Winter 2021 Green Tip Lower your thermostat: Reducing the temperature on your heating system’s thermostat by a few degrees will, over the course of a year, reduce the amount of energy and money you spend on heating.
The Week of Monday, December 7
Nearly 40 percent of food produced in the United States goes to waste. This uneaten food represents losses of billions of dollars, pollutes the environment, contributes to the climate emergency, and does nothing to help the one in eight Americans struggling with food insecurity. For food service businesses, wasted food accounts for higher costs on food purchasing, and often results in higher-than-necessary disposal charges. San Francisco’s new food waste prevention program Kitchen Zero SF will help your business track and reduce food waste, eliminating the needless extra costs that result.
The Week of Monday, October 5 Learn about cost-effective ways to save water by visiting West Basin Municpal Water District's conservation website: https://conservation.westbasin.org/.
The Week of Monday, September 28 Dispose of hazardous and electronic waste at collection events scheduled throughout L.A. County via Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts. For list of upcoming events, follow this link.
The Week of Monday, September 14
Look into rebates available from some of our Partners to save money, energy, and water:
The California Green Business Network and partners presented a webinar series aimed to help businesses adapt and Recover, Build Resilience, and Incorporate Sustainability into the years that come. Check out their library here: https://greenbusinessca.org/green-tips/id/85/.
Nearly 40 percent of food produced in the United States goes to waste. This uneaten food represents losses of billions of dollars, pollutes the environment, contributes to the climate emergency, and does nothing to help the one in eight Americans struggling with food insecurity. For food service businesses, wasted food accounts for higher costs on food purchasing, and often results in higher-than-necessary disposal charges. San Francisco’s new food waste prevention program Kitchen Zero SF will help your business track and reduce food waste, eliminating the needless extra costs that result: https://greenbusinessca.org/green-tips/id/88/.
Californians throw away nearly 6 million tons of food scraps or food waste each year, representing about 18 percent of all the material that goes to landfills. The emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic wastes in land-fills have been identified as a significant source of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions contributing to global climate change. California’s new Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling law (AB 1826) requires businesses to recycle their organic waste. More information can be found here, which provides links to resources and tools for various business sectors (restaurants, schools, hospitality, etc) to reduce thier food waste: https://greenbusinessca.org/green-tips/id/79/.
The Week of Monday, July 13
In 2009, the California Sustainability Alliance assembled an expert group of professionals with substantial experience in commercial real estate to develop and test strategies to overcome the significant barriers to greening the 90% of California’s commercial office space that is leased. This effort focused on “green leasing”, i.e., integrating sustainability practices into the entire commercial leasing process. Follow this link for more a step-by-step guide to green leases for property managers: https://greenbusinessca.org/green-tips/id/65/.
The Week of Monday, June 29
Employee Resource Guide: this guide is full of resources and information employees can use to help them go green at the workplace and at home! Use this guide to improve the health of yourself, your colleagues, your family, and the environment: https://greenbusinessca.org/green-tips/id/82/.
The Week of Monday, June 15
Single-use food containers are often treated with chemicals known as PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances) to make them water and grease resistant, but these chemicals are harmful to our health and should be avoided.
Aerators: Install flow restrictor aerators inside all faucets for a savings of 3 to 4 gallons per minute.
Check out our Partner West Basin Municipal Water District's FREE "Change & Save" program, which distributes aeorators and other water-efficient devices: https://change-save.com/.
The Week of Monday, May 11
Home Shade: In hot areas, if you have west-facing windows use window treatments such as blinds, tints, deciduous trees or trellises to help keep out heat from the summer sun. In general, you will lower your summer air-conditioning bill by planting trees and bushes along the west side of your home.
The Week of Monday, May 4
Fix Leaks Promptly! It is estimated that 13.7% of household water is wasted by leaks. Check your water meter when no one is using water in the house. If it's moving there's a leak. A running toilet can waste 2 gallons a minute. Check by adding food coloring to the tank without flushing. After 10 minutes, look for leaks indicated by color in the bowl. This is most likely a worn flapper valve that can easily be replaced.
The Week of Monday, April 27
Set goals to reduce your energy consumption:
Set specific energy reduction goals (for electricity, gas, and gallons of fuel consumed in your car(s)) -- for example, commit to using 20% less per month.
Determine a baseline to start reducing from. Print the energy and water consumption chart and post in a visible spot in your home.
Make specific changes in products used and family member habits.
Once a month, add the new usage information to the charts and make adjustments as needed to reach your goals.
Use the money saved to do something fun with your family (if you have children, increase their allowances by the amount saved to encourage them to get involved in finding new ways to conserve).
The Week of Monday, March 30
Simplify your life as much as possible. Only keep belongings that you use/enjoy on a regular basis. By making the effort to reduce what you own, you will naturally purchase less/create less waste in the future.
