reduce

How to Become a Reusable Bag Ninja

Like most people, I have reusable bags for grocery shopping. But! I usually forget them at home when I go to the food store. I also wasn’t bringing my bags along when I went to the mall or the thrift store or anywhere else. I had oodles of plastic bags under my kitchen sink, and I never seemed to reuse them at the same pace I was acquiring them.

Kill-A-Watt

Have you checked out a ComEd Kill-A-Watt power meter from the library yet? Take this device home to see how much electricity your appliances or electronics are using. I was surprised to learn that lots of things still draw electricity even when they’re turned off. You can place a Kill-A-Watt on hold through the online catalog. Note that a $10 deposit is required when checking out a Kill-A-Watt.

Wishing for a Green Christmas

We’ve all done it: filled a big black trash bag with wrapping paper, boxes, ribbon and bows. Instead of buying paper and stick-on bows, wrap your Christmas gifts in brown grocery bags (no one will know!) and tie them up with leftover ribbon or fabric strips from craft projects, old clothes… whatever you can get your hands on.

Drive Green: Part Deux

Yesterday we talked about how to find the shortest distance between two (three, four, five…) points in order to reduce gasoline consumption. Today I want to share a few simple ways to optimize your car’s performance to reduce that consumption even further.

Drive Green

I have a terrible sense of direction. I mean, really terrible. I use my GPS to get just about everywhere, but I recently discovered a new tool that has saved me lots of time and gas money: online trip planners. You can type in each address you need to visit and it automatically finds the most efficient route. In this season of errands and shopping, a trip planner can save you lots of time and CO2 emissions.

Green Thanksgiving

Have you ever noticed how many more bags of trash leave your front door during the holidays? Start reducing the amount of trash you produce this Thanksgiving with small steps: trade cans of soda for large bottles, use real china and silver instead of disposables and pull out cloth napkins instead of paper (no, you don’t have to iron them). Instead of buying flowers for a centerpiece, scatter some leaves from the front yard down the center of the table and cut holes in the tops of apples for tealights. Easy!

Playing with Numbers

I am terrible at math, but I love energy calculators! I plug in the numbers and they do all the hard work. When’s the last time you used a carbon footprint calculator?

The Three... no, Four! R's

We all know the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. What is the fourth R? Rebuy! Whether you’re in the market to remodel your home or just buy a roll of paper towels, consider seeking out items that are made with recycled content. Items made with recycled content save energy and conserve natural resources.

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