Become a fan of the Environmental Protection Agency
APRIL, THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a simple but effective initiative called “Pick 5 for the Environment.” The program provides a list of 10 simple actions anyone can take to move themselves along the road of personal environmental responsibility. The EPA is asking the public to pick five of the 10 actions listed, and then to share their own thoughts by using a variety of social media sites.
After signing up on the EPA’s Web site, people can share tips and stories on Facebook, photos on Flickr and videos on YouTube. A Facebook application will make it easy for members of that site to sign up and encourage friends and family to participate.
In a time when many see environmental protection as important as national defense, it would seem a direct approach stressing responsibility is direly needed.
The 10 choices as listed on the EPA’s Web site are:
1. Use less water! Take showers instead of baths, fix leaks and turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. 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!
While any of these items may seem to be just a drop in the bucket when looked at on the level of the individual, the key is implementing it on a large scale through modern communication methods. The era of kids bringing home environmental dittos for parents is over. The fight for the environment may just have gone viral and it may just be in the nick of time.
Start on Pick 5 for the Environment by visiting www.epa.gov/pick5.