Some earth-friendly habits

When you're enjoying your golden years, the last thing you probably want to do is to spend a lot of time taking on monumental projects. But, doing your part to help the environment can be very easy.

Making reductions. The best way to start helping the environment is reducing the amount of waste put into it. The key is to change your habits and think how you can cut down the amount of waste created throughout your day whether it be at home, work or when shopping.

Cancel unwanted catalogues. Most American households receive between 75 and 100 printed catalogues a year which equals a lot of dead trees.

Conservative cooking. You can save energy by turning off the water once it boils when cooking eggs or vegetables. You don't need sustained boiling to thoroughly cook these foods.

Frugal fueling. Make sure your gas cap is on tight. Millions of gallons of gasoline evaporate into the atmosphere each year due to loose, damaged or missing gas caps.

Toilet tweaking. Install low-flow toilets which use 1.6 gallons of water compared to 5 or more gallons with older toilets. There are also dual-flush toilets, which have one button for liquid waste using less than 1 gallon, and another for solid waste, which uses 1.6 gallons.

Reuse produce and shopping bags. A good choice is to use the cloth shopping bags for sale at most grocery stores.

Consider packaging. If we purchase foods that are not excessively packaged, we will reduce our trash. Choosing foods minimally packaged or bought in bulk, not only saves money, but also helps the planet.

Eat locally-grown food. Most of the food we eat in the US has traveled more than 1,500 miles to reach our grocery store. Whether by truck, plane or train, a lot of fossil fuel is used to transport food. Most communities now have Farmers' Markets opening for the season. Eating locally-grown food whenever possible saves fuel and reduces carbon dioxide emissions, and supports your local economy. And, best of all, the food usually tastes better.

The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620. Information is also periodically provided by the Behavioral Health Services North Caregiver Resource Center. They may be reached at 565-4543 or 565-4625.

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