Making Green Living Last

More and more of us are aware of the need to preserve Mother Earth, and more and more of us have gone green.  Green can be a part of our daily lives, and each day when you take out your recycling bin, you do have the reward of saving the landfills from unnecessary waste.

According to Cleanair.org each year Americans throw away enough plastic and paper cups spoons, forks, to circle the equator 300 times.  That is a tremendous amount of waste, and that is only a fraction of the trillions of items that go into our landfills.

Cleanair reports that disposable diapers are one of the nation’s highest contributors in landfills taking up about 4% of solid waste.

According to the EPA’s 2010 report, Americans generated 250 million tons of trash I 2010 with less than a third of that being recycled.

The reports are outrageous, and go on and on.  The new trend is to reduce, reuse, and recycle- simply called living green.  Honorable Americans across the nation are finding ways to practice green standards and not only help preserve to Mother Earth but cut down on household expenses.

Being green isn’t just about recycling.  It is about extending the lives of things by repairing them. It is also about home grown foods and preserving home grown foods.  Green living is a standard of living that is designed to save the planet and to save money.

How to Make Eco-Friendly Life Changes

Stop Buying the Disposables

We are a disposable society, and one of our greatest conveniences is bottled water.  Taking the simple measure to not buy water is a green measure and one that doesn’t cost a single penny.  Another disposable that is easy to replace is paper towels with hand towels.

Conserve Energy

During the winter months enjoy the comforts of warm, cozy socks and throw blankets by setting your thermostat down a few degrees.  During the summer months do the opposite.

Replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.

When your appliances are not in use unplug them.

Whenever possible, wash your clothes in cold water.  Also when possible, hang dry your clothes.

Save Water

There are a number of ways to reduce your consumption of water.

Shorten your showers, which will not only lower your water bill but your heating bill too.

Plant native plants that require little water.

On each faucet install a faucet aerator.

Install a low flow showerhead.
Park the Car

When possible park the car and walk, bike or take the bus.  This not only saves on your fuel costs and parking costs but it omits less emissions into the air.  Walking and biking is also very good for cardiovascular health.

Eat Smart
Green standards are about eating local and organic foods and eating healthy.  If you are a meat eater purchase locally raised, humane and organic meat as well as your fruits and vegetables.  Try to have one meatless meal each week, which cuts down on cost and considered to be healthier for the environment.

Think before You Buy
There are a number of products that are eco-friendly; materials like bamboo are being used in sheets to make eco-friendly sheets, the wood in play swings has standards that most companies now follow, and more.  There is also second hand shopping which is a great savings.

Visit the Library over the Bookstore
Visit the library over purchasing books at the bookstore.  This saves money as well as ink and paper that goes into printing the books.

Buy Smart
When purchasing clothes look at the care instructions and avoid those that must be dry cleaned. Also purchase garments and household materials that are made from eco-friendly and recyclable materials.

Recycle
It is important to know what to recycle.  Batteries for instance should never go in the trash.  Electronics are another item that should not be thrown in the trash.  With batteries, they can be recycled, and some electronics can be, as well.  At the least, they can be donated.

Mae Your Own Cleaning Supplies

With a few household items you can have an effective cleaning solution.  Vinegar, baking soda and lemon are all great ingredients to clean and disinfect surfaces.

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How to Better Recycle

Recycling has become a choice for Americans across the nation.  If you happen to be one who is looking for better ways to recycle we have some wonderful suggestions.  If you have yet to consider ways to make your household “green” there are some astonishing facts that just might lead you to the decision to recycle.

According to the EPA the total figure of solid waste in households across America that can be recycled is 75 percent.  Of this figure the EPA reports that only about 30 percent is.

Recycling:
•    Saves energy.
•    Helps to increase US competitiveness through the protection and expansion of US manufacturing jobs
•    Helps to reduce for landfills and incineration.
•    Helps to prevent pollution that is caused by product manufacturing from virgin materials.
•    Helps to lower the risk of global climate change by decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases.
•    Helps to sustain the environment for future generations.

