Sunday, August 8, 2010

Greenest Way To Wash Your Car Or Other Vehicles

Take it to the wash!
The greenest way to wash your car is to take it to a car wash.  It's much better for the environment than doing it at home, unless you are just using water to clean your vehicle.  Car washes recycle the water used for washing cars.  The waste water is cleaned and filtered.  If you wash your car at home the chemicals wind up either in your yard or garden or they end up getting washed down the sewer, which leads to creeks, rivers, lakes, ponds, or oceans.  These chemicals are not good for wildlife!  Next time you need your vehicle washed plan it on the way to or from somewhere else, don't make a special trip, and take it to the car wash!

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Fairmont Hotels Save Energy, Costs, and Environment | The Energy Collective

Fairmont Hotels Save Energy, Costs, and Environment | The Energy Collective

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Is Green Air Travel Possible?

green airline
Traveling by air is not green yet.
NO, not right now. There are no such things as sustainable airlines, contrary to what some might say. It's just not possible with technology right now. There are ways to reduce your impact from air travel, but it's not possible to do both fly and leave no footprint.

Some things you can do to reduce your impact are to research airlines and their standards and to only book non-stop fights as every take off and landing produce more carbon than regular flying. Research individual airlines' stats on emissions and percentage of seats filled to find the one that is most efficient with the energy they use. Continental has been listed in several places as the greenest airline, however, I haven't done the research myself.
green train travel
Trains are one of the greenest ways to travel!

If at all possible, take a train instead! Trains are much more efficient than airlines and autos, and also their ticket prices are very reasonable. Check out local rail travel options.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Finally Back Online With A New Green Laptop

After a nearly 3 month hiatus I am finally back online.  My old computer bit the dust and since it's summer I've been so busy outdoors that I forget about the internet!  I just bought a new Compaq computer.  One of the main reasons for choosing it was the price but it came with an added bonus, it was voted the greenest computer by Newsweek in 2009.  It even has a sticker:

Watch out, blogosphere, I'm back greening things here and there and everywhere!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How To Recycle Old Fishing Line

Fishing line can be a mess to get caught in, and it is disastrous to wildlife.   Many states are putting collection boxes for old fishing line near popular fishing areas.  If you don't live in a state that does this, you can still recycle your old fishing line.  Berkley's conservation department will recycle fishing line and turn it into fish habitat structures.  Send your old fishing line to the address below:

Berkley Recycling
1900 18th Street
Spirit Lake, IA 51360

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Green Shipping and Mailing

Shipping items is taxing on the environment, but there are ways to reduce your impact on the environment when sending things to friends, family, and customers. Start by recycling a box. Most of us have boxes laying around. If it has printing or labels on it, flip it inside out and re-tape it. Write the address right on the package, there is no need to use a label. For delicate items, use newspaper as a cushion instead of styrofoam packing peanuts (it's much better for the environment). Encourage the recipient to recycle the box and packaging.

When you receive a package, make sure to recycle the box and all packaging materials. If your package included styrofoam packaging peanuts you can take them to a pack and ship store to be reused.

When taking a trip to the post office, consider walking or biking.

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Best Time to Pick Fruits and Vegetables

When deciding when to pick fruits or vegetables from your garden it's best to do it in the morning. In the early morning hours plants absorb cool dew, hydrating your fruits and vegetables. Better yet, pick them the morning after it rains!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sustainable Green Travel Location: Star Island Bahamas

Looking for a green travel destination? Check out Star Island Resort in the Bahamas. This resort is off the grid, creating its own power through solar panels and wind turbines. The island grows its own food so there is no energy needed to transport food there. Check out their website.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

List of Uses For Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is commonly found in refrigerators and cupboards of our homes. But many young people don't know that baking soda has so many other practical uses that can save you money on expensive cleaners and products. In addition to saving money, using baking soda for other uses is also much more environmentally friendly. Here are a list of uses for baking soda:

