GOING GREEN - Tips for Residents
The City of Lake Forest "Green Corner"
The Green Team encourages all residents to evaluate their day-to-day activities and look for ways to live a greener life. Climate change and water quality and supply are all concerns facing us now and in the future. Small changes today can mean big results tomorrow.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduction is the first step to living a greener lifestyle. If the waste isn't produced in the first place, we don't have to figure out ways to mitigate it later. Purchase re-useable grocery bags, water bottles, and think twice before you grab a handful of napkins or paper towels. Try to find ways to reuse objects in creative ways or donate to an organization that specializes in reusing materials for art supplies or donation to people in need. If an object cannot be reused, rinse and recycle. In addition to curb side pick up, the City offers residents a comprehensive Compost and Recycling Center located off of Route 60. Take advantage of this community asset and do your part to reduce the amount of trash placed in landfills.
Think Green for Construction Projects
There are many ways to "green" your construction project. Preservation Magazine published The Cost of Going Green to provide a sense of the money savings associated with improving the energy efficiency of your home. Review the Where to Recycle Construction Debris (172k - 1 page) pamphlet for information on how to recycle or reuse material from a construction site.
Walk/Bike More, Drive Less
How many of your daily trips are under one mile distance from your house? Are there any opportunities to walk or bike in your daily routine? Identify a safe route to school for your children and spend time walking with them and not only improve your health, but teach your children healthy habits for their future. If you must drive, combine your trips to reduce the number of outings and park once and walk if possible. The CDC recommends that everyone get a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Walking or biking is an easy way to get your recommended amount of exercise while getting things done in your day.
Reduce Water Usage
One simple tip to reduce your water usage is to turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth or wash your face. This simple tip can save up to 1400 gallons of water per year. Another tip is to keep a pitcher of water in the fridge to have cold water at hand instead of waiting for the faucet water to cool. The average faucet uses 2-5 gallons of water per minute. Imagine what you could save with a couple simple changes to your daily routine. Think "water-wise" for our future.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Did you know that your electronics are still using energy even when you are not using them? When appliances are idle, they use up to 40% of the energy needed to operate when in use. Use a power strip to control appliances that you use together such as televisions and DVD players and turn off your computer when not in use or enable a stand-by mode to lessen the energy consumption while you are away. Using LED or Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CLF) can also lower the energy consumption in your house. Every little bit helps to lower your energy usage and these small changes are simple to implement.
ComEd also offers some tips here that could also help save on your electric bill:
The Citizen's Utility Board offers some additional programs to help you lower your utility bills while providing incentives also geared towards reducing energy consumption:
Green-up Your Lawn Care
Using native plant material reduces the amount of water and upkeep needed to keep your property looking great. If you have a turf lawn that needs to be mowed, wait until the sun goes down to reduce the impact the emissions from a gas lawn mower have on the environment. Even better is to use an electric or hand powered mower to do the work. Talk to your landscaper on how to green your lawn care.
Cleaning supplies often contain ingredients that are detrimental to the environment. Look for environmentally friendly cleaning supplies without added fragrance or make your own with vinegar, borax, and water. Running a full dishwasher or doing a full load of laundry is more environmentally efficient than partial loads. Find other ways to clean green and share them with the Green Team!
Shopping local doesn't only boost local economy in Lake Forest, it also is a greener way to shop. Shopping local means less travel time from your house to the store. Combining your errands with other activities also makes trips less frequent and more environmentally friendly. Many Lake Forest shops and retailers are committed to green business practices such as reusing shipping material and reducing packaging material in the stores. Ask your retailer what they are doing for the environment.
Have a "green" idea for Lake Forest or know of an interesting eco-themed event coming up? Let the Green Team know: GreenTeam@cityoflakeforest.com