March 2010: “What Are You Doing to Turn Green?”

March Contest Entries:

We asked “What Are You Doing to Turn Green?” and here are some of your answers…

  • “We bought 2 packs of white cloth napkins at Target. We use them every day (usually more than once or twice before they need washing). White can be bleached along with the kitchen towels so they always look great. Can’t remember the last time we used a paper napkin!”

    "The trailer in the picture was made from scarp metal and materials that I recycled in my pick-up routes."

  • “My wife and I have installed a water recirculation pump so we have virtually instant hot water. It saves about a thousandgallons of water per year.”
  • “I collect scrap metal and e-waste from the desert, residential, alleys and businesses to keep the environment green, clean and safe. I dispose of them in a responsible manner by taking them to local recycling facilities. I am making this my sole business along with landscape and handyman services and more. I take referrals.The trailer in the picture was made from scarp metal and materials that I recycled in my pick-up routes.”
  • “We recycle all my aluminum. we unplug many appliances. We wash our laundry at night. We run the pool pump at night. I car pool when I can.”
  • “We replaced all of the lightbulbs in our house with CFLs, switched to 100% biodegradable and eco-friendly cleaning products (like Ecover and 7th Generation), and we get our weekly supply of locally-grown 100% organic fruits and veggies (and most of the time, meats and eggs, too!) from our local CSA, or community supported agriculture. We purchase less pre-packaged food, cook at home more, and try to take into consideration the environmental impacts of simple everyday actions. We’ve even started a small garden on our patio — now that’s eating locally!”
  • “I have all the materials for constructing a clothesline next weekend. This will keep my little house much cooler during the summer months, take advantage of the sun for drying my clothes, and reduce my energy bill.”
  • “Well, I am doing small things that add up to big things I hope. As a Realtor I use sooo much paper. So, now I don’t print out everything before I forward it. I use the backside of paper I already printed on. I am unplugging my appliances and chargers that are not in use. I buy organic as much as I possibly can. I love flowers but have chosen to plants ones that require less water since I live in the desert. As I plan my day I make sure I am not driving in circles, this saves me both time and gas.”
  • “Thanks to Mrs. Green’s recommendations, I switched to all natural household cleaners. I had wanted to try this, but I wasn’t sure where to start or what brands to buy.

    "She didn't want to throw her bathtub away so they made it into a garden!"

    I read your article on Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softeners and you listed two brands: Seventh Generation & Ecover. I went to whole foods and bought a cart full of all of the possible cleaning products I use in my house. I am sold! The biggest advantage aside from a clean house? My house doesn’t reek of chemicals when I am done cleaning, my hands aren’t dry and irritated, and my nose and eyes aren’t irritated either. I don’t have any allergies or asthma to make me sensitive to chemicals and smells, but I realized the chemicals had been affecting me! Sometimes you don’t notice how much something is bothering you until it is gone.”

  • “I purchased 2 of the oil draining products from this website http://www.bob2000.com/index.htmlMy initial goal was to collect the oil that was going to waste in order to provide me with oil for my 4 cars. But as time went on I realized just how much oil was getting into landfills. The website has some very compelling statistics. I would have to guess that I have collected almost 200 quarts of motor oil since November 2009. Multiply that by $7.50. That’s a lot of money! Most of the oil bottles I collect come only from the Porsche-Audi service department with a total of 6 technicians. Imagine how many oil bottles a large volume service department might produce.A friend of mine moved to Portland, Oregon to work at a dealership up there. I sent him the email link and had someone build something very similar out of scrap metal. His shop employs about 12 technicians.”
  • “Besides for my job (I work for the Tucson Clean Cities program where we promote alternative fuels) I am an avid recycler. There are weeks when I don’t have to put out my regular trash for pickup because there isn’t enough, but my recycle bin is always full (and yes, all the items are accepted for recycling by Waste Management, you can check their website to see what they accept). I also have recycle trash cans in both of my bathrooms to make sure that things that can be recycled are not thrown in the trash out of laziness of not wanting to take it to the kitchen. I am also cleaning out my extra bedroom to make room for our new arrival that should be here in July. I have about 10 big boxes of perfectly good items I no longer need that can be used by others to take to the Habistore and the Salvation Army. I am a big beliver in “one persons trash is another’s treasure”.”
  • “I installed a 5kw Electric Solar System for my home. Since the install my system has generated over 400kw’s of power and is suppling power back into the grid which gives me credits at the end of the month. It was a great investment for my home and will help my electric bills over 40% and on top of that I installed a new A/C heater system which as well lowered my monthly electric bills. I’m ready for the heat, bring it on.”
  • “I have plenty of room for improvement, but I try to do the following regularly:
    buy organically grown food as much as possible
    use re-usable totes for grocery shopping
    use CFLs
    recycle

    "she pushes her recycled trash on her walker to the recycle bin in the senior community where she lives. That's dedication."

    group errands together rather than making multiple trips”

  • “My mom is committed to a clean environment. She’s 88 and doesn’t drive anymore but she pushes her recycled trash on her walker to the recycle bin in the senior community where she lives. That’s dedication!”
  • “I am a student at the University of Arizona who is the president of Posada San Pedro Solar Powered (PSPSP), an organization working to install photovoltaic panels onto university residence halls. Completely student run, our group has made great strides towards making this happen along with our student group partner, Solar Dorm Initiative, because giving future generations of students the opportunity to live more sustainably by curbing their energy use and with this most recent project, their water use as well is a great legacy to leave behind. My studies in Environmental Policy will also serve me well to spread the benefits of living sustainably both to my community and on an international level, as my goals dictate.”
  • “Every year I try to add a few more things to make my life more green and eventually it becomes easy because I have new habits that help me feel connected to mycommunity and the planet. Past years it was ride my bike, use reusable things (bags, less new things), go local with food and treasures, don’t take the elevator, use less energy, turn my house groundwater friendly, no more plastic disposable bottles, use only rainwater harvesting for my native and edible landscape… This year has started with a brand new fun arena for me. Send the message on to little children through a performance. I joined a Puppet works play and became a fairy to teach children the run of reusing, reducing and recycling. Performing is not normally my thing, but this was so much fun. It was a play by Elysia Hansel and it was called the Fairly Little Bag Project. Here is a picture of a child picking up something from the interactive play and asking himself- How can I re-use this? Fun!”
  • “It all started with a toilet. Well, three. Replacing the original 1988 models with brand new dual flush toilets was easy! When friends visited, they first had to see a demonstration of the cool dual flush! Then, we moved on to rain barrels. One filled so fast, and was so easy to use, we installed two more, larger ones. I impress my friends with saving water for my container plants, but the rainwater is better for them, too. Next step: We will change out the shower heads. Then I have my eye on the hot water heater. Where will it stop? I’m a water saving junkie!”
  • “Because my boss, John Smith of the Arizona Green Plumbers, is the king of green, our office is constantly looking for environmentally friendly products. After diligent research for a new marketing gift, I came across a truly inventive note pad, called the Elephant Poo Pad. It is made from recycled elephant dung. Just think how many trees could be saved if we all switched to this eco friendly item. Maybe Arizona should look to buffalo & cow chips as a new resource.”