Deodorizing/Cleaning
  1. Use in fridge or cupboards to deodorize
  2. Sprinkle on carpets prior to vacuuming to eliminate odors
  3. Add into dishwasher before running to freshen up the smell
  4. Put a box on a closet shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh
  5. Sprinkle in shoes to freshen up odor, shake out before wearing
  6. Pour into sink and tub drains and garbage disposals, followed by vinegar, to unclog and freshen smells in drains
  7. Mix into water to form a paste that can be used to polish and clean silverware and jewelry
  8. Sprinkle on clothes before hunting to mask your odor
  9. Add to laundry loads to boost your detergent, leaving your clothes smelling cleaner
  10. Sprinkle on sponges and squeeze out in hot water to freshen sponges
  11. Mix with water to make a watery paste that can be used like Soft Scrub, to clean any surface in your home
  12. Soak soiled pots and pans in water and baking soda and the burnt food will come right off

Personal Care
  1. Mix with warm water to soak feet, deodorizing and softening your feet
  2. Mix into paste that can be applied to bug bites/stings, sunburns, and poison ivy rashes
  3. Rub under arms to use as a deodorant
  4. Mix with water to make a facial and body scrub that is safe for daily use
  5. Soak dentures, retainers, mouthguards, and other dental items in a mixture of baking soda/water to cleanse
  6. Combine with conditioner to cleanse and condition your hair at the same time without leaving residue behind that shampoo does
  7. Combine with water to make a paste that can be applied to gums around a toothache
  8. Add a teaspoon to acidic foods to prevent heartburn and acid indigestion
  9. Make a paste with water that can be applied to diaper rashes
WARNING: There are many sources on the internet stating that baking soda can be used as toothpaste or mouthwash.  I do not recommend this.  I have an older relative who did this and it rotted his teeth even though he brushed 3 times a day.  Baking soda is abrasive and will wear down the enamel on your teeth!

Pet Care 
  1. Use a paste of baking soda and water to scrub pet stains out and deodorize carpet
  2. Use a water and baking soda mix to clean pet toys, cages, water bowl, and other supplies instead of using chemicals
  3. Use a half teaspoon of baking soda in your fish aquarium to raise the pH, let it sit for 24 hours and test again


Outdoors
  1. Use to raise pH in pools
  2. Dump on grease stains, let sit, work into stain with a broom, and sweep up
  3. Sprinkle on crabgrass to kill crabgrass without harming lawn
  4. Mix with water to make a great auto cleaner that doesn't leave behind residue

There are so many other uses too!  Feel free to comment and add your own!

Friday, June 18, 2010

How To Make A Rain Barrel

I enjoy keeping a garden full of vegetables every summer. I could spend loads of money and use thousands of gallons of water every year, but I don't. Instead, I made a rain barrel out of some old materials I had laying around. I haven't turned on our faucet outside in years. I use the rain water to water my garden and also for houseplants and other odd jobs that I need water for.

Here are a couple videos that may help you plan a rain barrel for your home.

Tip: I recommend substituting flexible rubber tubing for the PVC. It's not as bad as PVC for the environment.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

SUNCHIPS Goes Green!

Sunchips may now be the greenest option for chip lovers.  According to their website, " Every 10 ½ oz. SunChips® package is designed to fully break down in just 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin or pile."


Now you can snack on chips while working in your garden and just toss the bag into the compost bin!

Their website also includes information on how they are using solar energy, how to compost, and other environmental information.  Check it out!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Get Paid To Recycle Old PDA's, Cell Phones, DVD Players, and Other Electronics!

”get
"Get Cash for your Gadgets", and that's what it says at the top of the page at Gazelle.com.  This site recycles old electronics and then sends you money.  That's right, you can get paid to recycle old electronic gadgets and consoles.  Check it out, www.gazelle.com .


**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Friday, April 16, 2010

Google Uses Goats to Mow Their Lawn!

”googleAccording to Google's blog, the company is now bringing in a herd of about 200 goats weekly to mow their lawn.  This is an effort to reduce their carbon footprint by saving gasoline and air pollution.  What a unique idea?!  Google has always been innovative.  I hope other companies look at Google's unique approach and adopt similar, greener strategies for their yard work!

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Hulu Has A New Green Channel!

