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Bankrate's 2007 Living Green, Saving Green Guide
Green today
Learn 153 ways to be eco-friendly while saving green.
Green today
153 ways to go green
Food/groceries: Long haul
Tips » Long haul $ factor
Tip 94:
Research fish choices before you buy.
If you can read a paper, you already know that the oceans are being overfished. So skip the varieties with dwindling populations or the ones that are targets for poaching or overfishing. Limit your exposure to mercury and other toxins by choosing smaller varieties of fish and avoiding some farm-raised options. The Monterey Bay Aquarium regularly updates a list of healthy choices, taking into account sustainability and pollution. Or check the Blue Ocean Institute's Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood.
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By staying informed and checking sources, you can enjoy fish regularly, limit your exposure to toxins and make sure that fish populations, the fishing industry and the oceans will be healthy for years to come. Fish that is plentiful should also be more affordable.
Tip 95:
Investigate community-supported agriculture.
How it works: You pay a local farmer a set price in advance for a share in that year's harvest. During the harvesting season (which can be throughout the spring, summer and fall), you get a box of fresh produce delivered weekly.
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You get a fixed rate on groceries and the convenience of locally grown produce, delivered to your door. And small local farms get an influx of cash at the time when expenses are likely to be greatest. Find a CSA at LocalHarvest.org.
Tip 96:
Beware faux 'green' claims.
Look for well-vetted terms and/or a trusted third-party certifying organization. Some examples are the USDA's organic insignia; PETA's leaping-bunny logo for cruelty free; the Salmon Safe symbol for protected waterways; or Green Seal's certification for greener home products. Check out any certifications you don't recognize or claims that aren't supported before you buy. And be skeptical of "greenwashing" and of unregulated, vague promises like: natural (almost everything is), recyclable (nearly everything can be recycled) or green (what makes it green?). "Free range" means nothing, says Karen Perry Stillerman, a senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists. And "cage free" doesn't necessarily mean that chickens run free.
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You'll save by not flushing money on "faux green" products. Instead, you'll know exactly what you're buying and who backs any claims or promises. And if you want to spend a little more on a product to support a green cause, you're making it count.
Tip 97:
Support 'green' businesses.
Discover local restaurants that are going green by visiting the Green Restaurant Association's Certified Green Restaurant Guide. Enter your ZIP code and get a rundown of eateries and what they're doing to become more eco-friendly.
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Many manufacturers, stores, restaurants and coffee houses are greening their businesses with strategies like adopting large scale recycling programs; using sustainable forms of energy, such as solar or wind power; reducing waste; and committing to the use of organic, locally grown or eco-friendly products. By spending your money selectively, you reward greener behavior and encourage other companies to become similarly competitive. And, in many cases, there is no extra cost to consumers.
-- Posted: Oct. 4, 2007

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