Do What You Can
There are so many small and large actions we can all take to shrink our impact. Everyone from Good Morning America to the Wall Street Journal have tips for “going green”. Here are what we consider to be among the top ten things you can do:
1. Weatherize: If you feel a draft, think of it as money going out just as fast as the cold air coming in. Caulking cracks, sealing ductwork, weather-stripping doors and windows can make a big difference.
2. Put on a sweater: Adjusting your thermostat from 72 to 68 degrees can save as much as $10 / month on a $100 heating bill. Programmable thermostats can make an even bigger difference.
3. Laundry: Wash your clothes in cold water - as recommended by many detergents! And during the warmer and drier months, consider using a clothesline instead of the drier.
4. Say no to bottled water: If Bull Run water is good enough for our beer, it’s good enough for you! Even in places where tap water isn’t great, filters and reusable water bottles are the clear way to go. Treat yourself to a reusable bottle of your own!
5. Cut your water use: Low-flow showerheads and sink aerators can save water and $$$ – by not heating that water, you can save $100 or more each year in energy and water. Also, make sure none of your toilets or faucets have leaks.
6. Efficient light bulbs: CFLs have come a long way, and pay for themselves in 3-7 months. LEDs are great (though expensive), and are also dimmable, which is great for that romantic dinner for two!
7. Change your furnace filter: Besides cleaning the air inside your house, changing your furnace filter can save money by making it easier for your fan to push air throughout your house. Depending on what type of filter you have, every three months is about right.
8. Change your commute: Can you ride a bike or take the bus to work? Carpool with a friend? If you are driving, check your tire pressure and watch those “jackrabbit” starts to make that tank of gas last longer.
9. Give toxic chemicals the boot: Lots of household products – from air fresheners to cleaners – contain harmful chemicals. In addition to being bad for you and your family, such chemicals can pollute the soil and water for years to come.
10. Recycle: When modern life makes ”waste”, RECYCLE it! Recycling 100 aluminum cans could light your bedroom for two weeks! At HUB, ~90% of our waste gets composted or recycled instead of going to landfill.
Bonus Tip!!! Challenge your friends: nothing makes us work harder than a little competition! Who can have the lowest electric bill? Water bill? Gas bill?
Here are a few things we do that we feel goes above and beyond:
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” goes the saying. And SCRAP really proves the point! This great nonprofit takes “waste” materials and turns them into educational opportunities for youngsters, as well as providing a material source for local artists. Used bottlecaps and corks – among other things - go to SCRAP several times a year!
The City of Portland has a great curbside recycling program BUT some things can’t go in our dumpster (or your bin). But just about everything can be recycled, so we collect our rigid plastics, plastic films, and other items to deliver to Far West Fibers. There are drop off locations all over Portland, and there are other facilities that take many of these things too.
Save water, DRINK BEER!
But seriously, just because we live in a place where water falls unceasingly from the sky 6 months out of the year doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay close attention to this critical resource. Other than the hops we grow out back, we don’t have to water our landscaping at all because we chose native plants used to the feast-and-famine – or drought and drowning nature of the weather in Portland.
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