

2 Bathroom A standard pre-1980 toilet uses: gallons per flush 1980 s vintage toilet uses: 3.5 gallons per flush A low-consumption toilet uses: 1.6 gallons per flush (or less) Displacement bags save: 0.6 gallons per flush The average faucet uses: gallons per minute Faucet aerators reduce flow by: 1 gallon per minute Low-flow showerheads uses: 2.5 gallons per minute (or less) Locate the water heater near the points of most hot water use. Consider a separate water heater for distant bathrooms. Repair those leaks! 50-75% of all residential water use occurs in the bathroom. Homes can waste more than 10% due to leaking. Dripping faucets can waste 2,000 gallons of water a year. Leaky toilets can waste 200 gallons each day Flushing accounts for 40% of a resident s water costs. Run faucets only when necessary. Replace faucet washers. Use plugs in sinks, tubs and baths. When filling a tub, close the drain before turning on the faucet. Place toilet dams in the tanks of conventional flush toilets. Replace your current toilets with the new low-volume toilet. Replace or adjust the toilet flush handle if it frequently sticks in the flush position. Use a wastepaper basket to dispose of facial tissues, paper and other solid and liquid waste instead of flushing. Install low-flow faucet aerators. Reuse faucet water by keeping a plastic basin in your sink for use on your landscaping. Transportation It is the little things that add up. Some things you can do are: Walk, run, bike, or carpool. Inflate tires properly to decrease fuel consumption. Tune up your vehicle so it runs better and last longer. A poorly tuned engine can use up to 50% more fuel and produce up to 50% more emissions. Maintain a steady driving speed by using the cruise control. Resist the popular monster vehicles. Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. Hybrid cars are a simple way to take action toward a healthier environment. They are said to reduce smog by 90% by running off a combination of gasoline and rechargeable battery. General "Going Green" Tips 1. Create an awareness of the need for water conservation among your family and friends. 2. Be aware of and follow all conservation shortage rules and restrictions which may be in effect in your area. 3. Work to save the environment because it is the right thing to do. Don t be wasteful just because someone else is footing the bill, such as when you are staying at a hotel. 4. Try to do one thing each day that will result in saving the environment. 5. The monetary savings may be minimal but every bit counts. And every person can make a difference.

3 Remodeling and New Construction Incorporating energy-efficient building design, you can save further without making major changes in your lifestyle or house. Key energy-saving point in designing a new home: Building shape Building size Building orientation Roof overhang Vestibule Window area Sill sealer East and west-facing glass Roof surfaces Attic ventilation Room over garage Porches Crawl spaces Inside chimney Windbreak planting *Shade planting *Shading methods rank in this order of effectiveness: 1. tree shade 2. external shutters 3. interior louvered screens 4. interior window treatment (shades and drapes) 5. tinted glass Consider replacing window and central air conditioners manufactured before Place a storm window over a single-pane window. Replace single-pane windows with a double glazed insulated window. Caulk and weather-strip the house. Attach a plastic film or sheet to the window trim. Grade earth against a wall or structure to insulate a home. Use slatted fences to direct the wind. Use ground covers. Use landscaping to control the temperature in and around the house. Baffle fence or courtyard with small trees and shrubs will decrease heat gain and loss in doorways. Rinse razors in a filled sink rather than under running water. When shampooing, turn off the water while lathering the hair. Keep showers under five minutes. Install low-flow showerheads. New showerheads deliver 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Older fixtures can deliver as high as 8 gallons per minute. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Laundry This can save a family 5 to 10 gallons per day. A compact washing machine uses 32 gallons per load. A standard washing machine uses gallons per load. Water-efficient washing machines use gallons per load. Run clothes washers only with a full load unless a reduced-fill setting is available. Use warm or cold settings on your washer. More than 80% of the energy used by a clothes washer is used for heating water. When you are purchasing a new clothes washer, choose one with variable load or suds-save options. Energy Star rated washers that have a water factor at or lower than 95, uses 35-50% less water and 50% less energy per load. Consider a washer with a high speed spin cycle. Removing water from clothes in the washer uses about 70 times less energy than doing so in the dryer. Check your water meter. Hang clothes outside instead of using a clothes dryer.

4 Kitchen Do not let faucets run for washing or rinsing. Prewash dishes only when absolutely necessary. Run an automatic dishwasher only with full loads. Use the no-heat drying cycle, or turn the dishwasher off at the start of the dry cycle, open the door, and let the dishes air-dry. Use the extra-long prewash and scrub cycles on the dishwasher only when absolutely necessary. A dishwasher uses: 5 15 gallons per load Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator or in the microwave. Use two sinks when washing dishes by hand. Use a brush, washcloth or your hand to dislodge particles of dirt when washing anything rather than relying on the force of the water to do the job. Run dishwashers and other heat-producing appliances in the late evening. Green Cleaning Products While any cleaner will have some impact on the environment, many common household products contain extremely toxic substances that can be easily avoided. Borax, white vinegar, lemon, olive oil and baking soda are safe alternatives that can clean and disinfect and are cheaper than name brand cleaners. At this time, cleaning product manufacturers are not required to disclose all the ingredients in their products, so look for products with the most information on the label. Avoid products that are highly toxic to the environment and human health, such as corrosives, chlorine bleach, phosphates, petroleum products, and ammonia. Chlorine and ammonia form a potentially deadly gas when they are mixed together. Recreational Landscaping Cover your swimming pool. Consider a new water-saving filter for your swimming pool. Appliances A single back flushing with a traditional filter uses from 180 to 250 gallons or more of water. Over the life of most appliances, the cost to operate them is far more than the initial purchase price. Therefore, purchasing an energy-efficient appliance is always the wisest choice, even if it costs more to purchase than a less efficient one. Maintain appliances Read and follow the instruction booklet. Inspect the electric cords and hookups. Clean the appliance regularly. Vent properly. Make sure appliance is standing level. Switch off computers and printers when not in use. Check the seals of old refrigerators. If you use portable electric heaters, be sure they are thermostatically controlled. Look for the ENERGY STAR. The logo helps consumers identify the most energyefficient products on the market.

