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Charlotte Amalie
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EARTH DAY EVERY DAY

The official Earth Day, April 21st, has passed St. Thomas with nary a whimper, my own included, I am ashamed to admit.
However, there a lots of things that those of us who care about the environment can do to sustain Earth Day concepts throughout the year; or if you don’t care, you can at least save yourself some money!
I was motivated to write the following limited list by an email received Saturday from Alphonse MacDonald of Island Press. You can subscribe to
this book company’s Eco-Compass email newsletter at islandpress-1-subscribe@igc.topica.com
1.) Boycott Global Climate Coalition (GCC) companies. GCC is an organization founded in 1989 to discredit the Kyoto protocol. It is the greatest obstacle to ratification of the Protocol by Congress. The United States is the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions and not surprisingly, the GCC membership represents U. S. producers of coal, oil, chemicals, and automobiles. For a completelisting of GCC companies, go to the website
www.islandpress.org/earthday.
2) Save Energy Log on to www.HomeEnergySaver.lbl.gov and calculate how much you are spending on energy and get suggested changes. Or call the V. I. Energy Office, 772-2616, and ask for a copy of the Home Energy
Checklist.
Replace aging, inefficient appliances. A government program called Energy Star will point you toward the most energy efficient ones. Call them for advice at (888) STAR-YES, or go to their web site /www.energystar.gov). You can get rebates on these and solar water heaters from the V. I. Energy Office. If you are considering buying a solar water heater, Florida Solar Energy has information to help you decide. The web site is /www.fsec.ucf.edu and the telephone number is (407) 783-0300.
Americans spend $37 billion each year on electricity for lighting. Wherever lights are used a lot, compact fluorescent lamps can make a big dent in the power bill. And speaking of wasted power, when will Charlotte Amalie’s shop keepers close their doors and stop air-conditioning the sidewalks?
3) Recycle What You Can; Reduce Consumption. Each recycled aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a television set for three hours (maybe only 21/2 hours in the V. I.). Better yet, drink real juice (concentrated juices are the best buy and use the least waste materials), and buy other essentials in bulk amounts. Instead of buying drinking water, boil a pot of potable or cistern water every day. There are no plastic jugs to throw away. Get yourself some reusable canvas, string or nylon shopping bags. Rinse out and hang to dry smaller plastic bags to reuse over and over again. Save bottles and jars for refrigerator and shelf storage. For more information, contact the Antilitter and Beautification Commissions, 777-3073 or 778-7657.
4) Plant shade trees around your house, reducing your air conditioning bill. If you live in "the country", install overhead fans in your bedrooms instead of air conditioners. And while we are on plants, don’t clear your yard of every blade of grass. If your property is on steep terrain, you can save water and prevent runoff pollution of our bays and reefs by planting groundcover, bushes and trees. Plants save carbon dioxide, too. For good advice, contact the Cooperative Extension Services of the UVI St. Thomas or St. Croix campuses: 693-1080 and 692-4080, respectively. On St. John, call 776-6492.
5) Choose an Environmentally Friendly Vehicle. If you are thinking of buying a Sports Utility Vehicle, please consider that SUVs and light trucks are exempt from the tailpipe emission and fuel standards that have been applied to other vehicles.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the average truck on the road today emits 47 percent more smog-forming exhaust and 43percent more of the heat-trapping gases that cause global warming than the average car. As
for SUVs, they are generally worse than pickups and minivans.
If you are not ready for a new car, you may still be able to save some fuel and time if you run several errands in a single trip. However, if you are looking for a new passenger vehicle, you can find those with the least emission and the most miles per gallon of gasoline by going to Consumer Reports. You can find it at local libraries or online at www.ConsumerReports.org.
6) Join Your Island Environmental Organization: St. Croix Environmental Association, 773-1989, or Environmental Association of St. Thomas-St. John, 776-1976. These two organizations do a great deal to protect the natural resources of the Virgin Islands. Just think how much more could be done with more members!
This is only a partial list. I am sure you can add to it.
