Click here to check out what other members of the SWC community are doing to build a more sustainable Whidbey Island.
- When cleaning out your office, keep in mind that Island Recycling accepts Televisions/Monitors/Computer towers (“cpu’s”) and Lap-top computers free of charge as a part of the E-Cycle Washington Program.
Do your part for your environment and save money by keeping reusable and recyclable items out of the landfills.
- Use non-toxic cleaning solutions whenever possible. Non-toxic cleaners are available at almost all of Whidbey’s grocery stores. You can also search online for easy ways to make your own nontoxic cleaners.
- Reducing fax-related paper waste by using a fax-modem and by using a fax cover sheet only when necessary. Fax-modems allow documents to be sent directly from a computer, without requiring a printed hard copy.
- Make sure your faucet has an aerator. Aerators reduce water flow by 25% while producing a water stream that is every bit as good for washing dishes, hand, or fruits and vegetables.
- Screen savers generally do not save energy. In fact, certain graphics-intensive screen savers can cause the computer to burn twice as much energy, and may actually prevent a computer from entering sleep mode.
- Plants can serve as natural air filters.They improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants such as formaldehyde (which is found in carpeting, upholstery, particle board and electronics). Some plants that work well in an office environment include: Boston Fern, Dracena, English Ivy, Peace Lilly, Philodendron, Snake Plants and Spider Plants.
- Turn off your engine when you stop for a minute or two. It is a myth that it’s more fuel efficient to leave your engine running for a few minutes rather than turn it off and restart it.
- Nickle-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries and Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) rechargeable batteries are the most highly recommended, longest lasting batteries you can buy.
- Don’t just throw it away! Unwanted household and office items- furniture, books, appliances, office supplies, electronics and more can be donated to help your local environment and local community. Donations made to local second-hand stores support local non-profits in your community and help the environment by reducing waste. Donations are tax-deductibleDonate to a local thrift store:
o Oak Harbor: My Father’s House, The Feather Duster, Island Thrift, Oak Harbor Thrift Store, The Raven’s Nest Second Hand Treasure, Rings and Things
o Coupeville: New Beginnings
o Freeland: Community Thrift, WAIF Thrift Store, The RE Store
o Langley: Thrift & Consignments, Island County Seniors Thrift Store, Good Cheer Thrift Shop
o Clinton: Good Cheer Two Thrift Store
Schedule a free pick up:
The Re Store (furniture)- Oak Harbor and Freeland http://www.
(360) 675-8733 North Whidbey or (360) 331-6272 South Whidbey.
The ARC of Washington (household items)
List items online:
Whidbey Freecycle http://groups.yahoo.com/group/
- To save you colored printer ink when printing a black and white document, go to “Printer Properties”. Click the “Color” tab. Check the box for” Print in Grayscale” and then click the box for “Black Print Cartridge Only”.
- Did You Know? It is estimated that the amount of energy used to pump, process, transport and refrigerate plastic bottled water is over 50 MILLION BARRELS of oil annually.
- The Environmental Working Group has put together a “Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce”. View the list summary, including the “Clean 15″ and the “Dirty Dozen” on their website: http://www.getgreenliving.com/is-buying-organic-worth-the-price/ or http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/.
- Avoid traveling during peak periods. Congestion has a noticeable effect on your fuel consumption and carbon footprint. When stuck in traffic, the fuel consumption of your vehicle can double the rate it gets at a steady cruising speed. Think about investing in a GPS that can alert you to traffic hot spots and suggest ways to avoid them.
- LED bulbs last up to 25 years, use up to 80 percent less energy, are dimmable and produce the same quality and brightness of light that customers are used to getting from old incandescent bulbs.PSE’s LED bulb tips can be viewed at Flickr.com/PugetSoundEnergy in the PSE’s LED Bulb Tips album. To learn more about LED bulbs and available PSE rebates, visit PSE.com/LEDs or call a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- If you have a manual thermostat or no thermostat at all, one way to save energy and money this fall and winter is to install a programmable thermostat. When installed and used with the four pre-programmed temperature settings for weekend and weekdays, you can save about $100 each year while staying comfortable.
- In the colder months when the windows are closed, indoor air quality becomes more of an issue. Make it a policy to buy furniture, carpeting, and paint that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and won’t off-gas toxic chemicals.
- Did You Know: Energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest, and fastest energy source. Click here to learn more about the Community Energy Challenge.
- Salts commonly used to de-ice sidewalks can be very harmful to plant and animal life. Look for safer de-icers made from calcium magnesium acetate, potassium chloride, or calcium chloride.
