Tag Archives: reuse

Simple everyday ways to “go green”

Simple ways to go green

By Michael Hughes  January 3, 2010

We are inundated with products coated in plastic, double wrapped, foamed and protected by 3rd and 4th layers.  This has led to toxins being released in landfills and along highways. Here are some tips:

  • Take along your own reusable sacks to the grocery store.
  • If you don’t need a bag don’t let them put that package of gum in a bag, just say No.
  • Keep a recycle bin in your kitchen, you will be surprised how much you do recycle and how little will end up in the trash can (translated; less in the landfill).

Know which plastics (you know the little numbers surrounded by a pyramid with arrows and a number) are recyclable.  Numbers 1-7 are now accepted* at Ecocycle whether or not your caps or lids have a number or a recycling symbol, they are not accepted and are not recyclable. Lids, caps and lotion or soap pumps are significant contaminants, both on and off the container. Please continue to toss them in the trash.

*No #7 PLA bottles or containers: It couldn’t be as simple as ALL #1 – 7 plastics, could it? The broad #7 category was designed as a catch-all for polycarbonate (PC) and “other” plastics. Unfortunately, new compostable plastics, made from bio-based polymers like corn starch, are also thrown into this category and labeled with a #7. But, you can tell them apart from their petroleum-based relatives because compostable plastics ALSO have the initials PLA on the bottom near the recycling symbol. Some may also say “Compostable.” Please look carefully for that coding, and if you see it, you have the green light to toss the container, not in the recycling bin, but in your COMPOST collection bin.

Check out the Dirty Dozen which are the 12 most difficult to recycle items at http://www.ecocycle.org/singlestream/DirtyDozenBoulderCounty.pdf

When you or someone you know needs help with real estate or if you just have a quick question, call me at 303-359-6627 or you can reach my website at www.bolderrealestate.com Michael Hughes Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty.


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Holiday tips to go Green

Posted December 23, 2009

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper

Most mass-produced wrapping paper you find in stores is not recyclable and ends up in landfills. Instead, here’s a great chance to get creative! Wrap presents with old maps, the comics section ofa newspaper, or children’s artwork. Or use a scarf, attractive dish towel, bandana, or some other useful cloth item. If every family wrapped just three gifts this way, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

Buy Energy-Saving Holiday Lights

Now you can decorate your house with LED lights that use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights, and can save your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season! LED lights are available at many major retailers, including Target, CostCo, and Ace Hardware.

Add Organic and Local Foods to Your Holiday Feast

Support local family farmers who grow sustainable meat and produce. Not only does it taste better, you’ll be doing your part for the planet too. Looking for an organic turkey or ham for Christmas dinner? Find out where to get local green products in your neighborhood.

Stocking Stuffers: Test Your Eco-Knowledge

Do you have a family member who loves the outdoors? Stuff their stockings with Sierra Club Knowledge Cards, which come in a variety of outdoor themes ranging from survival skills to baby animals. Another great stocking stuffer is “guilt-free” chocolate! Give the gift of organic, fair-trade chocolate and you can eat your way to a better planet.

Give a Gift the Gives Back!

Help support the critical work of the Sierra Club and give an eco-friendly gift at the same time! Sponsor a Wild Place this holiday season and share our country’s most special wild places and national parks with friends and loved ones. Sponsorships start at $20 and come with a range of special gifts, like a photo, plush animal, certificate of sponsorship, or a backpack. For last minute shoppers – or the most eco-conscious person on your list – download a virtual version and print or email your gift right from home

Get a Pesticide-Free Tree

Demand is on the rise for Christmas trees that are not covered in chemicals; some growers use 40 different pesticides, as well as chemical colorants. The good news is that there are now a number of tree-farms that sell pesticide-free trees, so ask your local Christmas tree seller, or search for an organic tree farm near you.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Ninety-eight percent of Christmas trees were grown on farms, not in forests, so at least it’s not as if you’re cutting down an ancient tree. Each year, 10 million Christmas trees end up in the landfill. While your tree won’t fit in the recycling bin with your newspapers and bottles, you can recycle your tree: many cities offer programs to turn your tree to mulch or wood chips. Call (800) CLEANUP or visit www.earth911.org to find the tree-recycling program near you.

