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Monday, July 14, 2008

Going Green: Good - Better - Best

Mary Campbell, Pinellas County Extension Director, Urban Sustainability

We hear about so many green practices that will conserve resources, save money and reduce our environmental impacts. When going green there is a whole range of activities that can be considered good, better and best. It is never an all or nothing proposition when we are trying to do a better job and reduce our impacts. Pick a practice that works for you and don’t feel discouraged if you have not reached the “best” level. Pick small changes and when they get easy you might be ready for the next level.

Here are some examples:

Plastic Grocery Bags
Good – Recycle the plastic bags
Better – Reuse the plastic bags several times before you recycle
Best – don’t use plastic bags but have reusable bags handy for shopping

Plastic Water Bottles
Good – Recycle the plastic bottles
Better – reuse the bottles and then recycle
Best – use a reusable container for water and reduce the whole cycle

Paper Use
Good – always print on both sides of the paper
Better – use at least 30% recycled paper and print on both sides
Best – always recycle your 100% recycled paper that is printed on both sides

Energy Use
Good – put your computer and other equipment into power save mode when not in use
Better – shut down computer, printer and other equipment when not in use
Best – shut down electronic equipment at the power strip to stop any energy use

I think you get the idea. Share your comments and ideas on how to go from good to better to best. Each small step is a great effort and it is the small steps that add up to big impacts for us all.


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