ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — During the 1960s, changing public attitudes and the availability of scientific information that hinted at effects from humans, intended and unintended, on the environment led to the realization that the government had a strong role to play in preserving resources and keeping the environment healthy.
The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, indeed increased environmental awareness in America and led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Since then, New York has made remarkable progress in reducing air, land, and water pollution, protecting 1.5 million acres of open space for future generations, and assisted in the recovery of the bald eagle and sturgeon from extinction.
However, there are still several environmental challenges ahead including climate change.
Celebrate Earth Day & the NYS DEC’s birthday by making some of these simple everyday changes and be a steward of the earth and sustainable living.
50 Earth Day Tips
In the kitchen…
- Set the refrigerator temperature between 38 F and 42 F.
- Set the freezer temperature between O F and 5 F.
- Microwave whenever you can.
- Don’t wash dishes with the water running.
In the dining room…
- Use cloth napkins.
- Use washable plates, cups and silverware.
- Serve condiments from recyclable containers.
- Provide personal glasses for beverages.
In the laundry…
- Wash and dry only full loads.
- Wash with warm water instead of hot.
- Rinse with cold water instead of warm.
- Hang wash out to dry.
In the bathroom…
- Shut off the sink while brushing your teeth.
- Shut off the shower while soaping or scrubbing.
- Install a low-flow shower head.
- Reduce the volume of water in your toilet tank.
In the living room…
- Switch off unnecessary lights.
- Dress warmly: don’t turn up the furnace.
- Dress cool: don’t turn on the air conditioner.
- Raise shades on winter days; lower them in summer.
In the yard…
- Compost leaves and grass clippings.
- Avoid pesticides, use nontoxic alternatives.
- Apply only as much fertilizer as the lawn needs.
- Use native plants which require little to no watering.
- Plant a tree.
In the garage…
- Recycle motor oil, antifreeze and car batteries.
Away from Home
In the car…
- Drive at the speed limit.
- Avoid sudden starts or stops.
- Don’t overfill the fuel tank.
- Check the tire pressure monthly.
- Change air and oil filters regularly.
At the store . . .
- Don’t buy over-packaged items.
- Choose products in reusable and/or recyclable containers.
- Buy concentrated cleaners and detergents.
- Return empty bottles and cans for deposit.
- Bring your own reusable bag.
- Send electronic copies whenever possible.
- Copy reports and memos on both sides.
- Circulate rather than copy paperwork.
- Reuse tubes and envelopes for mailing.
- Carry out what you carry in.
- Hike, row, sail, ski or paddle – don’t motor.
- Build campfires with care.
- Observe, don’t disturb wildlife and plant life.
- Share books, magazines, CDs and DVDs with friends, hospitals and prisons.
At school . . .
- Copy bulletins and exams on two sides, make notes and drafts on scrap paper.
- Reuse textbooks and school supplies.
- Serve reusable trays, dishes and silverware.
- Compost cafeteria vegetable wastes.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
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