Sunday, November 22, 2009

for a better life & environment care

for a better life & environment care

facts from the national geographic.. must try to do.. 

Tips For Greener Travel
Reducing your speed to 55 mph from 65 mph may increase your fuel efficiency by as much as 15 percent; cut it to 55 from 70, and you could get a 23 percent improvement.
  To travel with a lighter footstep:
  * Stay closer to home. The less you drive, the easier your trip is on the environment. Instead, take an alternative form of transportation, like a train or a bus.
  * Increase your fuel efficiency on the road. Inflate your tires, and drive at a leisurely pace.

  If your trip requires flying, or driving a long distance, rent a hybrid. Hertz recently started renting Toyota Prius at major metropolitan airports, and for inner city driving, check out car shares. Zipcar, available in bigger cities like New York, Chicago and Washington D.C., provides hybrids on a per-hour basis.
  * Get to know the country through the window of a train. If you're really intent on taking a big vacation, consider splurging on an Amtrak North America Rail Pass ($999 peak/$709 off-peak; The pass allows you to travel to over 900 cities in both the U.S. and Canada for 30 consecutive days.

Fight Global Warming: Eat Organic

Conventional farming depletes soil carbon, preventing the soil from absorbing carbon dioxide.
What Can You Do?

Buy organic! A bit like the carbon offsets of agriculture, organic farming not only consumes 37 percent less energy than conventional farming, but in one year, an acre of organic crop soil will pull up to 7,000 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere, according to the Rodale Institute. That's more than half of the average vehicle's total emissions over the course of a year. So while the premiums we often pay for organic food can feel extravagant, the benefits are priceless.

How to Grow Clean Air

Indoor chemicals contribute to allergies, asthma, birth defects and learning disabilities in children.
What Can You Do?

While plants can't cure major indoor pollution problems on their own, they are an ideal antidote to the minor contamination introduced into our indoor environments through everyday household products and building materials. As few as 15 houseplants in an average-size home can offer a significant reduction in the number of indoor contaminants.

Here are some common indoor air contaminants and the plants that can help remove them:

  * Formaldehyde: The Boston fern (Nephrolepi exalta "Bostoniensis"), Florist's mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium), the Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) and the Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) reduce indoor levels of formaldehyde, a contaminant present in particleboard, carpet backings, some grocery bags, facial tissues, paper towels and permanent-press clothing, and released by gas stoves.
  * Toluene/Xylene: The Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), the Moth orchid (Phalenopsis) and the Dwarf date palm remove xylene and toluene, harmful volatile organic chemicals which can be emitted from gasoline, adhesives, ceiling tiles, computer screens, paints, inks used in photocopiers, stains and varnishes, and upholstery.
  * Other hardworking and beautiful indoor plants include bamboo palm (Chamaedorea), Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema), English Ivy (Hedera helix), the indoor dracaenas (Dracaena "Janet Craig," D. marginata, D. massangeana and D. warnekii), and the snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii).
  * When choosing houseplants, remember that many can be toxic if ingested, so be extra careful if you have young children or pets in your home. Staff at the local garden center should be able to advise you on nontoxic choices.

Strained Glass

Up to 50 percent of the average household's energy consumption goes to heating and cooling the home.
What Can You Do?

Properly sealed windows can help insulate your home, reducing the energy consumed—and money spent—to maintain indoor air temperatures. Here are some ways to raise window efficiency:

  * Seal all edges and cracks with caulk.
  * Install weatherstripping in the frame.
  * Hang curtains or drapes to limit heat gains in the summer and losses in the winter.
  * In harsh climates, install storm windows, which help keep outdoor air from seeping in and indoor air from seeping out. 

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