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House & Home

Tips to make community sustainability work for you, #2

Posted May 8, 2008

  • Reduce your energy consumption at the office (and trim your figure) by foregoing the elevator and taking the stairs instead. Depending on the size, capacity, and usage, an elevator can consume the same amount of power annually as seven residential homes.
  • Picking up after your dog is an important way to prevent contaminants from leeching into the soil and entering the local water source. While regular plastic bags do the job, they don’t decompose for hundreds of years. Instead look for degradable plastic bags at the local pet store or online – they are made from corn, decompose in a little as 30 days, and are comparable in cost to regular baggies.
  • Insulate your water heater. You can do it in a matter of minutes and it will save you money year round, especially during the colder months. While you are at it, turn your water heater down to 120 degrees; you probably won’t notice it in the shower, but you will notice the difference when you pay your bills.
  • If you are shopping for new clothes or sheets, consider buying ones made from bamboo. Bamboo fiber is naturally softer, silkier, and more durable than cotton and, since bamboo grows quickly without fertilizer, it is a renewable resource.
  • One easy way to “green” your business is to reuse your printer ink cartridges. An ink cartridge can take up to 450 years to decompose naturally, so the more you reuse yours the fewer we will be living with later. Take your used ink cartridges into any computer store and they can assist you.

Sustainability Tips Provided by the Foundation for a Sustainable Community. Look for new tips weekly on WRAL.com's Green Guide.

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