Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tip of the Week - Going "Green"

Green Tips!!!

Are we using more resources than we need at work or at home. How "green" are you?
Going green is vital in the 21st century. We can save money too by going green.
Twenty ideas for going green:

1. Purchase local products and produce. Determine fruits and vegetables that are in
season, select recipes that highlight those seasonal picks. Even better grow a garden.

2. Prepare boxed lunches at home using washable, reusable containers.

3. Purchase and use reusable shopping bags rather than paper or plastic. Some grocery
stores give you fives credit on your bill for each reusable bag you use.

4. Use recycled paper, reuse old paper and gift wrap. Use electronic reminders when
possible thus using no paper.

5. Use small appliances like slow cooker (crock-pot) or toaster oven or microwave oven
rather than the electric range or electric oven for meal preparation. For a meal that
requires one hour to cook an electric oven uses 2.7 pounds of CO2, crock-pot uses .9
pounds of CO2 for seven hours, toaster oven uses 1.3 pounds of CO2 for 50 minutes and
microwave uses .5 pounds of CO2.

6. Turn off the lights and reduce direct lighting energy by 45%. Stop using heat-producing
halogen lamps (they can be a fire hazard). Install motion sensors on outdoor lights.

7. Initiate a walking school bus program (or bicycle train program) in your area to promote
child-safe, environment and neighborhood friendly ways to get children to nearby schools.
This helps reduce obesity too.

8. Turn down the heat (each degree down saves 3% in heating costs). Open curtains
during the day on sunny days in cold weather as this reduces heating costs and close cutrains
at night to keep heat in.. Turn up the thermostat when air conditioning (each degree raised
saves 3-4% of cooling costs). Close curtains during the day in summer to reduce heat and
save on cooling costs. A programmable thermostat is a good way to control temperature.

9. Check and change furnance filters monthly. Be sure return air grills are not blocked.
Close fireplace damper when not using fireplace.

10. Say "no" when asked if you want an ATM receipt. Do this at gas stations too.

11. Use laptop instead of desktop computer (this will cut three-quarters off of electrical use).
Turn off laptop at the end of the day.

12. Drink tap water instead of purchasing bottled water. Fill a reusable bottle with tap water.

13. Shop in bulk rather than purchasing individually wrapped servings.

14. Walk or ride a bicycle rather than choosing to drive. Saves fuel and money. Increases
Vitamin D exposure (on sunny days) and promotes heart health (think aerobics rather than
strolling). Plus you will have fun.

15. Wash laundry in cold water and save 80% on your energy bill and hang close our to dry.
Run clothes washer and dishwashers only when full (save 100 gallons a month). Clean out lint
trap of dryer.

16. Wrap your water heater in and insulation black and save 1,000 pounds of CO2 per year.
Insulate hot water pipes for more cost savings.

17. Become a water miser. Water lawns before 8am (up 30% of water is lost to evaporation
if watering is completed later in the day). Turn off water when lathering your hair during
shampooing (save up to 50 gallons of water a week). Turn off water while brushing your
teeth for two minutes (save 4 gallons of water per minute). Fix leaking faucets or hoses.
Limit shower to 5 minutes or less.

18. Use power trips to cut phatom loads. Plug electonics into a power strip so you can turn
them off all at once. Common gadgets that draw phantom power are cell phone charger,
TV's, computer monitors, DVD players, etc. Shut power strip off at night, when you at not
in a room, going out of your home.

19. Recycle clothes. Cut and use old towels for dishclothes and rugs for cleaning (thus
using fewer paper towels).

20. Seal cracks around windows and doors to keep heat in and cold out. Insulate wall plug
and switches and check for adequate insulation in ceilng and walls.

( Courtesy of the SD Dept. of Health )

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