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Fuel Efficiency Sustainability Tire Care Trucking Industry

Tips to Avoid Problems When Using Snowfall Tires

Tips to Avoid Problems Using Snowfall Tires Using a Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Tire Pressure Monitoring SystemsOver the last few years the government has cracked down on car drivers who have switched tires for the season but haven’t had their Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) replaced. Most garages used to replace them for free back in the day but nowadays you will see plenty of garages charging for this.

The truth is that you can avoid this, and you can also avoid having any issues with your TPMS when you switch from summer to winter tires.

One big tip is to avoid pot holes because our roads are scattered with these annoying dips and they do have a massive effect on tire pressure, not just in cold conditions but during any time of the year.  If you are driving on well-known routes then just pay attention to these, and avoid them if you can.

 

Why Does Cold Weather Affect my TPMS?

Snow is always going to set off your TPMS sensor, and it won’t take long until you see that lovely light illuminate your dash.

Are you ready for the science behind this?

When we get a bout of cold spells, or snow, the air in your tire will become much denser than when it is warm, especially when the car has been left overnight during a particular cold or snowy period.

However, as soon as you have drove around for 20-30 minutes you should notice that as the tires get warmer through friction, your light on the dashboard should turn itself off. Just give this tip a try before you decide to take it to our local garage as you should find that this works. Oh, and you shouldn’t worry too much on colder mornings if you see your TPMS light show up, that is normal behavior.

If you are seeing the light more frequently, just be aware that for every 10 degree drop in temperature, you will lose on average 1 pound of air pressure out of each tire.

This brings us nicely onto nitrogen for your tires.

 

So Why Use Nitrogen?

If you don’t check your tire pressure regularly then some good advice is to start using Nitrogen which will help in reducing TPMS resets.

Most new cars come with these funky new dashboard lights that tell you when your tire pressure is low. The problem is, you will stop by a garage and pump air into them, and then hey presto a few weeks later that lights back on again.

However, if you were to use nitrogen your tire could last months longer, meaning you don’t have to see that annoying flashing light appear so often.

You see, replacing oxygen, water vapor and other gases that go into a standard tire, with nitrogen, will mean your tire pressure will maintain at a certain level for a lot longer. So if you were to use 95% nitrogen in your tires you would be looking at a retainer of optimal pressure for as much as 4 times longer than if you had 22% of oxygen, water vapor and other gases.

Perhaps the biggest reason for people using nitrogen is that not only can you keep a well-balanced tire pressure but you can increase fuel efficiency, safety and generally a longer tire life for each of the 4 tires on your car.

Learn more about tire sensors at the Tire Sensor Warehouse.

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Fuel Efficiency News Roundup Sustainability

Are we closer today than ten years ago to the widespread use of hybrid cars, truck and alternative fuels

“Are we closer today than ten years ago to the widespread use of hybrid cars, truck and alternative fuels” ? Absolutely.

We are at a point in the evolution of green cars where it is now realistic that at some point in the future, they will be the most widely used car. The quality of these cars is constantly improving and the latest news about these vehicles means we may be closer to the world using predominately environmentally friendly cars than we think. Electric & Hybrid cars are growing in popularity and even solar powered cars don’t seem as farfetched these days based on the latest news from Ford.
The reasons to buy a green car makes a lot more sense now than it would have 10 years ago. The current batch of vehicles have are more efficient and now have a range of up to 265 miles and are available for as little as $22,000.
Of course, a lot of people don’t have a green car yet but there is still a lot you can do to have a positive impact on the environment. For example, car pooling with friends and even leaving your car at home two days a week will reduce greenhouse emissions by an average of two tons per year.

​It’s Matt Allan… ​
Hybrid Cars and Alternative Energy
Crossline on the Fort

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Guest Posts Managed Fleets Sustainability

How To Track Your Fleet’s Carbon Footprint

saving fuel managed fleetsThis is a guest post from Robert J. Hall,  president of Track Your Truck. Track Your Truck is a leader in GPS vehicle tracking systems and software for small and midsized companies.