One of my favorite websites, Hulu.com, has started a "Green" channel with programming related to environmental conservation.  Some of the programs include NOVA, National Geographic Environmental Shorts, Design: e2, and FOX Green It Mean It.  Check it out!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Great Article From Rider News on Greening Your Dorm Room

I ran across an article on Google News today that was perfect for my readers, however, the page didn't have an option to share the article to Facebook or blogs.  Here it is and be sure to visit their site via the hyperlink below!
Eco-Rep Green Corner: Make spring green by keeping your dorm room clean April 8, 2010
As college students, spring cleaning is not always the first thing on our minds. But with the change in weather comes looming trepidation: how to responsibly dispose of unwanted items for spring cleaning?  It’s not always an easy thing to do, but it is definitely possible. Since it is so clearly on everyone’s mind, here are a few green tips that will help get any room into tip-top shape.
Before getting rid of anything, it’s important to take stock of the situation. This means asking difficult questions, such as, “Do I really need to get rid of item A or B?”; “Is there any way that I might possibly use item A or B in the future?”; “Is there a creative or original way that item A or B can be upcycled or used for another purpose before I put it in a bag and make it someone else’s problem?” Often, the answer to many of these questions is yes.  Of course, this article is in no way condoning being a pack rat, which has many of its own adversities and disadvantages. But if something is potentially useful and can be kept in an organized fashion, there’s no reason to get rid of it.
Obviously, if it’s decided that an item such as a pair of sneakers or pants still fit at the end of the year, the best way to use the item would be to wear it. However, if this is not possible for whatever reason, there are some creative ways to make something old new once again. For old clothes and fabric items that are no longer wearable, cut the items into squares, and make an eco-friendly quilt or other item, such as a pillow. If you aren’t the most creative person, there are books out there made specifically for you, including Junk Jeans Recycled and The Sweater Chop Shop.
On the other side of the spectrum, if an item is no longer usable, and needs to be donated, there are local locations where this goal can be achieved, such as the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey, located in Princeton. And if items are waiting around until the end of the semester, they can be dropped off at “Don’t Trash it, Recycle it,” which will be held and hosted on Wednesday, May 5, 2010, and items will be donated to Home Front N.J. Either way, there is no need for anything to end up in the dump, because your old gym shorts or winter jacket can find a new purpose in life somewhere else.
- Kyle Dacey
Lawrenceville Eco-Rep


http://comm.rider.edu/wordpress/2010/04/08/eco-rep-green-corner-make-spring-green-by-keeping-your-dorm-room-clean/


**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

5 Tips For Greener Golfing and Protecting the Environment

”green
It's the time of year when many of us dust off our golf clubs and hit the course.  Here are some green tips for your next golf outing:

  1. Pick a course that advertises green practices.  If none advertise this do a quick call around to all the courses and find one who cares.
  2. Recycle anything you bring onto the course.  If it's not recyclable, carry your trash until you come across a wastebasket.
  3. WALK the course instead of renting a cart!  It is healthier for you and the environment!!!
  4. Buy golf balls and golf tees made from recycled materials.  Believe me, they work just as well!
  5. Replace your divots.  This helps keep the grass growing well and reduces the course's maintenance costs, keeping green fees lower!

Have a great spring and good luck with your golf swing!


RELATED POSTS
How to Recycle Golf Balls

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Book Review: Green Jobs for a New Economy By Peterson's

”green
While my computer was broken I read quite a few books at the local library.  One of them was Green Jobs for a New Economy, written and published by Peterson's.  The ISBN number is 076892815X.  I DO NOT recommend wasting your time reading it.

It goes through several different community colleges and universities, discussing various green programs they have.  However, in my state, they left out the greenest school in the state with the most green programs and initiatives.  Whoever researched this book did not do a very thorough job.  My guess is that whoever wrote this book just sat on the internet doing the research and had no real knowledge about any of the schools or programs.

Save yourself the time.  All of this information, plus more, is available online for free, and you could probably do a better job researching this stuff than the authors of this book

10 Great Green Travel Tips For Staying In Hotels and Motels

Want to take your green tips on the road?  Well, here are 10 great ideas:

  1. Return the plastic key cards to the front desk.  No, personal information is not stored on them unless it's a resort that allows you to charge things to your card.  In that case, return them to the front desk and request that they are wiped clean.
  2. Reuse your linens.  Do you wash your towel at home after every use or clean you sheets after sleeping in them once?  Then don't do this at hotels either!
  3. Only eat take what you can eat from the breakfast buffets.  Eat with your mouth and not your eyes!
  4. Don't turn on the water full-blast.  If the hotel does not use low-flow faucets and showerheads, put in a suggestion asking them to do so.
  5. Turn off the lights in the room when you leave.  This one always makes me think of my dad!
  6. Unplug anything that is not in use to save on phantom energy.
  7. Put up the "Do Not Disturb" sign to allow housekeeping to skip your room and save on resources.
  8. Take a short shower.
  9. Ask about recycling bins.  Even if the hotel doesn't have them easily accessible, if you take them to the desk, many times old papers can be recycled.
  10. Keep your old toiletries.  Hotels must (by law) throw away shampoo bottles and soap with the safety seals broken.  Take them home and get the rest of your use out of them.

