The first Labor Day was celebrated In New York City’s Union Square on September 5, 1882. Since then Labor Day weekend has become the final “Hoorah” of summer. It’s one last chance to get out and enjoy the warm weather before we have to start raking leaves and layering clothing. By now you are running around the mall picking out school supplies and clothes for the kids. For those of us without children we are re-routing our trips to and from work to avoid the influx of traffic on the roadways. At Sustainable Investment Group (SIG), we would like to share with you some ideas to keep your holiday weekend eco-friendly without working hard on your day off!
Did you know that by using water from the filter in your fridge or from the tap can keep approx. 20 (16.9 oz) water bottles out of the landfill for a party of 8 people? Keep a container of ice on hand and recycled drink ware or recyclable plastic as your beverage vessel. If you are serving tea, lemonade or soda, same rule applies. Do you hate having to keep up with which drink is yours? No problem! Keep a marker by the cups to write your name on before filling it up with your tasty beverage. Using a large container to dispense your liquid of choice instead of individual cans or bottles makes a big impact on the amount of trash your party produces. Less trash means less clean up for you and more time to enjoy the party!
When doing your shopping for your cookout or party, reach for the “green” alternative. Using renewable paper ware made from bamboo, sugar cane or other natural materials can be sturdier than your normal paper plate. Can’t find those? Look for biodegradable plates and straws or look for the triangular recycle symbol on the packaging of the plastic ware. Just make sure all those used plates, forks and cups make it to the recycle bin and not the trash bag. Another way to reduce waste is to ask guests to bring their own reusable containers so they can take home leftovers without having to use disposable bags and foil. This helps with your end of night cleanup and helps keep food waste down too!
If you aren’t hosting a barbeque or planning a party there are some simple easy things to do around the house to make it a little more energy efficient and better for our planet. For instance, a little housekeeping can go a long way. Cleaning around the refrigerator coils with a vacuum and changing out your air filter every 3 months helps your appliance and HVAC be more efficient in moving air through. They are using less energy by working properly. Cleaning heavy items out of your car burns less gas which reduces your carbon footprint and puts keeps money in your pocket. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) will help reduce your energy use and reduce your energy bill. These newer types of bulbs also tend last 2-3 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
There are plenty of green alternatives in your everyday living that are easily accessible and help keep more “green” in your pocket. So, whether you are firing up the grill for a barbecue, hosting an outdoor party or just having a mini staycation, we hope everyone has a safe and relaxing environmentally friendly holiday weekend!
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