"SUGGESTIONS FOR GREENER LIVING"
Office of Sustainability Santa Clara University Spring 2009 Compiled by Jenny Gore, Sustainability Intern SustainabilityIntern@scu.edu http://www.scu.edu/sustainability SUGGESTIONS FOR GREE NER LIVING WATER CONSERVATION In the house Easy Turn off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth, washing your face, or shaving. Drink tap water, not bottled. Take shorter showers. A standard shower head uses about 5-7 gallons of water per minute. Wash only full loads in your clothes washer and dishwasher. Medium Check to make sure there are no water leaks in your household and fix any leaky appliances! Fill a bottle or plastic bag with gravel and put it in your toilet tank to lessen the volume of water used with each flush. Install a low-flow showerhead, which uses 1.5-2.5 gallons per minute. An easy way to cut your water use (and bill!) by 50-80%. Seriously green Install low-flow aerators to all sink faucets. Aerators work by mixing air into the water stream to maintain steady water pressure. Replace an old toilet with a new one. Toilets made before 1993 use anywhere from 3.5 to 8 gallons per flush, while new, high efficiency toilets are mandated to use 1.6 gallons per flush or less. The older your toilet is, the more water it uses. Update your appliances (dishwashers, clothes washer and dryer). New, energy-efficient models conserve water and energy. Some machines even have features that allow you to adjust the settings based on load size. Look for the Energy Star rating to save energy and water. In the garden Easy Water only what your plants need and maintain your irrigation system. Water early in the day to avoid higher speeds of evaporation that occur later, in the heat of the day. Use a broom to sweep of patios, driveways, and sidewalks instead of the hose. Medium Apply a layer of mulch over the soil of your flowers, plants, and vegetables. This helps seal in and retain moisture, preserve soil’s nutrient content, and keep weeds at bay. Seriously green Pick native plants that will thrive in our geographical climate or drought resistant varieties when making landscaping decisions. 1 Resources http://www.h2ouse.org/. Developed by the California Urban Water Conservation Council, provides tips for decreasing water use around the house. http://www.valleywater.org/. The Santa Clara Valley Water District’s website offers tips and information about rebates you may qualify for by purchasing more water efficient appliances. http://www.americanwater.com/49ways.htm. Ways to save water indoors and outdoors. ENERGY AND RESOURCE CONSERVATION Easy Replace your most frequently used fixtures (or all of them!) with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). They provide high-quality light output, use less energy and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs, saving you time and money. Always turn off the light when you leave a room! You can save about 10% on your electricity bill by slightly altering the temperature in your home. In the winter, lower your thermostat by two degrees. In the summer, raise it by two degrees. Let the sun heat your home by opening your drapes during the day. Retain that heat at night by closing them. Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 F, which provides comfortably hot water for most purposes. Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37 to 40 F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5 F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0 F. Wash your clothes in cold water using high-efficiency cold water detergents whenever possible. Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation. Turn off your computer, printer, and fax machine when not in use. Change your computer settings to switch to sleep mode after a certain period of inactivity. Screen savers do not save energy! Unplug appliances when you’re not using them—they’re still using energy (phantom loads). Medium Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment isn’t in use. Routinely clean or replace furnace filters for more effective heating. Use an interior fan in conjunction with your air conditioner to spread cooled air more effectively throughout your home without greatly increasing your power use. Regularly defrost freezers—buildup should not exceed more than ¼ inch. Frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Air-dry clothes on clothing lines or drying racks. Periodically inspect your dryer vent to make sure it’s not blocked. 2 Seriously green Check your home’s insulation to ensure protection from outside hot or cold temperatures, air leaks, and moisture control. Invest in proper insulation in your attic, one of the most cost effective ways to make your home more comfortable year round. Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating or cooling equipment. Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. Replace any single pane windows with double-paned, high performance glass windows. Purchase Smart power strips, which can sense appliance inactivity and will automatically shut off during off-periods. Use green, sustainable, and biodegradable materials when building and renovating (think non-toxic paints, recycled tiles and plywood, bamboo flooring). Ask your local hardware and home improvement stores to carry environmentally friendly products if they don’t already. Install solar panels on your roof. Resources http://www.energysavers.gov/. This site is a great starting point for energy savings tips in all areas of your home. Download the ―Energy Savers Booklet‖ for ideas on how to start reducing energy bills. http://www.greenhomeguide.org/guide_for_green_renovation/. The US Green Building Council provides resources for greening any home, from the basics to local contractors offering LEED certification. http://www.thestreet.com/story/10403138/how-to-save-with-green-renovation.html. An article from The Street, detailing the green renovation trend and why you should consider going green for your next project. http://www.edrsc.com/. Located in Santa Cruz, Eco Design Resources provides resource-efficient building materials. Also: http://www.environmentalproducts-design.com/ Environmental Products and Design. A South San Francisco store and showroom for environmentally friendly building materials. http://www.builditgreen.org/. A nonprofit organization whose mission it is to promote healthy, energy-and resource-efficient building practices in the California. http://www.bioshieldpaint.com/ Environmentally friendy, non-toxic paints. CLIMATE CHANGE Easy Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking) wastes gas and lowers your mileage. Avoid speeds above 60 mph, which decrease your gas mileage. Don’t let your car idle—it gets you 0 miles per gallon! Combine errands into one trip. Calculate your carbon footprint! Visit http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx. Medium Utilize public transportation or bike! Check into telecommuting or set up a carpool with other employees. Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to improve mileage. Replace clogged air filters to improve gas mileage by as much as 10% and protect your engine. 3 Seriously green Consider buying a fuel-efficient vehicle or hybrid, or better yet, reorganize your life so you can get by with 1 or no car. Purchase carbon offsets to reduce your carbon footprint next time you fly or travel. Lobby your representatives to support legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Resources http://www.fueleconomy.gov. A government website that provides information about fuel-efficient cars. http://511.org/. This site has current Bay Area transportation information, provides a RideMatch service, a public transit trip planner, and much more! WASTE REDUCTION Easy Use reusable water bottles and thermoses when you need a beverage on the go. Print or copy only when it’s necessary to reduce paper use. Make sure to use both sides of the sheet! Opt out of receipts when you have a choice (at the ATM, gas station, etc). Bring your lunch to school or work in a reusable lunchbox or Tupperware. You’ll save money you would’ve spent eating out, plus cut down on waste from plastic baggies and paper bags. Before you buy something, ask yourself ―Do I really need this?‖ Bring reusable bags with you to the store. Decline plastic bags! Recycle! Know your local recycling policies and procedures. Avoid small packages. Properly dispose of your e-waste and hazardous waste. Medium Refill old ink cartridges instead of buying new ones. Styrofoam is toxic to manufacture and cannot be recycled. Avoid purchasing any Styrofoam for mailing purposes and re-use any packaging you receive. Buy in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging. Compost! (see garden section below) Buy used items (books, toys, clothes, etc). Wash and reuse your plastic produce bags Buy electronics from companies that produce responsibly with regards to environmental and human health. Seriously green Avoid products that are not biodegradable or hazardous (plastics, batteries) – this is much harder than it sounds. Resources http://www.sccgov.org/portal/site/deh (E-waste disposal - click on Hazardous Materials Compliance Division). http://www.sjrecycles.org/. The City of San Jose Environmental Service site provides recycling information and instructions for local residents. http://www.loosefillpackaging.com/search/default.asp. The Plastic Loose Fill Council developed a site for consumers to drop off collected peanuts for reuse at local mail and packaging centers. http://www.craigslist.com. Craigslist is a great way for individuals to connect to negotiate the buying and selling of used items—at great prices! 