Part 4: “Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices” by Mindy Pennybacker

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Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Included in this post is the information on appliances, household energy use, storage, etc.

Storage and Cooking
–glass is best, it is recyclable and there is no chemical leaching
–Tempered glass resources
Anchor Hocking
Frigoverre
Pyrex
Corningware (representin’…woo woo Corning, NY…sorry)
–do NOT microwave food in plastics even the so-called miocrowave safe dishes leach small amounts of chemicals like BPA

BPA
Phthalates

Note: recycling code refers to the little triangle with the arrows that are labels for recycling
Safe Plastic:
–it is safe to eat out of plastics if it is unheated
–LDPE-Low density polyethylene (recycling code #4)
–PP-Polypropylene (recycling code #5)

Unsafe Plastic:
–PC-Polycarbonate plastics (recycling code #7)
–PS-Polystyrene – this leaches styrene

Plastic Wraps
Safe: LDPE-Low density polyethylene (#4)
Ex: Best Yet, Glad, Saran Green (or unbleached), or vegetable wax and parchment paper
www.greenfeet.com has some good products
–also Whole Foods Supermarkets

Unsafe: PVC-Polyvinyl chloride or vinyl (#3)
–These are known to leach phthalates

Recyclable plastics: LDPE (#4) and PP (#5)
Not recyclable: PVC (#3) and PC (#7)
–There are some with no recycling code. She asks that you refer to greenerpenny.com for this information

Other (#7)
Bioplastics (PLA)-these are not easily recyclable but you can check in your area for facilities that might recycle this material
–At the time this book was published San Francisco was the only place that had compostable plastic pick-up.
Recology SF
Is it being considered in your area?

Canned Foods
–almost all linings of canned food contain BPA that can migrate at normal room temperatures. However, only 11% have levels which were harmful to lab animals
–Her tip?: Eat more fresh and frozen foods
–choose preserved food in glass jars
–BPA leaches better in fatty or acidic foods so get foods like tomato paste or soups in cartons
TetraPak’s Tetra Brik– wood pulp and sustainable
Forest Stew (ardship) Council or FSC
–if you are buying canned baby formula go for the dry powder
–if you do buy canned baby formula try Eden Organics (BPA free label except their tomatoes
–the longer canned food sits, the higher the amount of leaching
BPA Timeline: helps determine how much leaching happens in what products in a set amount of time

Teflon
–when Teflon is OVERHEATED (over 500 degrees F) it releases hazardous fumes that cause flu-like symptoms and has been known to kill pet birds
perfluorochemical
perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
–Supposedly DuPont voluntarily agreed to phase these chemicals out by 2015, but they will still be collecting in the environment long after
–the good news is that if they are used as intended, you shouldn’t have any problems: throw away if scorched or scratched and don’t use metal utensils or overheat

Home
–you can often receive federal tax credits for making your home more energy efficient
–some states will give utility rebates for the same reason

Appliances
–the myth is dead, you do not need to wash all your clothes in hot water. Soap is awesome it does it’s job just as well in cold water. Use hot or warm water when you have heavily soiled clothes or are washing something like your re-useable grocery bags (they often have traces of salmonella and other undesirable things) or bedding (dust mites).
–You should start line drying clothes whenever possible. She gives a list of good drying racks on greenerpenny.com
–the fridge is the most draining appliance you own
–in 2009 EPA finally declared greenhouse gases to be pollution
–Learn about global warming threats: Harvard Center for Health and Global Environment
the greatest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions comes from the residential sector
–turning off lights ALWAYS when you are not using them is a very easy way to save energy
–as bulbs die out replace them with more energy efficient bulbs
–front load washing machines are more energy and water efficient then top loaders
–look for the Energy Star label on appliances and a water efficient factor less than 9.5
–Dryers: gas models are better and they make dryers that have moisture sensors that shut the dryer off when the clothes are dry

Calculate your household emissions
Calculate annual transportation AND home carbon footprint
Calculator from Inconvenient Truth

Other links:
Consortium for Energy Efficiency
Consumer Reports
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy

Lighting
–lighting is the quickest AND easiest way to make a huge energy saving difference
incandescent CFL
new LED bulbs
–look for the Energy Star approved label
–incandescents waste 95% as heat and warms the air around it. However this is only 30% of it’s energy output
–LED’s are cooler (as in not as hot lol)
–the cost is higher initially than buying crappy light bulbs at the dollar store, but the difference in energy costs pays for it over and over
–the new LED bulbs are VERYexpensive right now, but the price will go down eventually like the CFL’s did

