How Green Are You?

Test Your Eco IQ

1.  Do you have recycling bins at your house? (my answer=yes)

Good for you! Recycling is probably the easiest thing you can do to go green! It even cuts up 1,000 pounds of annual carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming . Even though you do recycle, you can be even “greener” by choosing products with the least amount of packaging possible and by choosing easily recyclable packaging, like paper or glass; very few municipal recycling programs accept plastics other than those labeled #1 and #2.

2.Have you replaced at least one incandescent bulb in your house with a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL)? (my answer=yes)

Good for you! Replacing just one 75-watt incandescent bulb with a 19-watt CFL cuts 75 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year and up to 750 for the life of the bulb, not to mention the money savings on your energy bill.

3.  If you drink takeout coffee or tea, do you bring your own mug or use a disposable cup from the cafe? (my answer=reusable mug)

Bravo! Reusable mugs are healthier for you and for the planet, leaving trees in forests where they belong and keeping non-degradable polystyrene out of landfills.

4.  Which saves more water, washing dishes by hand or using a dishwasher?(my answer=by hand)

No! Surprisingly, hand washing dishes can actually use up to 50 percent more water than a water-saving, energy-efficient dishwasher. The most efficient dishwashers on the market use only 4 gallons of water, but some conventional models can use as much as 14 gallons. If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, look for Energy Star-rated appliances. They use at least 41% less energy and water than federal standards require.  This one I wasn’t sure about since I don’t have an electric dishwasher and hadn’t done my research.

5.  How often do you use green cleaning products? (my answer=whenever I can find them)

That’s a good start. Using green cleaners all the time cuts down on your environmental impact, since conventional cleaners are filled with a host of chemicals that produce harmful byproducts during production and harm aquatic life when they wash down the drain. Green cleaners are also healthier; they have fewer volatile organic compounds that can trigger asthma and other respiratory problems, and rarely do they contain chemicals that can poison you or your children or cause serious skin reactions if spilled.

6.  Which do you prefer: bottled water or tap? (my answer=tap)

Good for you! Tap water meets stricter federal and local standards for chemical contaminants, and drinking tap water helps eliminate the waste associated with single-use plastic bottles, only 10 percent of which are recycled each year.

7.  Have you installed aerators on your kitchen and bathroom faucets? (my answer=yes)

Congratulations! Aerators cut water usage from 5 gallons per minute to 2.75 gallons or less. The most efficient models use only 1 gallon; if yours isn’t a 1 gpm model, replace it and save even more water than you already are.

8.  When you go shopping, which do you choose? Paper or Plastic? (my answer=paper)

Trick question! Neither. Bringing your own bag is the more environmentally responsible choice. In the U.S., petroleum-based plastic bags consume about 12 million barrels of oil annually, and many are not recycled, meaning that they end up in trees and waterways where animals mistake them for food. Paper bags consume four times as much energy to produce as plastic bags and they generate 70 percent more air pollution during manufacture.This WAS trick because “neither” wasn’t an option in the answers!

9.  How do you get to work? (my answer=a little of everything)

You’re off to a good start. The less you drive, the less you pollute. An average 12-mile daily commute generates 2,750 pounds of CO2 annually, so cutting your driving by half would eliminate 1,375 pounds.

10. Do you purchase renewable energy through your power utility? (my answer=yes)

Way to go! It may cost a little more than coal power, but a home powered by green energy cuts down on both greenhouse gas and mercury emissions coming from coal plants but it preserves natural environments from destructive mining.

For more information about issues on the quiz and more, please see:
Recycling Now
Are Compact Fluorescents a Fire Hazard?
Water Saving Appliances PR
Rites of Spring (Cleaning)
Consider Its Lifecyle: Bottled Water

 
 
 
 

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