Looking for creative ideas to get your family excited about a greener lifestyle? The What You Can Do series spotlights fun and easy ways to make a positive impact on important green issues such as global warming, water conservation and deforestation. New one minute episodes screen online each weekday this year on the What You Can Do series web site (www.whatyoucando365.com), You Tube and Facebook. Challenge your family to join What You Can Do’s “one minute movement” to take small steps to solve big problems in our communities and around the world.
Note: For ideas involving electrical appliances, ensure that you or another adult perform the task and put the kids in charge of reminding you.
What You Can Do series: If you have even one minute, you can change the world.
Check out 10 favorite one minute ideas on going green with your family from series creator Jessica Arinella and production team On the Leesh. Click on each link to view the corresponding What You Can Do video:
1. Switch the light bulbs in your house to compact fluorescent (energy efficient) bulbs. If every family in the country changed just one bulb to an energy efficient bulb, we could save enough energy to light over 2 million homes for one year.
View What You Can Do video on Global Warming.
2. Unplug home electronics and appliances when they are not in use. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that in most U.S. homes, 75 percent of energy used to power home electronics is consumed while the product is turned off.
View What You Can Do video on Phantom Power.
3. Recycle – even if it is just your newspaper. If every American recycled their newspapers, we could save approximately 25 million trees a year.
View What You Can Do video on Deforestation.
4. Make small changes in the way you use water – the EPA estimates that a family of four can use up to 400 gallons of water per day. A few ideas to start conserving water:
- Shut off the tap when you brush your teeth or wash your face.
- Instead of running the tap until you get cold water, keep a pitcher in your fridge.
- Put a bucket in your shower to catch the run off and use it to water plants or wash your car.
View What You Can Do video on Water Conservation.
5. Consider walking your child to school, using public transportation or carpooling with other moms or dads a few times a week. The EPA estimates that using public transportation just twice a week will reduce green house gas emissions by an average of 1600 pounds a year.
View What You Can Do video on Green School Commuting.
6. Buy local! It has been estimated that the average American meal needs to travel approximately 1200 miles to get on your plate. Buying local cuts down on the fuel needed to move your food.
View What You Can Do video on Climate Change.
7. When you are dining out, decline your waiter’s offer to refill your water glass if you are no longer thirsty. If 25% of Americans who dine out declined the complimentary glass of water, 26 million gallons of water would be saved.
View What You Can Do video on Water Conservation at restaurants.
8. If you and your family enjoy seafood, you can download a pocket guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium that shows the safest options for both you and the environment. Our oceans make up 97% of our Earth’s inhabitable space, and are home to most of the world’s wildlife.
View What You Can Do video on Sustainable Seafood.
9. When you and your family order food out, bring your own containers for the food and decline the napkins and plastic silverware. You can also bring your own “doggy bag” when you eat out for leftovers.
View What You Can Do video on enjoying a greener lunch at work.
10. Approximately 60-80% of all trash in our oceans is plastic, so cut down on plastic bags whenever possible. Always keep a cloth bag in your car for unplanned shopping; and if plastic bags are your only option, make sure to reuse and recycle if possible.
View What You Can video on banning plastic bags.
Watch What You Can Do videos at http://www.whatyoucando365.com/, to learn ways to go green at home, at school, at work and on vacation. The series also features important environmental and social issues such as ocean conservation, arts in education, wildlife extinction, and hunger.
*Image courtesy of What You Can Do.*