Recycling bulbs
–IKEA and Home Depot and most hardware and lighting chains will recycle the CFL bulbs. Also, look into whether you have a local municipal household hazardous waste facility
–do not use CFL bulbs in a fixture that is completely enclosed like this one

Good labels:
Earthmate
Feit Ecobulb
Litetronics
Max Lite
Philips with Alto
Sylvania

Light quality
Task or day light: Blue Max or Max Lite
Soft white: n:vision
Desk/reading: Philips with Alto
Warm ambient: GE Soft White or Lights of America Mini Twister

Other links:
Energy Star
CFL fixtures
Environmental Defense’s Lightbulb Sector

~~~~~~Breaking a CFL!!!!~~~~~~~~~
–don’t panic lol
–air out the room for 10 minutes
–wear gloves, cover nose and mouth, put it in a lidded jar
–the mercury will have gathered in drops wipe these up with a rag and sticky tape
–seal in a plastic bag and take to your local hazardous waste facility

Heating and Cooling
–in the winter keep the temperature around 68 degrees F in the daytime and 60 degrees F at night
–use your sweaters dammit lol
–if you have electric heat, keep it below 70 degrees F
–if you use gas heat, keep at same temp but you save more
–in the summer keep the a/c at 78 degrees F or higher
–look for an Energy Star a/c
–treat the windows with either curtains or blinds in the summer (shading keeps your house cooler) or some sort of plastic wrap in the winter
US Department of Energy shades and tips
snaptint.com

Fridge
–keep the thermostat between 36 and 38 degrees F and the freezer at 3 degrees F
–if you have stuff cluttered all over the top of your fridge it can make the fridge work harder and use more energy
–clean the coils once a year with a vacuum and a wet rag
–move fridge away from the stove, which can cause it to heat up and work harder when you are cooking
–cool hot foods on the counter before putting away
–COOL PENNYBACKER TIP: If you want to check to see if the seal around your fridge door is good, insert a dollar bill halfway in the door and close. If it falls you need to replace the sealing
–fridges with freezers on the top are most energy efficient, then ones on the bottom, followed by side-to side doors

Stove/Oven
–electric-induction cooktop is the best (I have one of these and it heats up very quickly…I love it!)
–gas stoves with electric igniters are second best
–the microwave is the most efficient oven you own!!!!
–use high conductive cookware that holds heat well
–use lids when you are cooking so that the cooking time is less and you are not losing energy to heat loss
–only pre-heat your oven for 5 min

Dishwasher
–check water efficiency
–scrape food off because by not pre-winsing you can save 20 g of water a load
–run FULL loads (same with washer and dryer)
–if your dishwasher has an option to air dry, use it
–using a dishwasher is better than hand-washing (so if you have an environmentally opinionated mate this is a good selling point on getting a dishwasher 🙂
–dont run water the whole time you are washing (I am guilty of this but not so much lately)
–fill your sink with soap water and wash. Set dishes in other side of sink (if you only have one sink use a wash basin with water to rinse) then rinse all together
–you can get a low flow faucet aerator for your sink
www.greenfeet.com

Electronics
–BEST TIP!! PLUG MULTIPLE ELECTRONICS INTO POWER STRIPS AND TURN THEM OFF WHEN YOU ARE NOT USING THEM BECAUSE THEY CONTINUE TO USE ELECTRICITY TO RUN CLOCKS OR STANDBY LIGHTS EVEN WHEN OFF!!!!
I have been doing this one for awhile

Computer
–utilize the sleep or hibernate mode or turn off when you are not using it
–laptops are more efficient than desktops so 😛
if you are buying new electronics check Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics. They update this quarterly.

Hazardous electronic wastes:
arsenic, lead, mercury, toxic flame retardent, PVC plastics (phthalates)

–you can use solar chargers: Solio
–smart power strips: www.smarthomeusa.com
Kill-a-watt
thinkgeek.com/gadgets

Water
–it is best to shower in 5 minutes or less (this is hard to do as a woman especially if you have long hair. We have to shave our legs, pits, and wherever else, wash our hair, condition it, and also clean our bodies…uggghhhh)
–you can use a low flow showerhead of 2g or less
–set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees F
–the UN predicts that 2/3 of the world will suffer from water scarcity by 2025
–there are expected shortages in 36 states by 2013
–climate change will lead to even more water shortages
–the best idea is to use a tankless natural gas water heater or a zero-emission solar water heater
–water-saving supplies can be found at the author’s site: www.greenerpenny.com
–water garden and mow your lawn early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid more evaporation
–toilets are the worst water guzzlers
–there are WaterSense toilets that use 20% less than what the federal standard is
sinkpositive.com has a neat trick where you wash your hands with the water that is going to fill in the tank anyways