- Consider shopping online, if you really can’t find everything on your list locally. To have 10 pounds of packages shipped by overnight air uses 40 percent less fuel than driving yourself round-trip to the mall, according to the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions
- Did You Know: Household waste increases 25% each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day?
- Reduce the size of your trash receptacles inside your business (and your home). It will result in people “thinking twice” before throwing things away! (Dena Royal, Crafters Co-op, where EVERY day is Earth Day!)
- Adjusting the thermostat by just two degrees is the equivalent of losing 2,000 pounds of carbon emissions annually and almost $100 in energy costs.
- Did you know: You can recycle your old ink cartridges at Boomerang in Clinton. All brands are accepted.
- Check the ducts. To ensure that as much warm air as possible is delivered through your central system, check the ductwork and wrap any leaks with duct mastic. Distribution losses (what’s lost while air is transported from your furnace through ductwork to the vents) often amounts to 30%. So, sealing ductwork could increase efficiency and the warm air you receive considerably … keeping you warmer and making your furnace work less.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace, save your ashes in a tin instead of throwing them away. Cold wood ashes can be mixed in your compost heap to create a valuable soil amendment that provides nutrients to your garden.
- DID YOU KNOW: You can buy Green Power from PSE! It is an easy, voluntary way for you to buy renewable energy for your home. You decide how much Green Power you would like to purchase, starting with a minimum $4 more per month, or you can choose to go 100% GreenPower, whatever works best for you. For more information, go to PSE.com/GreenPower or call 1800-562-1482
- Request e-bills and e-statements to reduce the paper mail in your box, save trees, and never worry about lost mail.
- Develop a training program to teach and encourage employees to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Consider offering incentives.
- Did You Know: You could qualify for up to $1,500 in free LED lighting through the Community Energy Challenge? For more information, contact Cathy d’Almeida at email@example.com.
- Spread the word! Include a bit about the Whidbey Green Seal in your next email or newsletter. Encourage patronage of WGS businesses, and invite others to apply for their own WGS! Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/
- Check out the US Environmental Protection Agency, environmentally preferable purchasing website:
eppstand2.nsf/Pages/ DisplayAisle.html?Open& Hardware%20Store&Cleaning% 20Supplies%20and%20Equipment& Type=4
- Did you know?
Although CFL’s are more energy efficient than incandescents, each bulb contains about 5mg of mercury. The best way to reduce mercury contamination from CFLs is to recycle them properly.There are many convenient places to recycle your CFL (and incandescent) light bulbs on Whidbey! Save yourself a trip to the recycling center and just bring your light bulbs along next time you are headed to:
The PSE Community Office in Oak Harbor or Freeland;
Langley City Hall;
Coupeville Town Hall;
Oak Harbor Library;
and Home Depot in Oak Harbor.
- If your company is interested in hosting a bulb recycling box on Whidbey Island, they may sign up at http://pse.com/
savingsandenergycenter/ ForHomes/Pages/Host-a-Bulb- Recycling-Collection-Box.aspx. Hosting a bulb recycling box is completely free, easy (paid postage is provided, and boxes are quite easy to seal and ship), and is another great way to demonstrate that a business cares about the sustainably-minded customer.
- Think twice about printing a piece of paper. Sometimes nothing replaces being able to look at and mark up a document, but often we’re keeping a copy for reference. You can often save your own time by not printing. A piece of paper has to be created, then used for printing, retrieved and filed for later use. Quite a few steps, and often those papers end up on piles on a desk. If you can save a document as a Word or a PDF file, you may be able to find it much easier using the search function of your computer. In addition, you don’t have to set up or physically store paper files, allowing you to reduce clutter in your office. Give it a try. Some word processing programs have a print to PDF function, so try it at home if this function isn’t available at work.
-Courtesy of Whidbey General Hospital
- Reduce your carbon footprint! Leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1,600 pounds per year.
- Did you know: For every trash can of waste you put outside for the trash collector, about 70 trash cans of waste are used in order to create that trash! To reduce the amount of waste you produce, buy products in returnable and recyclable containers and recycle as much as you can.
- Consider retiring older appliances early and replacing with Energy Star labeled products.
- Don’t heat your freezer. Site heat-producing appliances away from refrigeration equipment. (It is not uncommon to see grilling or frying equipment next to coolers and freezers.)
- Did You Know: Buying food from nearby family farms provides you with fresher, tastier, and often more nourishing food? It also helps support the economy of our local rural communities.