Sustainability

Your Plan, Your Planet: how to reduce your environmental footprint

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If I told you that freezing your leftovers, using the dishwasher (instead of washing dishes by hand), and turning down your water heater just a few degrees could help protect the environment, you’d probably think it sounds too simple. But it turns out that our greatest impact on the planet comes from just three things: our food, water, and energy usage. And if we each made a few small changes, we could all make a big difference.

Sustainability is at the core of many of Google’s initiatives, from millions of square feet of LEED certified buildings for our employees, to mapping solar potential for homes and cities, to building public transit routes into Google Maps. These efforts can be achieved when you put the resources of a company behind them, but it’s equally important to empower individuals to take action. We’ve teamed up with the California Academy of Sciences to create Your Plan, Your Planet—an interactive way to understand your environmental impact and learn simple, science-based ways to improve it.

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Toss out less. Save more.

Food production accounts for more than two-thirds of the world’s water use, and over a quarter of CO2 emissions. So when you toss out that bruised tomato or a package of eggs nearing their sell-by date, you’re throwing away all of the resources that went into them, too. Your Plan, Your Planet, shows you the the water and carbon impact of what you eat and gives you smart ways to store it so that less food ends up in the trash.

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Easy ways to make food last.

Make every drop count.

The average American family runs through three swimming pools’ worth of water each year. Your Plan, Your Planet suggests simple changes—like installing a low-flow showerhead and fixing common household leaks—that can help you be more water smart.

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Things you can do to slow your flow

Power up without maxing out.

Much of the energy we use comes from burning natural resources, which in turn releases CO2 into the air. But easy tweaks, like washing your laundry on cold and adjusting your thermostat just a few degrees, can reduce your impact in a big way.

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Simple things to zap those energy hogs.

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. Your Plan, Your Planet can help you get started.