Switch to reusable shopping bags. 

Think about the number of trips you make every year to the grocery store, convenience stores, and department stores. Every trip is an opportunity to make a difference. It is estimated that over a lifetime, every person who switches to reusable shopping bags could save over 22,000 single-use bags. Approximately 14 million trees are cut down annually to produce paper bags for use in the United States and a plastic shopping bag may sit in a landfill for anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years before decomposing. {Source: Safeway Sustainability Initiatives} Besides reducing the resources needed to produce the single-use bags, you’ll help conserve resources needed transport the bags.

Recycle.

According to The Indiana Recycling Coalition, over 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are directly caused by making, transporting, and disposing of all the things we use and throw out every day. Actively recycling materials results in less ernergy being used to produce goods and eliminates the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills. For example, recyling one aluminum can instead of throwing it in the trash results in a 95% reduction in energy that would be required to produce another can from all new materials. Reducing the amount of waste in our landfills cuts down on production of greenhouse gases such as methane gas, a dangerous product that traps over 21 times more heat in our atmosphere than CO2. Many communities in central Indiana offer curbsibe recycling with waste management services. Curb your carbon footprint by recycling!

Commit to reduce your water consumption.

There are so many easy steps you can take to reduce the amount of water you use and waste:

  • Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth to save about 2 gallons a minute.
  • Use mulch in your landscaping to retain moisture in the soil and reduce the need for supplemental watering.
  • Install inexpensive low-flow shower heads. 
  • When purchasing new appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, look for the WaterSense label. 
  • Use a rain barrel to collect rain water for use in landscaping. It is estimated that about 40% of the average homeowner’s water consumption is used outdoors.
  • Fix dripping faucets and running toilets. Not only will it save you wasted money, but will conserve water. One drip per second can add up to 5 gallons of water per day!
  • Don’t run the dishwasher until it is full. And if you have a newer dishwasher, you can cut back on rinsing dishes. Newer models clean much better than older ones.
  • Take shorter showers — cutting a minute or two from each shower can save up to 150 gallons per month — PER PERSON!
  • Learn more ways to conserve water in every area of your home at wateruseitwisely.com.

Reduce exhaust emissions from your automobile.

  • In winter months, don’t start your vehicle too long before you leave. Just a couple of minutes is enough for safe operation of your vehicle.
  • For shorter trips, consider walking or riding a bicycle.
  • Keep your automobile tuned up and the tires properly inflated to ensure efficient operation.
  • Don’t let your car idle unnecessarily — when waiting for a train, dropping off or waiting for a friend, or sitting in a traffic jam, shut off your engine. Avoid drive-throughs — park your car and walk in.
  • Plan your trips carefully to avoid extra, unnecessary driving. Can you stop at the store on your way to or from work instead of making an extra trip? Can you carpool with someone?
  • If you’re ready to make a really big change, consider purchasing a more energy efficient vehicle — one that gets better gas mileage, or even a hybrid. Landscape Solutions account reps and staff members are now driving Chevrolet Volts, which can go as much as 900 miles between fillups!

Purchase organic, locally-grown foods.

When possible, purchase locally grown foods. This reduces the amount of resources needed to transport food. Organically grown foods contribute less chemical pollution to the environment. Many communitities in central Indiana offer local farmers markets or co-ops which make purchasing locally-grown foods much easier and more economical. Often, these foods are better tasting and more nutritious than foods offered in grocery stores.

Pull the plug to conserve energy.

One of the easiest and most obvious ways to conserve energy is to turn off lights and devices when not in use. But did you know that when electronic devices and appliances are plugged in, they are gobbling up electricty — even when they are not in use? Not only does this cost you money, but it wastes energy. Most devices only pull minimal amounts of energy, but it adds up. And some plugged-in appliances take a lot more power! While it may not be practical to unplug every single device in your home when not in use, here is  a list of items you may want to consider disconnecting from the power source whenever possible:

  • Television Sets
  • Coffemakers
  • Toasters
  • Computers
  • Lamps
  • Chargers — unplug them when not in use!

Save energy (and money) on heating and cooling.

Adjusting the termostat — just a degree or two — can make a big difference in your heating and cooling energy consumption.  In the winter months, turn the thermostat down a couple degrees — you can stay comfortable by staying active or dressing more warmly or using a blanket when sitting around. In summer months, turn the AC up a couple of degrees — ceiling fans are a more energy efficient way to keep the air moving and help you stay cooler. Proper maintenance of your heating and cooling systems (replacing furnace filters as recommended by the manufacturere and annual service to your HVAC units) keeps your system running more efficiently and alerts you to potential dangers of systems that are not operating properly.

Small steps make a big impact.

These are just a few steps you can take oi lessen your negative impact on the environment and perhaps even help reverse some of the damage we’ve done. Want to do more? If you are a property manager or homeowner assocation (HOA) officer, contact Landscape Solutions today to see how your landscaping services and snow and ice control measures can be supplied in an environmentally conscious way. We treat every client with a personalized, custom approach that ensures we provice our services in an efficient way — minimizing your cost and our environmental impact. 