Cars, trucks, and other modes of transportation are responsible for about 28 percent of all GHG (greenhouse gases) produced in the United States. With the emergence of the “Green Movement,” businesses are honing in on methods for controlling GHG emissions and tracking their fleets’ carbon footprint. Fuel cost reductions, government assistance, low road taxes, and a positive image all stand to be gained from a sustainable approach to fleet management, but mostly businesses are concerned with the state of our planet’s environment.

A greener planet is good for all of us; here’s how your fleet can be part of that.

GPS Fleet Tracking

Among many other benefits, a GPS fleet tracking system can significantly reduce fuel consumption, subsequently reducing your company’s carbon footprint. GPS fleet tracking consists of hardware on your vehicles and software for the management of your fleet from a computer. GPS fleet tracking systems offer an overhead view of many different aspects of your fleet.

GPS fleet tracking makes oversight into the activities, locations and fuel consumption of your drivers possible, allowing for the most efficient use of your equipment. Utilizing GPS fleet tracking allows you to bring down out-of-route miles, lower carbon dioxide emissions, and lower costs all around.

Oversight and management of your fleet this way typically reduces idle time, further reducing fuel consumption. GPS fleet tracking systems notify you when any of your drivers are idling for an excessive period of time so action can be taken. Additionally, GPS fleet tracking can provide you with speed alerts and reports. If one of your drivers is speeding, you will be alerted. In addition, the driver will automatically be reminded to slow down. This eliminates excessive fuel waste as a result of speeding and increases the efficiency with which your fleet operates.

Maintenance

You can save on fuel waste with regular maintenance to your vehicles. Making sure that your fleet is in top shape ensures that it is also running at its most efficient level. GPS fleet tracking systems can be utilized, making a maintenance schedule simple.

Regular oil changes, spark plug replacements and changing air filters can make your vehicles burn fuel more efficiently, requiring less fuel and ultimately reducing GHG emissions. Through integration, your GPS fleet tracking system can alert you when maintenance is needed, saving time and keeping your fleet running at its most optimal level. You’ll automatically know when filters or tires need replacing or other work needs to be done.

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Lastly, a move to electric or hybrid vehicles for your fleet is one scenario that should be considered. Don’t be deterred by the initial cost; moving to a hybrid or completely electric fleet has proven a high ROI thanks to overall fuel savings.

Moving to a hybrid or electric fleet is the ultimate sustainable approach to reducing your carbon footprint. Additional benefits include lower road taxes and the positive perception that comes with “going green” in the eyes of the public. The U.S. government also provides assistance to companies who are switching to alternative fuels, providing technical support and public recognition.

Not only are there tax breaks, assistance, and cost reductions to be gained when you move to sustainable fleet management; you are also reducing emissions and doing your part to improve Earth’s environment, a noble goal.

nitrogen tire inflation white paper cta

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Sustainability Trucking Industry Video

How the Cost of Carbon Affects the Trucking Industry

managed fleets cost of carbon
Managed fleets like this one are also part of the cost of carbon.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, where over 150 people died as a result of the storm and it’s aftermath. On the one hand, this is a tragic event and it was unfortunate that it happened. On the other hand, Hurricane Sandy was just the most recent in a series of natural disasters. Fourteen months prior to Hurricane Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene hit the Northeast causing $15 billion dollars in damages. Sandy was also more devastating, as these superstorm statistics reveal:

  • $65 billion in damages and economic losses.
  • 200,000 small business closures from damage or power outages.
  • 2 million working days lost.
  • 8 flooded tunnels in New York
  • 25 percent of cell sites out of service in 10 states.
  • Estimates of total damage to the entire transit, road and bridge system in New Jersey reached $2.9 billion.
  • New York’s transportation infrastructure, minus the subway system, suffered an estimated $2.5 billion in damage.

The Cost of Carbon

These costs of Superstorm Sandy affected more than just those that lived on the East Cost and those that did business on the Eastern Seaboard. It affected entire industries like the trucking industry who also have a vested interest in the area’s recovery and who can’t be at its best because of problems such as the working days lost and the lack of cell phone service. The cost of carbon is much more than bigger natural disasters and changing climates. It also includes a shift in our livelihoods and our way of life. Trucking is very much a part of that, and trucking can be part of the problem, or it can be part of the solution.

