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General

bug spray

Natural Bug Spray

Use a nontoxic, natural bug spray instead of a chemical sprays to help protect you and wildlife from the harmful effects of toxic insecticides. There are many nontoxic, natural bug sprays available for sale. Products containing either a soap solution or a citrus-oil based solution are good choices. For a list of natural bug spray products visit http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/natural-insect-repellents-460608.

paint

Paint Green

More than 850 million gallons of indoor and outdoor paint was sold for use on residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings in 2005. The main environmental issue with paint is that much of it contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Buying low- or no-VOC paint will release fewer or no VOCs into the air when you paint. VOCs create ground-level ozone pollution and carry potential health risks. For more information on painting green visit http://www.greenyour.com/home/home-improvement/paint/tips/buy-low-or-no-voc-paint?subject=1073&category=9463.

credit card

Use Green Credit Cards

Turn your regular purchases into small donations by choosing a green credit card. You get a stylish, green-designed card, and every purchase triggers a donation to an environmental nonprofit, too. You can offset your carbon footprint or donate to the World Wildlife Fund all while earning other rewards and perks. For more information on green credit cards visit http://www.greenyour.com/lifestyle/leisure-recreation/shopping/tips/use-green-credit-cards?subject=9510.

Field and Sky

Make a Green New Year’s Resolution

DEP is encouraging Floridians to make a "green" resolution for the New Year. "Even small things like changing one incandescent light bulb to an ENERGY STAR® qualified bulb can have a big impact," said DEP Secretary Sole. "For example, if all the households in Florida changed just one light bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb, the combined effort would save enough energy to light all the households in Tallahassee for more than two and a half years." For more information on Green Tips for the New Year visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2007/12/1226_02.htm.

Boy with gift

Use Recycled Gift Wrap

Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper or funny papers. Also remember to save or recycle used wrapping paper. Try giving gifts that don't require much packaging, such as concert tickets or gift certificates.

strung popcorn and cranberries

Have a create-your-own-decorations party!

Invite family and friends to create and use holiday decorations such as ornaments made from old greeting cards or cookie dough, garlands made from strung popcorn or cranberries, wreaths made from artificial greens and flowers, and potpourri made from kitchen spices such as cinnamon and cloves.

batteries

Buy Rechargeable Batteries

About 40 percent of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Buy rechargeable batteries to accompany your electronic gifts, and consider giving a battery charger as well. Rechargeable batteries reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run.

grandfather cutting trukey for grandaughter

Have a Green Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is loaded with tradition, so why not start a new tradition by making your Thanksgiving holiday celebration green? Reducing impact on the environment is something for which everyone can be thankful. Here are a few tips on giving thanks to the environment:

  • Use homemade decorations. Construction paper can be cut or folded into simple Pilgrim, turkey and harvest decorations and after the paper can be recycled.
  • Carry reusable bags when you go grocery shopping.
  • At dinner use cloth napkins that can be washed and used again.
  • Make use of the beautiful weather outside and open up windows to help cool down the house instead of turning on the A/C.
  • Share leftovers with guests. Don’t keep all the leftovers in your fridge to get moldy and go to waste, send your guests home with a doggie bag so no food goes to waste.
  • Purchase fewer processed foods and seek out locally grown goods and organic foods.
  • Shop online on Black Friday in the comfort of your home. You’ll save on emissions as well as hassle.
child recycling

Recycling, Did You Know?

  • One recycled aluminum can saves enough energy to power a television or computer for 3 hours or a 100-watt light bulb for 20 hours.
  • A six-pack of recycled aluminum cans saves enough energy to drive a car 5 miles.
  • Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours.
  • Recycling a one-gallon plastic milk jug will save enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for 11 hours.
  • Recycling a one-foot high stack of newspapers saves enough electricity to heat a home for 17 hours.
Trick or Treater

Have a Green Halloween

Halloween can be scary - but it needn't be scary for the earth. Here are some tips on how to keep environmental hobgoblins away:

  • Use pillow cases or cloth bags instead of paper bags for collecting candy.
  • Buy candy that uses the least amount of packaging.
  • Check the labels on Halloween-related items and buy ones that use recycled content.
  • If you plan a Halloween party, buy or use reusable utensils, plates, napkins, and tablecloths, or buy disposable items that have recycled content.
  • After the festivities are over, start a compost pile with your old jack-o-lantern. If you do not have space, check with your town officials or local garbage collectors about whether there is a community compost pile in your area.
  • As you clean up after the holiday, don't throw away your Halloween decorations. Use them again next year to save money as well as landfill space.
  • Urge children to dispose of their candy wrappers in their bags or in trash cans rather than on the street.
Woman on Cellular Phone