–AWESOME TIP ALERT: PUT A ONE LITER WATER BOTTLE IN YOUR TOILET TANK TO DISPLACE THAT AMOUNT OF WATER WHILE YOU ARE RE-USING THE SAME 1 LITER OF WATER EVERY TIME
Toilet Tank Bank
–use deep irrigation lines, water the roots and bases of trees and shrubs when gardening
organicgardening.com
NE Organic Farming Association gardening manual
–make and use a rain barrel for gardening

Learn about grey water
Barrels and deep irrigation lines
–cultivate native grasses and plants so that they are adjusted to the climate and normal moisture range. This is also best because of the threat of invasive species

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

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Part 1: “Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices” by Mindy Pennybacker

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“Do One Green Thing: Save the Earth Through Simple Everyday Choices”
by Mindy Pennybacker
copyright 2010
U.S. printed by: St. Martin’s Press

Her website:
www.GreenerPenny.com

This is my attempt at retrieving information from different sources and posting what I learn. I’m not, by any means, a pro at documentation….so don’t sue me, I’m trying!!

Food and Drink

Water
–Bottled water is not always safer than tap water
–Bottled water is less regulated
–Social Justice: Companies that bottle water contribute almost no money to the local community in which they receive this water.
–You can use a carbon filter on your tap water or use one of the filtering systems like Brita, Pur, or Zero Water.
–On July 1st your water company is required to send a reprt of what contaminents are in your water that exceed EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) levels.
Or you can look up this information:
www.ewg.org/tapwater/yourwater
www.epa.org/safewater/dwinfo/index.html

Filters
–Although they can filter out a lot of heavy metals, parasites, etc. carbon filters DO NOT remove bacteria.
–You can recycle your filters:
Preserve Products recycle Brita filters
You can mail filters to Brita and Zero Water for discounts

Water Bottles
–Stainless steel is your best bet or tempered glass
–Only re-use ones that are MEANT to be re-used.
–Safe: HDPE #2, LDPE #4, PP #5, Other #7
–Unsafe: PC #7 –> BPA
–DO NOT re-use: PET, PETE #1
–BPA can interfere with brain function and hormonal development
–Although you can’t re-use PET they are VERY recyclable.
–There are now Bioplastics made from corn or potato starch, but they are not recyclable.
–Filtered water bottles:
Aquamira w/ microbiolological filter
Fit and Fresh Liv Pure
Katadyn Micro WB
Water Geeks

Produce
–organic choices reduces exposure to pesticides
–choosing local preserves small farms and green space
–Because eating organic or local can be expensive, get the produce you eat the most as organic or local. Or you can get the organic version of produce with known high pesticides.

Toxic 13: known to use large amounts of pesticides
Apples, carrots, celery, cherries, grapes, kale, lettuce, nectarines, peach, pear, spinach, strawberries, bell peppers.

Tasty 13: known to use small amounts of pesticides
Asparagus, avocadoes, broccolli, cabbage, eggplant, mango, onion, pineapple, seet corn, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watr melon

What does organic and local mean?

Organic: USDA Certified Organic
–must have 3 years of organic practices applied to the soil before you can be certified.
–40% higher levels of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants
–certifiably free of genetic engineering or modification

Local:
–within 100-200 miles of where it is sold
–ask farmer if pesticides used, sometimes they are organic but cannot afford the certification from the USDA

Good Green Labels:
Demeter Biodynamics
Fair Trade Certified (Transfair USA)
Food Alliance Certified
Integrated Pesticide Management (IPM)
Rainforest Alliance Certified
Salmon Safe
Transitional Organic: farmers using organic methods can use this label until certified
USDA Organic

–Best to eat what is in season because of the carbon footprint of greenhouses.
Find out what is in season in your state
Find Farmer’s Markets

Some definitions:
100% Organic – ALL organic
Organic – at least 95% organic ingredients
Made with Organic – at least 70% organic ingredients, may not have USDA logo.

Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate
Bird Friendly Coffee
“shade grown” and cultivated in a rainforest under a natural canopy. Leaf litter creates a natural fertilizer and these crops house more types of forest birds.
–Certified Organic
grown w/o synthetic pesticides using cover crops and other methods
–Fair Trade Certified
prices are higher than commodity market rate, IPM methods used
–Rainforst Alliance Certified
worker’s rights and welfare looked after, no child labor, at least 40% of the crops are grown in shade.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8