Green Living and Sustainability Resources
Climate change, carbon footprints, renewable energy – just a few of the hot topics surrounding our complex ecology. Here is information that you can use to make your life more efficient and more eco-friendly. At the end of this list are some links that can enlighten and inspire you to learn more about living a more sustainable and "green" life.
- Use fluorescent light bulbs. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program, CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescents and last 10 times longer.
- Keep your car in excellent condition. Of course, it's best to walk, bicycle, carpool or use mass transit for your daily commuting, but for those who must use their own vehicles, improving even the most inefficient of cars' fuel mileage is as easy as keeping your tires properly inflated and changing your oil and air filters regularly. And follow traffic laws – your car burns less fuel when you drive slowly and obey the speed limit on highways.
- Make sure your dishwasher and clothes washer and dryer are full before using them. Major appliances consume large amounts of energy, so reduce their use as much as possible by only running them with full loads. If you're in the market for new appliances or other electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR label to purchase the most energy efficient models available.
- Wash clothes in cold water and line dry. Using cold water rather than hot in the washer saves electricity and works just as well as hot with most clothes. Line drying not only is more environmentally friendly, but it also will keep clothes from shrinking and fading.
- Shut down and unplug idle electronics. Your computer might be asleep, but if there's a light on, it's still using energy. Turn off and unplug your computer, printer, television, radio — any electronic device that you're not using.
- Skip the bottled water. Sure, water is good for you, but the process of harvesting the raw materials, processing and manufacturing the petroleum-based plastic water bottles and shipping them to market is extremely energy intensive. So filter your own water and fill up your own reusable bottles for water on-the-go.
- Supply your own bags and leftover containers. If you're headed to a restaurant that you know serves king-sized portions, bring a small resealable container along to take home the leftovers, and keep one fewer Styrofoam container from the landfill pile. Going to the supermarket? Opt out of the paper/plastic debate and bring your own canvas tote bags.
- Buy items with less packaging, and with packaging that your community recycles. It's convenient to buy snack crackers already divided into even, individual portions in plastic bags, but that creates much more waste packaging than just buying the full box.
- Support local farmers. Food grown or produced halfway around the world didn't just appear in the supermarket – it was shipped by plane, boat, truck or rail, and no matter which method of transportation it took, greenhouse gases were emitted along the way. Pick the apple grown in your state instead of the banana grown in another country.
- Plant a tree in your backyard. It seems simple, but just one tree can offset tons of carbon over its lifetime. If planted appropriately, it also will provide shade on a sunny day, perhaps reducing the use of energy for air-conditioning in buildings and homes.
- Try used products first. Need a couch? Check newspaper classifieds or craigslist.com to see if you can find an acceptable used option before going to a showroom to buy a new one, which will have required both energy and materials to make and ship.
- Ask about green power. Many utility companies offer renewable energy options, which is power generated by wind or solar energy.
Simple solutions to today's most pressing environmental issue, climate change.
Are LED Lightbulbs Worth the Investment?
Learn about the shift to this new technology.
State of California - Green California
The state of California's environmental page with links to resources that can inform and educate.
National Geographic's Environment Site
Since 1888, inspiring people to care of the planet.
Global Green USA
Advocating for smart solutions to global warming including green building for affordable housing, schools, cities and communities that save money, improve health and create green jobs.
A non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Yes, you can be green right up until the end!
All links are presented here for information purposes only. They should not be construed as solicitations or endorsements by First Entertainment Credit Union.