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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
Leisure: Long haul
Tips » Long haul $ Factor
Tip 114:
Get a truly 'green' lawn.
One hour of mowing your lawn with a gas-powered mower produces as much pollution as driving your car for four hours, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. For a truly "green" lawn, consider using a push mower or hiring a lawn service that uses solar-rechargeable electric mowers.
$ Factor:
A push mower from Gaiam.com will run you $150. Nonpolluting lawn services, where available, typically charge more than their gas-powered competitors.
Tip 115:
Share your swim space.
Swim at your community pool or fitness center instead of installing a pool of your own. If you already own a pool, consider a solar heating system (it can heat your home water, too), a solar cover or install a timer and set your water circulation at intervals to cut down the energy consumption.
$ Factor:
A pool's circulating pumps cost as much to run as your home air conditioning system. Compare that cost to a $500 annual membership at a fitness center or the use of a community pool that's included in your homeowner's dues and it makes major sense to share the swim.
Tip 116:
Eat 'green.'
No, not by grazing at the salad bar, but by patronizing those restaurants, bars and coffee houses that practice energy and water conservation, recycle, serve organic food, and use tree-free, biodegradable products. A growing list of Certified Green Restaurants can be found at the Green Restaurant Association's Web site.
$ Factor:
"Green" restaurateurs say earth-friendly practices actually save them money.
Tip 117:
Buy tickets online.
Airline, movie and event tickets can be purchased online or by telephone and printed at home and you'll save time and paper waste. Print-at-home tickets use plain copy paper, which is easier to make into recycled paper than the paperboard used for printed tickets -- and the ink and magnetic strips make printed tickets even more difficult to recycle. Some 1.4 billion movie tickets alone are sold in the U.S. annually -- and almost every one of them goes to waste.
$ Factor:
You save time in the ticket line and as much as $30 per ticket, and the airline industry could save as much as $3 billion annually by eliminating paper tickets altogether.
Tip 118:
Reuse hotel linens and towels.
You probably don't change your sheets and towels every day at home, so why do it while you're away? One towel change per week ought to be plenty.
$ Factor:
Trimming the amount of water used by washing sheets and towels can save up to 40 percent of a hotel's water use.
Tip 119:
Pack lightly.
Every additional 10 pounds per traveler requires an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel per year, which is enough to keep a 747 flying continuously for 10 years.
$ Factor:
Airlines have always charged for excess luggage, and recently the number of free pounds allowed has been dropping dramatically.
Tip 120:
Research your trip online.
Print out only the pages or maps you'll actually need. Close to 1 million guidebooks are printed annually, but just 18 percent get recycled. Map paper is particularly difficult, if not impossible, to recycle because of all the ink used.
$ Factor:
You'll save time, money and paper waste. Use old maps as gift wrap and you'll save a bundle.
Tip 121:
Rent hybrid cars.
Try a hybrid or more fuel-efficient car. A hybrid rental can go three times as far as a standard sedan on a single tank of gas.
$ Factor:
There are 1.7 million rental cars in the U.S. If every one of them were a hybrid, more than 9 million gallons of gasoline -- and about $25 million -- would be saved each time the tanks were filled.
Tip 122:
Refill water bottles.
Use a refillable bottle or thermos or canteen when you travel. The average person in the U.S. drinks eight ounces of bottled water per day. Considering that plastic is derived from petroleum, it takes 1.5 million barrels of oil annually to satisfy America's demand for bottled water.
$ Factor:
It may not seem like much for each person, but 1.5 million barrels of oil mean more than $100 million a year in oil just to bottle water.
Tip 123:
Give small gifts.
Gift cards, concert tickets, restaurant certificates and movie vouchers are great alternatives to holiday presents heavily packaged and wrapped in expensive and hard-to-recycle paper. You'll also reduce the time, stress and energy associated with traffic, crowds and long checkout lines. Other money and energy-saving ideas: Draw names among family and coworkers and limit the number of gifts and paper. Or give the gift of time -- make up gift certificates on your computer for baby-sitting, special favors or a date for a special event.
$ Factor:
How many gifts do you give a year? If you average $2 for wrapping paper, ribbon and labels for each, think of how much you can save, not to mention the recycling costs.
Tip 124:
Get the holiday LED out.
Next time you replace your holiday lights, save both money and energy by choosing LED types. What's more, with a 100,000-hour life span, your LED lights could last until the next century.
$ Factor:
Three 100-light strands of LED bulbs running for five hours every day between Thanksgiving and New Year's will use on average, only 3 kilowatt hours -- an energy cost of about 30 cents. Large incandescent bulbs used the same period of time will spin your meter at a rate of 472 kwh to the tune of nearly $60.
Tip 125:
Go for glass.
The energy required to produce a single 12-ounce aluminum can from virgin ore is enough to produce nearly two 12-ounce glass bottles. So the next time you buy a six-pack of beer, opt for glass bottles over aluminum cans.
$ Factor:
The manufacturing energy conserved could power your television through two Sunday NFL games.
Tip 126:
Reduce sports gear.
Consider renting or leasing sports equipment on a per-use basis as opposed to wasting money and cluttering up your garage with stuff you likely won't use more than once or twice a year. Or purchase used equipment. You'll reduce the energy needed to produce an additional piece of equipment and decrease the amount of waste eventually sent to the landfill.
$ Factor:
The market for used equipment is already near $1 billion and represents the resale of hundreds of thousands of skis, golf clubs, treadmills, camping gear and exercise bikes.
-- Posted: Oct. 4, 2007

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