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Let's Go 'Greener' in Greene

Cindy Franks, Rices Landing, PA
"There are several ways that we try to save energy and "Go Greener in Greene" in our restaurant, The Riverwalk Café, in Rices Landing. We try not to turn on all of the ovens and grills earlier than is needed to serve our customers. Also, we try to keep the lights out or lowered in our kitchens if possible. The television is turned off when no customers are in the café. The use of chalkboards is another way to save the waste of paper and ink for sales and special.

"(We are open to any other suggestions for business owner too!)"

Carol Keys, Jefferson, PA
"I hang clothes outside. It not only saves energy but they smell nice. I have cubicles on my desk and one in my kitchen. Any mail we get that has usable paper I cut a 9 inch square that fits in those cubicles to use. It makes no difference if it has writing on one side, I use it for notes, grocery list etc. My husband recycles any metals. It gives him something to do, plus it keeps those thinks out of landfills and the cash he gets doesn't hurt either. We live in the country so we are able to burn some items that also keeps trash from landfills. We had a wood burning stove for twenty five years, but now that we are older my husband can't cut the wood so we now have a gas furnace."

Jessica Jeffries, Waynesburg, PA
"My efforts to saving in my home this year was with planting of a garden for my daughter and our family. Planting the seeds in bio degradable pots, creating our own fertilizer with a compost pile, and using rain water (as often as possible) to water the garden. Now, as I harvest our veggies, I de-seed, dry them out, and we will use the seeds that we saved next year. Our tomatoes were turned into sauce which we will have for fall and all winter long. We minced our garlic which was used in the sauce, and there was plenty left to put up. I used the empty baby food jars from my daughter to hold the minced garlic. I dried out the seeds from our sunflower so we could feed the birds.

"There are many more things that I have done. The best thing to keep in mind is don't waste anything. Find a use for everything and that's what I did. Saving water, using non- plastic planters, finding a use for everything and no waste. Did I mention saving money?"

Rob, Elaine and Haleigh Simpson, Clarksville, PA
"We practice conservation at our house extensively. In these tough times, it's hard not to. First, we insulated all joints, cracks, openings, etc. We purchased LED lights(which use about 1/8 of the wattage of incadescent and even less than flourescent), and that has resulted in about a $40.00/month savings on our electric bill. We recycle both sides of our paper for the computer and set our printer speed higher to use less ink. We also purchase recycled ink cartridges, so that it is one less that ends up in a landfill. We capture our roof's rainwater to wash our car with, water our plants, etc. We recycle our newspaper by using it to clean mirrors, windows, car windows, etc. We buy only environmentally friendly cleaning products, or make our own naturally by using baking soda, vinegar, etc. and we run our washer only with cold water and our dryer and dishwasher on minimum heat and before bedtime, when the price of electricity is lowest. We also use a woodburner to heat our house, because it it a renewable resource, and dry our clothes outside whenever possible. We let our grocery list get longer and consolidate driving to make fewer trips to the store and save our plastic bags for re-use at the grocery stores, and we recycle our aluminum cans and whatever else we can whenever possible."

Terry Lash, G raysville, PA
"When my husband has an old cotton dress shirt that is no longer fit to be seen in pubic, I cut the salvagable parts into squares, hem the edges, and use them for napkins at the table. When they are dirty, I just throw them in the wash with a load of clothes. I still buy a package of paper nakpins (every couple of years) to use for picnics and such, but this sure is a money and tree saver that we use at our house.

"What do you do with your 'empty' tubes of hand lotion, etc.? I carefully cut the tube open, scoop the remaining lotion out and put it into a (recycled) plastic container with a lid. You would be amazed at what is left in that 'empty' tube."

Lisa Snider, Waynesburg, PA
"My husband and I have been diligently working on residing our house. We weighed the opitions of vinyl siding, new wood and my husband came up with a brilliant idea. His fathers old barn was falling in and had some of the best lumber as siding already. I guess if it was around 100 years old it could last a few more years. Instead of tearing down the barn and selling it for cold hard cash, we decided to use it on our home. I was worried at first but once he started it looked great. Just turn the boards inside out and pressure wash away the 100 years of grime and treat with water sealer. I was impressed with the look of the wood. What a treat! It didn't take too much effort and we worked on it as we could. My husband even faced the block foundation with stone from my parents farm and the old barn foundation. Now, we are the proud owners of a quaint little board and batton cabinesque home. Talk about a money saver and building green. Our home is now a 'recycled masterpiece' that saved on the need of lumber being produced for our project. I guess we 'saved a few trees'. We had to buy a few odds and ends to help with the project, but the greatest chunk of the materials were recycled."