If everyone practiced green travel, we would save so many resources.  Please feel free to add your own in the comments!

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm Back! Computer Problem Solved

It's been a while since I've posted.  This is because my laptop bit the dust (or so I thought) a month ago.  A friend of mine who has a degree in computer engineering took my computer and brought it back to me good as new.  I'm not going to get technical here, but after ordering and installing some new parts, I'm back online!


I hope all is well with everyone.  I've been doing a lot of reading the last month or so since I haven't had much internet access so I plan on posting some green book reviews over the next week.  I'm kind of on a reading streak so if anyone has any suggestions of any good books, please let me know!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Iowa State University Wins USGBC’s 2009 Excellence in Green Building Education Award

Here's a clip from an article I read about my alma mater, Iowa State University, making me proud by winning USGBC’s 2009 Excellence in Green Building Education Award.  Click on the link below the paragraph to continue to the site where the article was published!

"To create a sustainable built environment for the future, architects must understand how buildings can foster a holistic intersection of technological innovation, social equity and economic vitality. As a winner of USGBC’s 2009 Excellence in Green Building Education Award, the Bridge Studio at Iowa State University was recognized as an exceptional model of green building education in colleges and universities. The Bridge Studio immerses students from a range of design disciplines in integrated practice through affordable housing projects, while assessing a range of sustainable design issues...."

Read the rest of the article at USGBC Higher Education Update .

**Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user SD Dirk

Monday, January 18, 2010

Greener Emailing: Remind Your Recipients Not To Print Your Emails

green email tipsHello All! At work today I added something to the bottom of my email signature and I encourage you all to do the same. Here's what I added to the bottom of my email signature in small green print:

Please consider the environment and only print this email if needed!

I have bosses and know of collegues who automatically print off every single email they receive. It's such a waste because most of the emails are one-liners and don't require any further attention. This is a simple reminding statement reminding people who I email that they can help conserve by printing less!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Check Out Another Great Green Home Site!

Lindsey at Green Home Improvement has pointed out a great site that I think most of you readers would find helpful. Please check it out, and I'm also including a snippet of an article from her site. Click on the link below it to read the full article. Thanks for the great site, Lindsey!

From Green Home Improvement :

"Saving Energy At Home"
"I've learned about a lot of big and small things you can do to save energy in the home. I've managed to do all the small stuff, and if it weren't for the fact that I rent my home, I'd have already delved into the bigger stuff. Here's a start...
The small stuff:
CFL Lightbulbs--When your next light burns out, replace it with a CFL (don't replace it before it burns out, as replacing when unnecessary is a huge waste of energy). Compact Fluorescent Lamps will cost more, but last WAY longer, and use up less electricity.
Life unplugged--Unplug appliances when you're not using them, including laptops once they've charged. Just plugged-in cords drain electricity...."

Read the rest at http://greenhomeimprovement.com/ideas/saving-energy-at


Thanks again for the blog suggestion, Lindsey. Your blog has been added to our blogroll on the sidebar. Be sure check out this site periodically!

Friday, January 1, 2010

12 Green New Year's Resolutions

green new years resolutionsHere's a list of 12 green New Year resolutions:

  1. Plant trees or plan another landscaping project
  2. Eat locally grown or produced foods and beverages
  3. Start composting
  4. Help out an existing or start a new cause or awareness website or group
  5. Start taking public transportation, biking, or walking more
  6. Turn off lights that aren't being used and switch to CFL's
  7. Taking time to enjoy nature
  8. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth - you should be doing this anyway!
  9. Start a recycling program at work
  10. Start using reusable grocery bags
  11. Adopt a section of highway or park to keep clean
  12. Switch to green cleaning products

There are many more ideas out there. Feel free to leave a comment with yours! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! I am thankful all of you I've had the pleasure of meeting through this blog over the last year!

**image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons