Going Green Guide

Ali Guinn

March 28, 2011

Ever find yourself paralyzed at the thought of going green? Deep down I imagine all of us want to save a little money and make a positive impact on our environment. So what is stopping us from making the change? Well, quite frankly, change can be scary—especially when we don’t know how to go about it. At the Altitude Design Summit, we were given a few tips and resources that can help you or your business minimize your carbon footprint.

Create a sustainability action plan for your home or small business. Achieving something is always easier when you know what it is you are trying to achieve. Create stepping stones and be sure to reward yourself, your family or company:.

A Handy Going Green Guide

Baseline your current practices:
Monitor your utilities for your household or small business. What are your current practices and costs when it comes to energy, water, waste, transportation, office environment and community stewardship? This is the baseline of your current practices.

Set goals:
How much do you want to reduce your energy consumption by? Is there a deadline? Is this a competition? Make sure your goals for going green are reasonable.

Reduce energy use:
-Turn off anything not in use.
-Lower your AC and heating usage.
-Cut out vampire loads (Turn off your powerstrips and unplug).
-Always buy Energy Star
-Host websites with green servers.
-Buy renewable energy/carbon offsets

Manage Waste
-Recycle everything
-Recycle all electronics (Best Buy or ebay)
-Go completely paperless
-Repair items before throwing away

Save Water
-Install low flow fixtures
-Xeriscape outdoor areas
-Collect rainwater

Find Alternate forms of transportation
-Public transportation
-Fuel Efficient
-Fly only when necessary (buy carbon offsets for flights)

Buy Green
-Eco friendly products
-Buy used
-Support companies with green efforts
-Buy local and organic

-Review goals and compare to accomplishments
-Reward for achievements
-Publish results

What goals have you already set or achieved? Your stories provide encouragement and mobilize us all in our green quest.

Resources: Fig+Sage, Pure Green Living, FastCo.Design, Core77, Tree Hugger, Good Magazine, The Green Standard, Urban Harvester, InHabitat, ReNest, SanFranista