4 http://www.freecycle.org. Join the Freecycle community! http://www.etoxics.org/site/PageServer The Silicon Valley Toxics coalition: Information on e-waste recycling, and green electronics purchasing guide, HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS Easy Store bought cleaners and disinfectants contain harsh chemicals that contaminate water supplies. Look for non-toxic cleaning products in the store. Avoid using aerosol products. In addition to harming the environment, they fill your home with microscopic droplets of whatever is being sprayed, which remain suspended for hours and are easily inhaled. Store bought cleaners and disinfectants contain harsh chemicals that contaminate water supplies. Look for non-toxic cleaning products in the store. Medium Look for local ―green‖ dry cleaners that use earth friendly chemicals instead of the commonly used perchloroethylene (a known carcinogen) based cleaning solvents. Indoor plants like philodendrons and peace lilies absorb airborne pollutants, keeping the air you breathe clean and clear. Use chlorine-free dishwasher detergent. The chlorine in conventional detergents is vaporized by the heat from the dishwasher and released into your home’s air. Seriously green Make your own cleaning solutions. Visit http://www.care2.com/greenliving/make-your-ownnon-toxic-cleaning-kit.html for instructions on how to make a variety of cleaners, using supplies such as vinegar and baking soda. Resources www.eco-care.org/. A Bay Area, woman owned, and eco-friendly professional cleaning service for homes and businesses. http://www.ecologycenter.org/factsheets/cleaning.html. A collection of alternative cleaning recipes. FOOD & GARDEN Easy Buy local and organic! You’ll support local farmers and reduce carbon emissions resulting from food transportation. Consider Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) cooperatives that bring together local farmers and consumers or shop at your local Farmer’s Market. Be an informed consumer. Look at the stickers on your fruits and vegetables from the supermarket. A four-digit number means it’s conventionally grown, a five-digit number beginning with a 9 means it’s organic, and a five-digit number beginning with an 8 means it’s genetically modified. Look for free-range, grass-fed beef and organic dairy and egg products. Medium Avoid pesticides in the house and garden, and use only organic fertilizers, seeds, and amendments in the garden (also see section on water conservation). Select plants that support bees, butterflies, and birds. 5 Eat less red meat by substituting chicken or sustainably harvested seafood, it’s the fastest way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions Choose local restaurants over chains, they are more likely to operate sustainably Patronize those restaurants which source local, organic, and seasonal ingredients. Bring your own reusable take-out containers from home. Seriously green Grow your own organic food in the garden! Eat more vegetarian meals. Substitute tofu, tempeh, beans & legumes for meat dishes. Start a compost (if you’re feeling brave, try using worms!) For directions and information on how to find a system that will work for you, visit http://www.stopwaste.org/home/index.asp?page=441 . Resources: Organic garden supplies http://www.middlebrook-gardens.com/. Middlebrook Gardens is a native plant nursery. http://www.hiddenvilla.org/calendar.php. Hidden Villa has a native plant sale on Saturday, April 4 from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. http://www.growbetterveggies.com. Love Apple Farm sells tomato seedlings to the public and use biodynamic techniques to grow vegetables for the restaurants they sell to. www.yamagamisnursery.com. Yamagami Nursery in Cupertino offers lots of organic fertilizer options and a small native plant selection. http://www.almadenvalleynursery.com/site/. Almaden Valley Nursery has a section on organic planting mixes and fertilizers. Also has a variety of native and drought resistant plants. http://www.commongroundinpaloalto.org/index.htm. Common Ground Organic Garden Supply and Education Center offers organic seeds, fertilizers, resources, and educational opportunities. Resources: Community Supported Agriculture & farmers’ markets, food http://www.farmland.org/actioncenter/no-farms-no-food/farmersmarket.asp?gclid=CNDuurmwy5kCFRwwawoddD4vuQ. Take the ―Keep it Local‖ pledge on the American Farmland Trust website and learn how you can support the local farming community. http://www.openpermaculture.com/ba_csas.html. This site lists Bay Area regional CSAs. Choose one that’s close to your home and learn more! http://www.eatwiththeseasons.com/. More information about produce co-ops. http://www.cafarmersmarkets.com/find-market/index_html?county=Santa+Clara&submit=Go%21. A detailed list of Farmers’ Markets in Santa Clara County. www.calacademy.org/sustainable_future. A guide to sustainably harvested seafood. Resources: Alternatives to pesticides http://www.refusetousechemlawn.org/alternatives_to_pesticides. This site provides tips on how to maintain a healthy, beautiful lawn without using harmful pesticides. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/ipm.htm. The EPA’s fact sheet about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and environmentally friendly ideas on how to deal with pests. http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/pesticides/docs/SomeNaturalPesticideAlternative sEnglish.pdf/. The Sonora Environmental Research Institute in Tucson, Arizona, put together this .pdf guide entitled ―Some Natural Pesticide Alternatives: For the safety of you, your family and your pets.