One Year Later

It’s been one year since the disaster, and thousands are still without a home and still without government aid or insurance money to rebuild. The industry is already making improvements, as U.S carbon emissions are at their lowest since 1994, but the time for action is now. This is action from everyone in the transportation community, and not just a few managed fleets or forward-thinking companies. The costs of carbon, of inaction, and of the climate change are already hitting the United States and aren’t going to stop. Below is a video illustrating more of these costs and the action that it will take to make a change:

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Sustainability

How Solar Panels Contribute Toward Carbon Reduction

global warming humanity's impact

I am originally from Hawaii, where solar panels and solar power are not a new concept. Growing up, we always used solar water heating, unless the day was rainy or cloudy. The state is one of the biggest users of solar energy, and has the second highest state tax credit (behind Louisiana) for solar power installation.

It’s easy for a state like Hawaii to jump into solar panels and solar power, where the costs of importing other energy sources drive up everyone’s rates. However, most other states have yet to follow suit, and they are missing out on a valuable opportunity to offset carbon emissions and to reduce their carbon footprint. Here’s how solar panels and solar power do exactly that:

Electricity Generation is the Largest Source of Greenhouse Gases in the United States

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, fossil fuel-fired power plants account for 40% of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Moving away from fossil fuels, whether that’s done by installing solar panels on your home, your apartment building, or your office building, reduces the emissions of greenhouses gases like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. To truly make progress in changing how our electricity is generated, it’s best to take steps yourself and to do the installations as well as lobby, show support, write letters, and other activist activities. This is because the utility companies are most likely to be using fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, or oil. The biggest difference is made by stopping your own consumption of fossil fuels in conjunction with pressure on utility companies and local governments to make changes. Doing one or the other makes a difference, but not as much of a difference as the two together.

Each U.S. Household Releases of 6.68 Metric Tons of CO2

This number is just an average, and it’s just what’s released from purchasing electricity from your local utility company. Keep in mind that this number does not include the other ways that a household can leave a carbon footprint, such as transportation, heating, and food and product consumption. Even the location of your household makes a difference in your carbon footprint and its size. Planting a single tree removes 0.039 metric tons over its lifetime, but installing solar panels is the equivalent of planting 171 trees each year over the life span of your solar panels (about 20 to 25 years). Although solar power isn’t the only way to reduce your carbon footprint and the carbon footprint of your household, you can still make a big difference in carbon reduction (and your pocketbook) by making some switch to solar panels. Electricity and transportation are the two largest contributors to a household’s carbon footprint.

Solar Panels Become Carbon Negative in Less than Two Years

Yes, it does add to carbon footprint to purchase a few solar panels, as their manufacturing does add something to greenhouse gases. However, solar panels pay for themselves in just a few short years. In less than two year, they are carbon negative, as their savings makes up for what it added to the atmosphere upon its creation. According to Home Power magazine, manufacturing a 100-watt solar panel produces about 960 pounds of CO2. But, in the 20-25 year life span of that solar panel, you offset 8,400 pounds of CO2. Those numbers compound when you install several on your home, apartment building, or office building. The panels also pay for themselves in about four years, with the money you save in using a renewable and cheaper energy source.

Related Links:

The Need for Carbon Reduction [Infographic]

Go Green and Get Certified with EcoLabelling

3 Green Light Tips for Going Green

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Sustainability

The Need for Carbon Reduction [Infographic]

We’ve all heard of the ill effects of global warming: summers are hotter, ice sheets melt, ocean levels rise, blah blah blah. These consequences may seem like things that won’t affect us for another 100 years, but that’s not entirely true if we don’t make any changes now. By cutting our carbon emission levels, the impact is much larger than decreased pollution and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.  This infographic from Information is Beautiful shows you why we need carbon reduction now, and why the consequences of global warming (some you may not even know about) aren’t as far away as we may think. Of course, this infographic presumes that will maintain, or even increase, our current levels of carbon emissions, which further demonstrates that small changes can make a big difference.

