News Blog

  • Tuesday, September 22, 2015 10:02 AM | Anonymous
    • Insulate and seal your home. Reduce drafts and air leaks with caulk, insulation, and weather stripping. Many states offer programs and incentives to facilitate this.
    • Appliances. Make energy efficiency a primary consideration when choosing a new furnace, air conditioning unit, dishwasher, or refrigerator. Products bearing the ENERGY STAR label are recognized for having superior efficiency.
    • Lighting. Turn off lights you’re not using and when you leave the room. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED ones.
    • Thermostat. Don’t set it too high or low. Install a programmable model to turn off the heat/air conditioning when you’re not home.
    • Solar. Add solar panels to the roof of your home. This costs a little more than the above options, but many providers offer financing options which minimize upfront costs. Two examples are SolarCityand SunRun. If you live in a state with a Net Metering law, you could eliminate your electricity bill or even earn money by selling electricity back to the grid.


  • Tuesday, September 15, 2015 9:48 AM | Anonymous
    • General. Until petroleum-based aviation fuel is replaced, you should avoid flying when possible, fly less frequently, fly shorter distances, and fly economy class.
    • Leisure Air Travel. Take fewer and longer vacations that are far away, and more frequent and driveable “staycations” closer to home.
    • Work Air Travel. Increase your use of video-conferencing tools like Skype and Facetime.
    • What class? Economy class is best, for the same reasons as carpooling and public transportation. Each flyer’s share of a flight’s carbon emissions is relatively less because it’s spread out over more people.
    • That’s Economy class. When Price William flies economy class, he’s leading by example. Then there’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud, or the Sultan of Brunei, who buy entire economy-size planes and convert them into flying palaces.
    • Don’t fly on private jets. Fly first or business class if you must, because at least those seats always fill up anyway, and avoid private jets, including services like NetJets and XOJET.
    • Don’t buy a Honda. HondaJet, that is. Their cars are fine, though.
    • Don’t be a space tourist. Watch NOVΛ on PBS instead. Richard Branson’s “spaceline” Virgin Galactic seeks to right the injustice that “most of our planet’s seven billion people have had no opportunity to experience space” and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin promises “life-changing views” of what’s left of our planet.


  • Wednesday, September 09, 2015 2:17 PM | Anonymous
    • Alternatives to driving. When possible, walk or ride your bike in order to avoid carbon emissions completely. Carpooling and public transportation drastically reduce CO2 emissions by spreading them out over many riders.
    • Drive a low carbon vehicle. High mileage doesn’t always mean low CO2 emissions. All vehicles have an estimated miles-per-gallon rating. Electric cars emit no CO2 if they’re charged with clean electricity. If you don’t charge it with your home’s solar panels AND live somewhere like WY, MO, MO, WV, or KY you’re BETTER OFF with a hybrid or high-mileage gas/diesel car. Here’s why. After incentives and gas savings, it essentially costs nothing to switch to an electric car like the Nissan Leaf.
    • Get a hitch-mounted cargo rack. Don’t buy a minivan or SUV if you don’t need 4WD and/or will only occasionally need the extra space. A receiver hitch and a rack like this one only cost a few hundred bucks. Avoid roof-top boxes, which cost much more, increase aerodynamic drag, and decrease fuel economy.
    • Driving style. Speeding and unnecessary acceleration reduce mileage by up to 33%, waste gas and money, and increase your carbon footprint.
    • Tire inflation and other tuning. Properly inflated tires improve your gas mileage by up to 3%. It also helps to use the correct grade of motor oil, and to keep your engine tuned, because some maintenance fixes, like fixing faulty oxygen sensors, can increase fuel efficiency by up to 40%.
    • Avoid traffic. Being stuck in traffic wastes gas and unnecessarily creates CO2. Use traffic websites and apps and go a different way or wait.
    • Misc. Combine errands to make fewer trips. Remove excess weight from your car. Use cruise control.


