24 things you can do right now to become a green cream citizen
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1. Moderate your thermostat
Even a switch that is 2 degrees from your normal temperature could save a lot of energy.
2. Change your shower head
Swapping yours for a WaterSense model could save 2,700 gallons of water per year.
But make sure that what you throw in the trash is actually recyclable. Never throw plastic bags or containers with food waste in your bin. “Someone at the recycling center will throw it in the trash for you, which is a waste of energy and time,” says Neal O’Reilly, director of conservation and environmental science at UW-Milwaukee.
4. Do not seal the waste that decomposes in a garbage bag.
Banana peels and junk mail will not decompose if trapped in an airtight bag. “Rumor has it that a newspaper in the 1960s landfill is still readable today if you dig deep enough,” says Marissa Jablonski, executive director of the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin.
5. Turn off your lights at night
You will not only be saving energy; you will protect wildlife. “When birds migrate in the spring and fall, the city lights distract them, so they may end up in a place where food is not available,” says O’Reilly.
6. Let your lawn go
Every year, lawns consume nearly 3 trillion gallons of water. Relying on rain is a much greener alternative. Cut down on mowing too – every year, lawn mowers use 200 million gallons of gasoline.
7. Go digital
Sign up for paperless invoices and opt for in-store email receipts to save trees.
8. Buy energy saving light bulbs
LEDs can use 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
9. Plan your errands and trips
The more you drive, the more CO2 emissions you emit.
10. Use a reusable cup for take-out coffee
Even paper cups often contain plastic, which is not biodegradable.
11. Don’t do laundry on rainy days
Rains and drains go to the same spot in most of Milwaukee’s sewers, so too much of either can lead to sewage ending up in Lake Michigan. Showers pile up quickly, so avoid dishes, laundry, and long showers on rainy days.
12. Drive smart
Keep your tires full because your car uses more energy when they are flat. Second, slow down, as speed reduces fuel efficiency.
13. Compost at home
But make sure your compost is plastic-free, otherwise it won’t biodegrade.
14. Install a rain barrel
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District sells rain barrels, which collect runoff from rooftops so you can nourish your yard without wasting water.
Whether you’re heading to an event with friends or opting for a shared Uber, remind your driver to respect the speed limit to boost your impact!
16. Use concentrated cleaning products
Take a glass spray bottle and add water to reduce the use of plastic. You will also save money.
17. Buy wholesale
It reduces packaging waste!
18. Buy high efficiency household appliances
Typical top-load washers, Jablonski says, use 40 gallons of water per load, while front-loaders can use as little as five gallons each time.
19. Go plastic free
The production of plastics uses energy and valuable natural resources, contributing to CO2 emissions and global warming. Worse yet, plastic usually ends up in landfills. To start reducing the use of plastic in your life, Jablonski suggests creating your own take-out kit equipped with reusable cutlery and non-plastic containers, as well as a plastic-free shopping kit that consists of reusable deli containers, bags of products and grocery bags. .
20. Cycling to work and shopping
According to a 2010 study, more than 57,000 tonnes of CO2 less would be emitted each year if only 20% of the people of Milwaukee and Madison used bicycles instead of cars for short trips. It is a major step towards climate resilience.
21. Eat vegetarian or vegan
Raising animals for meat is one of the greatest environmental hazards on earth. According to PETA, the process consumes more than half of all water used in the United States. In addition, meat consumption increases raw waste, the use of fossil fuels and soil erosion. Reduce the impact (and lower your cholesterol levels) by eliminating – or at least cutting back – animal products.
22. Abandon the lawn
Mowing wastes gas, your sprinkler wastes water, and fertilizers release CO2. O’Reilly says that ditching the lawn in favor of a meadow-style garden saves valuable resources and, if you focus on native plants, supports pollinators (which in turn support our food system).
23. Install solar panels
Most energy sources will run out, but it will be a few billion years before the sun stops shining. Solar panels aren’t cheap, but you’ll save money in the long run – according to Project Sunroof, an average house in Milwaukee can save about $ 8,000 in energy costs over 20 years.
24. Create a community garden
In addition to boosting your neighborhood community, the plants in your community garden absorb carbon dioxide, not to mention the low carbon footprint of food grown so close to where it’s needed. O’Reilly says gardens with native plants also provide nesting places for birds and insects.
Make a difference for Mother Earth by volunteering, celebrating, or even just learning.
From Tuesday to Friday until October:
The Urban Ecology Center’s volunteer program, Restoring Our Outdoors Together, includes invasive species removal, trail work, planting, and other activities at the centers in Menomonee Valley, Riverside Park, and Washington Park.
– 9 am-11am urbanecologiecenter.org
Learn about renewable energy, gardening, composting, sustainable transportation and more at the free sustainability fair. Features exhibitions, expert presentations and guided activities for children and adults.
– 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Retzer Nature Center, Waukesha, waukeshacountygreenteam.org
Sturgeon Fest / Harbor Fest: Two major water-centric festivals come together this year for one of the state’s biggest conservation events. It features crafts, games, food trucks, a boat parade and more, including the ability to hand release a baby sturgeon into the wild.
The official date had not been set by press time, but reserve a Saturday morning in late April for the Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s annual spring cleaning of the Milwaukee area rivers. The past few years have included dozens of clean-up sites in public parks and greenways across the metropolitan area.