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carbon reduction infographic

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Fuel Efficiency Sustainability Video

Fuel Economy: There’s More at Play than Just Engine Size

VW L1
Photo by RudolfSimon via Wikimedia Commons

Size matters, but not as much as you think. When it comes to fuel-efficient cars, the best ones have a combination of good aerodynamics, lightweight, low drive line, and a small or medium-size engine.

Eco-friendly cars are the way of the future. More vehicle, parts, and tire manufacturers are coming up with new and creative ways to offer consumers the best fuel-efficient and environmentally-sound cars. Not only do these eco-vehicles save on gas and energy, they do their part for environmental carbon reduction. FuelEconomy.gov reports 1.6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere by highway vehicles each year. That’s 20 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon of gas. Drivers who choose hybrid and electric vehicles greatly reduce the amount of carbon emissions entering the atmosphere which helps slow climate change.

Motorists may not be able to get their hands on the VW XL1 quite yet, but can still make savvy decisions to wring the best mileage from vehicles fitting the following criteria.

VW claims the XL1 is the most fuel efficient car ever with an estimated 261 mpg.

Vehicle Aerodynamics

Optimal fuel economy requires a vehicle that is aerodynamic. Aerodynamic designs look sleek and can improve fuel efficiency by one mile per gallon, when compared to vehicles that do not move through the air as easily.

The visual profile of a vehicle can help determine whether it is aerodynamic or not. Although some exceptions exist, a boxy shape is usually less aerodynamic than vehicles with a slight curve. Look for cars that curve along the top and back. Avoid vehicles with a clear box-type shape, which will require more effort to move forward.

Use vehicles lower to the ground. Cars with less air flowing below will not be slowed down or fight against wind on the top and bottom of the vehicle.

Vehicle Weight

The weight of the vehicle plays a significant role in fuel efficiency. As a general rule, a heavier car or truck will have a lower mile per gallon, on average, than a lighter vehicle. Tirebuyer.com advises against purchasing a heavy vehicle, like a van or truck, unless it is necessary for your job, family or terrain. It is more fuel efficient to select a Sedan, compact vehicle or Coupe.

Select a vehicle that has a lower weight, if possible. Even if you need a larger vehicle, look at the weight of the vehicle and compare it. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle will cause your fuel efficiency to drop by roughly two percent. Pay attention to the weight of the vehicle when you are making a selection to get better gas mileage within the specific class of vehicles.

Even the type of tires you buy can affect the weight and fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Under-inflated tires can make your car work harder and use more gas. Nitrogen-inflated tires lose air four times slower than air-inflated tires that also contain oxygen and water. Inflating your tires with nitrogen is also safer and improves tire wear and rim life.

Select a Vehicle With Low Drive Line Weight

Drive line weight is the weight of moving components within your vehicle. Whether you currently own a vehicle or want to buy a new car, changing out the axles, flywheel, crank shaft and other moving parts for lighter options will reduce your fuel expenses.

Stopping and Starting

Even if you select a vehicle that is designed to have better mileage, your actions behind the wheel will impact your fuel efficiency. The law of inertia states that objects in motion will continue moving until an external force causes it to stop. In the case of a vehicle, applying the brakes will cause it to stop. Unfortunately, if you are constantly stopping and then forcing the car into motion again, it will make your fuel efficiency drop.

The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that aggressive driving will actually reduce your fuel economy by roughly 33 percent. Drive at the speed limit to reduce the impact on your fuel.

Engine size and the amount of horsepower within a vehicle are only one factor that impacts your gas mileage. Before you buy a new car, take the weight of the vehicle and the aerodynamic design into account.

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Managed Fleets Sustainability

Go Green and Get Certified with EcoLabelling

going green ecolabellingGoing green and offering “sustainable” products and services is the cool thing to do, but the tough part is figuring out what ‘going green’ and ‘being sustainable’ actually means. It’s tough not only for consumers, but also for companies who are (or want) to be green and to reduce carbon emissions and all that good stuff, but aren’t sure how let customers know or prove what they are doing is actually great for the environment. The EcoLabel Index is just the place for that, a comprehensive site collecting data on ecolabels all around the world, increasing transparency and helping buyers and sellers use them more effectively. Use the index to learn what ecolabel means when it’s placed on a product or associated with a company, as well as learn which certifications and labels could fit your company and what it’s doing.

