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I've been reading a lot about different changes people can make in their everyday lifestyles to ease their impact on the environment, but how many of them are really beneficial and how helpful are they really? For example, how beneficial is it to unplug chargers? Should we bother removing bottle tops from soda and water bottles before recycling them? Which is better, paper or plastic? And should we use paper towels in public restrooms or electric hand dryers? Is it better to drive with the AC on or with the windows down?
Question Date: 2009-05-24
Answer 1:

This answer could be pages long. But I will answer a couple of your basic questions. Individually we will not make a difference, it can only be a difference if all of society makes the changes. Unpluging one charger (or appliance when not in use) does reduce the amount of energy used, but if a million people do it, then the amount of energy saved is a million times more. Paper is definitely better than plastic, because paper is recyclable and breaks down in the environment quicker, but the best choice is bring your own bags. And driving with the windows down gets much better mileage than with the AC on (check out Mythbusters on the Discover Channel, they actually did this experiment).

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