March Calendar of Events
March 8 -
Daylight Savings Time set your clocks an hour ahead
March 17 - St. Patrick's Day Don't forget to wear your
- 1st Day of Spring
Tips for going Green at Work and Home
Reduce: Reducing is best! If you don’t use it in the
first place, you are saving money and energy and
stopping pollution and waste.
2. Reuse: Reusing comes second. Find new life for items
that would normally be thrown away. Even just one second
use helps reduce what you need to buy again.
3. Recycle: Recycling is a distant third to the first
two. Recycling requires fuel, energy and water
consumption for transportation and reprocessing.
However, it is still better than throwing items away,
only to end up in the landfill.
4. Ride, walk or take public transportation whenever
5. Accelerating gradually, using cruise control, and
keeping your tires properly inflated increases your gas
6. Carpool with others, if you can.
COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS
7. Turn your computer off when you are not using it.
8. Set your computer and monitor to sleep/standby when
inactive for too long. A computer in sleep mode uses
about 5% of the energy as one on screen saver!
9. Look for the Energy Star label when buying a new
computer or other electronic device. Consider buying a
flat screen model or a laptop model.
10. Recycle your cell phone. Over 30 million are
produced each year, and only 5% of used phones are
11. Turn off TVs, radios and stereos when you are not
12. Many appliances consume electricity even when off!
To avoid “phantom loads,” plug all electrical cords into
a power strip and turn the strip off when not using any
13. Phone chargers, laptop cords, printers, etc. all
draw power when unused. Consider a power strip, as
14.Consider working with another office to collect
computer disks and other “technotrash” for recycling
15. Use rechargeable batteries.
16. Always turn off lights when you leave a room.
17. Utilize natural light whenever possible. Open your
blinds, enjoy the sunlight!
18. Use only Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs in
all your lights. They use 75% less energy and lasts 10
19. Turn off lights in bathrooms, lounges and other
20. Print on both sides when you can.
21. Change the default margins on your word processing
program to .75 inches or less. It will save paper,
especially on longer documents.
22. Use old papers that have been printed on that you
don’t need as scrap paper that you can write notes on.
23. Buy items in bulk to reduce packaging waste.
24. Keep a “shopping” list of items needed around the
office. Then place one large order to reduce packaging
waste. Consider pooling orders with another office.
25. Use canvas or other reusable bags when shopping.
26. Bring your own coffee mug or refillable water bottle
to work instead of using paper or Styrofoam cups.
27. Stock the break room with silverware and plates that
can be washed, instead of disposables.
28. Compost your food scraps and yard waste, keeping it
out of landfills. Use the compost to enrich your garden
APPLIANCES & HOME ENERGY
29. Plant a tree on the west side of your home. It could
save you up to 12% on energy bills after 15 years. It
also reduced carbon dioxide and makes cleaner air.
30. Clean your furnace filter and refrigerator coils
once a month to increase efficiency and the life of the
31. A programmable thermostat that lowers the
temperature in winter or raises it in the summer when
you are away or sleeping saves energy and money.
32. When purchasing new appliances, look for the Energy
Star label. Consider geothermal heating and cooling for
your next furnace/air conditioner.
33. Use the microwave, toaster oven, or other small
appliances instead of the oven or range. They use less
energy and wont heat up the house.
34. Take the shortest showers you can.
35. Turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth
36. Wash only full loads of laundry.
37. Cleaning your fishbowl, or emptying a vase? Use the
water on your houseplants or in your garden.
38. Wash clothes in only warm or cold water. Nearly 85%
of energy used for laundry comes from heating the water.
OUTSIDE THE (CARDBOARD) BOX!
39. Use white vinegar instead of fabric softener in your
laundry. (It works!)
40. Use a 50/50 white vinegar and water mixture to clean
glass instead of harsh chemicals.
41. Sell clothing at consignment shops or donate to
thrift stores. Buy clothes there, too.
42. Have clothing that doesn’t fit or is out of fashion?
Tailor it to fit, or reconstruct it into something
different like a purse, pillow or quilt.
43. Take old vases back to florist shops to be reused.
Hospitals or nursing homes can use them too.
44. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure!
Before you throw it out visit
45. Use old CDs as coasters, create wall art, or hang
from fishing line in the garden to scare away birds,
rabbits and other pests.
46. Take old magazines to nursing homes or schools to be
read or used for crafts.
47. Rent or borrow infrequently used equipment rather
than buying one for yourself.
48. Share! Books, party supplies, clothes. Swap with
THE ENVIRONMENT WHILE STILL GETTING YOUR HOUSE CLEAN
started with your spring cleaning can seem like an
overwhelming task for most people but it is a necessary
evil and there are ways to do it without using harmful
chemicals that are not safe for the environment. As with
any big task, break it down into steps that you can do
in small amounts of time throughout the week or month.
