by: Michael Buresh Updated:
Jan. 5, 2017 - We turn the calendars to 2017 & find ourselves in the "depth of winter".... well, First Coast style anyway. We are, however, already gaining time on sunset & at midmonth start to gain time on sunrise too. Averages at JIA for January:
Low / High: 1st - 47 / 66 degrees; 31st - 45 / 65 degrees
Sunrise / Sunset: 1st - 7:23am / 5:37pm; 31st - 7:18am / 6:02pm - gain 30 minutes of daylight.
Republic Services would like to remind communities about the proper disposal of Christmas Trees and share some important do’s and don’ts...
Christmas Tree Disposal Tips:
- Remove all ornaments, lights and tinsel from the tree before you discard it.
- Do not put the tree in a bag or tie with rope or duct tape.
- Cut extremely large trees (over 8 feet) into smaller sections.
- Take it to local shredding stations and have it turned into mulch.
- Check into and take advantage of any local Christmas tree recycling program. This usually means curbside (with your trash collection) pick-up of the trees during a set period of time, or a local drop off at a central depot.
- Check with your local service provider or the solid waste authority with your city. You may also search “Christmas tree recycling” and your zip code to find options near you.
- Play it safe – if you can’t find a local Christmas tree recycling program, take your tree to your local solid waste facility or landfill.
- Do not burn your Christmas tree in your fireplace or wood stove. The sap from fresh trees can create a fire hazard in your chimney or vent piping. While an outside bonfire can be a safe alternative, most local laws do not allow indoor burning of trees due to the safety concerns.
EARTH GAUGE (National Environmental Education Foundation/NEEF) -- Resolve to Save, Sarah Blount
Looking to make some changes in your routines this year? Whether it’s using your time more effectively, saving some money, or reducing your impact on the environment, small steps can help you reach your goals.
In 2015, the average American family spent more than $1,100 on water, electricity, and gasoline, respectively, but these high costs don’t need to continue into the new year. With some simple adjustments to your daily routine, you can reduce your use and keep some of your money in your pocket.
To help get you there, check out the free, downloadable Resolve to Save calendar. This resource is full of tips and strategies for making the most of your time and money, conserving resources and minimizing your environmental impact along the way. Each month in the calendar has a different theme, such as the conservation of water, energy, or gas, with a background fact and two resolutions provided.
According to the American Psychological Association, your resolutions are more likely to stick if you have a concrete plan, make changes in small steps, and make use of your support network. This calendar can serve as a roadmap for your conservation resolutions, giving you a plan of action, and helping you to add small improvements to your routine each month. No two households are alike, so the calendar of resolutions is customizable—two actions have been suggested, but there are three blanks left on each list. Talk with your friends, family, or roommates to brainstorm additional ways you can save water, energy, and other resources in your day-to-day life. To get some inspiration, check out:
- Department of Energy’s Energy Saver
- EPA’s WaterSense
- Department of Energy and Department of Transportation’s FuelEconomy.gov
- EPA: Reducing Waste
Looking for more?
If the strategies listed in this resource are already part of your routine and you’re eager to take on bigger savings, consider getting a home energy audit. A certified energy auditor will come to your home and assess opportunities your specific residence may have for saving energy and money. These types of audits can be most effective when there’s a difference of at least 20°F between the temperatures inside of your home and the outside air, so the auditor can see where there may be drafts or insufficient insulation in the home’s structure. In the northern part of the country, this temperature difference may be best seen in the winter, whereas in the southern region of the country, this difference is more likely to be seen in the summer. Learn more about a professional home energy audit.
- American Psychological Association. 2016. “Making Lifestyle Changes that Last.” Accessed January 4.
- US DOE. 2016. “Thermographic Inspections.” Accessed January 4.
- US EIA. 2014. “Today in Energy: U.S. Household Gasoline Expenditures in 2015 on Track to be the Lowest in 11 Years.” US DOE. Accessed January 4, 2016.
- US EIA. 2015. “Electric Power Monthly Table 5.3. Average Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customer: Total by End-Use Sector, 2005 – October 2015 (Cents per Kilowatthour).” US DOE. Accessed January 4, 2016.
- US EIA. 2015. “Frequently Asked Questions: How Much Electricity Does an American Home Use?” US DOE. Accessed January 4, 2016.
- US EPA WaterSense. 2015. “Why Water Efficiency.” US EPA. Accessed January 4, 2016.
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