Happy New Year!
Size up these fresh ideas from the American Chemical Society to go “green” in 2011 and beyond.
- Stop wasting food. Scientists say that producing (and purchasing) foods more wisely could save the energy equivalent of 350 million barrels of oil—and without spending a penny or putting a ding in our quality of life. It takes the equivalent of about 1.4 billion barrels of oil to produce, package, prepare, preserve, and distribute a year’s worth of food in the United States. But research shows we waste about 25 percent of it.
- Take five. Walking in parks or on outdoor trails for just five minutes can improve mood and self-esteem, according to recent findings. Bicycling or fishing also improve mental health, notes study authors who add that exercising in view of rivers, lakes, or streams seems to provide an extra boost.
- Ride the train. An ACS study shows that cars adversely impact the environment at a rate that is four to five times higher than do passenger trains. You’ll get extra exercise if it’s possible to walk to the train station, too.
- Find out about eo-friendly cremations and burials. People who care about improving the environment in life may soon be able to do so after death. European entrepreneurs have developed new methods of body disposal — including a low-heat cremation method— that could provide alternatives to those now in use.
- Use those “no-mix” toilets. A new toilet that could substantially reduce pollution and conserve water is gaining popularity in Europe, report scientists in Switzerland. “NoMix” toilets collect and dispose of liquid and solid wastes separately.