Integrity of Creation: Things You Can Do

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Here are some environment friendly practices you can integrate into your daily life:

Use of Water

  • Install high-efficiency (low-flow) showerheads. Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth, shave, or are washing dishes.
  • Use dishwashing and laundry powder that's biodegradable and comes in a paper box that can be recycled.
  • Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only with a full load.
  • Use a water-filter pitcher at home, and fill a water bottle from home for when you are out.
  • Never purchase bottled water, as the plastic will not break down in the environment, ever.

Use of Electricity and Gas

  • Have an energy audit done on your home, then take action to put the recommendations into effect. The typical cost is about $300-400 and can save hundreds more by putting recommendations into action.
  • Switch to a tankless water heater and keep water heater thermostat at or below 120 degrees F.
  • Use a programmable thermostat, keep the heat in your home low (60 degrees F) when not at home, and wear a sweater in the house rather than turning up the heat past 68 degrees when home.
  • If you have a "smart" electric meter, you should be able to go to an online portal from your electricity provider. Your power usage may be visible hour by hour. Look for patterns of high-energy use and determine why your usage is higher at that time.
  • Regularly service your furnace and air conditioner and in particular, change the air filter at least twice a year.
  • A laptop computer uses about half the energy of its desktop counterpart. Turn it off when not in use.
  • Replace old, inefficient appliances and purchase only Energy Star rated appliances, which reduce energy consumption.
  • Air-dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. Hang them on a clothesline, they will smell fresher.
  • Replace light bulbs with LED Energy Star certified bulbs, which cost more, but which last up to 15 times longer than incandescent ones.
  • Every time you use your cell phone remember that you will have to eventually recharge it, using electricity. Refrain from constantly checking your email and texts.
  • Consider installing solar panels, which are decreasing in cost annually. Interfaith Power and Light has offered regional customers opportunities to join a solar purchasing co-op in the northern Virginia area, which reduced the cost by nearly one-third.
  • Install ceiling fans and use them instead of air-conditioning.
  • Use muscle power in the garden, refrain from using gas or electric powered tools.

Green Shopping

  • Use reusable grocery and shopping bags only, have them with you for small purchases as well as food shopping.
  • Purchase 100% post-consumer recycled printer paper and other paper items and containers.
  • Refrain from purchasing prepared food and carry-out food that comes in plastic or styrofoam containers.
  • Purchase food and other items that are not pre-packaged, as much as you can.
  • Purchase clothes made from organic cotton and support brands that don't use harmful chemicals.
  • Find food near you. Green markets, farm stands, and conscientious supermarkets all offer locally grown produce, which support local farming efforts.

Recycling

  • Pack your lunch in an insulated lunch bag instead of paper or plastic bags.
  • Print and/or copy on both sides of the paper to save ink and trees. Save paper that has been printed on one side, and use the blank side to print or write on.
  • Use reusable products like sponges, dishtowels and rags rather than paper towels.
  • Pay your bills online (and opt for paperless billing) to reduce paper usage and postage costs.
  • Install rain barrels and use the rain water to water your gardens.

Transportation

  • Take public transportation, walk, ride a bike (rideshare or your own), or carpool whenever possible. Consolidate errands, and go for as long as possible without using your car. Try having one day of "no carbon dependent" travel weekly.
  • Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated to optimize gas mileage. Recommended inflations rates are listed in your car's owner's manual.
  • When time comes to purchase a new vehicle, consider a hybrid or electric vehicle.

Other

  • Refrain from using pesticides and other chemicals on your lawn and garden.
  • Refrain from burning wood, the smoke is a source of pollution and a health hazard.

 

 

Our Lady Queen of Peace

2700 South 19th Street
Arlington, Virginia, 22204, USA
703-979-5580 Office
703-979-5590 Fax
office@ourladyqueenofpeace.org
Office hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (closed on federal holidays)