Donate Your Time or Money to an Environmental Group

Get into the holiday spirit by volunteering! There are countless ways to help improve your community – and the planet – from cleaning up a local river to helping inner city kids experience the outdoors for the first time. Contact your local Sierra Club to find out about volunteer opportunities near you. A donation in honor of a loved one can also be a special holiday gift.

Do a “Cool Home” Tour with Our Energy-Saving Checklist

Take a pledge this New Years’ to reduce your home energy use by buying energy-efficient light bulbs. Installing only 6 compact fluorescent light bulbs will save the average American family $60 per year. You can also use our handy “Cool Homes” checklist to see what easy things you can do in your home to save energy. If there’s a fire in your fireplace this Christmas, turn down that thermostat! Lowering the temperature even five degrees can take 10% off your energy bill. Check out a complete list of energy-saving tips.

Recycle Your Old Cellphone

Getting a new cell phone for Christmas? Not sure what to do with the old one? Now, you can drop off that old phone at any Staples store, as part of the Sierra Club cell phone recycling program. Each year, 130 million cell phones are thrown out, weighing approximately 65,000 tons. Recycling your old phone prevents hazardous elements like mercury, cadmium and lead from ending up in our landfills. Find out more.

Last but not Least! Get Ready for Dinner-Table Debate

Are you likely to be the lone environmentalist at the dinner table sometime soon? Win arguments and influence people with our famous holiday survival guide. You’ll find ready responses to the predictable dinner table arguments that’ll be directed at you. Who knows, you might even make a few converts!

Questions? Need help with Real Estate?  We can help you.  Call or write today.     e-Mail michael.hughes@sothebysrealty.com Direct 303-359-6627 Visit us at our Website: www.bolderrealestate.com

Visit us at Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Boulder-CO/Boulder-Real-Estate/205684724655?ref=ts

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Three Fronts-Working Toward Being Green

Working toward being Green

By Michael Hughes    December 22, 2009

The First Push: Conservation

Starting in the 19th century, environmentalists in Boulder worked to identify, protect and extend protection to our greenspace that they felt needed to be protected for future generations.  They worked alone in groups to establish the parks, refuges and preserves we treasure today. They rallied against a carnival like plan to put an amusement park at the top of Flagstaff Mountain with a Cog Railway to the top.  Over time the vision has expanded from saving single sites and separating residential from industrial or what would now be commercial, to protecting entire ecosystems, wetlands and animal environments.

The Second Push: Environmental Action

The citizens of Boulder for the most part have always seen the action and activism component of pushing ahead on environmental fronts. Their and the general populations’ work has produced regulatory authorities such as the EPA.

The Third Push: Restore. Recycle. Reuse

We are starting to realize that we need to repair and mitigate the environment.  From plastic bottles that have ended up in a swirling vortex in the ocean to the garbage barges taken out to sea and dumped off of New Jersey.  This needs to stop and we need to rethink the solutions to clean water and neighborhoods because eventually it will catch up to us.  We need sustainable systems and communities for the future. We need zero waste.  Is anyone going to talk about the elephant in the room?  You know Global Warming.  Did you know in 2008 46 ski areas, that have never closed in the past, never opened because they lacked the snow and cold enough temperatures to do so?  Did you know that the glaciers in Greenland are on there way out.  Glaciologist Jason Box said “We’re in the midst of a climate castatrophe and glaciers are the epicenter of that problem.”  Dr. Box from Ohio State University, thinks the way to combat melting glaciers is to cover them with blankets that will reflect the sun’s rays.” As the glaciers melt the oceans will rise as is being seen in some islands out in the pacific.

Boulder has been able to reduce it’s landfill refuse to 50% in 2009.  That is an accolade worth noting.  The better it gets, the better it gets.   We need to ask ourselves what can we do today to lower our carbon foot print even further?

