What do you do to be green?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by leighbball, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jun 1, 2009

    Just curious what others out there are doing to help the environment and save money :)

    We use the canvas bags when we go grocery shopping so we don't use the paper or plastic bags and we get money off our bill! (hey, I'll take $0.05 a bag! It adds up!)

    We have a programmable thermostat on our wedding registry :)

    What do you do? (I need to find some more ideas- my list looks sad!)
     
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  3. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Turn off your computer at night and unplug it - I've been doing this for a month now and I'm very proud! Unplug anything electrical that you don't use often.
     
  4. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Bike instead of drive to the tune of about 6000 miles a year.

    Use and electric lawn mower.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Compact fluorescent lights rather than incandescent throughout the house (and it's been that way for fifteen years; fluorescents work remarkably well in ceiling fans).
     
  6. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Oh yes, tg! We have all CFL light bulbs except in the ceiling fan- gotta do that still.

    Wow Sarge...thats impressive! :)
     
  7. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    We do not use any paper products--no paper towels, paper plates, or paper cups. We have also recently stopped using plastic wrap and ziploc bags. We now use washable containers to bring our lunches.
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Chemteach-I'm impressed! I admit, I can't live without paper towels. Ok, I say I can't live, I can, but I don't want to! I'm better with paper plates. I just don't buy them, so I don't use them. If they are in the house, I will use them though.

    What do you all think of all the new products, like recycled aluminum foil and paper towels? Are they really helpful, or is it a gimmick to get me to buy?
     
  9. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I'm trying to get better about being green. We recycle EVERYTHING. I have more recycling each week than trash! I try to keep the lights off as long as possible in the evenings. I need to get better about our computers. We do really well with our water use, and I think we do well with our electricity.

    I'm filling out paperwork this week to get Sprout certified 'green' in our county, so I'll have more ideas then. We're entirely green on that front, which I'm very proud of.
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I also try to be green, but I think it is important to know what is really and truly "green."

    I just read an article that argued that a Hummer was more "green" than a Prius. The argument - a Prius might be more fuel-efficient and emit fewer gases into the air, but a Hummer would last longer. Therefore, in 15 years, there will be far more Priuses sitting in landfills than Hummers.

    The same goes for turning on and off computers, tvs, etc. For some models, shutting them down everyday can quickly deteriorate a computer, making it ready for a landfill much sooner than if it is only shut down once or twice a week. We are seeing this problem in school now that we have started auto shut downs every night.

    Many argue that the trees used for paper are replanted and revitalize the ecosystem. Generally, trees used for paper are not contributing to deforestation.

    I don't know what the right answer is in any of these scenarios, but I am careful not to buy up the first "recycled, good for the earth" product I see. For good or bad, people are making money off of others' desires to be green. I just think it is important to understand every aspect of what makes a product green.
     
  11. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    We also stopped getting the newspaper delivered. We figured with at least 20 news channels and the internet, getting a paper everyday was a waste. It is hard for us to recycle since there is no formal program in our parish. We are able to recycle cans--we go through about 20 cases of Diet Coke per month (I know that is way too much but I have not figured out a way to do without it) and we save the cans for an elderly gentleman who comes to my house to pick up the cans. We also try to limit our trash output. We are in a rural area that has very large dumping cans. We put out about a half a can per week for 5 people. Most of my neighbors puts out 2 full cans for 2-3 people.
     
  12. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    We recycle what we can. I wish our pick up was every other week than once a month. Luckily the next little town has a "big" bin that we take our stuff too. When we don't finish our water from out "overnite" cups we dump it in our plants. I try not to turn lights on during the day. We do have CFL lights, but we don't turn them on too often (mostly in the winter or rainy days). Try not to mow too often (luckily haven't had too). Try to make our trips out consist of most of our stops instead of making a ton of trips back & forth. Print on both sides of the paper & use the draft mode when printing.
     
  13. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I unplug anything I see sitting around not in use.
    We don't use paper plates and keep our paper towel use to a minimun.
    We don't use paper napkins.
    We have a high efficiency water softener and washer and dryer.
    We take the bus to work.
     
  14. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    We do the following:

    1. Use canvas re-usable bags to shop
    2. Use the energy effecient light bulbs
    3. Recycle bottles, and other items
    4. Buy recycled things when we can
    5. Turn off lights/unplug things when we aren't using them or in the room

    I'd like to do more, when we move into our own place. But that's what we do for now. :)
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I really wish more towns would get with the program and pick up recycling. We recycle, but we have to haul it off every so often. I was visiting another town a couple years ago and saw they had their recyclables out in a separate container by their trash. I'm sure this is common in many towns and regions, but it was new to me. It should be commonplace!
     
  16. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    We have this, but they only pick up once a month. We recycle more than we put in the garbage. I wish our recycle bin was as big as our garbage dumpster, instead the size of rubber maid large tub. I usually put the recycle & a rubbermaid tub out!!!
     
  17. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    We have just started recycling capri sun and kool aid pouches and frito-lays snack chip bags through TerraCycle. We get 2 cents per pouch and bag! We are going to try to get set up with the bottle recycling, too, since we go through a lot of bottles at school.
     
  18. melnm

    melnm Companion

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    Me too! We live in a city right now that picks up recycling every week with our trash. We will be moving to a small town soon though and I really doubt that they will have recycling pick-up available. Hopefully I can at least find a place to drop it off.
     
  19. Sarah5483

    Sarah5483 Companion

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    Jun 2, 2009

    This is what we do (or don't do):
    *Recycle
    *Don't use plastic baggies in our lunch - we have lunch boxes and we use reusable plastic containers - they have sandwich size containers!
    *We keep a Brita in the fridge and fill up our Sigg water bottles to use instead of bottled water
    *Use old washcloths for cleaning, not paper towels (although we still use napkins during dinner...)
    *Of course the energy saving lightbulbs...
    *unplug my hair dryer (among other things). It is apparently a huge zapper of energy while plugged in, even when not in use!
    *Keep our air not so cold in summer and our heat not so hot in winter
    *shorter showers
    *canvas bags while shopping
    *Don't get receipts while getting gas
    *carpool to work
    That's all I can think of!
     
  20. MissJennifer

    MissJennifer Companion

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    I can't imagine living where there wasn't recycling. In our town, people recycle more than they trash! Garbage service includes recycling - that's picked up weekly. Only yard waste isn't picked up weekly (bi-weekly) - but a lot of people here use that for composting in their yards. Gotta love living in hippie-ville! :)

    We recycle everything we can, use the CFL lightbulbs, have Nalgene water bottles that we take with us and refill as needed throughout the day. I'm slowly switching us over to cloth napkins, although we've got a huge package of paper napkins that we're using up - although I might just take those to school! We could be better about unplugging things when they're not in use! I walk home from work daily - and to work occasionally (we usually leave at the same time, so hubby will drop me off those days). We buy local products as much as possible, use reusable bags at the grocery store - I LOVE this time of year, when I can get our produce fresh from the farmer's market! YUM!! We've even talked about buying shares in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm for our "box of produce" weekly - but not sure it's economical at this point for the 2 of us. So for now it's farmer's markets! :)
     
  21. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    You guys have a lot of great ideas!

    We also recycle :) I live in a condo and we have a trash dumpster, a paper recycling dumpster, and a bunch of bins for plastic and glass recycling.

    My parents and my sister have the Recycle Bank program in their towns where you can put all of the recycling in one container and they scan your can before its dumped and you earn rewards for the amount you recycle. I think thats really cool.

    I didn't know about the hairdryer! And I need to be better about unplugging the laptops at night...
     

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