Environment

“Saving energy is as easy as hitting the light switch … The more you know.” – Retta, NBC’s Parks & Recreation

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Going green is about improving quality of life through green living. Start by adopting one simple, everyday sustainable action into your daily routine. An action is considered more sustainable when it positively affects you, your family, your community, your workplace and your planet. There are many things you can do to help the environment, but it is important that you choose an action that makes you happy and makes sense in your life. We invite you to adopt this practice for a period of 30 days. Studies show that once you’ve incorporated your action into your routine for one month, chances are, you’ll stick with it for life. Try to measure your progress to see how your actions can add up to make a big impact; the satisfaction from tracking success will encourage you to stick with your routine and pass it on to family and friends.

WHAT YOU CAN DO…

Whether you’re at home, at work, at the store, or on the go, daily habits and simply being environmentally conscious can go a long way towards conserving natural resources, decreasing unnecessary waste and fundamentally protecting the world we live in.

AT HOME:

  • Start recycling paper and plastics and find out when your neighborhood collects recycling
  • Consider composting – food scraps with the help of leaves can be made into an organic soil for your spring planting
  • Turn off the water while brushing teeth
  • Wash laundry in cold water and dry clothes on a line rather than in the dryer
  • Conserve energy – set your computer on hibernate after 30 minutes, turn off the lights when you leave a room
  • Repair leaky faucets and toilets right away
  • Run your dishwasher only when it’s full
  • Unplug electronics in standby mode
  • Save waste by removing yourself from junk mailing lists
  • Pay bills online; paper bills waste 150 million pounds of paper every year
  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)
  • Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
  • Move the temperature on your thermostat down two degrees in the winter and up two degrees in the summer

AT WORK:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Use recycled paper
  • Print reports and memos on both sides of the page
  • Use reusable mugs for the water cooler and your morning coffee
  • Ship packages in reusable cardboard boxes and make packing material out of shredded waste paper
  • Get in the habit of shutting down and unplugging your computer at the end of the day
  • Encourage your office to recycle old electronics

AT THE STORE:

  • Plan shopping lists to avoid multiple trips to the store
  • Look for food that is fresh, organic or locally grown
  • Eat lower on the food chain
  • Decrease the amount of meat and other animal products, and increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid the temptation of purchasing re-packaged, fast foods and soft drinks whenever you can. The production of these convenient food options uses large amounts of materials and energy.
  • Buy bulk for your family at the supermarket
  • Carry reusable shopping bags
  • Sell your old clothes to second-hand stores or donate them
  • Choose recycled or reusable products
  • Look for collection sites for plastic bag, battery, and toner recycling

IN TRANSIT:

  • Drive less – try walking, biking, rollerblading, using mass transit or carpooling with a friend
  • Lighten your load – take only what you need in your car’s trunk to increase fuel efficiency
  • Consider rolling down the windows instead of using the air conditioner
  • Use windshield shades to keep your car cool in the summer and keep frost away in the winter
  • When in the market for a new car, choose the most fuel-efficient model that fits your budget and lifestyle
  • Keep tires properly inflated and get a regular car tune up
  • Check into your community’s car sharing organization

To Know More…

National Resources Defense Council

Green is Universal

Environmental Defense Fund