The Week of Monday, March 23
Buy Only What You Need: Buy only as much as you know you'll use for items such as food, cleaning supplies, and paint.
The Week of Monday, March 16
Choose greener hygiene products. It’s time to start reading the backs of your bottles.Some personal hygiene and beauty products contain harmful substances known to be skin irritants, poisons and even carcinogens.Choosing natural-ingredient products over those highly processed ones has many benefits.
First, the toxins will no longer be coming in contact with your body each day, and you’ll also be avoiding companies that produce excessive greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing.
So, which ingredients should you avoid and what products might contain them?In partnership with the Environmental Working Group, theCampaign for Safe Cosmeticshas createdSkin Deep, a searchable online database of cosmetics and personal care products where you can check your sunscreen, shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream and more for toxic ingredients.
The Week of Monday, March 9
Pack-it-Out: If you are traveling and no recycle bins are available, pack your recyclables home with you whenever possible.
The Week of Monday, March 2
Mug-to-Go: carry a mug with you wherever you go for take out beverages.
The Week of Monday, February 24
Keyhole Garden: create a garden with a raised bed, lasagna garden, composting, and recycling system all rolled into one. The design creates a garden that uses recycled materials, less water and maintenance, and can be made handicap-accessible.
According to the World Bank, agriculture and related land use changes comprise a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. By adopting what they call “Climate Smart Agriculture” (CSA), we can feed the world’s growing population while reducing stress on the environment, and the people who grow our food.
Adopt a plant-based diet. Beef alone counts for almost half of the greenhouse gas emissions in the American diet. Start simple by joining the Meatless Monday campaign and vow to spend one day a week eating nothing but plant-based foods. There are plenty of protein-rich alternatives to meat like beans and tempeh and lots of vegetarian meal ideas on the EarthShare Pinterest page.
Waste less food. Did you know that Americans spend $90 billion each year on food that never gets eaten? Follow these tips from NRDC to learn how you can cut down on food waste.
Buy organic: “Organic” refers to farming without the use of synthetic chemicals to control bugs or weeds. Use this guide from Environmental Working Group to help you shop for the best toxic-free produce at the grocery store.
Support farm workers. Farmworkers frequently encounter abusive labor practices at the hands of unscrupulous employers. Visit Farmworker Justice to learn about the laws and campaigns you can support to ensure the people growing our food lead good lives.
Buy local. Farmers markets keep communities healthy and economically strong and save energy by reducing the miles that food has to travel to get to your plate. But there are even more ways to support local food.
Tell companies you care. Tell your favorite food company that you’d like them to join the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance to push for more sustainable national food laws.
Protect pollinators. Beyond Pesticides and The Center for Food Safety launched the BEE Protective campaign, a national public education effort supporting local action aimed at protecting honey bees and other pollinators from pesticides and contaminated landscapes. You can get involved here.
Save farmland. For years, many Americans have watched as farms and ranches in their communities have been transformed into new housing developments, shopping centers, and soccer fields. Between 1992 and 2012, we lost nearly 31 million acres of land. That’s 175 acres an hour, or 3 acres every single minute. Visit American Farmland Trust to find out how we can stop the erosion of our vital farmland.
The Week of Monday, February 3
Shade-Grown or Bird Friendly Coffee: Switching to shade-grown and bird friendly coffee helps protect dwindling bird habitats.
The Week of Monday, January 27
Check out environmentally-friendly soap nuts (Sapindus) to replace your laundry detergent. It can also be used as a general cleaning soap.
The Week of Monday, January 20
Fixers Collective: create or join a fixers collective in your community to get together once a month or so to help each other repair broken appliances and other household items.
Chart the number of gallons of water used in the last 12 months (for comparison to each month this year) (if water consumption is listed by CCF (hundred cubic feet), one CCF equals 748 gallons.
Make specific changes in products used and family member habits:
buy water saving products where needed
get your family involved by asking for specific changes in everyone's habits
Once a month, add the new usage information to the charts and make adjustments as needed to reach your goals
If you have children, increase their allowances by the amount saved to encourage them to get involved in finding new ways to conserve
The Week of Monday, December 16
Observe an Eco-Sabbath: for one day, afternoon or hour a week, don't buy anything, don't use machines, don't switch on anything electric, don't cook, don't answer your phone and, in general, don't use any resources. (source)
The Week of Monday, December 9
For your business/organization, look into developing an Environmental Management Systems (EMS) or Integrated Management System: a set of management processes and procedures that allows an organization to analyze, control, and reduce the environmental impact of its activities, products, and services while operating with greater efficiency and control.
The Week of Monday, December 2 Drop off packing peanuts at a local packing, shipping, or moving store.
The Week of Monday, November 11 Attention entrepreneurs, consider becoming a B Corporation: a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
The Week of Monday, November 4
When you are out hiking, pick up trash along the way.
Consider purchasing gifts from companies focused on providing products which use renewable energy sources (i.e., solar powered radio or outdoor lighting).
