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Simple Ways of Protecting the Environment

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Submitted By asas1971asas
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Americans have a powerful green advocate at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency these days: EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson, a chemical engineer by training and a mom of two teens, one of whom has asthma. To reduce the family's carbon footprint, Jackson drives a Toyota Prius but uses the family minivan "for occasionally carting a carload of kids and shopping for bulk buys." They all take mass transit whenever possible, recycle, and shop at farmers' markets to support local farmers and for quality assurance — she feels it's important to know where your food comes from. Here are just a few of Jackson's tips on how moms can protect the environment and their family's health. "Moms are demanding safer products and chemicals in the environment, and they should be applauded for their activism," she says. "We can work all day long [at the EPA], but we also need Americans to get informed and take steps to help." You can start by creating a healthy environment at home:

1. Ban smoking in your home. The EPA classifies secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen — meaning there is solid evidence that it's cancer-causing — and estimates that it's responsible for the deaths of about 3,000 American nonsmokers every year. Each year, between 150,000 and 300,000 children under the age of 18 months get pneumonia or bronchitis from exposure to smoking. When guests light up, it can increase your kids' risk of developing asthma — and if your child is already asthmatic, it can make symptoms worse.

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