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Go Green; Save Green

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					In the current economic climate, it seems as if everyone is looking for ways to save a
little more money. While many people think that "Going Green" means spending
more, it really doesn't have to be that way. In fact, if you think about it, some of the
"Greenest" activities that you can undertake are free or lower cost than their
alternatives. So, consider some of the many ways that you can cut back on your
budget while simultaneously improving the positive impact you make on the world.

We're going to focus today on the first two sentiments of the classic environmentalist
call to action: Reduce; Reuse; Recycle. It's an oldie-but-goodie when it comes to
being green and saving green.

REDUCE
One of the biggest impacts you can make on the Earth is to reduce the number of
items you consume on a daily basis.

First, drive less. It is quite fashionable today to drive less, given the $3+
cost-per-gallon of gas. To support this economical and Earth-friendly practice, look
for easy ways to cut back on your gas bills by taking public transportation if it's
available. Carpooling is a great idea, but even if it doesn't work every day, try to share
a ride with friends or family once per week when you're out and about. Also try to
minimize your shopping trips. For example, if you currently visit the grocery store
four times per week, commit to creating a shopping list, and you can cut that down to
just two times per week quite easily.

Second, buy less. With the holidays right around the corner, it might be hard to
imagine buying less, but a truly Green consumer weighs each purchase based on how
it impacts the Earth. For example, you must consider the environmental costs
involved in growing, harvesting, producing, packaging and transporting all items.
From a green perspective, you need to take all of these issues into account when
making a purchase, but from a budgeting perspective, you should also consider the
very first question a true environmentalist should ask: do I really need to buy this item?
Many things that we buy for ourselves and others end up cluttering our personal space,
and then ultimately are discarded to clutter a landfill Instead of adding to this problem,
double- and triple- think every purchase before making it.

REUSE
Once you have made the decision to purchase an item, before discarding it, consider
the ways in which you might be able to re-use it. Here are five easy ways to reuse
items:

1. Instead of purchasing containers for storing your leftovers, wash out glass jars from
pasta sauce and plastic yogurt container and reuse them.

2. Save Ziploc bags used for storing bread, keeping crackers fresh, and other dry
items and use them again and again for the same purpose. Most of the time you just
need to shake out the crumbs and you're ready to go again!

3. Dry out your produce bags after each trip to the grocery store and then put them in
your shopping bags (you do reuse your shopping bags, right?!?) so that they are ready
to go next time you visit the store.

4. If you use a paper towel to wipe up a small water spill or for any other light job,
simple put it off to the side and use it again later in the day for a more serious (or
another light) job.

5. If you forget to bring a shopping bag, or simply can't avoid getting a plastic bag at
the check-out, be sure to re-use the bag a few more times. Then recycle it - most
grocery stores have a receptacle in front that is specifically for plastic shopping bags.

				
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posted:1/22/2011
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