What resources do you use that you could use less of or not at all.

Expert Answers

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It's likely that you can cut back on your use of many resources. For instance, The Economist reports that the average American uses the paper equivalent of 5.57 forty-foot tall trees each year. By contrast, the average citizen of Ireland uses only 2.21. Different levels of resource use are driven by cultural practices that we can change. Here are some examples.

Trees

Use fewer trees by going "paperless" whenever possible. Recycle and reuse paper, cardboard, and furniture made of wood.

Water

Reduce consumption of water by eliminating wasteful practices (like letting the water run when you are washing dishes, or brushing your teeth). You can also reduce waste usage by taking shorter showers. If you have a yard or garden, and live in an area where dry conditions are common, you can reduce usage by cultivating only drought-resistant plants.

Fossil fuel use in the home

Central air conditioners and heat pumps typically burn more energy during use than any other home appliance. So you can save energy by finding ways to use these devices more sparingly (for example, by insulating your home, and dressing more warmly in winter).

You can also save energy by

  • turning off electric lights and other devices when not in use
  • switching from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs
  • unplugging appliances you use infrequently (because these appliances draw small amounts of electricity even when they are not in use)
  • drying laundry in the air
  • replacing energy-wasteful appliances with more efficient models

Fossil fuel used for transportation

You can save energy by walking and riding bikes. When that's not feasible, you can save energy by using public transportation, car pooling, and planning efficient car trips (accomplishing multiple errands with minimal mileage).

Fossil fuel used to make plastic

Avoid buying products with lots of plastic packaging. Use reusable grocery bags.

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