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Green Tips

Green Living Tips

Green Tips for Greener Living

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Be a “Locavore”!

The typical mouthful of American food travels 1,200 miles from farm to consumer. That means that a lot of fossil fuels are burned to power vehicles that transport food – thus contributing to global warming and air pollution. So try to eat local seasonal produce whenever possible. Willy Street Co-op defines local as coming from within 150 miles of Dane County or definitely from Wisconsin!

Choose Organic

By refraining from using toxic chemicals, organic farmers may contribute to the survival of populations of songbirds, bees, fish, bald eagles, wetlands species, and many other species that have been hurt by chemicals in the environment.

Choose to Re-use

Reusable products save you money! Consider buying a washable, reusable “coffee sock,” or muslin tea bag or metal tea infuser instead of paper filters or pre-bagged teas. Your one-time investment will pay for itself quickly!

Grab a Waste-Free Lunch

Pack a no-waste lunch! Use a reusable lunch box or bag, and fill it with your lunch in reusable containers. Toss in a cloth napkin, a stainless-steel beverage bottle or Thermos, and some bamboo utensils—and don’t forget to bring everything home again so you can use it the next day.

In the Bag! C’mon, nickle & dime us!

By using cloth and re-using paper bags at the Co-op, our shoppers kept thousands of bags out of the waste stream— roughly 1.5 fifteen-year-old trees per 1000 bags that didn’t have to be cut down. Willy Street Co-op offers recycled cotton bags as well as rewards you for using your own by providing a 5¢ discount for every paper bag re-used , and 10¢ off for use of a canvas bag!

Pre-Cycle?

  • Pick products or packaging that come from renewable resources or that can be recycled.
  • Consider how long the product will last relative to the packaging.
  • Examine an over-packaged product and ask yourself if it’s worth the cost to the environment.

Weed Prevention

Suburban homeowners in America use more house and yard pesticides per acre than farmers use on their crops. Check out alternatives to toxic pesticides.

No Car Once Weekly

If only 1% of car owners in the U.S. did not drive for one day a week, we would keep 840 million pounds of C02 out of the atmosphere. Get on your bike, take the bus, or burn a little shoe leather!

Bulk is Best

Did you know that the average American generates 4-6 POUNDS of garbage a day? From that, one-third comes from packaging. Put together your own home “bulk department,” using empty glass pasta sauce jars, metal tea canisters, empty spice containers, and other reusable containers. Shop the bulk aisle and cut your garbage to the bone.

Coffee Should Be Made in the Shade

Traditionally managed (shade-grown) coffee plantations support over 140 species of birds. Sun fields can have as few as five or six species. Peace Coffee, Equal Exchange and Just Coffee have a commitment to sourcing shade-grown coffees that are also Fair Trade and organic.

“Green” Clean?

  • Pick products or packaging that come from renewable resources or that can be recycled.
  • Consider how long the product will last relative to the packaging.
  • Examine an over-packaged product and ask yourself if it’s worth the cost to the environment.
  • Seek out products that are chlorine-free, have low VOCs and non-carcinogenic ingredients.
  • Look for biodegradable, vegetable-based ingredients that will not accumulate in the environment.

Cold-Water Washing

When doing laundry, washing full loads in the coolest water is most effective. Set the wash cycle for 4 minutes. Add clothes and detergent, and agitate for one minute. Then, turn the machine off and let the clothes soak while you do something else. When you think of it, turn the machine back on to finish the cycle.

Save Water-use your “Gray” Water

Baths use more water than showers. Justify that leisurely soak in the tub by reusing the water to mop floors, wash driveways, or shampoo dogs. Don’t use bath water to water houseplants, and make your own bath soaks or choose natural options over chemical ones.

Resources

Check out these sites for more on what all of us can do to make a difference one habit at a time.

www.lindenhills.coop
www.epa.gov/earthday/tips
www.mambosprouts.com/eco-home
www.toxics.usgs.gov
www.greendesignbuild.net