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Friends of the Earth: Three Eco-Conscious Families

The Abrams' Eco-Tips

  • Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. They cost more than standard ones, but last 10 times as long and use one-quarter of the energy. If every household installed one, the combined reduction in carbon emissions would be equal to taking 800,000 cars off the road.
  • Curb your clothes dryer. It consumes more energy than any other household appliance, except for your refrigerator. Take advantage of the moisture-sensor setting, which shuts the machine off as soon as the job is done.
  • Write to your representative in Congress. When a bill on fuel standards or clean air and water comes up, show your support in a handwritten note instead of a form letter or an e-mail. "It carries a lot more weight," says Wendy. "And politicians do respond to constituents, especially soccer moms, if they hear from enough of them."