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Our First Post: Easy Ways to Go Green!

Welcome to the ENN Community! We are so excited to be posting our first blog entry! We thought we would start out with something basic as a jumping off point: Our favorite ways to stay green. Some of these changes you might have heard of before, some are ENN originals! These are small changes that anyone can make and that will tweak your lifestyle to help you save the environment—and save money—one change at a time.

  • Replace your regular light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) or, even better, Light- Emitting Diodes (LEDs). They are significantly more energy efficient, better resemble sunlight, and need to be changed less often. LEDs also contain no mercury, an element that can be harmful if exposed. A great way to go green, but make sure to dispose of them appropriately! (Many counties have disposal centers but if yours does not, Home Depot and Ikea will take them.)

  • Use a clothesline or drying rack instead of your dryer. This tip saves your clothes from the harshness of a dryer, helping them retain their saturated color and preventing weakening and breaking of fibers. (And please, if you use a washing machine, do only full loads!)

  • Walk, bicycle, or take public transportation to work if possible. Maybe meet a new friend on your route.

  • Buy local meats and veggies—this will support your local economy and will cut down on transportation costs and fuels getting your food from one area to another.

  • Don’t drink bottled water. Plastics are almost indestructible and will sit in landfills for thousands of years. They also take huge amounts of chemicals and fuels to produce. Find yourself a colorful, reusable (and preferably aluminum) water bottle instead.

  • Buy in bulk. It is less expensive and uses less packaging.

  • Recycle or sell old and used electronics. Computers, cell phones, keyboards—you name it—can be sold to make you some sweet dough. Recycle ink cartridges, batteries, and electronics that are beyond repair.

  • Replace or fix leaky faucets to save water.

  • Use the dishwasher. Full loads only!

  • Need we say it? Recycle.

  • Get a laptop. Way more convenient for you and way less energy used than desktop computers!

  • Print on 2 sides of a piece of paper instead of just one. Cut your paper use in half.

  • Use tote bags instead of paper/plastic ones for grocery shopping. Make sure to keep them clean though, because mold, yeast, and bacteria from old groceries are a health risk! (For more on this, see http://www.enn.com/business/article/40007)

  • Pay bills online and put a stop to junk mail!

  • Another obvious one—Turn off lights, electronics, and appliances when you leave a room.

  • The five- minute shower. Can you do it?

  • Wear jeans as much as possible. They can be worn multiple times without washing because they are durable and hold their shape well. Save water and heat energy by doing less laundry!

  • Eat less meat—you will save money and make a gradual environmental impact even if you only limit your consumption a little. Beef has a massive carbon footprint (larger than auto emissions).

  • Almost anything can be recycled and turned into something else. Old clothes to dishrags, egg cartons to paint sinks, jelly jars to vases, etc. Be creative, save money, and stop contributing to landfills.

  • Instead of working out on a treadmill or elliptical, run outside or hike for exercise. Help nature while experiencing it. Or make clean fitness fun by joining a local soccer, rugby, basketball, or touch football league.

Have any more tips for your fellow ENN readers or want to comment on one of ours? Want to tell a success story or air an utter failure in your quest to go green? Share it all here!

by M. Molendyke

  • Roger
    Jun 24th, 2009 at 14:35 | #1

    Excellent suggestions. Do you have some more ways to go green? I personally like things like Pedals for Progress where you can donate an old bike. It then gets shipped to a developing country where it can provide much needed green transportation and help a family raise its standard of living. It also reduces waste going into our landfills! Check out:http://www.p4p.org/

  • Molly
    Jun 29th, 2009 at 10:37 | #2

    There are many many ways to go green, not just the ones posted above (those are just our favorites)! Here are some more options:

    1. Plant perennial plants in your garden. By not replanting annuals every year, you will prevent the emission of carbon from the ground that happens when plants are pulled up and the earth is turned over. You will also save money not buying new plants!

    2. Buy things secondhand. You will reduce shipping costs, personal money spent, and the high expense and pollution of production.

    3. Buy clothes that don’t need to be dry-cleaned. Dry cleaning uses a lot of harsh chemicals that are released into the air AND into your clothes. Your body and your earth will thank you!

    4. Buy energy- efficient appliances.

    5. Stop mowing your lawn! Grass is healthiest when it is on the longer side, and lawn mowers– especially riding mowers– use excessive gas to run.

    6. Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones, cloth tablecloths instead of plastic ones.

    7. Compost!

    8. This is an easy one– Wear a sweater in winter, a tee shirt in the summer, and reduce your home heating and cooling costs (even a degree or two difference can save you money and energy).

    9. To be a green superstar, invest in or install solar panels on your house if you have the means to do so and have a sunny spot on your roof! The good weather will nearly wipe out your energy bill completely (or might make you money if you sell your power back to the grid!!), and you can apply for government tax rebates as well.

    Remember, going green has a lot to do with common sense. Its things like putting a sweater on instead of turning up your thermostat, drinking tap water instead of bottled water, and turning off lights and appliances when you leave the room that make a difference, so it really is not hard to get yourself thinking in a green state of mind. Be smart and go green!

  • Jul 6th, 2009 at 15:47 | #3

    You know so many interesting infomation. You might be very wise. I like such people. Don’t top writing.

  • Molly
    Jul 8th, 2009 at 09:38 | #4

    Buy-
    What seems to be the problem? Perhaps we could correct it…

  • Jul 29th, 2009 at 17:22 | #5

    Какая интересная мысль..

  • attasiaJabe
    Aug 21st, 2009 at 04:38 | #6

    Hey! I’ve been viewing this site for a while. Thought i would introduce myself:)

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