Save money and go green

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Save Money and Go Green

With earth day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start incorporating green habits into your everyday routine if you haven’t already. Not only do green practices benefit the planet, they can save you money! Here are a few tips to get you started on a green routine.
1. Buy kitchen cloth towels instead of paper towels.
Buying reusable cloth towels may seem like a big investment upfront but in the long run it will save you money because you won’t have to keep purchasing paper towels. Take this tip one step further and look for towels made out of organic fabric.
2. Limit your takeout each month.
Buying takeout food produces a lot of waste and over time the cost adds up. Focus on eating more at home. Take this tip one step further and try to incorporate local and organic options into your grocery list.
3. Brew your own coffee or tea at home.
Just like buying takeout, buying coffee or tea on the go produces a lot of waste and becomes expensive over time. Consider buying your own tea kettle or coffee maker. Take this tip one step further by purchasing organic tea or sustainably sourced coffee beans.
4. Limit your screen time.
It’s tempting to watch TV in the evening before bed but this habit can disrupt your sleep and add to your energy costs. Consider turning off the TV an hour before going to bed and read a book instead or spend time with your family. Take this tip one step further and limit time in front of the computer as well.
5. Make your own cleaning supplies
Store-bought cleaning supplies are expensive and it’s not always easy to know whether the ingredients are safe for you and your family. You can save money and help the environment by making your own cleaning supplies using simple ingredients around your house, such as lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda. Take this tip one step further by reusing a spray bottle or container.
Not sure how to create your own cleaning supplies? Check out our blog https://gundersenenvision.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/green-cleaning/

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Go Green in March

james-pond-103321-unsplashHow can you “go green” in March?

Even though April is known as earth month, we should be thinking of ways to go green every month. In March for example, many people go green for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but there is another kind of “green” to consider!

  1. Think local. Buy locally produced foods or drinks, and use reusable tableware and utensils versus disposable items if you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
  2. Get festive. Make St. Patrick’s Day or spring themed decorations with recycled or reused materials. Not only will it benefit the environment, it will save you money.
  3. Take out the bike. If you are attending a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, consider walking or biking to get there. If the weather prevents you from walking or biking, consider carpooling or utilizing the local transit system.
  4. Get digging. Use the first day of spring as an excuse to start prepping for the gardening season by picking out seeds from a local seed library or buying locally produced compost or potting soil

Check out Envision’s Udderly Green soil amendment products: http://www.gundersenenvision.org/envision/learn-from-the-leader/
For more information on how you can order any of our Udderly Green soil amendment products contact: efwestph@gundersenhealth.org

How to save energy this holiday season

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How to save energy this holiday season
If you’re planning to decorate your house this holiday season, consider these tips to save energy:
1. Switch to LED holiday lights.
2. Put your outdoor or indoor lights on a timer.
3. Consider decorating inside with candles versus lights.
4. Turn off overhead lights in a room if your Christmas tree lights are on.
5. Turn down the thermostat when you have a large number of guests at your house.
6. Before you head out to visit family or go on vacation, be sure to unplug appliances that don’t need to be left on and turn off lights in the house.
7. Take a walk to see holiday lights versus driving.
8. If you’re in charge of cooking the holiday meal, consider cooking multiple dishes at a time.
9. Avoid opening the oven door to peek at food and keep a lid on pots as much as possible to prevent heat from escaping.
10. If you’re buying electronics or appliances look for the Energy Star label.

Think green this holiday season and save energy!

The ‘E’ in team: Electronics recycling was mega-success

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A team effort to collect electronic wastes allowed staff members at Gundersen Health System to safely dispose of their old TVs, computers and more—while donating food to a great cause.

Literally truckloads of consumer electronic wastes avoided the landfill or improper disposal, while more than three-quarters of a ton of food went to feed local families.

“That’s a win-win in anyone’s book,” says Tom Thompson, sustainability coordinator, who arranged the Gundersen e-waste recycling events Oct. 11-12 on the La Crosse and Onalaska campuses. The events were sponsored by Gundersen’s Environmental Compliance department.

By the numbers
Customers: 205 staff members in Onalaska;
242 in La Crosse
Collected: 14,840 pounds of electronic
waste in La Crosse; 11,945 pounds of electronic
waste in Onalaska
Food: 1,723 pounds of nonperishable
food given by Gundersen employees to benefit
WAFER Food Pantry

“We could not have done this without FacOps and Logistics support,” says a very grateful Tom. “Without them and their equipment we would not have been able pull this off, unless with great cost to the organization.” And the food donations will be a tremendous help. “We really, really need the food right now,” WAFER executive director Erin Waldhart, tells Tom.

 

Easy steps to lower your home heating costs

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If you live in an area where the autumn season brings chilly temperatures, here are some tips to help save on your heating bill.

Insulate your walls and ceilings adequately. This can save 20 to 30 percent on home heating bills. Have an inspection by a qualified technician if you’ve not looked at your insulation for quite some time. Insulation will compress and shift over time which reduces its effectiveness.

Weatherize your home or apartment, using caulk and weather stripping to plug air leaks around doors and windows. Caulking costs less than $1 per window, and weather stripping is under $10 per door.

Close drapes and window coverings at night. This will reduce the heat lost through windows. During the day, open drapes and coverings to allow the sun to radiantly heat your home.

Use Ceiling Fans to utilize heat more efficiently
Heat rises and much of the heat loss in your home is through the ceiling. Most ceiling fans have a switch to reverse their direction. As you enter the heating season, reverse the direction of your ceiling fans and set them on low. This will better mix the warm and cool air in your home and slow the rate of heat escaping through the ceiling. Ceiling fans do not use much electricity and this will result in a net energy savings.

There are several low or no cost steps that can be taken to lower the cost of heating commercial buildings. Learn more at gundersenenvision.org.

E-waste eye openers

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The term “E-waste” is generally applied to corporate and consumer electronic equipment that are near or at the end of its immediate useful life. E-waste includes discarded or obsolete cell phones, computers, notebooks, computer game consoles and other electronic devices.

Did you know?

  • e-Waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.
  • A report from United Nations University (UNU) found that the world produced 41.8 million metric tons of e-waste in 2014 – an amount that would fill 1.15 million 18-wheel trucks. Lined up, those trucks would stretch from New York to Tokyo and back.
  • Large amounts of e-Waste are sent to China, India, Kenya where lower environmental standards and working conditions make processing e-Waste more profitable. It is reported that 80% of all Asian children have elevated levels of lead in their systems.
  • Health impacts from improperly disposed e-waste: i.e. nose bleeds, seizures, child development, sinus perforations
    o   Mouth, teeth, gum damage, thyroid damage
    o   High blood pressure, irregular heartbeat
    o   Lung damage, asthma, bronchitis, cancer
    o   Kidney, liver, digestive system damage, fetus neurologic damage, ulcers
    o   Skin cancer, paralysis
    o   Death
  • e-Waste in landfills releases greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 178,000 cars

What is your e-Waste contribution?

For more information, contact us at www.gundersenenvision.org.

Sources
https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-e-waste
https://www.causesinternational.com/ewaste/e-waste-facts
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/crazy-e-waste-statistics-explored-in-infographic.html
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/e-waste-infographic.html