Help the Planet

In addition to recycling, there are other small steps you can take to make a huge impact.

Paper

  • Stop junk mail. Have your name removed by contacting Direct Marketing Association at www.dmaconsumers.org.
  • If the junk mail has a Business Reply return envelope, write “Please remove from mailing list” by your personal info and mail it back. It works as they have to pay the postage when you to send it back.
  • Use unbleached paper products. The process of bleaching paper creates dioxin, a toxin which ends up in water ways.
  • Use cloth rags and towels instead of paper towels whenever possible.
  • Use reusable plates, cups and cutlery over paper products. Although they are biodegradable and better than plastic, paper products do use harsh chemicals during production.

Water Use

  • Letting the water run constantly for the following activities wastes water.
  • Tooth brushing–9 gallons, Shaving–14 gallons, Washing dishes–25 gallons
  • Low flow shower heads and double flush toilets save 50% of water used.
  • Do full loads for clothes washing. Top loading washers use 30-60 gallons each cycle.
  • Drip irrigation hoses for plants have the least loss of water evaporating.
  • Use rain water catchment systems to irrigate plants. No chlorine is an added plus.

Energy Use

  • Turn your water heater thermostat down to 120°-130°. Water heaters account for about 20% of all the energy we use in our homes. Insulate tanks.
  • Turn off the gas pilot lights for your furnaces in warm weather.
  • Tankless water heaters supply hot water only when needed.
  • Clean your refrigerator coils at least 2 times per year.
  • Hang your clothes on a clothes line instead of using a dryer.
  • Keep your thermostat at 78° in the summer and 68° in the winter.
  • Compact, fluorescent lights save electricity. The new LED light bulbs are even better.
  • When building a new house, use products that are “green."
  • Standby power for electronics is “phantom” electricity used in the home. By using a surge protector, one click can turn off all electronics at once.
  • Ditch the McMansion. Smaller homes use less energy.
  • Buy appliances with the Energy Star logo.
  • Block afternoon sun with exterior or interior solar shades.

Plastics

  • When picking up a few things at the market, ask for “No Bag.” Carry them out with the receipt in your hand. Or, bring a canvas bag for shopping.
  • Decrease your bottled water use. Go to www.storyofbottledwater.org for more info.
  • Use tap water or Pur/Brita pitchers instead. Pour into reusable beverage containers.
  • Use reusable containers for food storage instead of plastic bags, plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Use reusable plates, cups and cutlery over plastic. Plastic is non-biodegradable,
  • uses toxic chemical during production, and entangles or is eaten by many animals.
  • Snip 6 pack rings and tie up plastic mesh bags to protect wildlife.
  • Use cloth diapers or a diaper service for your children.
  • Balloon releases can wind up in waterways and be mistaken for food by animals.
  • Phase out nonstick skillets like Teflon which can leach into the foods when heated.
  • Cast iron is a great alternative.

Landscaping

  • Compost grass clippings, household fruit and vegetable scraps. It serves as a natural fertilizer and moisture retentive mulch.
  • Prevent pests naturally. Many pesticides end up in waterways.
  • Plant trees as “carbon dioxide sinks” for carbon sequestration.
  • Plant deciduous tree on the south side of your house for shade in the summer.
  • Xeriscape – plant native species that are suited for local rainfall amounts.

Fuel

  • Buy cars with high miles per gallon ratings. Small cars with manual transmissions get the best mileage.
  • Bicycles and mass transportation are a great alternative.
  • Keep cars tuned up and change the air filters regularly.
  • Keep tires inflated at the correct pressure for the best MPG.
  • Make sure the place where you get your car oil changed recycles the oil.
  • Work close to home or at home.

Food Use

  • Plant a vegetable garden.
  • Organically grown food is better for you and the environment.
  • Eat low on the food chain. Start with a vegetarian meal once a week.
  • Eat up food. A typical household discards 474 pounds of food waste per year.
  • Be a locavore. Supporting local farmers uses fewer “petroleum miles” for delivery of products.
  • Farmers markets can be located at www.LDAF.la.gov Click on “Louisiana Grown”

Recycling

  • Recycle old paint or let it evaporate outdoors in its can before disposal.
  • Buy vintage clothes.
  • Recycle as many commodities as are possible in your community.
  • Loyola’s recycling program takes junk mail, manila folders, office paper, newspaper,
  • magazines, phone books, paper bags, aluminum cans, tin cans, and plastic. Corrugated
  • cardboard boxes can also be taken if they are flattened first. They can be brought
  • to our blue recycling dumpster by the rear of the Danna Center on West Road.
  • PRECYCLE – buy products with thought as to where they will end up in the waste stream.
  • Making the correct buying choices can prevent excessive and unsound materials from getting in to the waste stream in the first place. Go to www.thestoryofstuff.org for more info.

Miscellaneous

  • Use rechargeable batteries to lessen the amounts of mercury and cadmium; they are heavy metals and sources of contamination at waste dumps.
  • Use natural, non-toxic cleaning, laundry and personal care products.
  • Avoid toxic chemicals in furniture, mattresses, rugs and other building materials.
  • Consume less, share more, and live simply, so that others, including all of God’s
  • creatures, may simply live.
  • Recycle old Mardi Gras Bead at the Magnolia School or ARC.