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Five Ways to Cut Waste, Cut Your Carbon Footprint and Cut Boredom This Earth Day

Here are a few ways to think green locally and help the environment globally as Earth Day, April 22, approaches.

Earth Day is being celebrated April 22 with a lot of activities in and around the city. But there are also many things you can do in your daily life to help the planet.

Five Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle

  • Used videocassettes can be sent to ACT, a Missouri-based nonprofit social service agency that helps disabled people join the workforce. A donation helps raise $500,000 of ACT's $3-million-per-year budget. It sells the tapes that are still usable and recycles the plastic from the remainder.
  • Don't throw away packing peanuts from your mail. They can be recycled locally at Mail Services Etc. at 23974 Aliso Creek Rd.
  • Donate old eyeglasses and reading glasses at any LensCrafters location. They will be given to needy people around the world.
  • Yemm & Hart recycles used wine corks and turns them into floor and wall tiles.
  • Is your printer broken? Don't chuck it in the trash. Hewlett-Packard will give you credit toward a new purchase for many different brands of used electronics, printers included.

Five Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

  • Buy vegetables and fruits from the local Out-of-season fruits and vegetables at the grocery story can travel a long distance to get to your grocery store—using a lot of fuel.
  • Unplug appliances not in use. Appliances that have a standby mode can suck up a lot of excess energy. 
  • Forget bottled water. Buy a filter and bring your own water in a reusable steel bottle. This will cut out the transportation waste, the oil used to make plastic bottles and the energy needed to recycle used bottles.
  • Don't buy products with excess packaging. For example, tomatoes packaged in stiff plastic four-packs may look prettier, but the excess packaging hurts the environment.
  • Try to do all of your errands at once, rather than a few at a time. You can save time and gas by avoiding multiple trips from your home.

More Great Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

  • Celebrate Earth Day with the Ocean Institute. Learn how to track your carbon footprint and about the impact of pollution on the coast. Take a hike through the native plant garden or create fun, eco-friendly crafts. If you volunteer for the beach cleanup, your admission will be free.
  • Soka University is offering free compost on Earth Day from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.. You can receive free compost at parking lot A.  Then take it and plant a native plant in your garden.
  • Throw your own green party. Get your friends together and collect old items that you can recycle for cash, such as: cell phones, broken camcorders, digital cameras, GPS systems and ink cartridges, not to mention bottles and cans. Use the proceeds to throw an Earth Day party that everyone will remember.

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