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 !
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The Boulder way to get green
By Michael Hughes December 5, 2009
- 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 .
- 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.
- You will always find great deals on workout equipment, machines, bikes at www.craigslist.org
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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