Thursday, December 17, 2009

All Bottled Up!

The last time I was going through the drive-through at a fast food place, on top of my extremely healthy meal... I also asked for a water. I pull up to the window and to my surprise the employee gave me a BOTTLED WATER! What does this mean for our society? Is it every time you need a refreshing drink you reach for a bottled water instead of tap? Do we now just assume that water can only be good in the form of a plastic container? What is this obsession with always having to have that "naturally purified," or "from the far off mountain range of..." drink? Water is something our body needs everyday, and depending on it to come out of a bottle can actually hurt the environment. However, there are some ways that you can actually help the environment and still have a naturally purified glass of water. The impact that tap water has on the environment is only 1/4 of the effects of bottled water. By switching to tap water you are helping yourself and the environment in a number of ways:
* Less pollution -- Many people forget to recycle their bottled and these bottles go on the ground, in our oceans, and actually hurt our earth.
* Less money -- You can SAVE money by not buying bottled water. Fun fact: The average American uses 170 water bottles in one year...totalling 50 BILLION plastic bottles a year! Now that's a lot of bottles!
* Recycling -- Nearly 90 percent of water bottles are not recycled and wind up in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the plastic to decompose.
* It's the same thing! -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for tap water are more strict than the Food and Drug Administration’s standards for bottled water, you’ll be drinking water that is just as safe as as bottled!
Now...I know all tap water doesn't taste the same. I myself am guilty of reaching for a bottle when I want a glass of water, but there are ways of getting the taste of bottled without the harm to the environment. Many people spend a little bit of money and get a filter for their sinks. Sure, this is a bigger purchase than a pack of bottled water, but in the end you will actually be saving money! Imagine that! Also, there are filters that come in the form of a pitcher! You can just keep it in your fridge and grab a filtered glass instead of a bottle! And there's more also have the larger water filters that you can buy where you pay for the filter and then the water jug refills can come as cheap as 25 cents! Perfect for companies to use! I know for some of you, reaching for the bottle is a strong addiction... but just think if you change a few simple things you'd be doing the Earth a huge favor! So maybe... next time you want a drink... put down the bottle...and go for the tap. Mother Nature will be sure to thank you.

gg573 love,

Want to know more about tap water?
The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of questions about tap water on its Web site.
Check it out!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Happy Holidays to all of you trying to be especially green this year! We've all been hearing about how bad the economy is so.. why not search for the perfect gift this Christmas that will save you money and also help the environment? I've been browsing on some really cool sites that have a lot of gift ideas for going green! This way, you can share the gift of green with someone else!
One of the things that I really think is cool is what you would call a friendship ball. What's that you ask? Well, a friendship ball is something that you can pass around to your huge circle of friends, and guess what? It won't cost you that much! You get some type of container or ball that opens and you fill it with something small. If you're trying to go green you could put some beeswax candles or some jewelry made from recycled materials, and you pass it to you friend. Your friend will then fill the ball with something and pass it on to another friend. The environmental aspect of doing this is you save money and trees by not using gift wrapping, you save money by putting in something small, and you can keep passing the friendship ball around year after year! Plus, the women in your group will eat this up, and think you are so creative!
Other gifts you can get that are in the green category could be... recycled bags that you can take to the groccery story so you can save money not using their bags! I know this idea has been around for awhile, but nowadays there are much cuter bags!
Also, try buying some clothing made out of hemp, or giving someone a natural fragrance diffuser! Those last quite a long time and it's really easy to get new scents. There are so many gift ideas you can choose from! Maybe baking some organic snacks instead? The possibilities on how you can help the environment by giving the gift of green are endless! Help reduce your friends and loved ones' carbon footprint this holiday season
Check out some of these sites to get some green gift ideas:


gg573 power,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advertise the Environment

Hey everyone!

I've been working on a story recently that has pushed me in the way of interviewing a lot of marketing people. While talking to them, I realized a trend that has been happening within the past couple years. Its probably really obvious, but also very green at the same time! Advertisers and marketers are going green! Digital media and social media is the newest and up to date way to reach and attract customers.

We all know of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. But now businesses, companies, organizations, event planners, etc. are using those tools to get their message out to the public. 

One website I found gives six good tips of why marketers should go paperless when appealing to their audience. Here are their examples:

  • the increased push toward oversight, accountability and transparency;
  • greater control and adaptability to changing economic conditions and market forces;
  • ease-of-doing-business, since clients expect digital communications;
  • more flexibility in when, where and how we work and
  • empowering the individual to have more control;
  • and the environmental reasons to move away from paper-based processes.

  • This type of marketing reaches a whole new audience, saves energy, reduces production costs, doesn't waste materials, and can convey a message at a more immediate pace. 
    Also, with this type of advertising, companies and marketing firms can see the traffic and number of views their ad receives through analytic programs. 

    Just another idea from the GoGreen573 team to become more eco-friendly!


    Audit Your Energy

    Hi Greeps! (Green People?)

    Just a quick post to pass along a great article. I think some of the info can really empower readers to make their lives more sustainable. Find it here.

    It's all about cutting down energy use/cost in your home. The USA Today green blogger has spent the week writing about Obama's latest plan to create jobs. Part of that would be the 'Cash for Caulkers' incentive, which could reward homeowners with tax credits if they make certain upgrades to their houses.