Below are a few certifications and ecolabels that would be of interest to managed fleets, transportation directors, and logistics companies that want proof and recognition for what they are doing to reduce environmental impact and to offset carbon emissions.

EPA Smartway

This certification identifies vehicles that reduce harmful emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollutants, improve fuel efficiency, and ensure a cleaner environment. It also comes with a Green Vehicle Guide to let consumers know which vehicles are the best when it comes to reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA Smartway is a good choice for managed fleets and transportation companies that want to use green vehicles and hybrid tires everyday, as well as implement tactics in other parts of the business to improve sustainability.

FedEx EarthSmart Solutions

The FedEx EarthSmart Solution is an internal company designation for any of their assets — including planes, trucks and facilities — that meet environmental sustainability criteria. To get it, you must meet your own sustainability standards (this means that your company must have sustainability standards) and you must exceed industry standards and practices. The goal here is to recognize those who are reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency. The FedEx EarthSmart Solution website offers a variety of ways for companies and managed fleets to achieve those goals.

Cleaner and Greener Certification

This is one of the few programs in the United States that emphasizes the reporting and offsetting of emissions by transportation fleets, although they do include buildings and other companies also. The Cleaner and Greener Certification consists of several levels, which depend on your level of carbon emission offsets and effort of environmental impact reduction. Associated with the Leonard Academy, they also offer training services for those who want to start an emissions inventory and want to know their exact environmental impact.

Overall, it’s very possible for managed fleets and others in transportation and logistics to learn what’s available in terms of going green, how to go green, and how to be recognized for that hard work and effort. Even though your customers are other businesses, certification and recognition can do a lot for branding and building trust with potential customers.

Fleets Can Definitely Do Something

Think managed fleets and the transportation industry can’t do much to go green? Think your customers don’t care whether or not your fleet or trucking company goes green or does something in sustainability? Then you’re thinking wrong! This myth is one of nine we bust in our latest white paper: 9 Debunked Myths on Nitrogen Tire Inflation. Click the link to download this white paper and to learn how nitrogen tire inflation can help your managed fleet.

Related Links:

Managed Fleets and Ending America’s Dependence on Foreign Oil

A Fourth Way the Trucking Industry Can Go Green

Managed Fleets Large and Small Improve Bottom Line with Nitrogen Tire Inflation

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Guest Posts Managed Fleets Nitrogen Tire Inflation Sustainability

From Road Miles to Truck Tires: Innovative Ways to Save Fuel

saving fuel managed fleetsThis is a guest post from Eve Pearce.

The road miles traveled by the things we buy make headlines. From food producers to restaurant owners, emphasis is proudly placed on produce that is sourced locally and, hence, hasn’t traveled too far, or for too long, to get to your basket or plate. This is not surprising as there is not much downside to growing vegetables nearby and then eating them: it is healthy, often very economical, and helps local farmers and businesses to flourish. It is often exactly such straightforward thinking that can make significant differences when it comes to economy and the environment.

Optimizing Gas Usage Saves Emissions, Fuel and Time

Efficiency of transportation is not something that only applies to food. Increasing energy prices, levels of greenhouse gas emissions and the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels all mean that using the resources we have in the most economical way possible is a focal point in the way forward for many industries. It is also the source of much innovation.

Take, for example, GoNitroTire and NitroFleet99 network of services which use nitrogen, as opposed to air, to inflate vehicle tires. This is an idea that, in an economy of scale, can save vast amounts of time and money for those managing fleets.

A look at the prominence of transport in terms of energy usage really brings home how significant an issue this is. Transportation counts for around 11% of carbon consumption in the United States. Finding ways to use fuel more efficiently is, therefore, fundamental to anyone who manages a fleet.

In the U.S. some 400 million gallons of fuel are used each day. Collectively, haulage fleets using tires filled with nitrogen, rather than air, saved this amount during 2007. This, in turn, saved 4 million tons of carbon emissions. As well as saving energy, a great deal of time which might be spent checking and adjusting tire pressures is also saved, and this can lead to greater efficiency.