The Week of Monday, October 14
The No-Gift Gift: Offer/ask for gifts that don't involve buying anything. For example, time together, a back rub, babysitting, offer to teach something you know how to do, donation to charity, certified carbon offsets, seeds from your garden, tickets to an event(musical, lecture series, play, concert, etc.), nontoxic house cleaning service, gift certificates for spas, movie or music downloads, etc.
The Week of Monday, October 7
If you are in a mild climate and your building has an automation system, consider cooling the building at night with outside air. This strategy lowers the temperature of the overall building mass, resulting in a smaller cooling load during the day.
The Week of Monday, September 30
Check alerts on equipment that can overheat.
The Week of Monday, September 23
Using BAS data, create a heat map to analyze timing of individual building peak demand, evaluate patters of energy use across time and day, check coincidence factors to discover partial contribution to total peak demand of multi-building complexes, and reduce peak energy demand.
The Week of Monday, September 16
Install occupancy sensors to turn off lights when room is not being used.
The Week of Monday, September 9
Make sure equipment run time matches occupancy. If a room is not occupied, make sure air conditioning is not on in that room.
The Week of Monday, September 2
Turn off heat producing equipment when not in use (printers, copiers, monitors).
The Week of Monday, August 26
Shut off exhaust fans when the rooms they serve are unoccupied unless health codes require constant ventilation.
The Week of Monday, August 19
Shade windows, doors, and skylights with awnings, sunscreens, and blinds.
The Week of Monday, August 12
Keep programmable thermostats set to turn air conditioning on 30 minutes before occupants arrive and off 30 to 60 minutes before they leave. Make sure your system is operating within the building policy set points.
The Week of Monday, August 5
Unless your city/county requires you to bag recyclables, don’t do it! It can get tangled in equipment, starts fires, and shut down machinery. It’s dangerous for facility workers, too!
The Week of Monday, July 29
Pick greener mutual funds and ETFs. There are now so many SRI funds out there that there’s sure to be one that meets your investing style. Check out EarthShare membersAs You SowandGreen Americato see their top picks, or visitMorningstarorCharles Schwabfor their own environmentally-friendly fund ideas. If your employer-sponsored retirement broker doesn’t offer the fund you’re looking for, ask them to carry it!
The Week of Monday, July 22
Review your holdings. Have you ever taken a careful look through the holdings in your mutual funds or ETFs? Surprised to find some companies in there you find problematic? The first step in green investing is understanding how your money is being used and coming up with a plan to make it work for your goals.
The Week of Monday, July 15
Use an insulated cooler to bring your lunch to work. “Brown-bagging” it to work may sound nice, but you should try to avoid costly paper waste if you can. Instead of using disposables for your daily lunch, invest in an insulated cooler you can use for years.
The Week of Monday, July 8
Make homemade, healthy meals with few ingredients. Processed foods require lots of labor and energy to make, use too much packaging, then require transportation to the store. You can avoid much of the environmental impact of processed foods by buying ingredients in bulk and making meals simple meals at home. As a bonus, homemade meals are almost always healthier.
The Week of Monday, July 1
Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Re-purpose old towels and t-shirts and cut them into small cleaning cloths.
The Week of Monday, June 24
Choose reusable diapers. Disposable diapers add tons of waste to our landfills every year. And since they’re not biodegradable, the waste they leave behind will linger for thousands of years. You can cut down on this waste and save money by choosing cloth diapers instead. You’ll need to pay to launder cloth diapers, but the costs don’t come close to buying disposables for the first few years of a child’s life.
The Week of Monday, June 17
1Borrow tools and supplies when you need them. Even if you use tools often, you can save money and waste by borrowing from friends and neighbors instead. If each of your friends invests in a few smart tools that complement each other instead of buying a full set, everyone could pool resources, save money, and save some much-needed space in their garage.
The Week of Monday, June 10
Eat leftovers. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, approximately one third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted every year. To reduce waste, make sure to eat leftovers instead of throwing them away. Certain foods freeze well, while others can be saved and reheated for days.
The Week of Monday, June 3
Skip makeup, or make your own. Commercial makeup contains all kinds of chemicals that are absorbed by your skin. You can avoid nasty chemicals, save money, and do something creative by creating your own makeup hues – or skipping makeup altogether.
The Week of Monday, May 27
Check out the library, or invest in a Kindle. Buying new books is a pastime for many people, but the paper costs, shipping, and production of said books adds up quickly. To make your reading hobby as environmentally-friendly as possible, check out books from your local library when you can. Also consider investing in a Kindle so you can read new books guilt-free.
The Week of Monday, May 20
Universal wastes are hazardous wastes that are widely produced by households and many different types of businesses. Learn what products qualify and how to properly dispose of them:http://ow.ly/ARMX30nfGMM.
Interested in joining the California Green Business Network?