Get Excited About Being Green in 2013!

Ok,  maybe you have heard of all these tips before but we feel they are worth repeating. We all want to make an effort to be a little greener, but sometimes we need a little nudging to get the job done.

Consider these handy dandy tips a gentle reminder of how simple being green can be.

Support Local Farmers

If your food could talk, it would tell quite a tale. Typical grocery store produce travels nearly 1,500 miles before it ends up on your plate. All this traveling burns fossil fuels and results in carbon emissions — a fancy term for pollution. Buying from local farmers means you’re not only getting the freshest food possible, you’re saving energy.

You can Do It: To find farmers nationwide, visit, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Fix That Drip

When you next fill your water glass, think about this: We each use about 100 gallons a day, enough to fill 1,600 glasses. Household water consumption has increased by 200 percent since 1950, even though the population has grown by only 90 percent. As a result, more than 36 states are expected to face water shortages in the next six years. Stemming the flow is as easy as fixing a leaky faucet or toilet; a dripping faucet can waste up to 74 gallons a day, a leaking toilet up to 200 gallons a day.

You Can Do it: Repair a leaky toilet and you can save $30 a year, which may not sound like much until you realize it means 73,000 gallons.

Look for the Label

When it’s time to replace a household appliance, choose a product with an Energy Star label. Sponsored by the EPA and the Department of Energy, the Energy Star program rates products from light bulbs to kitchen appliances.

Energy Star labels guarantee that products are energy-efficient. For example, a battery charger labeled with the Energy Star logo will use 35 percent less energy than a standard one. You may even be eligible for a tax credit when you purchase an Energy Star product. Information at

You Can Do It:  A household with Energy Star products uses about 30 percent less energy than the average household — an annual savings of about $570.

Do Full Loads

Whenever you wash just a few clothes or dishes at a time rather than waiting for a full load to accumulate, you’re wasting water, power, and money. The average American family of four washes about 540 loads of laundry a year, which consumes up to 21,000 gallons of water, and more than 150 loads of dishes, which uses about 1,500 gallons.

Most of the energy consumed by washers goes toward heating the water — about 90 percent in the clothes washer and 80 percent in the dishwasher. Combining half-loads, choosing short cycles, and using cold or warm rather than hot water in the clothes washer racks up savings.

You Can Do It:  Wash two fewer loads of clothes and one fewer load of dishes a week and save up to 4,500 gallons of water a year.

You Can Do It: Wash two fewer loads of clothes and one fewer load of dishes a week and save up to 4,500 gallons of water a year.

Buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles.  Then watch The Story of Bottled Water, a short movie about the bottled water phenomena.

At A Glance~

Stop using disposable bags.

Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.

Turn off lights when you leave the room.

Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can—open your curtains and enjoy natural light.

Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.

Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden

Donate to—and shop at—thrift stores.  You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, you’ll be supporting your local economy, and you’ll be saving money.

Tell us what you're thinking...

Please share your thoughts and ideas with the Who's Green community.