Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sustainability Challenge - Week 2



Part 2 of your 10-week training


The 10-week training focuses on simple and easy to implement steps. This is week 2.

How did it go last week? Not that hard, was it? If you missed the first week, you can catch up here:

Week 1


How to save energy at home


Do you have to preheat the oven? Does the light have to stay on when you leave? What is the best temperature for your freezer? This week, you will learn how you can save energy and help the planet and your wallet.

Statistics show that Americans who are in the front row of "sinners" for energy usage are developing a mindset of change. Because it helps protect the environment but also because they can save money.

This week we will look how you can save energy. Consider how you want to use energy at home and in your household.

Basic exercise:


You have half an hour at your free disposal? Awesome! You could walk around your place and check where you can save energy - either by implementing new features or changing your habits. Be inspired and see if you can change something. The smallest thing helps.

  • Cooking: Most recipes ask for preheating your oven but it rarely is necessary. Stop preheating your oven and use residual heat by turning off your oven a few minutes before the time.
  •  Living room: It's a well-known fact that devices use power in standby. Switch to multi-plugs so you can turn off all connected devices with one click of the button. That can save up to $100 for five devices around 480 pound of CO2
  • Washing machine/dishwasher: Use only when the machine is full. Wash at cold temperatures. Germs that will not die at cold temperature will also not die from lukewarm or warm water. 
  • Bulbs: You have probably already done this. I only mention it in case you didn't because it's such an effortless way to save a lot of energy, and therefore money. 
  • Bathroom: Take more showers instead of bubble baths. That saves water and energy. If you want your skin and hair to love you, you can consider getting a shower filter (I use THIS one and it helped me give up on hot bubble baths). 
  • Fridge / Freezer: Check if they are set (like most) to unnecessary cold temperatures. 


Additional Tip

Switching to a clean energy provider does not cost much time and is a rewarding environmental measure. 

You can search for providers in your area https://www.green-e.org/certified-resources

How does this help the environment?

Saving energy is very helpful for climate protection. By reducing your carbon footprint, you contribute to the global CO2 reduction. 

A nice side effect is that you will save money.

Until next Sunday!

PS: If you missed the first week catch up here: Week 1


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Free 10-Week Sustainability Training

Sustainability Challenge No 1


Here is how it works:

  • each week (on Sundays) I post a new lesson
  • sadly, you must remember to come back (my personal blog does not have a newsletter service)
  • there are no sales pitches

Why am I doing this? 

Because it is right and dear to my heart. 

Free Sustainability Training


Small changes can have a huge impact. 

You are not a drop in the ocean - you are the ocean in a drop!

Many Americans feel that a lifestyle respectful towards our planet and its resources is important. On the other hand, it should not be too complicated, time-consuming or expensive. But they'd be willing to make changes if they knew how. 

This training takes your need for simple and easy to implement steps into account. 

So let's start this. Are you ready for your sustainability challenge? 

Sustainability in everyday life


Shop produce smarter


Mmmmhhh I love cherries. Those cherries are so nice. I love them year-round. 

The first week is about shopping produce. We all know our stores are full of fruit and veggies from overseas. And produce that is out of season or does not even grow where we live. 

With some offers, it's clear to us they have a negative environmental impact. And we don't buy them. 

More often we shop out of habit and miss that the onions are from South Africa and the grapes from Australia. 

Or we check for the "organic" label and overlook that our strawberries left a carbon footprint of the size of Bigfoot on their way from China to our shopping cart. 

And this is where we start. We start by raising our awareness and shop smarter. 

Exercise No 1:

For seven days, buy only regional and seasonal veggies and fruit. 

You can find a seasonal calendar HERE and there are plenty others on the internet. 

Take the time to study the country of origin and make sure you only buy seasonal, regional produce. 

Take mental notes of the items that would have landed in your basket that are not environmentally friendly. You will be amazed how many fruits are from different continents even in June. 

If you find real bummers you'd normally have purchased? Great! You've learned something and from now on will check the label twice before you buy. 

Exceptions


You love bananas, pineapple or something else that does not grow in your region? Allow yourself a few missteps. Just make sure you buy the organic version and truly enjoy it. 

Benefits


What does it for you and the environment? 
  • Produce that is in season has typically more nutrients. 
  • You help to save energy (short transportations, reduction of CO2). Seasonal also means that produce is not grown in greenhouses.
  • If you buy organic, it means no pesticides which helps bees and other insects. Organic food is also better for your health and often tastier. 
  • You help the soil. Ecological agriculture results in better soil. 

Enjoy your first challenge and the feeling of doing something good for your planet. See you next week? 

Part 2 will be available on June, 25th. You might be able to subscribe to the RSS feed (honestly, I am not sure if and how that works) or just bookmark the blog or follow me on TWITTER


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