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10 Ways To “Like” The Earth (That Take Less Than 30 Minutes)

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likeThese days it’s easy to “like” just about anything but did you know you can do a lot more for the planet than like  it? Consider that the average user spends about 30 minutes a day on Facebook. Now consider that there are over 500 million people on Facebook and you’ve got a lot of potential for social and global change.

This year, Retrevo is challenging people to spend 30 minutes doing something extra for the planet. Here’s our list of 10 things you can do in under 30 minutes to help the planet.

1. Recycle Your Old Gadgets
Go through your home, gather all of your old electronics and take them to an e-cycling facility. If you have some older gadgets that are still in working orderbut you don’t use any longer, drop them off at one of your local charity’s donation station. If you’re really feeling ambitious, let your neighbors know that you’ll be going to the e-cycling center on a specific date and offer to collect their old gadgets and drop them off. Remember, lots of electronics have harmful materials in themand it’s important that they don’t end up in a landfill. To find e-cycling centers in your area, go to: Earth 911: http://earth911.com/recycling/electronics/

2. Use Rechargeable Batteries
Start using rechargeable batteries for your flashlights, and other devices that typically use disposable batteries. Be sure to check the mAh rating to make sure you’re getting the best battery you can.

3. Sleep or Auto Power Down Your Game Consoles
Save power by disabling Wi-Fi, or enabling auto-power down mode on the game consoles you own. This way, they’ll go to sleep.  For a more detailed console-by-console how-to, go to: http://www.retrevo.com/content/node/1332

4. Get A Bright Idea
As your home’s light bulbs burn out, be sure to replace them with eco-friendly bulbs. When your eco-friendly bulbs burn out, be sure to follow the instructions for recycling them properly. Sites like Earth 911 can help you find a local recycling center for your used CFL bulbs. Visit: http://earth911.com/recycling/hazardous/cfl/

5. Monitor Your Driving
Knowledge can be a powerful thing, especially when it can help you drive more fuel efficiently. Apps like the greenMeter can help monitor your driving style and find ways to help you save gas and reduce your carbon footprint. Also, be sure to check your car’s tire pressure. Deflated tires can add drag to your car and waste gas. To check out greenMeter go to: http://hunter.pairsite.com/greenmeter/

6. Stop Vampire Power
For true gadget lovers, here’s a way to green your gadgets with more gadgets: get a smart power strip! Did you know Vampire Power is the energy used by devices when they’re plugged into the wall, but not turned on? You can prevent your gadgets from doing this by plugging them into a smart power strip like the Embertec and the TrickleStar.

7. Get Solar Lights
Install solar lights around the outside of your home, instead of traditional, hard-wired ones.

8. Prevent Over Watering
Make sure you’re not overwatering your yard or your garden. Get a moisture meter  to test the soil and see whether or not you really need to water again. This HoldAll Meter measures Moisture, light and pH: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100325514/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

9. Eat Only Ocean-Friendly Seafood
Did you know that many of the ocean’s fish are being over-fished? Did you know what you eat effects the market and the world? Well now the free Seafood Watch App, from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, can tell you if the fish you’re thinking of buying is sustainable. It can also give you recommendations about what fish to buy, where to buy it and more. Click here to learn about Seafood Watch: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_iPhone.aspx

10. Take Public Transit or Walk
If you live in a city where you have access to public transportation, give it a try & you might just find you like it. If you’d rather walk or bike, that’s also a good way to curb your carbon footprint. Sites like HopStop can help you figure out how to get around major metro areas across the world. If you’re in San Francisco, you can try the Transporter app. For NYC, try Exit Strategy. For Chicago, try TreKing.

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