Cellular Phone Recycle and Reuse

Cellular phone use is on the rise. Currently, close to half of the U.S. population uses cellular phones. Since these devices often contain lead and mercury, it is important to properly dispose of them. There are resources available to help people recycle or donate them to worthwhile causes. For example, the "CALL TO PROTECT" campaign collects cellular phones to benefit survivors of domestic violence. For more information on cellular phone donation and recycling, visit Earth911.

reusable grocery bag

Paper or Plastic…neither.

Only 12 percent of plastic bags and 37 percent of paper bags are reused or recycled. Instead choose a reusable shopping bag which needs only to be used 11 times to have a lower environmental impact than 11 disposable plastic bags. Read DEP’s Retail Bags Report to learn more about how disposable bags impact on the environment and ways this can be changed.

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Home

lady installing a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb

Lighten Up!

Installing compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs in place of standard incandescent bulbs can save you as much as $40 a year in energy costs by changing out just one 60-watt incandescent with a 14-watt fluorescent lamp. CFL bulbs will also last up to 13 times longer. If you need more light, a long-lasting 27-watt CFL provides as much light as a 100-watt standard incandescent, at about one-fourth the operating cost and one-fourth the heat output. Unlike a few years ago, you can now find CFL bulbs in many different shapes and wattage.

refrigerator

Make Your Fridge More Efficient

Refrigerators are responsible for approximately 14 percent of a home's energy use, more than any other kitchen or cleaning appliance. The average refrigerator in 2002 consumed 1,281 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year in electricity.

Choose an ENERGY STAR refrigerator

A new ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator uses about 40 percent less energy than refrigerators sold in 2001.

Set your refrigerator temperature to 37-40 degrees

Don't keep your fridge too frigid. To prevent wasting energy and your food from spoiling, it is important to set your refrigerator’s temperature properly. If your refrigerator is set below 37 degrees, it will use more electricity than necessary. In fact, a refrigerator set 10 degrees colder, will use 25 percent more energy.

Clean a refrigerator’s coils

Dust off the coils on the back of your fridge every six months. Dirty coils cause the refrigerator to use more energy to keep food cold.

Keep a full refrigerator

A full fridge retains cold better after the door has been opened so your appliance doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the food cold.

air conditioner

Maintain Your A/C

Ninety percent of residential energy consumed in America is due to household appliances, such as heating and cooling systems like air conditioners, which can make up as much as half of a household energy bill. Be sure to clean and maintain your air filters. Keeping air filters clean can increase air conditioner efficiency by 5 to 15 percent. At the very least, they should be checked every three months during the cooling season.

 

swimming pool

Green Your Swimming Pool

Use natural alternatives to pool chemicals.

Using natural alternatives to chemicals to clean the water in your pool aids in removing damaging chlorine from the air and the groundwater. It also keeps it away from your body, where it can also cause harm.

Cover your pool.

Simply covering your pool with a pool cover (otherwise known as a solar cover or thermal blanket) helps the environment in the following ways: it keeps both water and heat from evaporating at dramatic rates and it helps keep pool chemicals, if you use them, from polluting the air.

Landscape close to your pool.

Simply landscaping more closely to the pool allows you to water plants from water that splashes out and runs off from the pool, saving significantly on water use. You can also add trees and shrubs close to the pool, which will create a wind break that decreases water evaporation for when the pool is in use; just make sure they’re not blocking the sun on the pool, which creates natural solar energy.

For more tips visit http://www.greenyour.com/lifestyle/leisure-recreation/swimming-pool/tips.

Ceiling Fan

Be a fan-atic

Instead of reaching for the A/C as the temperature outside rises, consider the much underrated ceiling fan. It uses dramatically less energy than an air conditioner, costs less to buy, is a breeze to install and cools like a charm. For the Do-It-Yourself types, there’s always the classic hand fan, made out of the nearest newspaper, magazine, or outdoor concert brochure. For more information visit Tree-Hugger.

