With that in mind, we'd like to share with you some of the ways in which the staffs at dealnews and dealmac are trying to live a greener lifestyle. Sure, most of us recycle — even those of us in areas where it's not mandatory — but many of our team also push it a bit further.
Editor Julia DiNardo, in addition to recycling, donates to the Arbor Day Foundation — an organization which promotes the planting and caring for of trees. She also unplugs appliances, when not in use, to cut down on wasted electricity. (Even when not on, something plugged into a wall socket still draws power.)
dealcoupon's Sarah Jones avoids products that contain toxic chemicals. "Most common household cleaners and personal care products are petroleum-based and they create hazardous waste in their manufacture and use. Plus, they often get disposed of in household drains, where the chemicals eventually end up in our waterways and soil, affecting the health of animals and people alike." She's replaced regular house-hold items — such as toothpaste, shampoo, laundry detergent, makeup — with non-toxic / organic alternatives. In addition, she buys local and organic food to "support sustainable agriculture and avoid pesticide residues."
John Allen has replaced most of his incandescent lights with CFLs (Compact Fluorescents, which use about one-quarter the energy for an equivalent amount of luminance as an incandescent bulb). His family has also taken up the habit of taking re-usable shopping bags with them to the store.
Assistant Editor Nathan Cox takes recycling one step further than most: "If there's a part of something I use that can be recycled, I make sure to separate it out." Recently, he's purchased a car and bought a certified Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) which gets up to 34 mpg. He also opts for opening doors and windows instead of turning on the AC.
Features Editor Louis Ramirez makes sure that plastic bags from the grocer don't have a one-time use. "I'll either bring them to the store for double use or they'll get double use when I take my dogs out." Being a gadget-hound, Louis does tend to upgrade his electronics more often than most people. But he doesn't throw the older items away where they'll pile up in landfills — he hands them down to others, ensuring that the device gets the most use before it becomes garbage.
Managing Editor Jeff Contray partakes in ConEd's Energy Choice. Through this program, you're able to choose where you get your power delivered from (there's a lot that goes on, behind the scenes, to make this work, which I'm not going to get into here) so his apartment is 100% powered by wind. He's also a proponent of using Seventh Generation cleaning supplies when he can. A self-proclaimed locavore, he says, "When possible we buy our meats, dairy, and vegetables from farmers markets or from farms located within 100 miles of the city."
Writer Lindsay Sakraida uses a different brand of eco-friendly cleaning products called Method. Plus, in addition to bringing a tote bag with her on shopping trips, she keeps one stuffed in her handbag because, "I find I'm making last minute market runs all the time, and this way I have one on me. I didn't really start doing this until I lived in France and they charge for plastic bags. Paying for them makes you realize how many you're actually using. And not only that, but you realize how unnecessary most of the bags are."
Editor Chuck Phillips makes sure that lights are off when not in use — not an easy task with two kids old enough to reach light-switches. His solution is to tell them that "clowns get their energy from incandescent lighting. The longer you leave them on the more powerful they become." Needless to say, his kids now know the value of saving electricity. He also tries to stock-pile errand runs so that he can get a lot done in one trip, saving a couple mile's-worth of gas every time he does.
Stuart Obermann insists on drinking tap water when at home, and re-using / re-filling plastic bottles for road trips. In addition, he composts his cooking and table scraps for use on his garden. So the leftovers become fertilizer for the beans, tomatoes, squash, and lettuce he grows ... the scraps of which become fertilizer for more produce. When he built his house, he chose a "heavily wooded lot and attempted to preserve and protect as many trees as possible." He also used recycled materials when he built his deck, rather than harvested wood.
Writer Samuel Kohn opts for alternative means of transport. When he can't get to where he's going on his bike, he uses his hybrid-powered car to have less of a CO impact on the environment. And, as soon as Hamster-powered homes become available, he's going to jump on that innovation, too.
As individuals, we do a lot, but the company, itself, is dedicated to a more green approach, too.
dealnews.com, Inc., encourages telecommuting, reducing the need for its workers to kill the planet with emissions-spewing cars every day of the week. Our offices recycle cans and paper — even when the government says we don't have to. We've also replaced all of our CRT monitors with LCDs and most of our staff use laptops, which, by design, use far less power than standard desktop computers.
Remember, every little bit counts. So even if you can't ditch your car for your morning commute, re-using that plastic grocery bag DOES make a difference, too. Don't think, for one second, that, "Eh, this small change won't change a thing!" The thing is, you put enough small changes together, and that's a big change. And, anyway, what's the worst that can happen by implementing some of these things into your life? You MIGHT run the "risk" of leaving a cleaner planet for your kids to inherit. Or maybe for the powerful, powerful clowns.
Jeff Somogyi is dealnews' Media Editor. He has a carbon footprint of size 10.5, wide.