Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Being green in 2009.

So what is your plan for 2009? Is your carbon footprint part of it? Or should I say lack there of? With the economy the way it is today you can't help but think of what will happen next? What will the new President do? What are the states doing with their record budget deficits? I can only hope that 2009 will go down in the record books as the year that saw major change.

Going "Green" has been the in thing over the past several years. But how government and business work to make "sustainability" truly successful remains to be seen. Bankers and automakers are seeing the impact of not submitting to the gloat. Now the taxpayers will be paying for it.

What can we do as the average citizen? What can you do to help?

Be responsible to yourself in 2009. Take your own responsibility to the next level. Don't wait for anyone else. Make the move and make a difference.

Tell me what Green are you going to do for 2009?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Being green for 2008 and beyond

Christmas is past us. Whew! Now I am getting ready for the New Year and turning a new leaf.
A green leaf that is. What projects have we done in 2008 to be more eco conscious?

This year I started this Blog to get my own point of view out on getting green on a budget. Hoping to get to those folks who don't want to spend an arm and a leg to be environmentally responsible. If I can help a small group of people then I have done my job. And thanks for your continuous suppport.

I have started composting this year as part of trying to reduce the amount of garbage we produce as a family. This upcoming spring I should see the fruits of our labor.

Another big project for 2008 was rain water recovery. I installed two 55 gallon drums under my down spout. I have two more barrels to paint and install this upcoming year.

This past year I did some renovations in my house reclaiming the wood for reuse. I should have enough material for some outdoor projects I have planned for 2009.

Don't forget the electronics recycling. I lightened the load in my office considerably and did not add to the local land fill to get that done.

None of these activities required a lot of extra cash, just some common sense. By keeping green in mind as you go about your daily activities you would be surprised by how much you and your family can reduce you own environmental impact.

What is coming up in 2009? Solar lighting? Worm composting? More rain harvesting? Reduce the carbon footprint of our house?

Only time will tell....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Green Seal is Not Just Another Green Certification.

Green Seal is to the retail world as LEED is to the building trade.
It is a certification that gives products and services a green rating.
Coming directly from the Green Seal web site:

"Founded in 1989, Green Seal provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace. Our industry knowledge and standards help manufacturers, purchasers, and end users alike make responsible choices that positively impact business behavior and improve quality of life.

A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, Green Seal issued its first environmental standards in 1991-2, and the first product certifications were completed in 1992. Hundreds of products and services from major companies such as 3M, Benjamin Moore, and Andersen Windows have now been certified to meet Green Seal standards, and the number of major product categories covered by standards has increased to more than 40."

Getting a GreenSeal means that a product or service has met the Green Seal standard for a particular product line. Such as a Benjamin Moore line of paints meeting the Green Seal standard for "Paints and Coatings".

This certification is industry recognized and means more than just "Being Green". It means that you are doing more than just changing to all CFL light bulbs and calling your hotel green. It means your product has met multiple green qualifications to get the Green Seal. And that makes Green Seal the industry standard.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

ReCycling Symbols Re-visited

Thanks to my green blog friends at Greener Loudoun who published a great list of recycling symbols.

There is no need to re-invent the wheel as it looks pretty complete to me.
I have always wanted to include something like it. And there it is.

Thanks Greener Loudoun

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is LEED over the top?

Ok so you are thinking: "His last post is a little out there... I can't afford to get my house LEED certified." And for most, me included, that is true.

But there was a reason behind my madness. I was just trying to educate you on a very complete and comprehensive certification that seems to hold up a lot of water in the building industry. If there are things we can take away from this and say that we have learned something then I have done my job. As I will continue to do here.

Think about this: Say you just installed rainbarrels under every downspout around your house. Did you know that by installing those you have just partially met the LEED requirement for surface water management (item number 4 on the LEED for Homes Project Checklist) Remember that the little steps you take now will help you in the future.

I will continue to learn and relay more information on LEED certification in manageable chunks.