The first step to getting all of the deep spring
cleaning done in your home is to go room by room and
remove any clutter and put things in their place. You
can choose to do the entire house at eh same time during
a weekend or a day off work, or you can break it up room
by room to get done during the week after work. However
you choose to do it, getting clutter and unwanted items
out of the way can greatly reduce the amount of time you
spend on all the other tasks.
have sorted through all of the items in your closet,
basement, attic, garage and any other place that you
normally store things that you are not using, decide
what to do with things. If your neighbor or a friend at
work could use that old pair of pruning shears that you
replaced a few years ago and you just don’t want to
throw out the old ones that work perfectly well, give
them away. Not only are you saving money in the process.
If you have some old clothing that has holes or stains
on them and they are not acceptable enough to donate to
a local charity, cut them up and use them as rags for
tasks around the house such as spills or especially
dirty jobs. This will save some paper towels and you can
get some extra use out of these old items.
kitchen, it is a good idea to start with taking
everything out of your cabinets and wiping out all of
the shelves with warm water and some baking soda. This
will get the dust and crumbs out and everything else
that may be in there and it will deodorize the inside of
the cabinets. After you have wiped down the shelves,
start sorting through all of the things that were in the
cabinets and getting rid of things that are expired or
that you do not use. Check expiration dates and if it is
past the date, throw it away. After that, put what is
left back in the cabinets neatly and see how much more
room you have in them! The outside of the cabinets can
be cleaned with a mixture of one quart of warm water and
one teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar. You can use and
old article of clothing that you found when you were
decluttering as a rag to wipe things down. To wipe down
counters, you can use a mixture of warm water, dish soap
and baking soda. The dish soap will act as an
antibacterial agent and the baking soda will act as a
mild abrasive to remove tough stains. To clean inside
the refrigerator, take everything out and throw away
what is not safe to eat anymore and use a mixture of
four cups of water and three tablespoons of baking soda
to wipe out the inside. Once you are done, put
everything back that you are keeping in an organized
way. You should find a lot of extra room in there too!
To clean the inside of the oven, wipe it down with a
mixture of water and baking soda and let it sit for a
few minutes to soak. You can scrape off stuck on and
baked on food particles with an old credit card or an
ice scraper. After you have gotten all of the stuck on
food loosened, wipe it down again with your water and
baking soda mixture and then wipe clean with another old
article of clothing.
bathroom, old newspapers work well to clean glass or
mirrors. For the sink and outside of the toilet and any
other surfaces in the bathroom, you can use a mixture of
one quart of warm water and one teaspoon of lemon juice
or vinegar. For the inside of the toilet, make a paste
with warm water and baking soda and let it sit for two
hours. After that, use a toilet brush to remove any
stains. You can also use the baking soda paste to clean
mildew in the shower or bathtub. You can make a
disinfectant using two cups of water and one cup of
grapefruit seed extract, clove, lavender, or tea tree
oil. Put this mixture in a spray bottle to make it
easier to use.
closets, empty everything out of them and remove any
dust and dirt using an old rag or a broom for really
dusty closets. You can wipe down any shelves with the
disinfectant in the spray bottle explained to use in the
bathroom. When you are done, put everything away as you
are putting things away get rid of anything you have not
work or used in at least eighteen months. Within that
amount of time, there has been an opportunity to use
everything in there, regardless of the season it is used
for. You should have plenty of room in all your closets
after you have done this.
have given away everything that you think others could
use, and you have made rags out of old clothing, decide
what you could sell at a yard sale and take a weekend to
sit outside and sell some of your unwanted things. You
will not only be keeping from the landfills, but you
will be selling it to someone who will be able to use
it. Also, you will be making some extra money from
things that have been sitting around and taking up space
in your home. After the weekend is over, donate anything
that wasn’t sold to a local charity. This will help out
those who are less fortunate than you and you will be
recycling some old unwanted goods.
a lot of things that can be recycled at your local
recycling center such as plastic, aluminum, newspaper,
and many other things. Take any items that you can to
the recycling center to have them recycled. Once you are
done with that, there should be a substantially less
amount of things that will actually need to be thrown
away. Any personal documents that you no longer need can
be shredded up and taken to a paper recycling center and
the shredding is a great project to get the kids
involved in. Make sure you explain to them the dangers
of a paper shredder so that they do not cut themselves.
have finished with all the rooms in your house, you will
be ready to work on the floors. TO remove carpet stains,
you can use a mixture of vinegar and soapy water and
gently rub them out. Use a wet rag with the same mixture
to wipe down all baseboards throughout the house to
remove dirt and any other stains that may be on them. On
hard surface floors, use a toothbrush and the same
mixture as before to clean the corners and hard to reach
parts on the floor. Once this is done you are able to
give your floors a good cleaning with a mop or by hand.
A mixture of vinegar and water works well on most types
of hard surface floors. For the carpet, move as much
furniture as possible to clean under and thoroughly
vacuum each room. Use the hose on the vacuum to reach
corners and hard to reach spots.
get inside of your house completely clean, not only will
the air you breathe be cleaner but you will feel a
genuine sense of accomplishment for getting all done.
Now you can put it out of your mind and check it off the
list and move onto other things. Tackling all of this
cleaning may even get you motivated to get the outside
of your house cleaned up and to plant beautiful flowers
in your flowerbeds.