5 Heating and Cooling More than one-fifth of the energy produced in the world is used to heat and cool houses and other structures. Keep filters clean. Turn your heating or cooling down if you are going to be away. Supplement your main unit with portable units. Set thermostats at the correct temperature to run less often. A night time setback of 10 degrees may save as much as 7% in fuel Use windows and drapes to reduce heating and cooling costs. Use storm windows. Check for holes in your roof and in your pipes. Put extra insulation in ceiling. Switch off computers and printers when not in use. Check the seals of old refrigerators. Use energy efficient air conditioners and water heaters. Turn off appliances that not in use. Adjust time switches for holidays and weekends Around the House When on vacation, turn off water and water heater to the house. Install an instant water heater. Insulate water pipes. Install water softening systems only when necessary. Turn water softeners off while on vacation. Check your pump if you have a well. Start a compost pile as an alternative method of disposing food waste instead of using a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals can add 50% to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Use a broom, rather than a hose, to clean sidewalks and driveways. Vacuum return-air grilles as necessary. Adjust thermostat controls for proper air circulation. Close unoccupied rooms and partially close registers to keep these rooms cooler at about 50 degrees. Close the damper when the fireplace is not in use. Install glass doors on fireplaces. Make sure the air conditioners compressor-condenser unit is shaded by a building, fence, or plantings. Close air supply registers in the basement. Close doors in stairwells and room doors on the upper levels to control the downward flow of cooled air. Leave storm windows closed except on windows needed for ventilation. Check and clean burners. Oil the fan and motor bearings. Inspect the fan belt (if there is one), and replace or clean air filters. Attach a separate glass and sash on the inside of the singlepane window. Lighting If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an EVERGY STAR qualified CFL, in one year it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of more than 800,000 cars. Turn off lights when leaving a room. Label light switches so that you can light only the area needed. Use natural light and task lighting. Clean light fitting. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Mercury concern.

6 Lawn and Garden Water only when necessary. Water the lawn in the early morning or early evening. Irrigate lawns slowly, deeply, and infrequently. Install water-efficient sprinklers and a rain sensor switch to override your system when it rains. Install soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems for planting beds with shrubs and flowers. Plant smart: Xeriscape. Xeriscaping: from the Greek word xeros for dry, the creation of a garden that uses less water than traditional landscaping. Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Group plants together based on similar water needs. Place a shutoff nozzle on your hose to control water flow. Turn the water off at the faucet to prevent leaks. Check sprinkler systems and timing devices regularly. Use an alarm clock or timer as a reminder to shut off the sprinklers. Left unattended, a garden hose can waste as much as600 gallons of water in just one hour. Wash cars and other items on grassed areas with buckets. Use the hose to rinse off but turn it off when not in use. Do not water lawns or wash cars when water is in short supply. If using a commercial car wash, choose one that recycles water. Choose water toys, such as water pistols and pools, that don t require constant running water. Avoid sprinklers that produce a fine mist. Avoid the installation of ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled Use pistol-grip nozzles on all hoses to avoid waste, and always turn off the faucet tightly to prevent leakage. Use an organic mulch or plastic ground cover between rows in flower and vegetable gardens to reduce evaporation. Collect water from roof gutters to use for lawn and plan watering. Leave grass clipping in place to provide a kind of mulch. Fix irrigation system leaks quickly and check for water in the gutters or mud puddles. If you have an older irrigation system, over 50% and even more than 75% of the water can be lost to leaks. Save used bath and shower water for watering garden plants. Collect rainwater for garden use in tanks and containers. Upturned bottles and cans with small holes will leak their watery contents slowly to the base of shrubs and trees. Shade reduces moisture loss from the ground so keep plants dense and bushy. Drip and micro-spray watering systems can use less water than older type sprinklers. Use fertilizers that contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen. Avoid over fertilizing Remove weeds from with your garden to avoid competition for water and nutrients. Spot water. Outfit hoses with a shut-off nozzle which can be adjusted down to fine spray so that water flows only as needed. Use hose washers between spigots and water hoses. Check all hoses, connectors and spigots regularly. Trees, shrubs, earthen berms, or ridges can channel summer breezes into certain areas or intercept the sun s rays.

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