The reason for this increase in efficiency is that nitrogen has larger molecules than oxygen (which makes up around 23% of air), and so does not leak out of the tire as quickly. Logistics firms and distributors work hard to optimize delivery routes and combine deliveries, and cutting down on road miles and fuel consumption has become a fine art. GoNitroTire are able to lease machinery to supply several bays in a depot, or to inflate a number of car tires simultaneously. This includes options for purging air from the tires, or simply topping up with nitrogen.

Saving Fuel, Helping the Environment

Cutting down on fuel usage is important for the reputation of the haulage industry and in terms of protecting our environment. Being able to reassure clients that goods are being transported to them in as green a way as possible is sound marketing in world where the carbon footprint of each stage in the cycle of goods reaching their market is scrutinized. Large vehicles are very visible to other road users and have a responsibility to use the roads as safely and efficiently as possible as a courtesy to other road users as well as the buyers of the goods they transport. Keeping vehicles safe and efficient is also important in terms of maintaining a fleet in good working order, and this will include HGV insurance as well as servicing and regular maintenance (including tire pressure checks).

In terms of the bigger picture relating to energy usage and the environment, inflating tires with nitrogen, rather than air, saves on gasoline, thus cutting down on our reliance on imported fuel. Any increase in energy self-sufficiency is important for energy security which is focal in energy policy in many other countries, including the UK. Being reliant on imported fuel opens up duel uncertainties in terms of price and supply. A shortage in the latter can lead to stores quickly diminishing. Similarly, fluctuations in price can be crippling to the haulage industry, and have a knock-on effect in other markets.

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Guest Posts Sustainability

3 Green Light Tips for Going Green

going green tips

This is a guest post by Geoffrey Torres. Torres works exclusively on hybrid and EV cars. He shares tips and ideas on how drivers can save money and energy by switching to alternatively fueled vehicles.

Green is more than a color, it’s a necessary lifestyle one that our planet depends upon to flourish into the future. Maintaining an eco-friendly way of life is as simple as enacting a few minor adjustments in your everyday living, and your health and bank account will be better for it. Think green, adhere to the following advice and the earth will thank you for it.

Driving Green

Installing green tires help the  your wallet in numerous ways. Their unique design enables driving greater distances with less time spent filling up at the pump. Some manufacturers also produce tires with raw materials in lieu of petroleum. The Assurance Fuel Max, which you can find on a site like Goodyear tires from DiscountTire.com, is one such green tire that features low rolling resistance to boost fuel economy.

If you can’t afford to get a new set of tires, drivers can also take advantage of other techniques to greatly improve mileage. Every month, use a tire gauge to check the pressure of each tire, and pump it full of air if necessary to improve mileage by approximately three percent. Installing a new oxygen sensor can potentially boost mileage up to 15 percent, according to GoodHouseKeeping.com. Better yet, don’t drive at all. Walk or bike where you can or take advantage of public transportation.

Recycling

The U.S. is the king of waste production. According to Earth911, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times, every year. We easily dispose of objects after one use, oftentimes without even bothering to recycle. Since you all know how to recycle, here are some tips for properly recycling plastics, paper, and metal.

Plastics: Remove bottle caps from all plastic bottles. Their composition is different and can ruin an otherwise perfect load of recycling.

Paper: Never include paper plates or products contaminated with stains from your meal. Food waste can not be filtered out and will compromise the entire batch, according to GoodHouseKeeping.com. Metal, however, can be filtered. Stapled paper or spiral notebooks are recycle-ready.

Metal: Any scrap metal, wire hangers, foil and tins can and should be recycled as long as they are washed clean beforehand.

Unplug Appliances

Raise your hand if you have dozens of electronics and appliances plugged in 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even when not in use, devices such as TVs and computers continue to suck up watt after watt of electricity, analogously named vampire energy. Begin to implement judicious use of electrical outlets. Unplug all idle appliances, with the exception of alarm clocks, DVRs and other devices that must remain connected to an outlet. Consider using power strips with a simple on/off switch to save you the hassle of unplugging and plugging each individual device or getting a smart plug that will automatically shut off power for things that are idle long enough. Eco-friendly devices like select cell phone chargers are another economical option they save energy by detecting when the phone is attached and completely halt energy use when the phone isn’t.

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