Orange Grove

Buy Local

Purchase food from local areas and help to cut back on gas emissions created by long transportation routes out-of-area fruits and vegetables take to get to your local grocery store. Your food will be fresher, taste better and the air will be cleaner. Not only does shopping locally reduce food miles, it also keeps resources circulating in the community. Plus, it’s a great way to get to know your neighbors. When did you last chat with the person who grew your tomatoes? Sites like Local Harvest can help you locate suppliers, and farmers markets are increasing in number all the time. There may even be a city farm or community garden in your neighborhood. If there isn’t, you might consider starting one.

water faucet

April is Water Conservation Month

Consider the following tips to help conserve water in your home.

Repair leaky fixtures. One drop per second from a leaky faucet can waste as much as 10 gallons of water each week.

Install low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets. Low-flow faucets reduce water consumption and the cost of heating water by as much as 50 percent; using a low-flow toilet can save Americans 2.1 trillion gallons of water and $11.3 million nationwide every day.

Turn the water off. Don’t allow the water to run when brushing your teeth. This can waste two gallons of water per brushing! Instead, wet your toothbrush, brush your teeth, and then turn the water on again to rinse.

Sponge

Green Spring Cleaning

Do your spring cleaning safely. Did you know cleaning your home can be harmful to your health? Many common household cleaners contain toxic solvents, fragrances, disinfectants, and other ingredients that can pollute the air and cause respiratory, skin, and other reactions. Find tips on green cleaning at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/pollutionprevention/green_cleaning.htm.

lawn mower

Use a Reel or Electric Mower

Savor the smell of fresh-cut grass without the smell of gasoline by using a reel or electric mower, rather than a high-polluting gas-powered one. You can save gas, save money and reduce noise and air pollution.

  • Each weekend, 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using an estimated 800 million gallons of gas per year. More fuel is spilled while refueling lawn equipment each year than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
  • Using an electric mower, you’ll pay about $5 per year for the electricity costs. Using a gas-powered mower, you’ll pay that much in just two mows.
  • According to the EPA, gas-powered lawnmowers account for up to 5% of US air pollution.
  • Bothered by noise pollution? It’s not a problem with reel mowers and electric mowers which make just a tenth of the amount of noise as gas-powered ones.

paper towel

Buy Recycled Paper Towels

Did you know if every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of 180-sheet virgin-fiber paper towels with 100-percent recycled paper towels, we could save: 1.4 million trees, 3.7 million cubic feet of landfill space, and 526 million gallons of water, and prevent 89,400 pounds of pollution? Several companies make paper towels from 100-percent recycled paper, with a minimum of 90-percent post-consumer materials. You can find these products at many grocery stores, particularly those that specialize in natural foods. Better yet, make do without paper towels. Use dish towels instead. For more information visit the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Green Team Tips.

Packed Lunch

Pack a Waste-free Lunch

Did you know that one child’s average school lunch generates 67 pounds of waste in one year? Reuse containers and reduce waste.

When you go to the grocery store buy chips, cookies, crackers, applesauce, carrots, yogurt, cheese, soup, and other food in bulk, not single-serving packages. Buy juice in large bottles, not small boxes or pouches and don't buy plastic sandwich bags, plastic water bottles, disposable utensils, paper napkins, or paper lunch bags.

When you pack your child’s lunch put sandwiches, small fruit, snacks, and other food in reusable containers and put juice or water in a reusable bottle. Send your child off to school with their eco-friendly lunch in a long-lasting reusable bag or box with reusable utensils and a cloth napkin.

water bottles

Just Say No To Bottled Water

Your New Year's resolution may involve more trips to the gym, but instead of buying pre-packaged bottled water consider other options.

Americans buy more than 8 billion gallons of bottled water a year and toss 22 billion empty plastic bottles in the trash according to National Geographic magazine. Many people find grabbing a bottle of water to go a necessary convenience and a hard habit to break and some think that tap water simply isn’t as good.

There are a few simple ways to ease out of the water bottle habit. Invest in a filter for your faucet or a filtered pitcher to go in the refrigerator. Use this tasty filtered water to fill up a reusable neoprene or stainless steel bottle, made in a variety of styles and colors. Think about the money you will save and the benefit to the environment of keeping your water bottle consumption out of the landfill. If you do find yourself grabbing a bottle of water here and there, be sure to recycle.

