Document Type

News Article

Publication Date

May 2008


This column first appeared in the Chester County Times, December 2007.


Three months after writing my initial article about going green. I have been bombarded with information on the web, newspapers articles, and even Oprah, and the Philadelphia Eagles about going green. I think the best way for me to sort this information is to break-it down into three areas home, work, and entertainment/leisure.

This week’s article will concentrate on home, and the following two articles will go into more depth for work and leisure activities that will involve going green.

The most common of all the energy saving devices that is the easiest and least expensive that all individuals can do is to change from incandescent light bulbs to compact florescent light bulbs as they need replacing. Switching to a compact florescent cost a few dollars more but over the average life-span will save money. For example, by using a 26-watt compact fluorescent light bulb—equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent light bulb—users can save up to $59 on energy costs over the life of the bulb. Many of the home building stores offer 3-pack bulbs to save money. Another way that a household can help develop wind energy is through PECOWIND program there website is and how it works is as follow: How it works is a small additional monthly cost covers the added expense of harvesting the wind power. PECO WIND energy is available for purchase in monthly blocks of 100 kilowatt-hours for $2.54 per block. For a typical home, one block is equal to about 15 percent of your average monthly electricity usage. You may choose to sign up for Wind Blocks at $2.54 per block per month or have 100 percent of your actual monthly electric usage charged at 2.54 cents for each kilowatt-hour used. If you sign up for Blocks and choose more blocks than you use, you will not be billed for more than your actual electric usage. The wind energy you support is delivered directly into the Pennsylvania electric grid, reducing the need for energy from fossil fuel sources like oil and coal. The more customers who sign up, the more Pennsylvania wind energy we can buy. This means cleaner air and water for all of us! Although buying wind does not mean that electricity is being delivered straight from the windmill to your home, it does mean that more of the electricity being put into the grid comes from wind, rather than other generation sources. By participating in PECO WIND you are reducing the need to generate electricity from other sources. PECO can be reached at the following: PECO Energy Customer Service Center 2301 Market Street P.O. Box 8699 Philadelphia, PA 19101 Telephone: 1-800-494-4000 I have found a great resource in Oprah recently when I was home sick. I tuned in Oprah for the final 5 minutes but did mange to obtain the information on her website to help green your home. The following website: reviews items such as light bulb replacement as mentioned above, Using a reusable water bottle instead of the buying a one-time usage bottle water at the local convenience store. The reusable water bottles can be used washed thoroughly and used again, and eventually they can be recycled with the other plastics. There are many tips and ideas on her site and one of my favorites is bringing your own bag to the grocery store to save the use of paper and plastic bags. On an interesting note I asked an expert what the answer should be when the checkout clerk asks what type of bags do you prefer “paper or plastic?” I was surprised to learn that if you have a choice paper is the preferable bag as it is a renewable resource and does not require petroleum products in its formation.

The Philadelphia Eagles website has a great resource to help an individual or family calculate savings by changing to green habits and the amount of CO2 produced annually is also calculated. There website is The Philadelphia Eagles even have on their website the ability to purchase a tree in the “Philadelphia Eagles Forest” in Neshaminy State Park the price for a single tree is $62.00. I was unable to obtain an address for the Philadelphia Eagles but did mange to obtain a phone number to place an order. Phone Orders Call us toll free at 1-888-247-8833 (Outside of the US & Canada call 412-252-0028), 9:00a.m.- 9:00p.m. E.T. Some household tips that I have encountered and wanted to pass on are as follows:

• Use a clothes line to dry clothes instead of the dryer whenever possible. • Wash clothing in cold or warm water instead of warm and hot water. • Change showerhead to a water saving showerhead. • Keep a water jug near your sink and save the water coming out of the pipes while waiting for the hot water to come out, this water can be used in the washing machine or to water plants. • Save outside rain water to water outdoor plants, tree, and flowers. • During the hot summer months use the outside grill or microwave more then the regular oven and stove, during the cold winter months do the opposite. • Green gift ideas: environmental information and links to eco-friendly products, or green gift guide from the California Dept. of Conservation of gifts made from the states recycling program, alternative to buying gifts, and Yahoo’s Green gift guide, click on green gift guide. • Caulk around windows and doors inside and out. • When purchasing appliances, buy only eco-friendly and water saving products • When it is time to replace your old water heater, replace it with a tankless on-demand electric or gas water heater. • If possible have solar panels installed • When designing or redesigning your kitchen use eco-friendly products like wheatboard cabinets & wood veneers(Greenbridge Specialties ph# 717-463-3739), Recycled backsplash from Eco-Friendly Flooring ph# 866-250-3273, Earth-friendly countertops by Marblemaster ph#760-607-0903, Natural stone flooring check for stores, Sub-zero Fridge, Viking Range, and Bosch Dishwasher

I hope some or all of these tips and ideas help us all to get a little bit greener. Even just adopting one idea is better-then doing nothing at all.