Tip # 2: Rechargeable batteries: Cura├žao does not have household battery recycling or proper disposal for them. We advise you to stop buying common batteries and to replace all your existing ones (after depletion) for rechargeable batteries. One pair of rechargeable batteries will save 50 pair of common batteries going to the landfill. It will also save you money.
Tip # 3: Check your tire presure: Having the proper pressure for your tires will save you fuel and therefore money. Not only that, it will save CO2 gases and it will make your tires last longer. The longer they last, the lesser waste goes to the landfill. Do not buy second hand tires, they last shorter and contribute to a faster waste creation.
Tip # 4: Buy electric or hybrid vehicles: On Cura├žao there are several car brands that started to sell hybrid or full electric vehicles. The range of these vehicles depends on the size of the batteries. If you use your car only for going from home to work or school and vice versa, then a Hybrid of full electric vehicle is perfect for you. Usually you should be able to drive for an entire week on one charge. Charge Solar !!!
Tip # 1: Reduce waste by recycling: The island of Cura├žao does not have many recycling possibilities, but the ones that do exist should be used to their maximum capacity. On Cura├žao you can recycle all metals, cardboard, 4 out of 7 types of plastics, paper, e-waste, magazines and flyer's. Glass is also being collected for recycling or re-use in the future. Almost each of these recycling streams / materials, are being done by different companies, so make sure you bring your different materials to the right recyclers or collection points.
Tip # 5: Recycle paper and cardboard: May you have a company, then it is advisable to start recycling the paper and / or cardboard that your company produces. Recycling paper and cardboard reduces the volume of waste going to the landfill and it will help save trees. Remember we need our trees as they produce the oxygen we require to breath and live.
Tip # 6: Chose water saving toilets: As a basic rule, any toilet older than 10 years is inefficient. When buying new toilets, please make sure you buy a water saving type of toilet, they have a smaller tank and usually two buttons in order to chose how many water you need. Saving water saves you.
Tip # 7: Set your pc to save energy: Any electrical appliance that is turned on but is not being used, is consuming valuable energy. Your PC is one of them. Modern PC's have energy saving settings that can be modified to everybody's requirement. On your PC go to “Start”, chose “Control Panel”, there you click on “Hardware and sound” and then you go for “Power Options”, finally you will find “Change power saving settings” and modify it to a setting that will help you save energy. Saving energy stops dependency on fossil fuels.
Tip # 8: Buy Energy Star rated electronics: When buying new electronics, make sure you chose them according to their energy consumption. Most of new electronics should have an energy label, on that label you can see in which category they fall on the energy saving table Rated A+ is better than rated A or B, C or D
Tip # 9: Learn to identify your plastic: you need to know what type of plastic it is. Look for the recycling triangle on the bottle and the number inside. All transparent plastic drink bottles for example are plastic type number 1, also known as PET (Polyethylene). Make sure you do not mix different types of plastic in the recycling centers. It is advisable also to crush the plastic bottles and to deliver them empty. Caps should be recycled in a separate way as they are a different plastic
Tip # 10: Recycle all cleaning product plastic bottles: Most cleaning products come in plastic type # 1 (PET) or HDPE, which is plastic type # 2. Both types of plastics can be recycled on Cura├žao at recycling centers of Green Force. Office parks, restaurants and households, all use those type of plastics. Recycle them. Some cleaning products come into plastic type # 5 (Polypropylene), this type is not being recycled on the island so far. Avoid buying products in packaging that can not be recycled or that is not properly identified.
Tip # 11: Building green: Talk to your arquitect and tell him you want an energy efficient house/building, this will make a huge difference on your energy bills and you will help reduce global warming. There is lots of international guidelines to build environmentally friendly. Think also about the air quality and water usage of your new building or house, not only on the electrical consumption. For more info look at: www.usgbc.org For green building consultancy by Green Force click here =>
Tip # 12: Choosing furniture: How much CO2 is being produced by transportation of furniture from abroad to Cura├žao?. Try to find local producers of furniture. Buying locally helps reduce global warming and helps the local economy. Specially on outdoor furniture Cura├žao has lots to offer. There is local providers of furniture that use recycled wood. Make sure they are not using endangered species of trees. Support our local carpenters or do it yourself with pallets. Plenty available
Tip # 13: On lights: Save energy, money and the environment by replacing your lights. LED lights only use a fraction of the energy of incandescent bulbs and less energy than CFL bulbs (Compact Fluorescent Lights). They last longer and do not contain mercury. Please make sure the packaging has a brand on it as this makes them more reliable. LED lights also produce less heat.
Tip # 14: Mascots: When looking for a mascot, make sure you have given the local asylum a visit or one of the foundations that helps animals in need. There are plenty of dogs and cats that are looking for a new home. Therefore it is in your power to give them a new chance in life. Please do not hold wild animals as a mascot. One of the foundations where you can adopt a rescued animal is the following: www.carfcuracao.com
Tip # 15: Outdoor lighting: Going to build soon or retrofit your home or office?. Please make sure your building complies with the world wide effort for the conservation of the night. All outdoor lights should be of very low wattage and only shine towards the ground. Avoid light going into the darkness of the night. Animals and humans need darkness for their rest.
More about this at www.darksky.org
Tip # 16: Mobile phones: When your mobile phone only has one stripe on the battery left, then is the time to charge it. The same rule applies to charging rechargeable batteries, charge them only when they are almost empty. This ensures the longevity of your battery or device. By charging last minute you make optimal use of your battery and at the end you will be producing less e-waste, therefore conserving materials and rare ores that are running out.
Tip # 17: Office paper: Any idea of how many trees are giving their life for you to print those documents at home or in your office?. Print only if necessary, but most important, make sure your paper has a FSC or PEFC label. These are labels that guarantee that your paper comes from sustainable sources in which new trees are planted after cutting the needed ones. setting your office printer at double sided printing can also save you a lot of paper and money.
Tip # 18: On paint: Are you painting your home or office soon?. Make sure you use cero (0) VOC paint. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound. Cero VOC paint is safer for you and specially for children. When you come into a recently painted house, those odors you smell are VOC, and they are damaging your brain. Cero or low VOC paint is available on Cura├žao.
Tip # 19: On electronics: Those electronics you do not use often, they are called vampire electronics, they are sucking energy (and money) out of your pocket even when turned off. Make sure you unplug all those electronics that you do not use frequently. Most of them are to be found in your office, kitchen and living room. Connecting all to one tablet makes it easier to disconnect all at once, specially when traveling.
Tip # 20: On eating: Humans are very bad when it comes about taking consideration for other species. It is so easy to do so, specially when eating. make sure you eat everything you have been served. Those animals and plants have given their life's for feeding you. The least you can do is to respect that and make proper use of them. Less food waste is better for everyone on this planet.