Cell Phone

Donate or Sell Your Old Electronics

Electronics are one of the fastest growing portions of America's trash. Donating or selling your old electronics is not only smart, but also good for the environment.

  • Donate your old computer to a school. Many schools are in need of computers and will be able to make good use of your old machine. Even if the computer isn't working, schools can often get the machine refurbished by in-house technicians.
  • No matter how old, video games and video game equipment can be sold to many electronics dealers. Another option is to donate old video games to youth charities.
  • Before throwing away an old cell phone, call your local county or city services to see if they accept donations, or if they recycle cell phones.
Pot of boiling water

Now You’re Cookin'

They say a watched pot never boils, but a covered one boils extra quickly, saving cooking time--and energy. Using smaller appliances, like a microwave, toaster oven, rice cooker, or crock pot when appropriate to the task; choosing the right size pan and burner for meals prepared on the stove; and keeping the oven door closed while baking are other great ways to conserve energy in the kitchen. It also doesn't take as much energy to reheat food as it does to cook it in the first place, so make enough for leftovers.

dog chew toy

Reuse everything

Change your mind-set and think twice before throwing anything out. Resealable plastic bags that held carrots today can hold crayons tomorrow. Coffee-cup cardboard sleeves from this morning’s brew can be tucked in a purse pocket to be used again at 4 p.m. Mom might just like that cashmere sweater you’re sick of wearing and Fido doesn’t know the difference between a new chew toy and the one you make yourself out of old dish towels. (To learn how to make one and to find other new uses for old linens, visit www.realsimple.com/linens.)

cat and dog lying on chair

“Green” Pet Owning

According to the United States Humane Society, 73 million dogs and 90 million cats currently inhabit U.S. homes, meaning household pets are important consumers of valuable resources in many families. Here are tips on making your pet owning experience a “green” one.

Find a Local Vet. If you live more than 10 miles away, consider finding a veterinarian in your community.

Investigate Healthy Food Alternatives. Organic pet food is made with renewable resources and no pesticides or environmentally unfriendly fertilizers.

Recycle Food Containers. Chances are your pet’s food containers can be recycled.

Make Waste Disposal Environmentally Friendly. Biodegradable bags provide an alternative to plastic bags that are nearly impossible to decompose.

Buy Your Pet Sustainable Toys. Try eco-friendly beds, hemp collars, or toys made from recycled soda bottles.

Grass

Grasscycling

Grasscycling is the natural practice of leaving clippings on the lawn when mowing. The clippings quickly decompose returning nutrients to the soil. Grasscycling can reduce water and fertilizer requirements, mowing time and disposal costs. The average lawn can generate as much as eight tons of yard waste per acre each year. To learn more about Grasscycling, visit Earth911.

Washing Machine

Laundry Tips

Doing the laundry can create a lot of unnecessary waste but there are many ways to conserve energy including:

  • Wash clothes in cold water and use cold-water detergents whenever possible.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels. ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers use 50 percent less energy than standard washers.
  • Use environmentally-friendly or “green” cleaners to replace traditional products, which can contain hazardous materials.
Paint Can

Household Hazardous Waste

Americans generate 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste per year. The average home can accumulate as much as 100 pounds of household hazardous waste in the basement or garage and in storage closets. When improperly disposed of, household hazardous waste can create a potential risk to people and the environment. For steps on how to properly dispose of household hazardous waste, visit DEP’s Division of Waste Management.

faucet drip

Slow the Flow

Did you know that only one percent of water on our planet is readily available for drinking? That’s because only three percent of the world’s water is fresh water rather than salt water; and of that amount, icecaps and glaciers account for two thirds. In a typical household, four people use approximately 9,000 gallons per month or 108,000 gallons per year. That’s enough water to fill a bathtub more than 2,500 times! More than half of this usage occurs in the bathroom--from toilets (24 percent), baths (9 percent) and showers (21 percent). Leaks in bathroom faucets add another five percent, so the total amounts to much more than just a drop in the bucket.

Lady putting leaves in compost area

Greenscaping

When organic wastes, such as leaves, grass clippings, food waste, and paper are recycled, we reduce the generation of methane gas in landfills. Almost 60 percent of the municipal solid waste produced in the United States (including paper) is compostable material. Second only to fossil-fuel combustion, landfills are a leading source of greenhouse gases. In 2005, 79 million tons of waste material was diverted away from disposal through recycling and composting.

digital thermostat

Everyday Energy Saver

Programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home's temperature settings, allowing you to save energy while you're away or sleeping. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $150 every year in energy costs. The thermostats are more convenient and accurate than manual thermostats and improve your home’s comfort, contain no mercury and are better for the environment, since using less energy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production.

