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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Electric lighting represents up to 25% of the average home energy budget. Ensure you are using lighting that is energy efficient, which will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Both Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) bulbs are much more energy efficient than an incandescent bulb.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of each courtesy of our friends at Eartheasy.com and EnergyStar.gov:

Light Emitting Diode (LED) Lighting:

  • Reduces energy costs: LED bulbs use at least 75% than incandescent lighting which saves on operating expenses.
  • Long-lasting: LED bulbs last up to 10 times as long as CFLs and 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting.
  • Durable: Since LEDs do not have a filament, they are not damaged under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb would be broken. Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping.
  • Cool: LEDs produce very little heat.
  • Mercury-free: No mercury is used in the manufacturing of LEDs.
  • Cost-effective: Although LEDs are initially expensive, the cost is recouped over time and in battery savings. LED bulb use was first adopted commercially, where maintenance and replacement costs are expensive. But the cost of new LED bulbs has gone down considerably in the last few years. and are continuing to go down. Today, there are many new LED light bulbs for use in the home, and the cost is becoming less of an issue.
  • Light for remote areas and portable generators: Because of the low power requirement for LEDs, using solar panels becomes more practical and less expensive than running an electric line or using a generator for lighting in remote or off-grid areas. LED light bulbs are also ideal for use with small portable generators which homeowners use for backup power in emergencies.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL):

  • Efficient: CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than incandescents. A 22 watt CFL has about the same light output as a 100 watt incandescent. CFLs use 50 – 80% less energy than incandescents.
  • Less Expensive: Although initially more expensive, you save money in the long run because CFLs use 1/3 the electricity and last up to 10 times as long as incandescents. A single 18 watt CFL used in place of a 75 watt incandescent will save about 570 kWh over its lifetime. At 8 cents per kWh, that equates to a $45 savings.
  • Reduces Air and Water Pollution: Replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep a half-ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb. If everyone in the U.S. used energy-efficient lighting, we could retire 90 average size power plants. Saving electricity reduces CO2 emissions, sulfur oxide and high-level nuclear waste.
  • High-Quality Light: Newer CFLs give a warm, inviting light instead of the “cool white” light of older fluorescents. They use rare earth phosphors for excellent color and warmth (the use of rare earth minerals could also be considered a limitation in the manufacturing of CFLs). New electronically ballasted CFLs don’t flicker or hum.
  • Versatile: CFLs can be applied nearly anywhere that incandescent lights are used. Energy-efficient CFLs can be used in recessed fixtures, table lamps, track lighting, ceiling fixtures and porch lights. 3-way CFLs are also now available for lamps with 3-way settings. Dimmable CFLs are also available for lights using a dimmer switch.

Here are a few limitations of CFLs to consider when considering which source of energy efficient lighting to choose:

  • On/Off cycling: CFLs are sensitive to frequent on/off cycling. Their rated lifetimes of 10,000 hours are reduced in applications where the light is switched on and off very often. Closets and other places where lights are needed for brief illumination should use incandescent or LED bulbs.
  • Dimmers: Dimmable CFLs are available for lights using a dimmer switch, but check the package; not all CFLs can be used on dimmer switches. Using a regular CFL with a dimmer can shorten the bulb life span.
  • Outdoors: CFLs can be used outdoors, but should be covered or shaded from the elements. Low temperatures may reduce light levels – check the package label to see if the bulb is suited for outdoor use.
  • Retail lighting: CFLs are not spot lights. Retail store display lighting usually requires narrow focus beams for stronger spot lighting. CFLs are better for area lighting.
  • Mercury content: CFLs contain small amounts of mercury which is a toxic metal. This metal may be released if the bulb is broken, or during disposal.
Burned out CFLs can be dropped off at Home Depot, Menards or IKEA Stores.

For more information about LED and CFL lighting, visit http://eartheasy.com/live_energyeff_lighting.htm.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Eartheasy.com
Eartheasy provides solutions for sustainable living. They are a family business with an incredible story. They believe that the values of a simpler, less-consumptive lifestyle, with respect for nature, can benefit anyone in any setting – urban, suburban or rural. They want to get us thinking about what constitutes true wealth in your life, and the implications our lifestyle and consumer choices have on the environment.

Sustainable living is about respecting the limits of the earth’s capacity to provide. ~Greg Seaman, founder of Eartheasy.com

 

 

 

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

GREEN TIP: As we march into Holiday gift buying season every penny counts so discover new ways to save money while saving the planet.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Green Cleaning

Green cleaning products will improve your health, lessen adverse environmental impacts and save money. Instead of buying a myriad of toxic chemicals from the store, get spotless countertops, floors, bathrooms and more the old-fashioned way, with vinegar, baking soda, borax and elbow grease.

Visit Green Tip – Spring Cleaning to get some simple green cleaning recipes .

Print On Both Sides

It’s not that hard to print on both sides of the paper. But even though most software programs give that option, most of us still print only on one side of the page. Consider this: the U.S. alone uses 4 million tons of copy paper annually, about 27 pounds per person. Save some money and your local landfill. Print on two sides.

Visit The Daily Green for more money saving tips.

Stop Idling

We talked about it last week, idling wastes fuel, gets you nowhere and produces unnecessary greenhouse gases. If you’re going to be stopped for more than 30 seconds, except in traffic, turn off the engine. Older vehicles, however, may need more idling time when first started. In cold, winter conditions all vehicles may need more idling time to warm up and ensure the windshield is fully defogged. Be sure your vehicle is warmed enough to prevent stalling when you pull out.

