Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Protect the Environment: Pick 5

Being green architects, we are very concerned about our ecosystem as a whole.  All of us working together can make a huge difference in protecting the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new “Pick 5” program designed to identify areas of improvement and take action. The object is to look at the list and pick five things you can implement in your daily life.

1. Use less water! Take showers instead of baths, fix leaks, and turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. And buy efficient fixtures by looking for the WaterSense label.

2. Commute without polluting! Use public transportation, carpool, walk, or bike whenever possible to reduce air pollution and save on fuel costs.

3. Save electricity! Do a home energy audit, get programmable thermostats, buy Energy Star products, turn stuff off when you’re done, and change your bulbs to compact fluorescents.

4. Reduce, reuse, recycle! Try to find products with less packaging, take reusable bags on shopping trips, creatively reuse other products, and recycle what's left.

5. Test your home for radon! Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless gas that can seep into your home and cause lung cancer.

6. Check your local air quality! When you exercise outdoors, use your local air quality forecast to help plan the best time for a workout or run.

7. Use chemicals safely! Read pesticide labels carefully. Lock up pesticides, paints, and cleaners where kids can't reach them.

8. eCycle! Take your old computer, DVD player, or other electronics to a recycling center. This helps keep hazardous substances out of the landfill.

9. Enjoy the outdoors safely! Find out the quality of beach water from your state office and get the UV Index to protect yourself from the sun.

10. Spread the word! Teach others where you work or go to school. Encourage people to Pick 5 for the Environment!

Of course, this is a short list, feel free to add items you feel you can tackle to improve your local community and personal environment.