Tag Archives: Green

10 Easy Ways to Protect the Planet

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By Barbara Pronin

Most people are aware that Mother Earth needs all the help it can get to avoid running out of resources. But going green doesn’t have to be a daunting task, ecologists maintain.

We can all lend a hand to help the planet beginning with these 10 simple tactics:

Launder in warm/cold water – If every U.S. household switched the washer from hot cycle to warm/cold, we would save energy comparable to 100,000 barrels of oil a day.

Recycle glass – Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and related water pollution by 50 percent. (Glass that isn’t recycled can take a million years to decompose.)

Go vegetarian one day a week – It takes 25,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.

Rethink bottled water – It’s convenient, but 90 percent of plastic bottles are not recycled and can take thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and use it. (Surprise: EPA standards for tap water are stricter than FDA standards for bottled water.)

Use both sides of paper – American businesses throw away 21 million tons of paper annually. Before you pitch it, turn it over and use the reverse side as scratch pads – and when you’ve used both sides, don’t forget to recycle.

Use your cruise control – You paid for the extras, so use them. Using cruise control can save you up to 15 percent on gasoline, saving you money while you help the planet.

Recycle old cell phones – The average cell phone lasts around 18 months, which means 130 million phones will be retired each year. In landfills, these phones and their batteries introduce toxic substances into the environment. Retire yours into one of many reputable phone recycling programs, many of which benefit good causes.

Recycle old wire hangers – Many recycling programs won’t accept steel wire hangers – but the many dry cleaners will gladly take them back to use again.

Go to a car wash – They make more efficient use of water than we do when we wash our cars ourselves. We could save more than 8 billion gallons of water annually if we all used the car wash.

Use cotton swabs with paperboard spindles – If 10 percent of households switched back from plastic-spindled cotton swabs to those with paperboard spindles, the petroleum energy saved per year would be equivalent to150,000 gallons of gas.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Green Gardening Tips

Amy flower picSome years it seems we have more than the usual amount of rain in the summer.  Some years we can’t seem to get enough. Excess rain may give us greener lawns, however it is important to remember that the rain also ends up in the storm drainage system. Any fertilizers or pesticides people use for lawn care can wind up in the same storm drains, which eventually drain into our local waters.  Excess nutrients from fertilizers and chemicals from pesticides can cause drinking water contamination, massive algae blooms, and affect the fish population.

Here are a few tips that may help to minimize the effect that fertilizers and pesticides have on our water resources:

  • Fertilize sparingly – September is the best month to fertilize.  Use a slow time-release fertilizer that is water insoluble, or has slowly -available soluble nitrogen. 
  • Follow the directions carefully, making sure to apply no more than one to two pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn.
  • If using a lawn care company, ask about their environmental options. 
  • Mow the grass high and leave grass clippings on the lawn to help improve the quality of the lawn.
  • Avoid using fertilizers or pesticides near wells or within 75 ft. of a waterway.
  • Avoid applying fertilizers or pesticides when rain is predicted to help prevent the runoff into the storm drains.
  • Try to hand pick weeds when possible, or spot treat.  It is not always necessary to spray the entire lawn.
  • Sweep the sidewalk and driveway if any lawn chemicals or yard debris gets on them.  Anything on the pavement is more easily washed by storm water into the storm drains.  
  • For Green Gardening, less is better and will also save you money!

Written by Laura Iorio, REALTOR for Calcagni Associates.

My Earth Day T-Shirt

every-day-is-earth-dayAs you may probably know, Earth Day is officially on Wednesday, April 22. I was thinking about what this day really signifies, and it brought me back to my first real experience and awareness of ‘Earth Day’.

Flash back to over 12 years ago, when I was still a college student, I recall annual events on campus commemorating this day. I did not think too much about it at the time, despite having a general sense and appreciation for the environment. I remember there being a booth run by a group of fellow students, whom were referred to as the ‘hippies’ or ‘tree-huggers’, handing out information on Earth Day. I was, of course, intrigued to learn more, but I will be honest… I wanted one of the cool T-shirts they were giving away- there was a white one with a cool black & white globe. (By the way, I still have the T-shirt today, and it remains one of my favorites!) I decided to go over to the booth and see what ‘Earth Day’ was all about. Fifteen to twenty minutes later, I walked away with a pamphlet in one hand, “cool” T-shirt in the other, and the intention to never litter again.

 Who would have thought back then that today the term ‘Green’ would be an every day word and that recycling would be second nature, or that global warming would be such an important issue? Of course, if I had known then what I know now, I would have done my part much earlier to preserve our environment- but my feeling is that it’s never too late for anyone to learn to help make our earth a healthier place.

 If you would like to find out about Earth Day events in the CT/NY area,visit:

http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2688&Q=322356&depNav_GID=1511

http://www.earthdayny.org/events.html

Written by Camille Urbano, Relocation Coordinator, Calcagni Associates

How to reduce your ‘Carbon Footprint’

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Spring Has Sprung!  We have all been anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring. Looking around, we begin to see buds on trees, tulips peeking through the mulch, and kids playing ball in the yard. The longer days allow us more time with our family and friends. I long for the sound of the lawn mowers throughout the neighborhood, gardening and eating dinner outside- all wonders of warmer weather! 

 

As the grass turns green and the trees fill in, we now have the opportunity to think about what the phrase “Going Green” really means.  I wish I were more of a “Green” person. I envy those who are. I try to do my best – I recycle and try not to be wasteful, but know that I could do more… I view the phrase “Going Green” as respecting our earth, and appreciating what God has given us. What does it mean to you?

 

Everyday, no matter what we are doing, we are taking something from our world; leaving our footprints in the sand. I would like to share with you a way for all of us to give back what we take from this great earth we live on.

 

A “carbon footprint” is a way to measure how your activities affect our environment. Do you know the amount of the greenhouse gases you produce in your daily life, through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating, transportation, etc?

 

Carbonfootprint.com will not only measure your footprint, but it will provide you ways to reduce or offset your footprint. What a beautiful way to start our spring!

 

 I hope you enjoy the website as much as I have!

 http://www.carbonfootprint.com/

 

 

 Written by Heidi Matusik, ABR, REALTOR, Calcagni Associates