Tips from Temple Aliyah's Green Committee
Summer is almost over. Two months from now the cooler weather will bring back the heating bills so now is the time to cut down on wasted energy. Last winter the Temple Aliyah Green Committee provided many Green Tips including scheduling a free MassSAVE energy audit. Please see below many more ideas that can save you money and save precious resources.
If you have not already done so, please take the 10% Energy Challenge before Rosh Hashanah. Our goal is to have 70 families sign up by then so we need your help now. Whether you’ve already had an energy audit, insulated your home, replaced some light bulbs, or done nothing at all - the 10% Challenge is easy to take online and the ideas are easy on your wallet. If you’ve previously registered for the Challenge with another organization, you can still participate through Temple Aliyah (see FAQ).
Reduce your energy costs ... without compromising comfort. Find out how!
After Reducing, Reusing and Recycling, consider Composting, either at home or by simply separating organic waste and putting it with the leaves and other organics at the back of the Needham RTS. Compost enriches soil, reduces landfills, prevents pollution and saves water, fertilizers, pesticides and money. The EPA offers lots of great "What To" and "How To" information.
Turn off Computers.
Don't leave computers on. Use standby (sleep) mode on your computer if you won't use it for at least 20 minutes (or program the computer to do this automatically), and turn it off if you won't use it for at least 2 hours. Left on, a single desktop computer could cost more than $125 a year to run. The U.S. Dept. of Energy points out that screen savers may actually use more energy and that it is a myth that you shouldn't turn off computers.
This is just one of the 20 ideas that can help you reduce energy consumption by 10% as part of the Needham 10% Challenge. Temple Aliyah has set a goal of getting 120 families to sign up for this challenge so please sign up.
Low Flow Shower Heads
Install a low flow shower head. This can reduce hot water use by 30%. Early low-flow shower heads simply restricted flow and performed poorly but the new technologies feel and perform like unrestricted showers. According to NStar, "A top-quality, low-flow showerhead will cost $10 to $20 and pay for itself in energy saved within 4 months."
Ride Your Bike
Get on your bike and ride! Okay, this is a health tip too but there is no need to drive to the store for a couple of items, or to drive to downtown Needham for lunch. The weather is getting nice enough that many of our kids can also bike to school or practices. Needham Bikes is working to create better, safer biking conditions in Needham by updating and implementing a comprehensive plan first proposed in 2000. Needham Bikes also supports efforts to convert a 7 mile stretch of inactive railroad tracks between Needham and Medfield into The Bay Colony Rail Trail for use by bicyclists, strollers, joggers, walkers and many other non-motorized travelers.
If you must drive then consider One Penny Per Mile, Inc. (OPPM), a Needham-based non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against global warming. OPPM gives automobile owners a tax-deductible opportunity to directly compensate for the CO2 produced by necessary driving.
Reusing is the simplest form of recycling.
Glass jars are better than Tupperware or plastic for storing leftovers, especially for foods with tomato sauce or other things that can stain plastic. Put them in the dishwasher rather than the trash.
Reusable shopping bags can handle more weight than paper or plastic. Roche Brothers and Sudbury Farms pay you 5 cents for each bag you bring in. (You can ask them to donate the 5 cents to charity if you prefer.) Trader Joe's enters you in a raffle.
Plastic bags from the grocery store make terrific trash can liners and can be emptied and reused, rather than thrown out.
Copier paper has two sides. As long as the paper is not wrinkled, you can print drafts on the backside of previously-printed paper.
More Efficient Heating and Cooling
Is someone home during the day? If so, do you find yourself spending most of your time in one room? If so, buy a space heater (for the winter) and a fan (for the summer) for that room and turn the heat or air conditioning in the rest of the house down until others get home. You will be surprised how much warmer or cooler a single room unit can make the room you use most, and you will save lots of energy and money by having the entire house a few degrees cooler in the winter or warmer in the summer. Also, close or cover any vents in rooms you rarely use. Any heating or cooling energy that goes into those rooms is wasted.
When it comes to recycling, Bigger IS almost always Better. Bigger packages are more efficient to manufacture and their packaging uses substantially less material and energy per pound or gallon than small packages. In most cases, bigger is also less expensive per unit to buy. Labels at grocery and other stores usually show the cost per pound as well as the cost per package so you can see the savings for yourself. Unless an item is perishable and might have to be thrown out before it is completely used, consider investing in larger packages even if they are less convenient to handle or store. You can often put a portion of a large package into smaller reusable containers before us.
Check out all the items that can be recycled at the Needham RTS. It all adds up to saving money and the environment.
TopTen USA is a new nonprofit which makes it easy for consumers to find and buy the MOST energy-efficient appliances, electronics, and vehicles on the market. Independent research shows that, on average, the ten MOST efficient products use half the energy of models that just meet the ENERGY STAR standard. For the same brands, same prices, same features, but much less energy consumption, check out toptenusa.org.
Little-Known Facts about Hershey's Kisses (and other aluminum products)
Hershey's Kisses wrappers and other aluminum products are recyclable. Hershey's uses 133 square miles of aluminum per day to wrap their kisses
Aluminum typically gets recycled and reused within 60 days. Steel can also be recycled completely, which saves tons of iron ore, coal, and energy. Manufacturing aluminum products from virgin metal consumes close to 100 times the power required to recycle aluminum. Therefore, it is very important to recycle any and all steel and aluminum products repeatedly.
For more information, please contact David Harris.