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Photo: Mother and son in car1. Find out about fuel-efficient vehicles:

Fuel-efficient vehicles will help your family save at the gas pump while decreasing the output of greenhouse gasses.

2. For teens — help take care of your family’s car:

Is the oil changed regularly and is the used engine oil recycled?

Are tires kept properly inflated?

Are the wheels kept properly aligned?

Find out why these things are important.

3. Support car-free alternatives and use them when safe and appropriate:

More alternatives to the car mean less pollution, gridlock and urban sprawl. Try car-pooling, walking, biking or taking mass transit with friends.

Bluebird graphic4. Be a responsible traveler:

Don’t litter. Save trash and dispose of it at a rest stop. Throwing anything out of a window is littering, even if it’s biodegradable.

5. Be a responsible consumer when shopping. Learn about:

Seafood that is certified as sustainably harvested.

Use a sustainable seafood guide to help choose fish that are not being over-fished.

Find out whether that “recycle-able“ product really is, and how much energy is needed to recycle it.

When considering a “disposable” product, investigate how long it would actually take to decompose in a landfill.

In stores, notice which products have excess packaging, such as individually wrapped cheese slices, apples on a tray wrapped with shrink-wrap, etc.

If your family is shopping for a new major appliance, check the energy ratings and pass on what you learn.

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The National Aviary is supported in part through membership, donations, and funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
© 2009 National Aviary in Pittsburgh