There are keys to recycling.  HouseLogic.com reports that in order to be a smart recycler, it is necessary to know how to recycle.
For instance, if you drink bottled water, before you toss the bottle into the recycle bin you should remove the twist off cap and ring.  The top and twist off ring are not recyclable and in fact most recycling centers will remove the bottle from the bin and toss it into the trash as the work involved to remove it is too time consuming.

Tips to Smart Recycling
•    Before you toss cans and bottles in the recycling bin rinse them out.  This is a courtesy to the recycling center.  Also if the items are caked with foods it might be best to toss it in the garbage as it will gum up the works at the recycling center.  Also, remove all labels from the items.
•    Remember that even the smallest effort makes a difference.  One can in the recycle bin means one less can in the landfill.
•    Recycling is about reducing and reusing- first you want to look at ways to reduce your consumption, and reusing as much as possible before you recycle.
•    Talk to your recycling center about what you can recycle and what you can’t.  Knowledge is a key to recycling.

Live a Luxurious Lifestyle While Going Green with These Denver-Area Condos

Are you looking for an eco-friendly condo in the Denver area? If so, you will be happy to know that there are plenty of green condos to select from in the area. While some have been around for awhile, many of these communities are relatively new. After all, as demand for eco-friendly housing continues to grow, so do the options available to those who are interested in luxury living. To that end, here is a look at three of the green condos you can choose from within the Denver area.

Tribeca Boutique Flats

Located in central Denver, Tribeca Boutique Flats is just a short distance from some of Denver’s most popular attractions. Offering 1 and 2-bedroom units, Tribeca Boutique Flats is known for its commitment to eco-friendly construction. While the living room floors are made with Bellawood bamboo flooring, the bathroom floor is made with 100 percent reclaimed, unfired, glazed porcelain. The carpeting used in the units is 100 percent PET polyester. The designer lighting offers fluorescent bulbs and energy-efficient fixtures, while the doors are made from recycled wheat straw. The double-pane, low-e windows and the Energy Star appliances are specifically designed to minimize energy waste, while the roof is white instead of black in order to keep the building cooler in the summer.

The Walnut

After working in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Institute, which is considered to be a leader in the “green building” industry, the developers of The Walnut were able to develop the first LEED-certified residential building in Boulder. Offering multiple sides of glass in each unit, The Walnut manages to take advantage of the natural light while also bringing the outdoors inside. Other features found in this 34-unit building include Energy Star appliances, solar panels and dual flush toilets. Some of the luxury features include spacious living rooms, high ceilings, decks and balconies.

Highlands Garden Village

Offering both town homes and apartments, Highlands Gardens Village strives to keep its carbon footprint at a minimum. In fact, the single family homes in the community exceed the state’s Build Green and Energy Star requirements. In addition to utilizing water-conserving native plants, energy-efficient windows and low-VOC products, all of the buildings were constructed with recycled materials. Yet, thanks to the community’s location just minutes away from downtown, residents don’t have to travel far to take advantage of all of the city’s amenities. Even the materials that were removed from the original site, which was once an amusement park, were recycled and reused to the extent possible.

Trend in Green Luxury Condos

The words “green” and “luxury” might seem like somewhat of a contradiction when put together. After all, one might think how can you create a sustainable, environmental friendly environment and still offer style and luxury for the high end buyer. However there is no contradiction and green luxury condominiums are becoming more appealing in both aesthetic and monthly energy bills.

Green building is in fact more stylish than conventional building because builders invest time and money into how a space works to create it’s sustainability. They choose materials that reduce the impact on the environment, but do not sacrifice style and comfort. Many green luxury condos will have unconventional materials used, thus creating a unique living space.

The Walnut, a new luxury condominium residence in downtown Boulder, worked closely with the Rocky Mountain Institute to design a building that will be the first all residential LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building in Boulder.  Many of the systems that are used to create a sustainable living environment, such as solar panels, dual flush toilets and Energy Star rated appliances, may not sound luxurious, but it is these mundane details that make a space environmentally friendly.