Green Thought Thursday: Give What You’ve Got!

By Posted in - Sustainability on January 26th, 2012

This Green Thought Thursday, our intern Margot Horgan was feeling inspired by an article she saw in O, The Oprah Magazine.

We love Oprah because she's always got an idea up her sleeve (or two or three...)!

Whether you have excess time or money (or both) to spend, it’s easy to find new ways to add eco-friendly habits and products to your daily routine. The most recent edition of O, The Oprah Magazine features an easy-to-read diagram about how you can be more green—and save more green! Here’s the breakdown:

Do you want to invest in a one-time project?  Here’s a shortened list of the simple projects you can do at home depending on if you want to spend time or money:

Have some time for the environment? How much?
  • Five Minutes: Try resetting the schedule of your sprinkler system so you water your lawn in the early morning or late evening. As much as 30 percent of the water is lost to evaporation when you water in the daytime hours. By simply switching the time of day that you water, you can save around 126 gallons of water each week!
  • A Half Hour: Older toilets use as much as seven gallons of water with every flush, while less than a gallon would get the job done. Make your toilet more water conservative with this little trick. Fill a plastic bottle with water and a little bit of sand and submerge it in the tank for a DIY low flow toilet.
  • An Afternoon-Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website ( and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to conduct a home energy assessment. Tasks such as lowing the hot water heater to 120 degrees can you save water, energy and dollars.

Have some money to invest? How much?

  • $: Every year, the average American household receives 1.5 trees worth of junk mail! For just $1 you can register to block junk mail at
  •   $$: Even when electronics are switched off, if they are plugged into the wall, they are likely still using energy. What is known as phantom power can account for up to 10 percent of your electricity bill. By using special surge protectors (like Belkin’s Conserve Valet), you can cut back on your energy consumption. These nifty devices will automatically cut power to devices when they are not in use.
  • $$$: As much as 30 percent of your home’s heating and cooling energy is wasted because of windows. By investing in new blinds, you decrease the amount of energy lost and money lost.

These are just a few tips on you can a more eco-friendly 2012. Thinking about trying any of these?



(1) awesome comment(s)...

  • Dana Hughens - Reply

    February 1, 2012 at 1:15 am

    I didn’t realize that blocking junk mail was that easy. Great tip!

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