The Waynesburg Area Chamber of Commerce
"The Waynesburg Area Chamber of Commerce office has been recycling for many years.

"We use the back side of office paper for our fax machine and keep some at each desk to print off items to be filed, emails, drafts, etc. With scraps that are still left over, we use them for notes on our desks. And of course, we print or copy as much as poss ible in a two- sided format to elminate pages of paper.

"We shred all paper once it has served it's second and even third life in our office. All office paper is recycled through Greene Arc along with our magzaines, junk mail and other glossy printed paper items. "We also recycle cardboard, newspaper, soda cans and plastic water bottles.

"Being that this is an office, we do a lot of printing with desktop printers and we have them set to print on 'fast draft' which not only saves on the cost of the ink, but the amount of empty ink cartridges that we produce. But even the empty cartridges are recycled by being donated to the Greene County Humane Society. They are able to turn them in for much needed cash.

"We also hand deliver as much of our membership mail in person. Not only does this save us money, it reduces the energy costs necessary to deliver our mailings. And it offers us the ability to stop in and visit with our members in person."

Cheryl McCready, Greene County Women's Center
"Wasting paper is a big concern at our office. It seems that the fax machine was a demon constantly sending out frivolous and nuisance advertisements--insurance, vacations, roofing, ink cartridges, etc. We diligently call each number on the ad and ask that our fax number not be contacted! These faxes, as well as the extra notes at the end of a printed e-mail and the endless amount of papers that need to be edited are all saved in a special recycle area to be used again for notes, lists, scrap paper, or just quick sketches. No more grabbing a new sheet of copy paper to write a message! These little efforts save our office money as well as helping the economy."

Richard L. Quesada, Sr., Carmichaels, PA
Here are some of the things we are doing to save energy:

  1. Own a Prius since 2005
  2. Catch rainwater in a huge barrel to water plants etc.
  3. Hang most wash outside on clothes lines, especially large items
  4. Recycle Plastics, etc.

Esther M. Minn, Carmichaels, PA
I buy gallon jugs of bottled water because they are cheaper. I keep the individual size bottles washed up and just keep refilling from the gallon jug.

Joe Larkin (AKA Joe The Electrician), Jefferson, PA
Simple ways to save on electricity usage:

  1. Turn it off. Really turn it off. We use allot of electricity with things that are not really OFF in our homes and businesses. You would actually see a savings on your electric bill just by... Unplugging computers, TVs, stereos, appliances, network boxes, stand alone modems, chargers that are done charging, that Ipod or phone and just about anything that is ready to use when you flip that switch. A good way to do this would be power strips. That way you can RE ALLY turn on and off your electricity. Try it.
  2. Take Grandma's advise - open your blinds to the sun. It will reduce your heating bill and is a great way to help light up your home. Those curly bulbs? Use them. Not only does one bulb produce the light it would take eight of the other kind to produce on average, I have had over 30 of these bulbs for over 5 years and not one has burned out.
  3. Not quite ready to use it? Then don't. Most appliances when turned on use energy, even though you're not using them. The best example is your water heater. It will maintain a constant heat but two seconds of use could throw it into its heating cycle and it will stay on until it reaches what is called a limit. Half an hour later it can cycle again and again. A well insulated water heater used in gallons not ounces will save bundles on its fuel source. Other items include: Fluorescent lights, opening refrigerator door, ovens while baking and of course frequent out side door use when using heat or ac.
  4. Turn it down. Volume on TVs, radios, even cell phones, can double your electricity use. Heat, turning down just a degree or two will save hundreds a year.
  5. Use less, if everyone one just does a little it will lower the demand and the prices will fall. any energy any time. I will be back with some alternative energy tips at minimum investment. prod ucts out there that really work and just by knowing the right choice will make all the difference.

 
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