NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Go Green

 

Go Green

 

            Go Green – it’s a phrase that’s becoming more and more common and can have different meanings to different people. Going Green can include saving individuals money on their home energy bills; it can include lessening the impact our lifestyle choices have on our environment; it can include shopping locally; it can include making healthy eating choices – all positive choices. An emphasis of Go Green is that small changes we all make every day can add up to make a big difference. Try some of the following Go Green ideas in your life.

            - Choose to use reusable and recyclable products. Every time you fill up a reusable water bottle or throw your junk mail in the recycling bin you’re keeping resources out of the garbage and out of landfills. Americans throw away over 250 million tons of trash a year – just imagine all the resources we could save if all that waste could be reused or composted instead of tossed in landfills.

            -  Reduce your need for air-conditioning by planting deciduous trees, especially on east and west sides, to shade the home and windows from summer sun.  Use awnings or other treatments for exterior shade, especially on east and west windows.

            - When purchasing equipment, windows, electronics, appliances, and many other items, look for the ENERGY STAR® logo and compare the yellow Energy Guide label information.

            Use power strips to shut off computers, printers, scanners, and other similar equipment rather than leave them in sleep mode or instant-on mode. Unplug chargers for batteries, cell phones, power tools, portable electronics, and other equipment when item is fully charged.

            - Pay your bills online. Not only is it greener, it’s a sanity saver.

            - Turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth. Fix leaky faucets. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water. Since 1992 legislation, all new showerheads must have a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute or lower. Replace your old showerhead and save up to $45 a month for a family of four.

             - Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.

            - Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Be frugal, and make them out of old towels and t-shirts.

            - Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. You might pay more now, but you'll be happy when you don't have to replace items as frequently (and this means less waste!).

            -  Donate cell phones, computers, and other electronics or recycle them responsibly when the time comes.

                - Print on both sides. Using a printer that can print on both sides of a piece of paper will reduce garbage and save you money on paper.

                - Seal the ducts in your home. If your home has a forced air heating and cooling system,(very common in our area with natural gas used for heating) then you need to make sure all of your ducts are properly sealed so that you don't lose air in walls, basement, etc. due to leaks in the system.

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