  • Tuesday, September 01, 2015 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    Kids spend a big chunk of their days inside a school, so it's critical that the school environment:

    • has good indoor air quality

    •  does not expose kids to toxic chemicals

    •  serves healthy food

    •  allows for recess and physical education, and generally promotes health and well-being.  

    Be part of the solution – take action this school year! Follow the ideas here and the steps in our Parent Toolkit to make sure your school is healthy, safe, and sustainable.

    1.  Check the Health and Sustainability of your School

    One in five people in the U.S. – 55 million children, teachers, administrators, janitors, and nurses – spend their days in K-12 schools.  A growing body of research shows that a poor environment at school is detrimental to children’s health and learning. Yet, the U.S. Environmental Protection agency estimates that the environmental conditions in as many as half of all schools is unhealthy.

    Check the health, safety, and sustainability of your school using the following helpful checklists and tools:

    • Healthy Schools Network - tips on how to get started

    • Take the Green Schools Quiz - Find out how green your school is with our online quiz. If you score 31 or higher you may be eligible to be part of our Green Schools Honor Roll. 

    • Green Cleaners – Use our Green Cleaning Toolkit to get your school to switch to non-toxic cleaners to improve indoor air quality and reduce asthma and absenteeism. 

    • Indoor Air Quality App - There’s an App for That from US EPA: a mobile app to assess the indoor air quality at schools and provides access to their Indoor Air Tools for Schools Action Kit. The tool will help identify and prioritize IAQ improvements district wide.   

    • What is a “green school” – Check out our "Little Green Schoolhouse" graphic that shows the 4 key elements of a green school built on the foundation of the Precautionary Principle (Download the graphic as a PDF).



  • Tuesday, August 25, 2015 9:53 AM | Anonymous

    Organic food is a great choice for our health and the health of the environment. The following tips can help you build your organic food pantry at home:

    1. Find a farm, farmers market, or join a CSA

    Purchasing food that is both local and organic is ideal. Ask friends, family members, and co-workers for referrals to green markets or CSAs in your area. You can also search Local Harvest to find local—and organic—food near you.

    2. Ask Questions

    Whether you are buying your food directly from the farmer or at your supermarket, do not be afraid to ask questions. Inquiring about whether products are certified organic, grown using organic methods, or produced locally shows farmers and store managers that these issues are important to you.

    3. Read food labels

    When seeking out organic food, read food labels. Packaged foods are often clearly marked with a certified organic seal. 



  • Tuesday, August 18, 2015 2:55 PM | Anonymous

    Your refrigerator may be the largest electricity consumer in your home. Considering that nationally, electricity costs on average 10¢ per kilowatt hour, all but the newest, most efficient refrigerators will take about $100 to $150 out of your pocket annually to operate. From an energy standpoint, you can conserve the most simply by replacing your existing refrigerator or freezer with a new model. And if your fridge is 15 years old or older, it may be so inefficient that a new one would pay for itself in energy savings in just a few years. But because refrigerators are so expensive and your old one is no doubt still operating, buying a new one may not be a possibility. Yet is still possible to reduce large electricity bills, and all you need to spend is a little time and effort. Here are a few tips on how to reduce your refrigerator energy consumption:

    Clean the Condenser Coils

    When the condenser coils become caked with dust and dirt, the buildup acts as an insulator preventing adequate heat transfer between the coils and the room air. Unplug the refrigerator and dust or vacuum these coils (usually located on the back of the refrigerator or behind the front grill) as dirt accumulates.

    Check the Door Seals

    Put a dollar bill in the door as you close it; if it is not held firmly in place, the seals are probably defective. With newer magnetic door seals, this test may not work. Instead, darken the room and put a bright 150-watt flood lamp inside the refrigerator and direct the light toward a section of the door seal. Move the light around the perimeter of the seal; use a mirror to check the seal at the bottom of the door. If light seeps through, contact your dealer in order to replace the seals.



