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Experts Recommend Daily Activities to Make a Difference for the Environment

Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains we have made in our environment and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. It's a time to unite around new actions we can take to improve the health of our planet. How can we each make a difference?

The experts at Planet Green and have these tips on how we can make every day Earth Day.

  • Paper or Plastic? The answer isn't so easy. Plastic bags are clearly bad for the environment since these petroleum-based carriers can hurt marine life in the ocean and can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill. But paper bags, although made from renewable trees, generate 70 percent more air pollutants and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags and require more energy to recycle than plastic. The solution? Boycott both and bring in a reusable shopping tote.
  • To idle or not to idle? Most people believe it takes less energy to let your car idle when stopped than to turn your car off and then on again. In fact idling cars get zero miles per gallon. So, if you are stopping for more than 10 seconds, turning off and restarting your engine is more efficient for late-model cars.
  • Recycle. Don't think recycling matters that much? Think again. A television can run for three hours from the energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can.
  • Want to do more to reduce your carbon footprint in your home? It's easy - -- move the thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees in the winter and save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulk and weather-strip doorways and windows and save 1,700 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Install a low-flow showerhead and save 350 pounds.
  • Want to do more to save the planet? Think about your clothes. Whenever possible, wash your clothes in cold water, which reduces the environmental impact, and use ecologically safe detergents. Skipping the dryer can reduce the overall climate impact of a garment by about 50 percent.

Planet Green is Discovery Communications' global, cross-company initiative with a commitment to document, preserve and celebrate the planet, including the first-ever 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network scheduled to launch on June 4, to more than 50 million homes. Planet Green's unique content, tools and information will enlighten, empower and most certainly, entertain. Its two companion websites, and, provide deeper information for viewers to decide, on their own terms, what's next for them.

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