Trans-Amazon Expedition

10 ways to help the earth!

By following these 10 simple steps and you can help keep our planet clean!

1. Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If you replace your five most frequently used lights you'll use even less energy, which means less pollution from power plants. Your household will also be saving about 700 pounds of carbon dioxide a year and save $90 a year in energy costs (If every household in the country did it -- we would save a trillion pounds of greenhouse gases.)

2. Drive less frequently. If you walk, ride a bike, carpool, or take mass transit more often, you will save a pound of carbon dioxide for every mile that you don't drive.

3. Plant a tree. A single tree will absorb about one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.

4. Turn off your TV, video player, stereo and computer when you aren't using them. Turn off your lights when you don't need them and you start saving within a minute or two. You can prevent energy losses by plugging electronic devices into a power strip and turning the power strip off when the devices are not in use. The largest source of greenhouse gases is electric power generation. The average home actually contributes more to global warming than the average car. This is because much of the energy we use in our homes comes from power plants which burn fossil fuel to power our electric products.

5. When purchasing a new vehicle, consider finding a car that gets more miles to the gallon than your current vehicle, and match the vehicle to your needs. The potential carbon dioxide reduction for a car that gets 32 miles per gallon is 5,600 pounds per year.

6. Recycle. You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling half of your household waste. Waste that you can recycle includes aluminum cans, newspapers, magazines, cardboard, glass. Anything recycled reduces the energy needed to create new products. To find the recycling center nearest you, call: 1 800-CLEANUP.

7. Today, the food choices available in supermarkets come from all over the world. Transporting all of this food around requires huge amounts of fuel, generally from refrigerated airplanes or transport trucks. Food transportation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. By buying locally grown food at your local farmer's market, you will help to reduce the greenhouse gasses caused by all that long-distance transportation of food.

8. Avoid buying products that are wrapped in a lot of packaging. A lot of energy goes into the process of packaging products. You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%.

9. Dispose of hazardous materials properly! One quart of oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water-effectively eliminating that much water from our water supply. Contact your city or county for proper waste disposal options.

10. Adjust your thermostat. By moving your thermostat down two degrees in the winter and up two degrees in the summer, you could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.