Questions? Need help with Real Estate?  I can help you.  Call or write today.
e-Mail michael.hughes@sothebysrealty.com Direct 303-359-6627 Visit us at our Website: www.bolderrealestate.com

Visit us at Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Boulder-CO/Boulder-Real-Estate/205684724655?ref=ts

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Boulder’s Green Climate Action Plan

Boulder’s Green Climate Action Plan

By Michael Hughes  December 11, 2009

Boulder has been on the leading edge of Green since the late 1800’s.  Pretty innovative and forward thinking folks.  Boulder was the first community to tax itself and proceed to buy surrounding parcels of greenspace. Boulder wants to take it one step further by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Good !  In the residential sector the focus is on education and cutting back where we can, to conserve energy immediately; Change to cfl’s those odd new light bulbs that over time save about $30 per bulb (choose the “warm or brighter ones at 80 Lumens (not watts) or greater), or by walking, biking (map it at www.mapmyride.com ) or carpooling (find someone compatible to ride with at www.zimride.com) to work to save on gas money and emissions.  The city of Boulder offers its water customers rebates for installing new high efficiency toilets, washing machines, drip irrigation systems, programmable sprinkler controllers, and even soil amendments. Buy local organic produce. Don’t use the air conditioner every time the temperature rises above 72 degrees. Change out that old refrigerator that is sucking more energy than a fully loaded Hummer pulling a 42’ Airstream.

The second area of focus is on efficiency. One of the things that can be done here is to get an energy audit.  Free home energy audit (Microsoft Beta) http://www.xcelenergy.com/Colorado/Residential/SaveEnergy_Money/Pages/MicrosoftHohm.aspx

The third area is one of renewable energy.  We haven’t gotten to the point of sophistication (in Boulder at least) where we can choose the source of our energy production (either solar or wind generated) however there are great tax credits and energy credits from Xcel still available for the purchase and installation of photovoltaic systems.  I know several people that have had these installed and their electrical meters run backwards!  They are putting energy back into the grid and money back into their pocket !

Contact me today if you or anyone you know in Boulder or the surrounding area needs real estate help or for just a quick question
e-Mail michael.hughes@sothebysrealty.com Direct 303-359-6627

Website: www.bolderrealestate.com

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The Boulder Way To Get Green

The Boulder way to get green

By Michael Hughes  December 5, 2009

  1. Choose gear made from recycled materials; found at www.coconafabric.com A few of the brands that utilize recycled materials are (a local Boulder company)  www.golite.com , www.marmot.com and www.newbalance.com There are several shoe companies touting biodegradable midsoles.  Brooks is one of them they are at www.brooksrunning.com .
  2. Barter or trade.  Books, DVD’s, Paperbacks, there are several bookstores that carry previously utilized books, cd’s, dvd’s, etc.  Find them at www.paperbackswap.com or www.swapadvd.com to trade with other people for free.  Better yet borrow it from your local library branch.
  3. You will always find great deals on workout equipment, machines, bikes at www.craigslist.org
  4. Start utilizing a reusable water bottle, fill it with filtered water or better yet your favorite cleanse.  Don’t contribute to the 38 billion plastic water containers that end up in the landfill. McGuckins, Vitamin Cottage and Costco have these.
  5. Set the proper temperature in your home with a programmable and affordable digital thermostat.  It can automaticaly adjust temperatures throughout the day and night.  Only about $36 at McGuckins Hardware.
  6. Breathe Easy.  Get a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air filter) vacuum.  It filters out many allergens that normal vacuum cleaners spew back into the air.
  7. Bike, walk,ride the bus, or carpool to work. If walking or riding your bike you can map your workout at www.mapmyride.com If carpool is the choice you can go to www.zimride.com to find people to carpool with and to select your preferences such as a non-smoker who has similar tastes in music.
  8. Use less hot water.  Turn your water heater down to about 120 degrees.  Wash your clothes on cold cycle when possible.  Put detergent in before the clothes, you will find you use less.  Wash full loads of laundry only.  If you let the water run in your sink or shower to heat up catch it for watering your plants.  If you are thinking of installing a solar water heater I have a couple great people to refer you to-call me.
  9. Change your light bulbs out to Compact Flourescent Light Bulbs.  Look for the brighter ones (Higher Lumens-Not Watts) with a Color Rendering Index over 80 (sometimes called “warmer lights)  This will save you about $30 over the life of the bulb.
  10. Stop the Junk Mail. To avoid having your name added to print catalogs simply write in these words.  “Please don’t trade, rent or sell my name or contact information.” This will prevent having your name shared with companies and marketers who buy these lists. Do not fill out cards for additional information, drawings, or warranty cards. This will help avert junk mail.  You can learn more at www.ecocycle.org/junkmail.

Do you or anyone you know need real estate help? If the answer is yes. Call or write today.
e-Mail michael.hughes@sothebysrealty.com Direct 303-359-6627 Visit us at our Website: www.bolderrealestate.com

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