Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Year New Green

Happy New Years! It is a new year and a new start for 2014. We all know what that means, time for some New Year resolutions! So as we begin our journey into self-improvements whatever they may be, let’s add one more to the list. How about making 2014 a more sustainable year? Here are some easy and life changing ways to do so.
• Stop buying bottle water: Instead of buying all those bottled waters that don’t always end up in the recycling bin, try a reusable water bottle instead.
• Unplug that cell phone charge: After your cell phone is charged unplug the charger itself from the outlet. This can help reduce the waste of electricity.
• Travel green: When traveling try to bring your own toiletries to help save the use of all those tiny bottles you use daily. Also try only using one towel per day and make sure to turn off the lights when you leave the room.
• Cancel unused catalog subscriptions: If you keep getting unwanted magazines or phone books just cancel the subscription. Also, most catalogs are now available online, so there is no need to waste all that paper.
• Recycle batteries and old cellphones: After your batteries are unusable or if you have an old cellphone lying around recycle them. Places such as Radio shack make it easy to just drop off old batteries or cellphones and they will recycle them for you.
• Recycle: Of course the most common tip is to start recycling if you do not already do so. Try to keep your recyclables sorted and neatly organized to make the process easier.
Even if you just add one or two of the above tips to your New Year resolutions it can help the environment and your lifestyle in so many different ways. Keep in mind even the little changes can help in the big picture. Together let’s try to make 2014 the best and greenest year yet!
Resources:
http://www.greenmoxie.com/the-greenmoxie-2014-green-challenge/
http://www.radioshackcorporation.com/citizenship/battery.php

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Have a Happy and Green Halloween!

It is already October and we all know what that means… Halloween is almost here! Like other holidays all the fun comes with all the wasteful and expensive consequences. But, this year we can change that by making Halloween a little more sustainable. Here are some easy and convenient ways to have an eco-friendly Halloween!

Reusable Trick or treat bags
This year send your little ones out with a reusable bag when trick or treating. Canvas shopping bags, buckets, cloth or even a pillow case can be used to collect all that yummy candy.
Stay in your neighborhood
Instead of driving to another neighborhood, try to walk or bike around nearby communities to trick or treat. This can reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. If driving is the only option try to carpool.
Save and reuse decorations
Many times we buy decorations for all types of holidays that end up in the trash at the end of the month. This time around, try to save and store away your d├ęcor for the following year. Even the carved pumpkin or straw from that scarecrow can be composted and recycled.
DIY Costume or Costume Swap
When it comes to dressing up try to see if you can reuse different parts of pervious costumes to make a new one! This is not only green but it saves money while also having fun with your creative side. Another idea is to get together with some friends and have a costume swap with pervious Halloween costumes.

These are just some easy ways to have a sustainable Halloween. If you want to see more tips on celebrating a green holiday, check out the websites listed below. Happy Halloween! Stay safe and green!

• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/green-halloween-ideas-2012_n_1971566.html#slide=1648045
• http://www.earthshare.org/2010/10/green-halloween-costumes-and-decorations.html
• http://www.happy-mothering.com/10/parenting/how-to-have-a-green-halloween/

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ways To Save On Home Energy Costs

While there are many differences between owning and renting a home, apartment or condo, one thing that we can all find common ground on is how easy it is to end up with a large energy bill at the end of a the month. Wouldn’t it be great to lower the number of time you have to dish out extra needed money on wasted energy costs? Well, thanks to Progress Energy and OUC I have found over 100 different ways to help save on everyday energy usage. Here are some great tips and tricks that I found useful while exploring these companies’ websites:

• Washing with cold water- When doing laundry wash clothes with cold water. This can save you 40 cents per load.
• Using a laptop over a desktop- Laptops tend to use less energy than your standard desktop computer would.
• Paint it light- Paint walls light colors to help reflect heat coming from outside windows.
• Toaster ovens and microwaves- when cooking a smaller dish use a toaster oven or microwave. Microwaves use 50 percent less energy than conventional overs and do not heat up the kitchen.
• Turn off oven or burners- Once your food is almost done turn off the oven and use the existing heat to finish cooking your meal.
• Use a slow cooker or crock pot- Both slow cookers and crock pots can cook an entire meal for about 17 cents worth of electricity.
• Let your dishes air-dry- Turn off your dishwasher after it finishes the wash cycle. This not only saves energy but, helps keep the dishwasher from adding extra heat to your kitchen.


This list is just a few of my favorite tips for saving on home energy usage. If you would like to find out more ways to save check out the links provided below to learn more on ways to save on home energy.
LINKS & RESOURCES:
https://www.progress-energy.com/carolinas/home/save-energy-money/energy-saving-tips-calculators/100-tips.page?
http://www.ouc.com/residential/save-energy-water-money/energy-conservation-tips/year-round-savings

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is it "Green"?

As the eco-friendly boom is hitting us we have all noticed many products out there declaring to be “Green”, such as furniture, cleaning products, cars, clothing, and even high tech gadgets! The list of "environmentally kind' items to buy goes on and on. It is thrilling to see so many companies going the extra mile to give customers a wide variety of so many environmentally friendly options. Before you go and buy everything with a green label on it, you should be clear on what makes a product or service actually green. A lot can go into classifying if a product is friendly to the environment.
Here is a quick list of some of the factors to consider when looking at a product that would make it green.
• Materials: It is very important that the materials of a product to be natural, biodegradable and help conserve resources. A simple example of green material would be printing paper that was made with recycled newspaper.
• Chemicals: Another resource to keep in mind is the chemical compound of a product as well as if the product produces harmful toxics that can cause pollution. Make sure to avoid buying anything that can cause harm to not only the environment, but also your health.
• Energy: Energy plays a major role in the green world. Therefore, it is important to focus on products that require low maintenance and use less energy. An example would be to choose a product that provides an alternative way to produce a renewable energy source such as solar powered options over fossil fuel.
There is a lot to consider when analyzing the components of a product you are buying is actually 'environmental kind'. The list above notes a few factors to take in consideration while browsing around your favorite store. Even if how green a product is won’t cause a huge deal breaker on whether or not it is ending up in your shopping cart. The choice between two similar items might be easier now if one is friendlier for the environment over the other.
If you want to know more on what is considered green when it comes to products, here are some great websites to help!
• http://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/Learning-Center/Green-Greenwashing-Chemical-Sensitivities-LC/What-Makes-a-Product-Green
• http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm/2012/2/2/What-Makes-a-Product-Green/
• http://www.buildinggreen.com/ebn/sample/EBN_Green_Products.pdf