Visit Eartheasy.com and Green Tips – Greening Your Road Trips for more fuel efficient driving tips.

Stop Buying Bottled Water

Drink filtered tap water. This simple tip will conserve resources, help the environment and save you money.

Visit Green Tips – Stop Using Bottled Water for more information about bottled water.

Replace Disposables

Whenever possible, instead of purchasing disposable products that contribute to our waste stream, buy reusable products. This green tip may require an initial purchase of some quality items but in the end you’ll save money and the planet. For example use rechargeable batteries, cloth napkins, stainless steel water bottles and permanent coffee filters.

Visit Green Tip – Think Reusable NOT Disposable for more tips.

Use Your Computer Settings

Did you know that 90% of desktop computers are not optimized for energy efficiency? Take advantage of “sleep” and “hibernate” settings, and turn off your computer when you won’t be using it for an hour or more.

And while you’re at it, unplug other electronics around your home or office when they’re not in use. Many appliances continue to draw electricity when they’re turned off, releasing unnecessary pollutants into the air, and costing you unnecessary dollars.

Visit Top 5 Energy-efficient Computers for more information.

Visit Your Library

Instead of buying books, CDs, DVDs and even magazines that you barely use, check materials out of your neighborhood library, or relax inside their quiet walls. Over time, you can save money, and you’ll help divert paper and plastics from landfills.

Adjust Your Thermostat

You can save as much as 20% a year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 7 – 10 degrees for 8 hours each day. You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat lets you preset the times your home is heated, so heat can be lowered while you are asleep or out of the house. The cost, between $30 – $50, is offset by the long-term energy savings. Installation is easy for the average home handyman – you don’t need to hire a serviceman.

Visit Eartheasy.com for more information.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

NewDream.org
The Center for a New American Dream helps Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice.

Raising independent-minded kids in today’s highly commercialized culture can be tough. The Center for a New American Dream’s Kids and Commercialism Campaign raises awareness of the effects of marketing on kids. They offer practical tips and tools that help adults teach kids the financial skills and media literacy necessary to tune out the siren’s song of excessive advertising, and experience the joy of having more fun with less stuff.

Local Notes:

Eco Chic Boutique is having Sales, Santa and Silliness on Green Friday, November 26th, 2010.

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

GREEN TIP: Driving and maintaining your vehicle properly can increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and decrease your gas costs. Keep this in mind as you plan your Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday road trips.

Our friends at Traveling Greener have put together some ways to practice more fuel-efficient driving, creating less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, just in time for the holidays.

Planning your trip:

  • Get a customized map with low gas prices along the route. Because getting lost while driving in unfamiliar areas could lead to an expensive waste of gas.
    • FuelEconomy.gov provides fuel economy estimates, energy and environmental impact ratings, fuel-saving tips, and other useful information.
    • GasBuddy.com is a network of more than 200 website designed to help you find the lowest gasoline prices
    • MapQuest: Gas Prices includes maps of gas locations.
  • Choose the right vehicle. If your family has more than one vehicle, drive the car that gets better gas mileage.
  • Drive during off-peak hours to reduce gas costs and stress by avoiding stop-and-go or bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions.
  • Investigate other travel options. Consider trains, buses, or public transportation to your destination.
  • Explore new ways to get around at your destination. Find information on biking, public transportation routes, car sharing, walking, and renting hybrid or fuel-efficient vehicles.

Preparing your vehicle:

  • Inflate your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated improves gas mileage by around 3%.
  • Select the right oil. Using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil improves gas mileage by 1 to 2%. Motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol contains friction-reducing additives. Change your oil as recommended to extend the life of your vehicle.
    • If you’re changing your own oil make sure you dispose of your used motor oil responsibly. Used oil from a single oil change can ruin a million gallons of fresh water, a year’s supply for 50 people. Take your used motor oil to a used oil collection site (UOCS) that accepts and recycles used motor oil. In the US call 1-800-CLEANUP and in Canada call 1-800-667-4321 for the nearest used oil disposal facility. Source: Eartheasy.com
  • Tune up. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%.

On the road: Driving Tips

  • Decrease your speed. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly above 60 mph. Each five miles per hour over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents or more per gallon for gas.
  • Drive sensibly. Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts), and rapid braking can lower gas mileage by up to 33% at highway speeds and up to 5% in town.
  • Use cruise control and overdrive gear. Cruise control cuts fuel consumption by maintaining a steady speed during highway driving. Overdrive gear, when appropriate, reduces engine speed, saves gas, and reduces engine wear.
  • Avoid carrying items on your vehicle’s roof. A loaded roof rack or carrier increases weight and aerodynamic drag, which can cut mileage by 5%. Place items inside the trunk when possible to improve fuel economy.
  • Avoid idling, which gets 0 mpg. Cars with larger engines typically waste even more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.
  • Fill up before returning a rental car. Rental car companies charge higher gas prices if you don’t fill up the tank before returning the vehicle. Also save your gas receipts as proof.

For more money saving tips and resources, go to DriveSmarterChallenge.org.

The less gasoline used, the less money we pay, the less pollution we create, and the more we protect our planet.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Eartheasy.com
Eartheasy provides solutions for sustainable living. They are a family business with an incredible story. They believe that the values of a simpler, less-consumptive lifestyle, with respect for nature, can benefit anyone in any setting – urban, suburban or rural. They want to get us thinking about what constitutes true wealth in your life, and the implications our lifestyle and consumer choices have on the environment.

Sustainable living is about respecting the limits of the earth’s capacity to provide. ~Greg Seaman, founder of Eartheasy.com

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