    The latest article though, is about taking steps now...for the environment, and for your wallet. I love the link to the Home Energy Saver Calculator. It's so cool! Plug in your zip code and this tool will tell you what to do! I tried it for a popular zip in the 573 area, 65201. Here's what I found out:

    Average home energy costs: $1554
    Efficient home: $897

    That's huge savings! The next step is to plug in certain details about your home to find out the easiest and most efficient ways to cut down costs. Try it out and let us know what you think! Did you learn anything and are you going to try any of the tips?

    Thanks for reading,


    Monday, December 7, 2009


    The international climate conference COP15 kicked off abroad today, and on the agenda for the multitude of countries in attendance: figuring out concrete plans to deal with climate change and those pesky greenhouse gases.

    The host of the event, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, suggested an alternative agreement, outlining environmental goals countries should strive for, but not making these goals binding. His theory contends if each country can use the document as a road map, these changes could be implemented domestically, and then on the global stage.

    Conference attendees are also expected to talk deforestation (less of it), temperature change (less of it), and email hacking (less of it).

    This summit will be chock full of research and politics, and the best part for people like myself without a plane ticket to Copenhagen? Live blogging! Multiple different entities will be documenting the events as ideas come and go throughout the summit. Check out the action here, to start.

    My personal favorite blog entry?

    Back in the main hall of the Bella centre the conference is running late. Hedegaard sternly asks delegates to promptly return from lunch in future. They are now running through an alphabet soup of organisational matters on the agenda, such as "Item 2 (a) of the supplementary provisional agenda]"

    Let's hope this summit is successful, for our trees' sake.


    Friday, December 4, 2009

    Going Green in the Winter White Months

    Hey green readers!

    So the temperatures are quickly dropping, and staying there. We've talked about how you can green on holidays, during fall football tailgates, and in your fashion choices, but now I'll tell you how you can be green during the Wintertime. 

    First, let's start with what to do with your car. One website I found, About My Planet, has some really interesting ideas. Most people warm up their car while waiting inside in order to stay warm. But if you think about that, its not the most environmentally efficient practice. The emissions from your car are not good for our planet.
    One idea the website had is to use an ice scraper to de-frost your windows. One, that will eliminate the ice on your windshield, and two, your hard work can warm you up.  Or, it also suggested to place a piece of cardboard on your windshield before going in, that can help prevent you from having to scrape later. 

    A TreeHugger survey says 27% of the people polled keep their house thermostat between 67 and 69 degrees in the winter. The second highest group is 26% under 60 degrees. To help keep your house warm, and your heating requirement minimal, place towels at the base of outside doors keeping cold air from seeping in. Only heat the rooms you need. Heat your living room during the day, and your bedroom at night. Use a heating blanket to warm the bed before you get in, or use throughout the night to keep warm, and keep the heat low. Also, wear more layers inside to call for less use of heat. 

    Using salt on your sidewalks can help prevent you from falling when walking to your car, but all that salt usage can add up to a bad effect on the environment. Well, an alternative is the ashes from your wood fireplace. The ashes can make great fertilizer for a garden, but what do you with it in the winter? It can give traction between feet and ice instead of using salt. But be sure to use a metal container to take them outside so there will be no chance of starting another fire by using a plastic one. 

    One website even suggested winterizing your bike. Use wide tires, take wide roads, keep your hands warm, and know when the weather is too bad to bike. 

    There's also a way students specifically can go green during their winter break. After finals are over, projects are done, and books are packed away, there's a lot of paper that usually just gets thrown away. Be sure to recycle all over your notes, spirals, and test papers. When preparing for next semester, be sure to look if you classes book is offered online as an E-book. 

    Two other ideas are: move furniture off vents in your home and eat soup to keep your body temperature up.

    Keep Warm!


    Taking Action

    Climate change. Have you heard this term before? The government sure has, as well as wikipedia (no shocker there). Global warming is something everyone has at some point or another heard of, including former Vice President Al Gore, who is one of the largest advocates and players in the governmental economic battle. While we here at GoGreen573 are trying to promote awareness and give tips for saving the economy, we felt it was time we talk a little bit about climate change.

    I recently stumbled across a video on youtube that talked about the the climate change debate. The person in the video plots out probably outcomes for different scenarios. I encourage you to watch the video (yes, it's 9 minutes, but you might learn something like I did) to get the full affect of this post. In order to understand the full affect of his argument, he sets aside the idea of global warming and whether or not we are causing it, and looks solely at what would happen if the government took action or not. Pretty simple, yes or no. Do something or not do something.

    The basis of the video and the theory is that in order to absolutely rule out total chaos, catastrophes and destruction, the government must act. While he uses the most extreme of cases, it is still very interesting to think about. If you make it to the end of the video, "our future" rests in one of the four boxes he makes. And as I said, in order to rule out the worst possible scenario, the government must act.

    Now, if you are someone who is against action by the government and you think we can't afford to take action, that's good and fine. We're not promoting what you should believe in and get behind, we are simply making you aware of what is going on in the world. It is possible that climate change wont be as extreme as we think and that maybe we shouldn't put in so much money in order to prevent something that wont be bad in the end.

    However, if we decide not to act upon climate change and it turns out we were wrong... what happens then? This is why I encourage you to watch this video. Then you can do some research for yourself. Look here, here or here. Go beyond those sites, because they are definitely not the only ones. They are just a few. There is way too much information out there, and if you have found this blog, chances are you have the resources to learn more.