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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Poll: few Americans know how to recycle

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Headley Hardware employee Kyle Buchanan adds bulbs to the store's display of compact fluorescent bulbs. The store sells more of the "green" bulbs than regular ones.
While more than 90 percent of Americans recycle, fewer than 5 percent have taken recommended green actions like reducing their use of water and electricity or driving less, says a new Harris Poll on green living.

The poll found that a substantial number of people lacked the knowledge about how to go green and were skeptical about the difference it makes to the environment.

According to the poll, 34 percent of those surveyed hadn't changed their lifestyle because they didn't know what to do. Another 29 percent said they didn't believe that going green would make any difference in their environment.

Many people are recycling and paying bills online, but not changing the types of light bulbs they use.

The Nature Conservancy, which provided input and advice for the poll, believes the poll shows that green living is on people's minds.

"Yet people are getting lost in the maze of information on how to lessen our environmental impact. The bottom line is that even the smallest lifestyle change can have significant impact in the long run," says Stephanie Meeks, the Conservancy's acting president and CEO.

Some of the recommended ways to green one's life are being ignored. Of those polled, only 5 percent were driving less by combining errands and walking more, four percent had reduced their utility use, three percent purchased hybrid cars and three percent changed out incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent ones.

"I recycle and have for years. As a project manager consultant, I also work from home at least three days a week so I've been conserving gas. I'm an old hippie at heart and have always tried to do what's best for the environment," said Heritage Lake resident Pamela Borden.

A friend of Borden's, Paul Yager, looked for ways to cut costs on gas a year ago and ended up buying a Mini Cooper.

"I get almost 40 miles to a gallon of gas with my car. I can go almost 400 miles on a tank of gas. This was one of the best investments I have ever made," said Yager.

Both Borden and Yager pay their bills online and shop there as well.

"For one thing it's really convenient and I just don't see paying the cost of postage if I don't have to. Shipping is often less than the cost for gas," said Borden.

At Headley Hardware, an entire aisle is devoted to light bulbs of all kinds. Store employee Kyle Buchanan said the store sells more of the compact fluorescent bulbs than any other.

"I don't know how many we sell. I do know we sell more of these than we do the regular bulbs," said Buchanan.

Research shows that if every American home switched out just one incandescent light bulb for a compact fluorescent one, the United States would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for an entire year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

Other poll results included the facts that: 49 percent of those polled are trying to buy locally produced food and goods; 47 percent are buying green household products; 39 percent are taking their own reusable bags to stores and 16 percent are carpooling.

Putnam County residents can buy local produce every Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market on the east side of the courthouse square and at other sites around the area.

For help in finding ways to "go green," check out the Everyday Environmentalist home page on the Nature Conservancy Web site at www.nature.org.

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The compact fluorescent bulbs are fine, just remember not to throw them out in the trash! They are hazardous when broken, and need to be disposed of properly, like at the Tox-Away Day each spring.

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Sat, Jul 12, 2008, at 6:58 AM

Sooo - where should they be kept in the meantime ?

I just started using them about a month or two ago.

-- Posted by Scripted Spontaneity on Sat, Jul 12, 2008, at 11:41 AM

There are only hazardous when broken, so keep them somewhere safe until you can properly dispose of them. Thet're supposed to last a long time, so there shouldn't be too many burned out ones.

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Sun, Jul 13, 2008, at 4:43 AM

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