ATS EcoSolutions  Environmental and Economic
ATS EcoSolution. The Ecologt and You. Our nviromental practices work for a better planet.

Ecology and YOU

Here at ATS, we're taking steps to reduce our environmental footprint through our EcoSolutions program. As a corporation, we aim to lessen our eco-impact by cutting fuel consumption, reducing trash production, and choosing eco-friendly products.

You, too, can help save the environment on an individual level by making some simple changes in your personal life. A greener life is only a few steps away, and we'd like to help you get there. To start, we've assembled some simple step you can take to walk a little lighter on the earth:

Reduce your energy consumption

The biggest and most challenging environmental problem facing our time is climate change. Most environmentalists agree that the greenhouse gas emissions released through driving cars, heating, cooling, and lighting our homes, shipping goods, flying, and so on is the main problem. Reducing your carbon footprint starts with cutting your total energy consumption. To start, here are some ideas:

spacerInstall a programmable thermostat in your home. This device will automatically adjust
       the temperature in your home to use less energy while you're away or sleeping.
       You won't have to remember to turn the heat or air conditioning down anymore!
spacerBuy ENERGY STAR products like electronics, clothes washers, dishwashers,
       refrigerators, and air conditioners. These devices will save you money and reduce
       both water and energy use.
spacerReduce your vehicle-related fuel consumption. Do this by carpooling or taking public
       transportation to work, parties, and church events. Better yet, get there on your own
       steam by walking or riding a bike to your destination. Alternatively, you could buy a more
       efficient vehicle - choose something a little smaller, or go for a new hybrid!

Cut your garbage production

Energy isn't the only thing dragging down the environmental record of many of us, our trash is piling up faster than we can deal with it, poisoning our soil, water, and air in the process. You can help with this growing problem by reducing the amount of garbage you produce every day. Here's how:

spacerTake your own shopping bags to the store! Whether you're going for groceries or buying
       some new clothes, pack some reusable bags in your pocket or purse and whip
       them out when you get to the till. The paper vs plastic debate will never perplex you
       again!
spacerPurchase products with less packaging. That is, buy the option with less plastic,
       Styrofoam, or cardboard wrapped around it, and whenever possible, choose the one
       that's not packaged at all!
spacerOpt for items made from recycled products. Today, there's everything from recycled
       paper and recycled glass tiles to cosmetics packaged in recycled plastic or coats
       made from recycled soda bottles. Check labels and support the recycling industry
       with your purchases.
spacerGive old items a new life. Got an old T-shirt? Turn it into a rag. Renovating your kitchen?
       Donate your cabinets, sinks, and tiles to a ReStore near you. Sell used clothing
       online or donate it to a charity. The moral? Rather than just chucking things in the
       garbage, think about how it might be used again, by you or someone else.
spacerCompost your organic waste. Everyone generates food scraps and most of the time, we
       just chuck them in the trash. They are natural so it's okay to throw them again, right?
       Nope! Organic waste, when subjected to the oxygen-starved environment of a landfill
       or the pollution-spewing fires of an incinerator produces toxic gases and other poisons.
       Stop this cycle by installing a compost bin in your yard, or a worm bin under your
       kitchen sink. Then use the compost you produce to feed your plants, the cheap way!
spacerWhen all else fails, and you can't compost your garbage or give it a new life, recycle it.
       Check into local recycling programs to see what you can send to the recycling facility,
       then get some bins and start to organize your family into a green recycling team!
       This is especially important if you're getting rid of old electronics and household
       hazardous waste (paints, fertilizers and pesticides, batteries, and more). These
       products are highly toxic and require special handling, so seek out an e-waste
       recycling facility in your area.

Become a water conservationist

Water is a precious resource, and we're starting to lose it. Some counties in the US are already seeing water shortages, shrinking lakes, and droughts. Living an environmentally-responsible life also includes reducing your total water consumption. Here are some ways to get going on your life of water conservation:

spacerSave water by making simple habit changes. For instance, be sure to shut the tap off
       while you brush your teeth, wash your face, shave, or soap up. Take shorter showers,
       or shower with a buddy. Use your dishwasher (full loads only!) rather than hand
       washing your dishes. And if you can't afford a new toilet, flush less often - follow the
       old adage: yellow = mellow, brown = down.
spacerInstall efficient fixtures throughout your home. There are lots of water-saving options
       available at your local hardware or home improvement store, including faucet
       aerators, low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, and leak stopping supplies. Many of
       these items are inexpensive, and will save you a lot of money in water bills. You
       may also want to look into more high-ticket items like purchasing water-efficient
       appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines.
spacerAmazingly, green lawns are the biggest crop cultivated in the US! They require huge
       amounts of water nearly 200 gallons of fresh water per person per day. You can cut
       your lawn's water requirements by reducing its size and/or choosing a drought-resistant
       seed that'll require much less water.

Ban toxics from your home

Aside from energy and water conservation and reducing your trash production, you can also become greener by reducing the toxins in your home. Want to know how to protect you, your family, and the planet?

spacerGet rid of synthetic landscaping chemicals, like fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
spacerBanish harsh cleaners like toxic oven cleaners, sink clog chemicals, and
       harsh-smelling household cleansers.
spacerStop using chlorine bleach and opt for eco-friendly laundry products.
spacerSwitch out your phosphate-laden automatic dishwashing detergents.
spacerDon't flush pharmaceuticals down the toilet where they'll poison our waterways.

Easy tips to be Green while saving some Green!

Being Green is all the rage.It helps the environment and protects our natural resources, but did you know it can help you cut costs, too? Read on for some easy home energy saving tips that can help the planet and your wallet. Thanks to Edina Realty for passing along these tips.

spacerWhen running your air conditioning, the ideal temperature setting is 78 degrees. For
      every degree below that setting, your energy cost will increase 5 percent. The same
      goes for the furnace. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees during winter months. In this
      case, your energy cost will rise 3 percent for every degree above that setting.
spacerLights out. Make sure you you turn off the lights when you leave a room. If you tend to be
      forgetful about flipping the switch, let sensors and timers do the work for you.
      Another good investment are three-way lamps, they save energy by using the lowest
      light setting needed for that time of day.
spacerUse Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, commonly called CFLs, in place of incandescent
      bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using CFLs can save you up to 50
      percent on your lighting costs. They also use a quarter of the energy as your standard
      incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer.
spacerCool down. Let hot foods cool to room temperature before sticking them in the
      refrigerator.Your fridge has to work harder and uses more energy to cool down hot foods
      and their containers. However, be careful not to leave food out too long or it will spoil.
spacerFully covered. Make sure unfinished spaces in your home like attics, basements or
       crawl spaces are insulated properly for your geographic region. Something you might
       not, think of insulating is your outlets. Believe it or not those little holes can let cold into
       your home. You can remove outlet covers and insert insulation pads from your local
       hardware store. Placing insulating plugs into outlets that aren't being used can also
       help keep cold air out.

In future we'll be providing additional tips and ideas for becoming more eco-friendly and we welcome your input. Got questions? Let us know, you can use the form located Here. Have a suggestion you'd like to share with others? We want to hear that, too.