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Greening Your Getaway

Summer is the perfect time for a weekend getaway, or an even longer vacation. It is a great time to refresh, revisit with friends and reconnect with your inner self and explore the world. Why not do so in a green, eco-friendly way? Rejuvenate yourself while being kind to the planet. Our Zoo animals and their wild counterparts will thank you. Every action we take, even ones while on vacation, has an impact on these animals and their habitats. When you go on vacation, don’t send your green habits on vacation also. Check out these tips for greening your getaway.

  • Getting from Here to There – Flying has the greatest environmental impact compared to trains and automobiles. When making arrangements, travel by land if possible and as an added bonus, land travel allows you to see where you’re going. If you do need to fly, combine trips and avoid stopovers and look into buying carbon offsets for your flight.
  • Watch What You Pack – Pack light. The more you pack, the heavier your bag (or bags) and the more jet fuel will be used (not to mention extra charges for checked baggage). Before you leave, do a little research to find out what the weather will be like at your destination and pack accordingly. Not all countries/destinations have sophisticated waste management or recycling facilities. Avoid disposable items and substitute biodegradable products in your toiletries case.
  • Home Goes on Vacation too – Before you leave, make a few changes at home to keep it safe, save energy and have a lower utility bill. Switch off all the lights, turn off and unplug electronics and appliances, turn down thermostat on your hot water heater and adequately adjust your home’s heating or cooling system. Suspend your newspaper subscription as well.
  • Going Paperless – In this digital age, utilize the Internet as much as you can for booking accommodations, travel and tours. Use your public library, friends and family to gather more information on your destination, rather than gathering brochures from travel agencies or buying new guide books. Once you are at your destination, take free maps and brochures only as necessary.
  • Eco-Accommodations – If you are able to, stay in places with specially designed vacation resorts, farm stays, and tours with green credentials and that are ecologically sustainable. Let housekeeping know you don’t need your sheets and towels changed every single day. Bring your own toiletries (those small free bottles waste a lot of packaging) and use reusable containers instead of travel size items. Turn of the A/C or heat when you leave the room, as well as the TV and lights, and unplug any appliances or chargers that aren’t in use.
  • While You Stay – Travel with a reusable water bottle and/or coffee mug. Walk to and from places, or use public transportation if it is available. It is greener, and cheaper. When you’re shopping for souvenirs, do so safely. Purchase items that don’t exploit or deplete local wildlife and flora. Support local crafts people instead of purchasing plastic or touristy items that are most likely imported.

Sources:

True Green Life in 100 Everyday Ways by Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin

Ready, Set, Green by Graham Hill and Meaghan O’Neill

July 22, 2010   2 Comments

Go Local!

Another way in making small strides towards a sustainable lifestyle is by supporting your local and eco-friendly businesses. By doing so, you are supporting your community, as well as reducing carbon dioxide emissions from having to transport goods from place to place. Check out this Cincinnati Green Businesses map that showcases various local and/or green businesses throughout the tri-state area. Find out who in your area sells eco-friendly products, serves organic ingredients in their restaurants, and incorporates sustainable practices in their day to day operations.

Buy local! Go Green!

June 8, 2010   No Comments

Computer & TV Recycling

Remember back in the “Recycling Basics” blog post when we talked about the benefits of recycling your paper, plastic, aluminum and glass? Well don’t forget about other items that can be recycled at specific drop off points throughout the city. Items such as your computer, television and other electronics are recyclable items that don’t want to end up in the landfill.

By recycling these items, you are:

  • reducing the release of greenhouse gases
  • saving energy because less energy is being used to manufacture new products
  • protecting trees and prevents destruction of natural habitats
  • conserving natural resources such as wood, water and minerals
  • curbing landfill growth by keeping 70 tons of waste a year from being deposited

Both Hamilton County and Butler County are offering computer and TV recycling drop offs to their residents. Read below for more details, or visit their websites.

Hamilton County Residents Computer & TV Recycling Drop-Offs

Where: 2trg, 11085 Kenwood Road, Blue Ash, OH 45242

When: June 1st through June 30th, 2010

Hours: M-F 9am – 4pm; Sat. June 19 9am-2pm

Bring: proof of residency

What: CPUs, hard drives, personal copiers, docking stations, monitors, scanners, printers, cellular telephones, televisions, hard drives, tape and disk drives, VCR and DVD players, circuit boards, cables, mainframes, servers, terminals, fax machines, PDAs, back up batteries, chips, keyboards, mice, modems, computer speakers, CD Rom drives, and laptops.

For more information, please call 946-7766 or visit www.hamiltoncountyrecycles.org.

Butler County Residents Computer & Television Recycling Drop-Offs

Where:    Butler County Engineer’s Office, 1921 Fairgrove Avenue, Hamilton, OH  45011

When:     2nd & 3rd Saturdays – April through September, 2010

Hours:     9am – 1pm

Bring: proof of residency

What: CPUs, hard drives, monitors, televisions (all formats – cathode ray tubes, LCD, plasma, etc.), desktop printers, scanners, fax machines, cell phones, cordless phones, VCRs, DVD players, compact discs

*Limit of 2 televisions and 5 computer systems per household.

For more information, please call 887-3653 or visit http://butlercountyrecycles.org/index.cfm?page=collectEvents.

June 1, 2010   2 Comments