Do What You Can
If you’re interested in knowing more about what you can do to reduce your impact in an everyday kind of way, we put together a helpful Top 10 list for you! You can also check out more ideas from Good Morning America to the Wall Street Journal for more “going green” tips.
1. Recycling: 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.
2. Sweaters! A small adjustment of your thermostat from 72 to 68 degrees can save as much as $10 / month on a $100 heating bill. If it feels a little chilly still, it’s a great excuse to wear a warm and cozy sweater.
3. Weatherize: If you’re feeling a draft in your home, caulking cracks, sealing ductwork, and weather-stripping doors and windows can make a big difference.
4. Laundry: Washing clothes in cold water is recommended by many detergents! During warmer and drier months, consider using a clothesline instead of the drier.
5. Water: If you’re in Portland your water comes from Bull Run and it is awesome! Even in places where tap water isn’t great, filters and reusable water bottles are much better for the environment than “disposable” water bottles.
6. Cutting Water Use: Low-flow showerheads and sink aerators can save water and money – 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.
7. 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 a romantic dinner.
8. Furnace Filter: Changing your furnace filter can save money by making it easier for your fan to push air throughout your house, plus your air will be cleaner. Depending on what type of filter you have, every three months is about right.
10. Give toxic chemicals the boot: Lots of household products from air fresheners to cleaners can actually contain harmful chemicals. In addition to being harmful, such chemicals can pollute the soil and water for years to come. There are often great alternatives in the natural sections of grocery stores.
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. Places like Environmentally Conscious Recycling help take your larger items and break them down into reusable and recyclable parts.
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.