Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ten Ways To Save Green

Sure, you know that saving the earth is important, but buying "green" products can be super-expensive. But there

are affordable ways to do your part to lessen your environmental footprint — you'll even save some cash at the same


Go Shopping (for New Appliances)!

If your appliances are from the mid-'90s or before, they're probably so inefficient that it makes sense to replace

them. Look for appliances with the Energy Star label, which means that they use 10 to 50 percent less water and

energy than standard models—a substantial savings on your utility bills. (According to Department of Energy

calculations, a new clothes washer can save you up to $110 a year on your energy bills.) Find more information on

the Energy Star program.

Break Out the Baking Soda

Baking soda is a nontoxic substance that helps regulate pH, getting rid of bad odors caused by too much acidity

(food, BO) and two much base (fish and smoke). Plus, it's a gentle cleanser. Make a paste with BS and water for a

chemical-free way to shine your silver, pour it down the sink and run warm water to deodorize, or use it to scrub

the tub.

Slay (Energy) Vampires

Energy vampires are electronics (like TVs, DVD players and cell phone chargers) that still use energy even when

they're turned off. Guess what? This wasted power can add up to 20 percent to your energy bill. The best way to cut

down on energy-sucking is to unplug your appliances when they're not in use, or plug them all into a power strip and

turn that off. If all that switching is too much of a hassle (and let's face it, having the clock on your DVD player

is convenient), at least unplug your cell phone charger when it's not in use.

Pack a Bottle

According to one estimate, Americans go through more than 30 million water bottles a year. If you're drinking that

water on the go, you're probably throwing the bottle in the garbage — and that adds up to a lot of trash. Fill up a

reusable water bottle and you can stay hydrated, cut down on waste and save cash. If the bottles of water you buy in

a store are about $1 each, this baby will pay for itself in about eight uses.

Cruise in the Slow Lane

Gas mileage drops considerably when you go over 60 mph. According to the Department of Energy, you pay about 20

cents more per gallon for each 5 mph you go over 60. Over time, that's a lot of extra fuel, and cash! Excessive

accelerating and heavy breaking can also make your car less efficient, so make it a smooth ride. For more ways to

save on car expenses, go to

Plant a Tree — Seriously

Adding trees to the south, east and west side of your house shades your home, keeping it cooler. That means savings

of up to 25 percent on your home cooling costs. Get more ideas from the government's Energy Savers Web site.

Print on Both Sides

Whether you're at work or in your home office, whenever possible, print on both sides of your paper to reduce your

consumption. Or, even better, store files and emails on your computer, so you're not using any paper at all.

Go Native

Try to use plants and flowers that are native to your area in your garden. The benefit? Because they're already

adapted to the soil and water conditions, you won't have to use as much fertilizer and water to get them to grow.

For more information and lists of regional plants, go to

Say, "It's Vintage"

Shopping at thrift stores like Goodwill or buying used goods on eBay can be super-cheap, but it's also eco-friendly.

Why? There's none of the energy consumed that would be used in manufacturing and transporting something new. Plus,

you're reusing furniture and clothing that might otherwise get thrown away. No need to say it's a thrift-store find.

Just call it "vintage" or "antique."

Get Your Kids in on It

Visit The Greens at, an interactive site for teens and tweens that features animated clips, a

blog, games and more. Hosted by two cartoon middle schoolers, the show teaches kids ways they can conserve and save

the environment. Will it get your kid to do the laundry — line-drying, of course? One can only hope.

source:Everyday Health

Other Ten Ways To Go Green

How can we live lightly on the Earth and save money at the same time? Staff members at the Worldwatch Institute, a global environmental organization, share ideas on how to GO GREEN and SAVE GREEN at home and at work.

Climate change is in the news. It seems like everyone's "going green." We're glad you want to take action, too. Luckily, many of the steps we can take to stop climate change can make our lives better. Our grandchildren-and their children-will thank us for living more sustainably. Let's start now.

We've partnered with the Million Car Carbon Campaign to help you find ways to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. This campaign is uniting conscious consumers around the world to prevent the emissions-equivalent of 1 million cars from entering the atmosphere each year.

Keep reading for 10 simple things you can do today to help reduce your environmental impact, save money, and live a happier, healthier life.

Save energy to save money.
State of the World
State of the World 2009:
Into a Warming World

* Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs.
* Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
* Unplug appliances when you're not using them. Or, use a "smart" power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts "phantom" or "vampire" energy use.
* Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
* Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying.

Save water to save money.

* Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
* Install a low-flow showerhead. They don't cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.
* Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
* Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out which occur naturally in your area.

Less gas = more money (and better health!).
Bicycle Commuters
World Watch Magazine

* Walk or bike to work. This saves on gas and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.
* Consider telecommuting if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term.
* Lobby your local government to increase spending on sidewalks and bike lanes. With little cost, these improvements can pay huge dividends in bettering your health and reducing traffic.

Eat smart.

* If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it's even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.
* Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy.
* Watch videos about why local food and sustainable seafood are so great.
* Whatever your diet, eat low on the food chain [pdf]. This is especially true for seafood.

Skip the bottled water.

* Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water. Not only is bottled water expensive, but it generates large amounts of container waste.
* Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminum rather than plastic, with you when traveling or at work.
* Check out this short article for the latest on bottled water trends.

Think before you buy.
Low Carbon Energy
Low Carbon Energy Report

* Go online to find new or gently used secondhand products. Whether you've just moved or are looking to redecorate, consider a service like craigslist or FreeSharing to track down furniture, appliances, and other items cheaply or for free.
* Check out garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday items.
* When making purchases, make sure you know what's "Good Stuff" and what isn't.
* Watch a video about what happens when you buy things. Your purchases have a real impact, for better or worse.

Borrow instead of buying.

* Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
* Share power tools and other appliances. Get to know your neighbors while cutting down on the number of things cluttering your closet or garage.

Buy smart.
Climate Change Reference Guide
Climate Change Reference

* Buy in bulk. Purchasing food from bulk bins can save money and packaging.
* Wear clothes that don't need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.
* Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. You might pay more now, but you'll be happy when you don't have to replace items as frequently (and this means less waste!).

Keep electronics out of the trash.

* Keep your cell phones, computers, and other electronics as long as possible.
* Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. E-waste contains mercury and other toxics and is a growing environmental problem.
* Recycle your cell phone.
* Ask your local government to set up an electronics recycling and hazardous waste collection event.

Make your own cleaning supplies.
Million Car Campaign

Join the Million Car Carbon Campaign by purchasing your Earth-Aid kit today.

* The big secret: you can make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products whenever you need them. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.
* Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention your indoor air quality.

source:Worldwatch Organization.


Samuel Gultom


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