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04/17/2008 - Celebrate Earth Day The Friendly Way

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CELEBRATE EARTH DAY THE FRIENDLY WAY

Gazette 20080417

By Mr. Fort
Science Teacher

Thursday, April 17, 2008 — Our environment may be one of the most precious resources we have, especially for those who are younger. You will inherit the world we live in today.


Each year, we celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. A lot of people understand the spirit of this celebration, but few know how Earth Day actually came about. Luckily there's a new book for everyone out there aspiring to be eco-friendly that explains the origins of Earth Day.


In the spirit of Earth Day, I've gathered some interesting information and useful tips to help you in your day-to-day life as you strive to become more environmentally friendly.


You may not be aware of one of our most powerful energy resources. If you look up in the sky on a sunny day you're bound to see it. That's right, the sun.


Modern solar technologies are capable of providing energy for heating, lighting, electricity and even flight. This is achieved through the use of solar panels. Solar panels absorb the sun's energy so we can use it in our everyday life. There's some new equipment releasing this week that should help you channel the energy of that bright star.



There's another powerful source of energy all around us that is less visible. If you put your hand in the air you just might feel it. Believe it or not, wind can be used for energy too. Windmills can capture the energy of the wind, much like solar panels, so we can use it instead of a less environmentally friendly alternative. Keep an eye out for some coming your way.


Another great way to help the environment is making sure that you recycle.


Did you know that 80% of what we throw away is recyclable material, yet our recycling rate is only just 28%. That means we could be recycling 52% more than we already do. There's something new heading Millsberry's way that should help us all improve that percentage.


Recycling is great for the environment, but you can also use recyclable items to build something completely different. This can make for some fun projects.


Recycling does wonders, but never underestimate the power of reducing the amount you use.


Take one ream of paper for example (that's 500 sheets). One ream of paper equals 6% of a tree. In an average month you would use somewhere around 18 sheets each day. If you were to use just 9 or fewer pages each day, you would save of a ream in a month, which adds up to 6 reams a year. In that time you will have saved 36% of a tree.


Another simple thing you can do is to switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of using the normal incandescent light bulbs. Not only do they save energy and money, but they also last ten times longer than your average light bulb.


If you just take some time to look around, you'll notice that there are many simple, yet powerful ways to protect your environment.




LITTLE KNOWN GREEN FACTS


Thursday, April 17, 2008 — Believe it or not, many interesting environmental facts and statistics can be found in our every day life. Did you know that the energy saved from recycling one aluminum can is enough to power a TV for three hours? There's so much power in one little can. It doesn't stop there. Take a tree for example. One tree could release enough oxygen in a year to support two human beings. Some of the simplest things can create the biggest change.

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