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It’s easy being green

April 22, 2010

A lot has changed, Kermit. Today, it’s easy being green.

For most people, there’s no excuse not to be eco-conscious. I’m speaking to YOU, neighbors that put cardboard boxes and plastic milk cartons in your trash can. I see you… and sometimes take them out of your garbage can and put it into my recycling bin. Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.

What are some easy ways to go green?

Bring your own bags to the store. Not just the grocery store, either. Think of all those Target runs where you walk out with three or four plastic bags. Did you know it takes It takes 1000 years for plastic bags to break down?

Take a reusable mug to Starbucks/Panera/Cosi/Caribou/your local coffee shop. Some cafes even offer discounts when you use your own mug. Financial win + environmental win = life win.

Turn off the lights. Turn off the TV. Turn off the computer. If you’re not using something, turn it off. And unplug chargers. Leaving your computer or phone plugged in overnight is sucking up more energy than the device’s batteries can possibly use.

Keep your air-conditioning and heat at reasonable levels. In the winter, set the thermostat to 60 degrees when you’re not at home and 68 degrees when you get back; during summer, keep the temperature at 85 degrees while away and 78 degrees when home. When it’s nice outside — like most of spring — open the windows and turn off the thermostat. You’ll save money, too.

Use Tupperware or glass containers, not Ziploc baggies. And bring your own silverware.

Walk. 27% of American car trips are for distances under one mile. I know that not everywhere in the country has sidewalks that make it possible to drive — visiting family in Indiana, I was shocked that it was impossible to walk anywhere outside of the neighborhood without being on the shoulder — but if you have sidewalks, use them!

This morning, I weeded the front garden and planted a few potted flowers in the ground.

We only have one planet. Use it or lose it.

How do you go green?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2010 11:23 am

    Ugh, Erin! Why does your blog always make me hungry?!

  2. April 22, 2010 11:35 am

    Hey! Happy Earth Day : )

    I do my part in being green by turning the lights off after I leave each room, I furnished my apt with used furniture, and I bring my own bags to go grocery shopping, and I use reusable water bottles/tea mugs.

    My new goal is to STOP using zip lock bags!

  3. April 22, 2010 12:08 pm

    I agree with all your points. I’m obsessively green. I rarely use ziplocks, but when I do, I wash them out and reuse them! The big ones are expensive anyway! 🙂

  4. Kristin permalink
    April 22, 2010 5:51 pm

    Today one of my students (I’m student teaching) tried to recycle his water bottle in the recycling bin in my classroom, which is only for paper. I told him we don’t have plastic recycling at school. 😦 He asked what he should do with it then, since it’s Earth Day. I told him he could take it home and recycle it but he thought that would be too much work so he threw it away. Then another student got the idea to take out all of the bottles in our classroom trashcan and recycle them instead. She rinsed them out in the hallway drinking fountain. She was going to take them home but then remembered she had practice after school and couldn’t so she handed all of them to me. So I lugged home dirty bottles from a germy trash can full of 9th-graders’ used kleenexes. haha. There’s my green contribution–cleaning up after lazy 9th graders 🙂

  5. April 22, 2010 10:11 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who washes out Ziploc bags and reuses them! :~) Here are some things I do:

    – I plant my own veggie garden in the spring/summer.
    – I collect plastic and glass bottles IN my reusable totes. That way, when I go to the store to recycle them, I have the empty totes to put my groceries in!
    – I always turn off all the lights, unplug chargers, etc.
    – We keep our house at 65 in the winter, and we use fans in the summer.
    – We try to purchases natural/free trade products when we can, because helping keep the earth healthy also involves helping people.


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