Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Celebrating Earth Day: Fifty Shades of Green (continued)



[Published April 23, 2015, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers]

     This Wednesday was Earth Day and everyone is getting in the spirit, so here’s my contribution — a continuation of my “Fifty Shades of Green” column begun on Feb. 12 and continued on Feb. 26.  You can read those installments online at www.JimSmithColumns.com.
     Here are some of my favorites from the first 26 “shades” published on those dates:
     #2—Recycle Styrofoam (at our office on South Golden Road)
     #4—Get an energy audit of your home.-- only $120 from our preferred vendor
     #5—Install a hot water recirculation line.
     #9—Replace your Kentucky Bluegrass lawn with Bella Bluegrass or buffalo grass. Save on both water & mowing.
     #10—Make your next new car an electric car.  (I recommend the Chevy Volt and the Tesla Model S.)
    #14—Install sun tunnels/Solatubes in your home to reduce lighting needs.
    #19—Reuse your kitchen trash bags instead of discarding them.
    #21—Get a Brita water pitcher and break the single-use water bottle habit.

Picking up where I left off, here are some more:
    27) Turn down your hot water heater from scalding to your comfortable bathing temperature. Don’t worry about your water being hot enough for the dishwasher. Most dishwashers heat the water they use, raising the temperature from hot to scalding.
    28) Go vegetarian. Animal agriculture is a huge consumer of the earth’s resources compared to growing vegetables. It’s also a major source of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
    29)  Use evaporative cooling in your house.  It uses a lot less electricity, and the increased humidity is good for your skin and furniture. (Evaporative cooling only works in dry climates like ours.)
    30)  Reuse your waste water. A friend of mine says she washes her vegetables over a plastic bucket in her kitchen sink so the water doesn’t go down the drain. She then waters her unpicked vegetables or flowers with the same water!
     31)  Get an electric lawn mower. I loved my Black & Decker cordless electric mower. It’s quiet, non-polluting and economical. And it always starts! While you’re at it, buy an electric weed eater, too!  You’ll be glad you did.  Say good-bye to small engine fueling, maintenance, repair and failure to start!
     32)  Get a bicycle!  Summer is coming and you will benefit both economically and in health by making more trips by bicycle and fewer trips by car..
     33)  Get 20,000-mile oil changes from Excelerated Oil.  I discovered this company many years ago. They use super-refined oil and special filters to give you 20,000 miles between oil changes. I didn’t believe it either, but trust me, it’s true. Call Dan at (720) 284-2945.  I use his oil in Rita’s Lexus and in our company moving truck, cutting waste oil production by 75%.
     34)  Use “GreenEarth” dry cleaning.  Regular dry cleaning chemicals are a major pollutant. Patronize a dry cleaner like Martinizing at 64th & Indiana (303-422-0176), which uses the GreenEarth cleaning technology. They also pick up and deliver (free) on a weekly schedule which I love. No more trips to the dry cleaners!
     That’s all I have room for this week. Look for another installment at a future date.  Happy Earth Day, and thanks for caring.

 

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