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HannahWhittenly posted a blog entry in HannahWhittenly's BlogAll of us want to live in a clean, safe, and attractive community. However, we all need to do our part to provide a wholesome environment for work and play. If you are tired of seeing trash-strewn parks and littered playgrounds, here are a few tips that could help to form a collaborative approach to cleaning local public spaces. Do Your Part Be vigilant about throwing trash in public containers and not on the ground or out the car window. If you see trash in your path, put it in the closest receptacle. Teach your children how to pick up after themselves and not to litter. Gather your dog’s droppings while walking outdoors. Not only will you be doing your part, but you can also set the example for others who are watching. Organize a Community Cleanup Day Contact the town’s city council, the chamber of commerce, or another civic business group to suggest designating a community cleanup day. Make it festive at the rally point, possibly a local park or cordoned-off downtown area, with colorful balloons to indicate boundaries. Recruit volunteers to bring treats like cookies and punch for everyone who comes out to help. Make sure there are waiting trash receptacles and garbage bags, if needed. For extra messy areas, a dumpster rental can help when removing tree limbs, housing debris, or non-toxic dumpsite waste. Encourage Schools to Involve Students Teaching children to honor their civic duty is a valuable task. An appreciation for tidy areas and clean walkways is also important. Work with teachers and school administrators to possibly award students merit points for volunteering to help clean up a community area. It can be fun as well as educational as a type of field trip experience. Get Local Businesses Involved Companies and organizations in the area may want to get involved. Playing a visible role in a community initiative is a great way to market their business. Some may wish to donate funds for needed supplies like a dumpster or tools for weeding overgrown parklands, for example. Companies that play a significant role or help to lead the project might merit a news shout-out or a civic improvement award. Keeping your town clean and neat is a desirable goal in its own right. Working with others to accomplish the goal is an added bonus. Everyone will love the new, fresh look of the cleanup area and possibly be motivated to tackle adjacent neighborhoods.
Meghan Belnap posted a blog entry in Green Living BlogRestaurants are not well-known for being environmentally-friendly. Through the process of running an active establishment, producing huge amounts of food and meeting customers’ needs, a tremendous amount of energy and water waste can occur. In addition, excessive physical waste may be generated, and this often winds up in a landfill. If you are preparing to start a new restaurant business, these tips may help you to create a green venue. Use Green Recycling Bins Trash from a restaurant is derived from two primary sources. These include waste in the kitchen from food containers and waste in the main dining area from your customers. A smart idea is to invest in a green recycling bin such as skips and to require your staff members to use it appropriately. While you cannot force customers to use it, you may be thrilled to see how many people will participate in recycling when they are given the opportunity to do so. Minimize the Use of Disposable Items Another idea is to reduce the use of disposable items altogether. For example, if your restaurant currently uses disposable plates and utensils, exchange these for reusable items. You may have to pay your staff to clean the reusable items, but this may be more cost-effective overall. Use Recyclable Disposable Items If you must use disposable packaging utensils, such as for take-home orders, choose items that are made out of recycled materials. Ensure that these items can be recycled. Using a non-recyclable material, such as Styrofoam, ensures that your customers cannot make a green choice with regards to the disposal of the items. Install Low-Flow Faucets Water waste is another cause for concern in a restaurant. The same amount of water may be needed to fill your customers’ glasses and to prepare certain dishes. However, water used for cleaning and in the bathrooms may be reduced with the installation of low-flow faucets and toilets. Invest in Energy-Saving Appliances Another area to focus your attention on is energy waste. There are many general energy-saving tips to follow, such as to ensure that doors and windows are sealed properly. In addition, purchase energy-saving appliances. Commercial-grade appliances can consume a large amount of energy, and saving even a moderate amount of this energy can have a beneficial impact on the environment. You can see that there are numerous areas in typical restaurant operation that can be detrimental to the environment. Now that you are aware of these negative impacts, you can take thoughtful steps to improve the situation. It may be easier to plan to be green from day one of your operations than to make green improvements after your restaurant is up and running.
Meghan Belnap posted a blog entry in Green Living BlogMore and more people are worried about the planet, which is probably why many are making eco-friendly choices when making purchases. For one, more people are hunting for eco-friendly cars that they can feel good about. The only problem is that trying to get a car that won't kill the planet can be a little overwhelming, but the following tips may help. 1. Consider Fuel Switching to an eco-friendly car could mean switching to more eco-friendly fuel. The options that you have include biodiesel, diesel, and electric. You want to make sure you know where your charging or fueling stations are before you choose a car that runs on either of these fuels. You do not want to find out that your nearest charging station is an hour away. 2. Focus on Needs You cannot forget your needs when purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle. More car manufacturers are creating eco-friendly cars, so there are several options for you. You need to think about cargo space, towing capabilities, passenger space, and even off-road capabilities. In essence, you need to make sure that your eco-friendly car fits your lifestyle. 3. A Good Selection It is easy to focus on the details of the car and overlook the importance of the dealership. You need to find a car dealership such as Young Automotive Group that has enough cars for you to choose from. A large selection is definitely a good sign, but you should also meet with some of the salespeople to ensure that they are knowledgeable about eco-friendly cars. 4. Look for Certification The next thing you might want to do is check the EPA certification on the car. The EPA grades eco-friendly cars using the SmartWay Certification program, which should allow you to choose the most eco-friendly car that you can buy. You can go to the EPA's site directly to see the vehicles that are currently graded, or you can talk to your car dealership salesperson about the choices that are available in their car lot. These are just some tips that could help you find a car that will make your life easier without killing the planet. Remember, several vehicles do not run on eco-friendly fuels but are still eco-friendly because they give you more miles per gallon than ever before. These types of vehicles should also be a possibility just in case you live in an area without many eco-friendly re-fueling or charging options.