Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
All of you raise your hands that planted a tree yesterday for Earth Day? No one? Me neither. Green is the new trendy thing. NBC Green, Jon & Kate Plus 8 go Green, there’s a green channel on cable, the works. And hopefully you all saw the green episode of Scrubs a year or two ago- hilarious! But this is one area where hopefully trendy will do some good- big 80’s claw bangs didn’t do anyone any good. Unfortunately too many people see being more aware of the environment only as a trendy fad, as a hoax for tree huggers that it is selling you expensive propaganda with no results. I would disagree. Most sustainable ideas do go beyond the warm fuzzy feeling to be intrinsically worthwhile; improving health, reducing waste and saving energy and money. Who can say no to better healthy and money?
Yes, I know green is my career so I tend to get a bit over-passionate, but there's some good to it. I think we have a responsibility to stewards of the earth, not just users. Call me crazy but I don’t remember God telling Adam and Eve to go forth, pillage, plunder and rape the earth. But now I’ll get off my soapbox because heaven knows that I have areas to improve. So if you want to green-up your act, here are a handful of easy green to look into:
- Use things you have for cleaners: water, vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and salt- you’d be amazed at how well they can attack water spots, grimy drains and pipes, etc.
- Avoid one-time-use cleaning products, i.e. wipes, swiffers, etc. I’m the first to say that I love swiffers, so try to opt for bio-degradable products. Or did you know that you can wash & reuse swiffer dusters? They work even better the second time. I’m also trying out micro-fiber clothes and they seem to work just as well be can be reused. Now I just need to fit one on my swiffer sweeper.
- Try greener cleaning products, I like Method brand. They aren’t horribly expensive, usually just $1 more, and Costco even carries their hand soap for cheap. I LOVE their window cleaner. It works just better than Windex, smells minty fresh and is great for cleaning showers.
- Avoid vampire loads. Household electronics and appliances continue to pull a small amount of electricity, even when they aren’t in use. It’s estimated that 75% of the electricity phone chargers us is wasted from the charger being left plugged in. Unplug rarely used appliances between uses, i.e. blenders, mixers etc.
- Clean out dryer lint- otherwise moist air cannot be vented from the dryer as easily and your dryer will work less efficiently—you will have to run your dryer longer to dry a load of clothes & have higher electricity and gas charges and shorter lifespan for your dryer
- Use cold water with your garbage disposal, it saves energy and solidifies grease, which is ground up and flushed away
- Drive the speed limit, in a typical car, every 10 miles per hour you drive over 60 is like the price of gasoline going up about 54 cents a gallon- that figure will be even higher for less fuel-efficient vehicles. Hmmmm.... this one will take some work.
- Use those reusable grocery bags. I have some big red bags from IKEA that hold a ton and were only $0.79- love them!
- Buy local. Look into Community Supported Agriculture for a great way to get lots of fresh produce locally for a good price. I'm checking out this one: http://www.borskifarms.org/