Eco Facts

Building sustainable homes for a cleaner future.

TRASH/LANDFILL AND WHY WE SHOULD RECYCLE

14% of our food goes to landfill, which we could composte
It takes a 1000 yrs for a plasic water bottle to break down.
Things to do: 
Drink tap water. You can check your local water cleanliness WWW.ewg.org/tapwater
Use Bioplasitcs, derived from renewable biomass. They are marked with number 7 and labeled biodegradable or compostable
Use Polylactic Acid, which is made of cornstarch or sugarcane that can stand in for petroleum based plastics

-There are 20,000 abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites in US .(Groundwater.org)
500 Billion – 1 Trillion plastic bags are  used worldwide per yr
28 plastic bags are used by an avg family of 4 per week (Time Magazine)
Things to do: Reuse plastic bag as trash bags or return them to the grocery store.

-40% of solid mass in landfills is made of paper (Native Forest Network)
The average american generates 4.6 lbs of trash per day of which 2.5 goes to landfills
180,000 Tons of Batteries are thrown away every year
Things to do:  Use rechargeable batteries or go to a recycling center near you. Earth911.com

-45 Tons of CDs are thrown away into landfills per year
Things to do: Switch to digital movies  and streaming DVDs

-20 Tons of Mine waste is left behind to produce one gold ring
Things to do: Buy estate jewelry or recycled gold. www.nodirtygold.org

Discarded electronic devices are called E-lectronic waste or e-waste. They tend to have a lot of toxic heavy metals and carcinogens.
Things to do.
Think twice before upgrading. Dispose properly
Earth911.com to find out places to recycle batteries, paint, motor oil, phone books, carpet, medication
Recycle old shoes :www.oneworldrunning.Blogspot.com<
www.yemmhad to recycle wine corks into floor tiles.
Less packaging waste if you buy in bulk. And have reusable containers.

Biodegradable vs. compostable:
Biodegradable can brake down naturally but may contain toxins and release greenhouse gases. Compostable disintegrate into CO2 H2o and biomass at the same rate as paper

SAVING TREES TO LOWER CO2 IN THE ATMOSPHERE
30 Million Trees cut per year to produce books sold in US.
Things to do:
Buy ebooks, or offset your consumption with www.ecolibris.net We Produce : 1.5 Letters per avg person per week

10.8 pieces of junk mail per week
41 lbs of junk mail per year (Native Forest network)
Things to do:
Get your name off the direct mail list. www.nativeforest.org/stop_junk_mail/nfn_junk_mail_guid.htm
1 million Trees per yr are used for Junk Mail
544000 trees would be saved if every US home replaces one paper towel roll with 100% recycled (natural resources defense council)
2.2 million acres of open spaceis lost to development per year

Water Conservation:

600 Gallons of Water is needed to grow enough corn to feed a cow to produce a 1/3 pound burger  (Water Consciousness. Tara Loha)
200 lbs of Meat chicken, fish is consumed by the avg American per yr. In 1960 it was only 150 lbs/yr. (NY Times)
Things to do:
Cut back on meat consumption

The average American uses 100-176 Gallons per day
But 4-5 Gallons of Water is needed to sustain a person (Www. Water.org)
50% of water use in US homes is used for pools, gardens and lawns.
By 2025 there will be 3 billion more people. To feed them we need 20% more water than we have today
Things to do:
Wash your car with waterless car wash product. www.luckyeath.com
You’ve heard of carbon footprint. Check your water footprint at www.h2oconseve.org
Switch to native landscape that’s a better match for your area’s climate
Greywater: Water that flows down the sink, shower and washing-machine drain (Not Toilet water) can be filtered to irrigate the backyard.    
Chose bars of soap over liquid, less packaging. Pick organic vegetable ingredients with no synthetic colors fragrance or antibacterial additives.
Low Flow Shower head
Run washing machine and dishwasher when full

CO2 production:

6 Tons of CO2 is produced by the avg US car per year
40% of CO2 worldwide comes from buildings
Things to do:
Call your local utility and for a few dollars more switch to solar wind or water power

35% of CO2 worldwide comes from cars.
Things to do:
Carpool. www.carpoolworld.com
Check your gas economy. www.fueleconomy.gov
Check your greenhouse gas emission: www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html

Energy Efficiency

In the last 30yrs we have consumed 33% of world’s natural resource base
1000 kw.hr is wasted every yr by vampire products. They are called vampire load, because electric power is sucked up by items that are plugged in but not in use
Things to do:
Power strips to save energy

300$, the amount an Iowa farmer gets for ethanol produced on a ¼ acre of corn
300,000$ a yr, the amount the same farmer can make from electricity produced by wind turbines on same lot
(Plan B 3.0 Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester  R Brown)
6-10% is saved on an energy bill by lowering the Water Heater from 140 to 120 degrees
Things to do:
Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket and Prevent 1000 lbs of CO2 per yr

$150 is saved per year with a programmable thermostat (EPA)
Use LED lights, which uses 90% less electricity and lasts 20 yrs
Things to do:
Get a kill-A-Watt to measure energy use of products
Unplug cell phone charger when you’re not charging. Only 5% of power drawn actually charges phone. 95% is wasted.
A typical microwave oven consumes more electricity powering its digital clock than it does heating food.
A clean lint filter in a dryer saves energy and about $40 a year

General Health

Americans spend 90% of their time indoor (www.Healthychild.org)
There is a 7lbs difference in the avg resident of a pedestrian friendly neighborhood vs. in a sprawl car friendly neighborhood(Journal of American Planning Association)
25% of all insecticide is used on Cotton crops (Genetically modified seeds, synthetic fertilizer fungicide and herbicide.)
Things to do: Buy organic cotton
0 amount of premarket safety tests required of cosmetic manufacturers
Things to do:
Check safety www.cosmeticdatabase.com. Olive oil can be used in lieu of many cosmetics and household products, moisturizer etc.
Check walkability of your neighborhood at www.walkscore.com and find nifty list of the nearest restaurant movie theatre bookstore, bar, grocery store, and more.
Dry cleaners that use Liquid CO2 not Perchloroethylene. www.findco2.com
Used as an all-purpose cleaner. More eco-friendly than many other cleaning products
100% organic = 100 %organic
Organic= 95% organic
Made with organic ingredients = 70% organic
All Natural= nothing to do with organic

The most pesticide loaded produces are:
Apples/bell peppers/ celery/ cherries/ imported grapes/ nectarines/ peaches/ pears/ potaties/ red raspberries/ spinach/ and strawberries.
Things to do:
www.Healthytoys.org: Consumer action guide to toxic chemicals in toys
Fight Consumerism: www.Revbilly.com
Sustainable tourism:
www.planeta.com
www.rainforestalliance.com
www.gentravelhub.com
www.greenhotels.com
Root cellar. A place in our home to keep vegetables and fruit fresh over long periods without refrigeration
www.goodguide.com to look for product’s health, environmental and social performance
www.thestoryofstuff.com
 www.therainforestsite.com


THE BIG ENERGY GAMBLE (2009)

- In the last 35 yrs the electricity usage of the US has increased by 50%, in California it has stayed the flat.
- A Law passed in Ca which will decrease in CO2 30% by 2020, 80% by 2050.
- 15% will come from home efficiency, 33% from efficiency in cars, 
- Today, 16% of electricity is form Coal. 12% from Renewable, 45% Natural Gas, 15% Nuclear.
- By 2020, Mpgs on cars will have to go from 25 mpg to 44 mpg
- Only 2% of cars on the road are hybrids

More Eco Facts:  A law in California requires 15% of cars on the road to be electric by 2025