Editor's note: Helen W. Gjessing is a retired biology teacher.

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The official Earth Day, April 21st, has passed St. Thomas with nary a whimper, my own included, I am ashamed to admit.
However, there a lots of things that those of us who care about the environment can do to sustain Earth Day concepts throughout the year; or if you don’t care, you can at least save yourself some money!
I was motivated to write the following limited list by an email received Saturday from Alphonse MacDonald of Island Press. You can subscribe to
this book company’s Eco-Compass email newsletter at islandpress-1-subscribe@igc.topica.com
1.) Boycott Global Climate Coalition (GCC) companies. GCC is an organization founded in 1989 to discredit the Kyoto protocol. It is the greatest obstacle to ratification of the Protocol by Congress. The United States is the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions and not surprisingly, the GCC membership represents U. S. producers of coal, oil, chemicals, and automobiles. For a completelisting of GCC companies, go to the website
www.islandpress.org/earthday.
2) Save Energy Log on to www.HomeEnergySaver.lbl.gov and calculate how much you are spending on energy and get suggested changes. Or call the V. I. Energy Office, 772-2616, and ask for a copy of the Home Energy
Checklist.
Replace aging, inefficient appliances. A government program called Energy Star will point you toward the most energy efficient ones. Call them for advice at (888) STAR-YES, or go to their web site /www.energystar.gov). You can get rebates on these and solar water heaters from the V. I. Energy Office. If you are considering buying a solar water heater, Florida Solar Energy has information to help you decide. The web site is /www.fsec.ucf.edu and the telephone number is (407) 783-0300.
Americans spend $37 billion each year on electricity for lighting. Wherever lights are used a lot, compact fluorescent lamps can make a big dent in the power bill. And speaking of wasted power, when will Charlotte Amalie’s shop keepers close their doors and stop air-conditioning the sidewalks?
3) Recycle What You Can; Reduce Consumption. Each recycled aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a television set for three hours (maybe only 21/2 hours in the V. I.). Better yet, drink real juice (concentrated juices are the best buy and use the least waste materials), and buy other essentials in bulk amounts. Instead of buying drinking water, boil a pot of potable or cistern water every day. There are no plastic jugs to throw away. Get yourself some reusable canvas, string or nylon shopping bags. Rinse out and hang to dry smaller plastic bags to reuse over and over again. Save bottles and jars for refrigerator and shelf storage. For more information, contact the Antilitter and Beautification Commissions, 777-3073 or 778-7657.
4) Plant shade trees around your house, reducing your air conditioning bill. If you live in "the country", install overhead fans in your bedrooms instead of air conditioners. And while we are on plants, don’t clear your yard of every blade of grass. If your property is on steep terrain, you can save water and prevent runoff pollution of our bays and reefs by planting groundcover, bushes and trees. Plants save carbon dioxide, too. For good advice, contact the Cooperative Extension Services of the UVI St. Thomas or St. Croix campuses: 693-1080 and 692-4080, respectively. On St. John, call 776-6492.
5) Choose an Environmentally Friendly Vehicle. If you are thinking of buying a Sports Utility Vehicle, please consider that SUVs and light trucks are exempt from the tailpipe emission and fuel standards that have been applied to other vehicles.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the average truck on the road today emits 47 percent more smog-forming exhaust and 43percent more of the heat-trapping gases that cause global warming than the average car. As
for SUVs, they are generally worse than pickups and minivans.
If you are not ready for a new car, you may still be able to save some fuel and time if you run several errands in a single trip. However, if you are looking for a new passenger vehicle, you can find those with the least emission and the most miles per gallon of gasoline by going to Consumer Reports. You can find it at local libraries or online at www.ConsumerReports.org.
6) Join Your Island Environmental Organization: St. Croix Environmental Association, 773-1989, or Environmental Association of St. Thomas-St. John, 776-1976. These two organizations do a great deal to protect the natural resources of the Virgin Islands. Just think how much more could be done with more members!
This is only a partial list. I am sure you can add to it.
Editor's note: Helen W. Gjessing is a retired biology teacher.