Go Green One Step at a Time

You can make a positive impact at the personal, local and global levels by taking small steps to go green in your own life. Begin today — look over CET’s list of 3 Ways to a Greener Lifestyle and find something to do right now that makes a difference.

3 Ways to a Greener Lifestyle

Action #1: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Action #2: Make Your Home More Energy Efficient – and Comfortable too! Action #3: Use Renewable Energy

Action #1: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

RecyclingEvery product bought and sold requires energy to produce and distribute, and results in more waste.  Making smart choices before you make a purchase and thinking ahead about where your waste ends allows you to take simple actions that make a big difference.

  • Recycling, along with reducing and reusing materials saves energy, money and reduces the use of precious natural resources.  Remember, it’s not just about paper or plastic. And, different communities have different rules about what materials can be recycled. Learn about ways you can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in your community.
  • Home composting is a great way to reuse your food waste and turn it into “black gold.”  CET offers workshops to help you improve your system of making compost – for experienced to novice composters.  Check our Events page for upcoming presentations in your area.
  • Donating building materials like kitchen cabinets, windows and doors to your local reuse store makes a big difference.  When you donate instead of dumping, you not only save useful materials from the landfill, you also help make home improvement affordable for more people.  Before discarding valuable building materials – or starting your next home improvement job – check out our store, EcoBuilding Bargains in Springfield, the largest building supply reuse store in New England.
  • Remember to recycle your household hazardous waste and electronics at community collection events.  This action helps keep numerous unsafe toxins out of our landfills and our environment.  Contact us to find out when the next collection day is in your area.
  • Reduce your waste today by taking small actions like taking reusable cloth or canvass bags on all of your shopping trips and purchasing coffee in reusable travel mugs.  They may be simple actions but they make it possible for us take a green action every day.

Action #2:  Make Your Home More Energy Efficient – and Comfortable!

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The best way to reduce your energy use and save money on heating and cooling your home is to add insulation to your attic or walls and plug up the extra drafts in your home.  You will increase the comfort and value of your home at the same time. Mass Save™ (866-527-7823) offers a no-cost home energy assessment and access to these efficiency measures and more at no and low cost to you. Natural resources are limited and we need to learn to use them more wisely in the twenty-first century. Other actions in your home can really add up too.

  • Change over your high-use lamps to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and LED light bulbs.  These bulbs last longer, use less electricity, reduce the emissions impacts from energy production and definitely save you money.
  • Take these savings further by purchasing Energy Star appliances.  You can also reduce your energy use even more by turning off inefficient air conditioning and using fans to cool your home.
  • Install and set your programmable thermostat.  By setting your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and up in the summer, when you’re sleeping or away during the day, you will receive significant savings.  Whether programming it or using a dial, make the change today.
  • Install affordable interior storm windows instead of costly replacement.
  • Upgrade to an energy-efficient heating or cooling system, significant incentives including a 0% interest HEAT Loan are available to help you make this change when the time comes.

To better understand the science behind energy efficiency, consider attending CET’s timely and informative seminars and workshops.  You’ll learn tips that save money and cut your home energy use. Check our Events page for upcoming workshops and programs.

Action #3: Use Renewable Energy

Did you know there are affordable renewable energy solutions available to you today? Feel good about your electricity: You can choose to match 100 percent your home electricity use with clean, local, renewable energy sources.  For less than 50 cents a day, many electric customers can choose renewable energy through the New England Green Start or New England Wind programs – and your contribution is tax deductible. Interested in Solar Electricity (PV) or Solar Hot Water for your home? Find out about renewable energy systems and incentives.  You may be surprised by the innovative financial options to get a system that’s right for you sooner than you thought possible. Also – check our Events page for upcoming workshops and programs. Make a difference today so we can kick the fossil fuel habit as a nation and choose a cleaner future together!

 

Looking for more great ways to green your lifestyle:

Consider walking, biking or using public transit before you drive your car to work, school or everyday errands.  When purchasing your next vehicle, consider the most fuel efficient one in the class of car or truck you need for everyday use.  Your choice of transportation is an important way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Consider choosing healthy, local and organic foods that require fewer chemicals and fossil fuels to produce and transport the foods to your table.  Our food choices have significant impact the environment so join a local Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, or start your own vegetable garden.