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Are you going green … or greener?

Here’s a quick TRUE or FALSE quiz for our eco-friendly readers.

  • Hand washing dishes is going green.
  • To go green, use aluminum cans instead of glass bottles.
  • Using aluminum foil is the best choice over plastic wrap to go green.

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Hand Wash vs. Dishwasher: FALSE

Using a dishwasher is actually more efficient, because on average it uses only five gallons of water compared to the usual 25 gallons used for washing by hand.

The caveat is don’t pre-rinse. To go greener, be sure to use a phosphate-free detergent and run the dishwasher only when full.

Aluminum Cans vs. Glass Bottles: TRUE

For the same size beverage aluminum cans weigh considerably less than glass bottles, so less fuel is used in shipping. It is more difficult to make and recycle glass; on average more than 35 times more carbon emissions are saved when recycling aluminum cans compared to glass bottles. 

To go greener if you love soda, consider making your own with a home soft-drink maker that uses re-fillable CO2 canisters.

Aluminum Foil vs. Plastic Wrap: FALSE

Aluminum foil stays in landfills approximately 500 years, whereas plastic lasts closer to 1,000 years.

However, making aluminum foil uses considerably more energy and results in 10 times the emissions of plastic wrap manufacturing.

If you simply cannot live without using foil, try reusing the same piece several times whenever possible. To go greener, use reusable glass containers instead of either aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

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Of course, there’s an app for that! For more ways to go green – and greener – check out these no-cost smartphone apps:

  • iViro: For an energy analysis of your home and your family’s consumption patterns, try this quick app.
  • Waterprint: Learn how to increase water efficiency and compare the water footprint of various products and household items using this app.
  • iRecycle: Not sure where to dispose of old paint or batteries? This app connects you to a database of local recycling centers and details your options.
  • Zero Carbon: How does your daily commute and what you eat impact the environment? This app calculates your personal carbon footprint and provides suggestions for reducing it.

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