Faucet with water drop

Fix a Leak!

Leaky toilet flappers, faucets, and other valves are easy to fix and usually require only a few tools and hardware. Over 1 trillion gallons of water leaks from US homes each year. March 16 to 20 is "Fix a Leak" week.
Learn more at EPA WaterSense

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Office

lady using a copier

Print Smarter

The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year. Make it a habit to print on both sides or use the back side of old documents for faxes, scrap paper, or drafts. Avoid color printing and print in draft mode whenever feasible. Make it a policy to buy chlorine-free paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content. Also consider switching to a lighter stock of paper or alternatives made from bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, or kenaf.

old toner cartridges

Recycle Toner and Ink

Recycle toner and ink cartridges and buy remanufactured ones. According to Office Depot, each remanufactured toner cartridge "keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills...and conserves about a half gallon of oil."

monitor displaying a sceen saver

Turn off your screen saver

Did you know the EPA has estimated that using a computer's "sleep mode" reduces its energy consumption by 60 to 70 percent and, on a large scale, ultimately could save enough electricity each year to power Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, cut electric bills by $2 billion and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of five million cars? A screen saver that displays moving images causes your monitor to consume as much electricity as it does in active use. A blank screen saver is only slightly better but that reduces energy consumption by a small amount. The best screen saver is also the best energy saver: turn off your monitor when you're not using it. The next best idea is to use your computer's power management feature to automatically shut the monitor down when it is not in use. Turning off your computer will decrease the amount of energy it uses, reduces its mechanical stress, prolong its life.

paper in recycle bin

Paper Waste

Did you know that every year enough paper is thrown away to make a 12 foot wall from New York to California? Recycling of each ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water. Recycled paper also saves 60 percent energy in comparison to new paper and generates 95 percent less air pollution. Since one-fifth of all wood harvested in the world ends up in paper it just makes sense to recycle and conserve this valuable resource.

lady with paper everywhere around her desk

Go Paperless

Make it a habit to think before you print: could this be read or stored online instead? When you receive unwanted catalogs, newsletters, magazines or junk mail, request to be removed from the mailing list before you recycle the item. Make it a policy to post employee manuals and similar materials online, rather than distribute print copies. They're easier to update that way too.

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Travel

national marina day logo

Attend a National Marina Day Event

National Marina Day is dedicated to the education of the boating public, civic leaders and politicians emphasizing the importance of the marine industry as a link to water access through local marinas and stewardship of the environment. View a list of events where you can learn more about clean boating.

cars in line

No-Idle Zone

Have you ever left your car running while picking up your children or grandchildren from school? A single vehicle dropping off and picking up kids at one school puts three pounds of pollution into the air per month. This pollution contains a nasty mix of small particles and chemicals that are considered "hazardous." Exposure to car exhaust increases the risk of heart and lung problems. If you think you’ll be sitting in the same spot for more than 30-seconds, it helps to turn off your car. Contrary to popular belief, it really isn't bad for your car.

  • Idling consumes ½ to 1 gallon of gas per hour.
  • Excessive idling causes your engine’s components, including cylinders and spark plugs, to wear prematurely.
  • Children’s asthma symptoms increase as a result of car exhaust.
canoe

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a national and international program designed to assist outdoor enthusiasts with their decisions about how to reduce their impacts when they hike, camp, picnic, snowshoe, run, bike, hunt, paddle, ride horses, fish, ski or climb. The program strives to educate all those who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts. The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace are 1- Plan Ahead and Prepare; 2-Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces; 3-Dispose of Waste Properly; 4-Leave What You Find; 5-Minimize Campfire Impacts; 6-Respect Wildlife; and 7-Be Considerate of Other Visitors.

Visit http://www.lnt.org/programs/principles.php for more information on how to reduce environmental impact on the outdoors this summer.