‖ 6 FOR CHILDREN Easy Slow down, use public transportation to go on trips (i.e. the Children’s Discovery Museum). Use the bike for short trips. Cook and bake with the children using whole and natural foods. Plant and tend some seeds (for example, sunflowers, peas, tomatoes) Use chlorine-free non-toxic disposable diapers and wipes (i.e. http://www.seventhgeneration.com/Diapers) Medium Avoid cheaply mass-produced plastic toys with a short life-span. Garden with the children. Talk to children about the role of the earth, seasons, plants, soil, and insects. Take the kids hiking, camping, kayaking, or bird-watching. Celebrate your children’s birthday with ―greener‖ parties. Ideas: use e-vites instead of paper invitations or make your own from recycled paper, make decorations instead of purchasing them and save for later reuse, asks guests to make a donation to a charity instead of buying presents, reuse wrapping paper or make your own from old catalogs/calendars, use reusable flatware and dishes, skip the party favors and do a craft instead, serve homemade cake and fresh fruit. Buy organic and/or used clothing and bedding. It is environmentally friendly and reduces your child’s exposure to toxic dyes and flame retardants. Seriously green Use cloth diapers instead of disposable plastic ones. Build and use a solar oven Craft toys yourself from wood, fabric, paper/carton, or wool. Set a good example yourself. Resources http://www.earth-baby.com/home.php. Visit Earth Baby, a compostable diaper service in the Bay Area. http://tinytots.com/. This Campbell business has a baby boutique as well as a cotton diaper service. http://www.naturemoms.com/blog/2007/06/13/eco-friendly-birthday-party/. A ―green mom‖ blog post about how to throw an eco-friendly birthday party. http://www.kiwimagonline.com/articles/kids-birthday-party-ideas.php. Green party theme ideas from Kiwi magazine. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/green-birthday-party-ideas-please.html# More green party ideas. http://www.toyskidslovenaturally.com/. The Treehouse in the Glen. A toy store in Willow Glen (San Jose) providing high-quality natural and imaginative toys, many of them local, many of them from Germany http://woodenhorsetoys.com/. A homegrown toy store located in Los Gatos. http://www.playstoretoys.com/. This Palo Alto store provides natural, wooden, and organic toys for creative and imaginative play. http://www.ahappyplanet.com/ A happy planet: Organic mattresses and bedding, store and showroom http://www.ecogoods.com/ Organic mattresses, bedding and clothing http://www.earthsake.com/ More organic mattresses, bedding and clothing 7 MORE INFORMATION Books 365 Ways to live Green: Your Everyday Guide to Saving the Environment, Diane Gow McDilda. 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth, the Earth Works Group. 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth, the Earth Works Group. 10 Things I can do to help my world, Melanie Walsh Earthways (Simple Enviromental Activities for young children, Carol Petrash Gorgeously Green 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life, Sophia Uliano A Hot Planet Needs Cool Kids: Understanding Climate Change and What You Can Do About it, Julie Hall and Sarah Lane. Earthways: Simple Environmental Activities for Young Children, Carol Petrash. Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home, Renne Loux. Go Green, Live Rich: 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth and Get Rich Trying, David Bach and Hillary Rosner. The little green handbook: Ron Nielsen Good Earth Art: Environmental Art for Kids, MaryAnn F. Kohl and Cindy Gainer. Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life, Sophia Uliano. Green Kids, Sage Families: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Your Organic Kids, Lynda Fassa and Vanessa Williams. Green Remodeling: Your Start Toward and Eco-Friendly Home, John D. Wagner. Green Up Your Cleanup (Green House), Jill Schoff. Growing Up Green: Baby and Child Care, Deirdre Imus. It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living, Cissy Trask. Journey for the Planet: A Kid’s Five Week Adventure to Create an Earth-Friendly Life, David Gershon. Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability, Greg Horn. Projects for a Healthy Planet: Simple Environmental Experiments for Kids, Shar Levine and Allison Grafton. Recycle Every Day! Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. Sufficient: A Modern Guide to Sustainable Living, Tom Petherick. Sustainable Living: For Home, Neighborhood, and Community, Mick Winter. Teaching Kids to Love the Earth, Marina Lachecki. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Living, Trish Riley. The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time, Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen. The Green Parent: A Kid Friendly-Guide to Environmentally Friendly Living, Jenn Savedge. You Can Save the Planet: 50 Ways You Can Make A Difference, Jacquie Wines. Early Spring (An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World), Amy Seidl The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, Laurie David and Cambria Gordon Planet Earth (25 Environmental Projects You Can Build Yourself), Kathleen Reilly Reducing and Recycling Waste, Carol Inskipp Recycled Crafts Box, Laura C. Martin The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Michael Pollard Cadillac Desert: Marc Reisner Silent Spring: Rachel Carson An Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore 8 Other websites http://www.thegreenguide.com/buying-guide. This is a site developed by National Geographic that provides ―green‖ shopping information on everything from paint to pet food to wine. http://www.green-living.com/. An online store specializing in earth friendly goods for the home. http://www.greenlivingtips.com/. A collection of tips in various categories. http://www.thedailygreen.com/. A consumer’s guide to the green revolution. http://www.sfbaywildlife.info/ Guide to discovering the wildlife of the SF Bay Area Local groups and activities Acterra, http://www.acterra.org/. nonprofit environmental organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area to shape sustainable communities and preserve natural resources through education, action, and advocacy. Upcoming events include:. Santa Clara Chapter of the Audubon Society, http://www.scvas.org/index.php, The second largest Audubon chapter in California. The SCVAS' mission is to maintain, preserve and protect native animal and plant habitats and foster greater public environmental awareness particularly in Santa Clara County and the bay area. The Sierra Club, http://www.sierraclub.org/, The Sierra Club's grassroots advocacy has made it America's most influential environmental organization. Founded in 1892, the organization is 700,000 members strong Bay Area Creek Restoration, http://www.ecologycenter.org/erc/creeks/creekreport.html See if any of these creeks near you need volunteers for restoration projects! California State Parks Foundation, http://www.calparks.org/programs/earth-day/ Save the date of April 29 for the 2009 Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup. Guadalupe River Park and Gardens, http://www.grpg.org/ Visit the park with your children or sign up for a volunteer work day. The Ecology Center, http://www.ecologycenter.org/factsheets/. Lots of links and resources for greener living. Focus is on the East Bay. Hidden Villa, http://www.hiddenvilla.org/ A nonprofit educational organization with an organic farm and acres of wilderness located off Moody Road and Fwy 280. Marine Science Institute, http://sfbaymsi.org/ Monterrey Bay Aquarium, http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/ Our City Forest, http://www.ourcityforest.org/ A San Jose organization working to help people make their communities better by creating forests in the city. Visit their site to check out a calendar of upcoming kids events. Ulistac Natural Area Park, http://www.scu.edu/cas/environmentalstudies/ulistac/index.cfm or http://santaclaraca.gov/park_recreation/pr_ulistac.html 9 A San Jose park with 40 acres of open space. Families are encouraged to enjoy native plants and ecology, bird watch, and enjoy the outdoors. Check the Calendar for Wildzone Family Play days on the last Saturday of each month. Wild Zones are places where adults, children and adolescents can co-create a new form of public space that is dedicated to unstructured free play in nature. Wild Zones differ from parks and nature reserves because they offer opportunities to alter the environment rather than leaving it untouched: build dens, forts and treehouses, make new pathways, play around with water and mud, create sculptures from natural materials, invent games, and many other kinds of free play. Ano Nuevo State National Reserve, http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=523 Visit this elephant seal breeding colony. California Academy of Science in San Francisco, www.calacademy.org. They have part of their exhibit dedicated to carbon footprint and sustainability Youth Science Institute, http://www.ysi-ca.org/, A natural science museum serving Santa Clara County in Northern California with three sites, YSI has focused on the delicate interrelationship of people with the natural world Upcoming Events: http://www.calparks.org/programs/earth-day/, Earth Day 2009 Restoration & Cleanup, April 25, 2009 http://events.mercurynews.com/redwood-city-ca/events/show/86342386-earth-day-on-the-bay-2009 Earth Day on the Bay 2009 at Marine Science Institute, Redwood City, CA Saturday, Apr 18 Hidden Villa Native plant sale on April 4th. Acterra (www.acterra.org ): April 4th: Revegetate San Francisquito Creek, April 4: Native Plant Sale, April 7 & 14 Green@Home volunteer training, April 19th native garden tour, April 21 Restoration Day at the Pearson Arastradero Reserve Visit the Marine Science Institute on April 18 to celebrate Earth Day on the Bay. Green Building/Construction for Health, April 22nd, Presentation at the Willow Glen (San Jose) Library, http://www.downtownwillowglen.org/eventinfo.php?eventid=6632 Ulistac Wildflower Celebration, April 19th, Ulistac Natural Area www.scu.edu/envs/ulistac Guided tours, native plant gardening demonstrations, activities for children of all ages. More Earth Day Celebrations in Santa Clara County: http://www.scvas.org/pdf/EarthDayEvents_09.pdf 10