UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
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?
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).



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use