Clean Vessel Act Logo

Pumpout

Florida is defined by water. With more than 1,350 miles of coastline, 50,000 miles of inland and coastal rivers and streams, 700 freshwater springs and countless lakes, Floridians depend on water more than any other natural resource. The pollution of Florida’s waterways from a number of sources can spoil boating and other aquatic recreation. Boaters add to the pollution problem when they fail to dispose of boat sewage properly. It is important that boaters use the nearly 400 pumpout stations throughout the state installed by the Clean Vessel Act Program that have kept more than 10,000,000 gallons of boater sewage out of Florida’s water.

family at the beach

The Great Green Get Away

Even with high gas prices, you can take a vacation that doesn’t deplete your wallet or the environment by traveling “green”. DEP’s new Green Travel Web site features an interactive map to locate Green Lodging properties and Florida state parks close to home and lists dozens of tips on being green while enjoying the Florida Summer.

 

Cocoa Village Marina

Clean Boating

With the peak boating season approaching, it is important for boaters to be conscious of the environment they enjoy. The Florida Clean Boater Program encourages boaters to use Florida’s Clean Marinas, Boatyards & Marine Retailers. Boaters are also encouraged to safeguard the state’s waterways by adopting environmentally friendly practices such as proper trash management, using bilge socks and fueling collars as well as practicing recycling habits. Visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/cleanmarina/resources.htm for an extensive list of environmentally conscious boating tips.

Green Lodging Logo

Green Travel

You don't have to sacrifice creature comforts to be a green traveler. Book your next hotel stay with a designated member of the Florida Green Lodging Program. Properties are located throughout the state and range from local bed and breakfast’s to five star resorts with more than 1,000 rooms to suit any traveler’s needs. Designated properties have implemented a variety of environmentally friendly practices, such as: installation of low flow plumbing fixtures, linen and towel reuse programs, installation of ENERGY STAR® appliances and programmable thermostats, recycling in guest and staff areas, bulk and recycled content purchasing, use of green cleaners and use of high efficiency air filters. Visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging/lodges.htm to find the ideal Green Lodging property for your next trip.

traffic

Check Traffic - Dial 511

Crawling traffic can contribute eight times as much air pollution as traffic moving at regular highway speeds, according to the Green Guide from National Geographic. Before you get in your car for your morning commute, check the Florida Department of Transportation’s 511 traffic information hotline or Web site, www.fl511.com, to learn about traffic, road closures and construction for locations and roadways throughout the state.

Fueling Car Gas Tank

Gas Saving Tips

With gas prices consistently on the rise, here are a few tips for lowering gas consumption.

Keep tires properly inflated. This reduces tread wear and conserves fuel. When tire pressure is low it creates more rolling resistance for the car and requires more gas to push the car along.

Don't idle. It is estimated one minute of sitting in neutral or park uses the same amount of gas consumed as when you start your engine. When possible turn off your engine.

Don't overfill. Most new cars have an automatic 'stop' when the tank is full. Adding a few extra squirts to reach an even amount on the price readout or to ‘top it off’ is just wasting fuel.

Pouring Motor Oil into Car

Recycle Motor Oil

Each year over 180 million gallons of motor oil are disposed of illegally. Never put motor oil in the trash or pour it on the ground or into a storm drain. Motor oil can be 100 percent recycled. Many oil change centers and auto part stores will take your oil hassle free. Visit Earth 911 to locate a recycling center near you.

Bicyclist

Drive Less, Drive Smart

One of the biggest contributors to air pollution is vehicle exhaust. As part of Clean Air Month consider participating in Bike-to-Work Week from May 14 – 18, 2007. Bicycling cuts back on traffic congestion, reduces pollution and is good for your health. If biking to work is not feasible, try cycling to other nearby places that you would normally drive to. It is estimated that one billion gallons of gasoline could be prevented from entering our air if everyone biked to work or the store just once every two weeks.

Slow Sign

Slow down

Do you have a need for speed? So nobody's perfect out there on the open road. We've all let the needle slip past the speed limit at one time or another. But in so many ways, it just isn't worth it. If the long (and expensive!) arm of the law isn't enough to deter your lead foot, consider this: engines are designed to operate most efficiently at the speed limit. Driving the car 75mph instead of 65mph increases your fuel consumption by 20%. Slow down to enjoy the ride and the cost savings.

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Programs

Last updated: February 02, 2010

  Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 49   Tallahassee, Florida 32399  
850-245-2118 (phone) / 850-245-2159 (fax) 
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