  • Tuesday, August 11, 2015 2:18 PM | Anonymous

    College is actually a great time for you to start implementing green living habits. Whether you're participating in a campus recycling program or practicing conservation in your dorm room , there are lots of ways students can be environmentally friendly. Because you have an education, a job, and a social life to maintain, we've compiled a list of the quickest and easiest ways you can be good to the planet from campus.



    The University of Maryland estimated that 34 percent of its total greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 were from transportation. Evidently, students who live off campus and drive to and from class several times throughout the day are making a huge environmental impact. Shuttle buses, carpools, and bicycles are all great alternatives to single-driver cars. If you live on campus, however, make sure you keep your car parked and walk or bike to class instead.


    Breaking down wood fiber to make paper consumes a lot of energy, which usually comes from coal plants. Therefore, the production of brand new textbooks contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. New textbooks also cost an arm and a leg! If some of your courses don't require a new edition, take advantage of used bookstores or websites that specialize in used textbooks, such as Half.Com or Amazon's textbook department. Both of these sites also offer easy-to-use options for selling back your old textbooks. Don't forget to borrow, trade, and sell textbooks among friends and acquaintances as well.

    Read more... 


  • Tuesday, July 07, 2015 10:19 AM | Anonymous

    Aside from recycling, upcycling and downcycling, plastic milk jugs can be repurposed at home for a multitude of uses. Here’s a few ideas:

    • Fly traps. Small flaps are cut in the side of the milk jug towards the top and bent outwards far enough to allow space for flies to crawl in. Water is placed in the bottom of the jug along with a smelly piece of bait, such as a small piece of rotting meat. The jug is then hung in a tree.  The flies are drawn by the smell, enter the bottle but cannot get out. When they tire, they drop into the pool and drown. The decaying flies then draw more flies.
    • As a scoop. Place the milk jug on a flat surface with the handle side up and cut from just forward of the handle on a diagonal down to the base.
    • As a funnel. Simply cut off the base of the milk jug and use inverted.
    • Seed punnets. Cut a few inches from the base and poke a couple of holes in the base for drainage. Fill with potting mix or your preferred growth medium.
    • Cut off the top and use the remainder as a kitchen bench top tidy or as a bin for collecting food scraps for use in your compost pile or worm farm.
    • Use for storing dry grains such as rice and beans or even bird seed. The handle and spout makes for easy pouring.
    • Cut off the bottom and use the top section as mini-greenhouse for seedlings.
    • Fill with water and sand and use as weights to stop tarps from flying away in the wind, or as a doorstop.
    • Fill 2/3 with water and freeze to use as freezer blocks for your icebox.
    • Use for storing old motor oil until you can dispose of the oil properly.
    • Cut off the bottom and use as a pet food or water bowl.

    Of course, don’t forget to give the plastic milk jug a good rinse first before repurposing – water and baking soda will do the trick – and allow to dry thoroughly.



  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015 10:00 AM | Anonymous


    • Designate a water efficiency coordinator.
    • Develop a mission statement and a plan.
    • Educate and involve employees in water efficiency efforts.


    • Install ultra-low flow toilets, or adjust flush valves or install dams on existing toilets.
    • Install faucet aerators and high efficiency showerheads.
    • Use water-conserving ice makers.
    • As appliances and equipment wear out, replace them with water-saving models.
    • Eliminate "once-through" cooling of equipment with municipal water by recycling water flow to cooling tower or replacing with air-cooled equipment.


    • Detect and repair all leaks.
    • Minimize the water used in cooling equipment in accordance with manufacturers recommendations. Shut off cooling units when not needed.


    Source:  EPA.Gov

  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    The outdoor porch or post lamp is one of the highest used light fixtures in a home and is a perfect place to install ENERGY STAR® lighting products. Many compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) will easily fit into existing porch lights.

    Source:  Energy.Gov

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