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Tip of the Week

The New Year is a time for resolutions. We would like to say goodbye to bad habits and develop better lifestyle routines to help the environment.  Changing habits in small, simple ways is much less overwhelming than trying to make lots of big changes. Reducing consumption, using reusable bags, turning off lights when not in use, conserving water, eliminating food waste, and using natural, non-toxic cleaning products are just a few of the ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Change one habit and you have started the process.

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Tip of the Week

In Crested Butte most of us wish for a white Christmas, but here are some ways to make your Christmas green.

Buy locally crafted gifts and save the environmental costs of transporting gifts from distant places. Giving the gift of services is personal and requires little or no natural resources. Use your baking, sewing, or handy man skills to make homemade gifts that are unique.  Buy toys that do not require toxic batteries. Remember the “Peace ON Earth” Christmas theme and avoid giving children toys that promote violence. Take time to relax and slow down and feel the joy of Christmas. Being kind and patient at this busy time of year is one of the best gifts you can give to others.

Lower the impact of electricity use by reducing your lighting displays and using LED holiday lights.

Choose E Cards instead of paper and save trees, printing, and transportation costs. Find creative gift wrapping alternatives such as fabric and colorful old tee shirts. Save the gift boxes and bags that you receive to reuse next year.

Merry Christmas from Sustainable Crested Butte.

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Tip of the Week

Reduce. Even though recycling is a very good practice, waste reduction has a greater overall effect for a healthy planet. Buy reusable products instead of ones that are disposable such as razors, storage containers, coffee filters, etc., Buy recycled paper products when possible. It takes 60% less energy to manufacture paper from recycled stock than from virgin materials. Use rags or cloth towels and napkins instead of paper. Being selective with our purchases now and choosing products with less packaging can create less waste for the future.

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Tip of the Week

Do you know that over 49 billion single use bottles of water are sold in the U.S. every year, and that number is growing. Millions of barrels of oil are used every year to make those bottles, and that does not include the fuel used to transport the water. Many millions of bottles are discarded every day, and only 5-10 percent are recycled. Plastic bottles will take 1,000 years to decompose and can leach harmful chemicals into soils. Some endocrinologists believe that plastic bottles can have negative effects on our endocrine systems. Using a refillable water bottle with filtered or plain tap water can help to keep ourselves and the planet healthier.

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Tip of the Week

If your reusable bags stay at home or in your car instead of going to the store, you are not alone. In the United States we use about 100 billion plastic bags per year. To make the raw material for paper bags, millions of trees per year are cut down. The average reusable bag has a lifespan equal to that of more than 700 plastic bags. Bringing your own bag to the store can make a difference. Make a habit of always putting your bags back in the car after unloading your purchases, and keep your bags visible, so that they go in to the store with you.

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Tip of the Week

With approximately 7 billion people for the planet to feed, about 40 percent of land surface is used for food production. Raising livestock uses the majority of that land and one third of the world’s fresh water is used in this industry. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas from cattle, generates some 20 percent of overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Many scientists and environmentalists believe that eating meat has major environmental consequences. Cutting down our consumption, by even as little as one meatless meal a day, and choosing meat and dairy products from pasture raised and local animals when available, can have a positive effect on our planet.

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Tip of the Week

Even though Crested Butte is not close to an ocean, most of us eat some fish and shellfish and enjoy the occasional surf and sand vacation. As the oceans become more acidic from carbon- pollution, many ocean species including plankton are suffering. Plankton species are not only the base of the ocean food web, they also produce half of the world’s oxygen. We can help carbon-pollution by reducing our carbon footprint. Driving fuel efficient cars, limiting our driving and airplane trips when possible, making sure that our homes are well insulated, and eating organically produced foods to limit toxic runoff into streams and rivers are all positive actions to make our oceans more sustainable.

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Tip of the Week

Making your home carbon neutral is a worthwhile goal to reduce CO2 emissions. Most homes rely on fossil fuels to generate electricity and heat. By using energy more efficiently at home, you can reduce your emissions and lower your energy bills. Here’s how:

1.Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs.

2. Set your thermostat 2 degrees cooler in the winter.

3. Clean or replace furnace filters.

4. Wash clothes in cold water and use a clothesline or indoor drying rack instead of a dryer whenever possible.

5. Unplug electronics when not in use. Chargers, TV’s, hairdryers, and items such as kitchen appliances use energy even when turned off.

6. Plant trees. A single tree absorbs 1 ton of CO2 over its lifetime.

Start with one change and gradually incorporate more energy saving habits into your daily life.

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