How You Can Make a Difference in 2014

Switch to reusable shopping bags. 

Think about the number of trips you make every year to the grocery store, convenience stores, and department stores. Every trip is an opportunity to make a difference. It is estimated that over a lifetime, every person who switches to reusable shopping bags could save over 22,000 single-use bags. Approximately 14 million trees are cut down annually to produce paper bags for use in the United States and a plastic shopping bag may sit in a landfill for anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years before decomposing. {Source: Safeway Sustainability Initiatives} Besides reducing the resources needed to produce the single-use bags, you’ll help conserve resources needed transport the bags.

Recycle.

According to The Indiana Recycling Coalition, over 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are directly caused by making, transporting, and disposing of all the things we use and throw out every day. Actively recycling materials results in less ernergy being used to produce goods and eliminates the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills. For example, recyling one aluminum can instead of throwing it in the trash results in a 95% reduction in energy that would be required to produce another can from all new materials. Reducing the amount of waste in our landfills cuts down on production of greenhouse gases such as methane gas, a dangerous product that traps over 21 times more heat in our atmosphere than CO2. Many communities in central Indiana offer curbsibe recycling with waste management services. Curb your carbon footprint by recycling!

Commit to reduce your water consumption.

There are so many easy steps you can take to reduce the amount of water you use and waste:

  • Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth to save about 2 gallons a minute.
  • Use mulch in your landscaping to retain moisture in the soil and reduce the need for supplemental watering.
  • Install inexpensive low-flow shower heads. 
  • When purchasing new appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, look for the WaterSense label. 
  • Use a rain barrel to collect rain water for use in landscaping. It is estimated that about 40% of the average homeowner’s water consumption is used outdoors.
  • Fix dripping faucets and running toilets. Not only will it save you wasted money, but will conserve water. One drip per second can add up to 5 gallons of water per day!
  • Don’t run the dishwasher until it is full. And if you have a newer dishwasher, you can cut back on rinsing dishes. Newer models clean much better than older ones.
  • Take shorter showers — cutting a minute or two from each shower can save up to 150 gallons per month — PER PERSON!
  • Learn more ways to conserve water in every area of your home at wateruseitwisely.com.

Reduce exhaust emissions from your automobile.

  • In winter months, don’t start your vehicle too long before you leave. Just a couple of minutes is enough for safe operation of your vehicle.
  • For shorter trips, consider walking or riding a bicycle.
  • Keep your automobile tuned up and the tires properly inflated to ensure efficient operation.
  • Don’t let your car idle unnecessarily — when waiting for a train, dropping off or waiting for a friend, or sitting in a traffic jam, shut off your engine. Avoid drive-throughs — park your car and walk in.
  • Plan your trips carefully to avoid extra, unnecessary driving. Can you stop at the store on your way to or from work instead of making an extra trip? Can you carpool with someone?
  • If you’re ready to make a really big change, consider purchasing a more energy efficient vehicle — one that gets better gas mileage, or even a hybrid. Landscape Solutions account reps and staff members are now driving Chevrolet Volts, which can go as much as 900 miles between fillups!

Purchase organic, locally-grown foods.

When possible, purchase locally grown foods. This reduces the amount of resources needed to transport food. Organically grown foods contribute less chemical pollution to the environment. Many communitities in central Indiana offer local farmers markets or co-ops which make purchasing locally-grown foods much easier and more economical. Often, these foods are better tasting and more nutritious than foods offered in grocery stores.

Pull the plug to conserve energy.

One of the easiest and most obvious ways to conserve energy is to turn off lights and devices when not in use. But did you know that when electronic devices and appliances are plugged in, they are gobbling up electricty — even when they are not in use? Not only does this cost you money, but it wastes energy. Most devices only pull minimal amounts of energy, but it adds up. And some plugged-in appliances take a lot more power! While it may not be practical to unplug every single device in your home when not in use, here is  a list of items you may want to consider disconnecting from the power source whenever possible:

  • Television Sets
  • Coffemakers
  • Toasters
  • Computers
  • Lamps
  • Chargers — unplug them when not in use!

Save energy (and money) on heating and cooling.

Adjusting the termostat — just a degree or two — can make a big difference in your heating and cooling energy consumption.  In the winter months, turn the thermostat down a couple degrees — you can stay comfortable by staying active or dressing more warmly or using a blanket when sitting around. In summer months, turn the AC up a couple of degrees — ceiling fans are a more energy efficient way to keep the air moving and help you stay cooler. Proper maintenance of your heating and cooling systems (replacing furnace filters as recommended by the manufacturere and annual service to your HVAC units) keeps your system running more efficiently and alerts you to potential dangers of systems that are not operating properly.

Small steps make a big impact.

These are just a few steps you can take oi lessen your negative impact on the environment and perhaps even help reverse some of the damage we’ve done. Want to do more? If you are a property manager or homeowner assocation (HOA) officer, contact Landscape Solutions today to see how your landscaping services and snow and ice control measures can be supplied in an environmentally conscious way. We treat every client with a personalized, custom approach that ensures we provice our services in an efficient way — minimizing your cost and our environmental impact. 

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