What is your Green Pledge?

By Jaime Wilson, Green Team Member

This is our third year of asking Zoo Staff to make a Green Pledge. It's completely voluntary and just a way to get people to aim for a smaller environmental impact. Here are some for this year:

Edie (Marketing): Go Meat Free once a week, buy mostly organic or from farmers markets, reusable cups for coffee, change everything to online billing, reduce junk mail by signing up for http://www.greendimes.com/

Pam (Development): Remember to take reusable bags into the grocery store EVERY time! Sign up to reduce junk mail at home, reduce the number of plastic cups I use at home, check the sustainable seafood list when eating/purchasing fish.

Meagan (Membership): Only use re-usable shopping bags, and to stop using paper towels in public restrooms.

Leslie (Animal Care): I am continuing with taking no bags from stores and all bulbs in new house have been changed to various forms of compact fluorescent. I also have no recycling at home now so I will continue to haul my recycling in.

Eveyln (Interpretive Center): My pledge is to bring my own bags to the grocery store as well as only use environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Patrice (Vet Hospital): Continue to nudge (not nag) my husband to use canvas bags for grocery shopping. Use biodegradable bags for my cat litter box and dog-walking clean up, AND carry gloves on my daily dog walks to pick up garbage in our path. Do all of my errands on the way home from work instead of going home first. Use a refillable coffee cup for my morning Starbuck's beverage, and to be more diligent about composting ALL of my compostable kitchen waste instead of throwing some stuff in the garbage just to save a trip out to the compost pile.

Michelle G. (Education): Decrease usage of plastic bags from a grocery store by 50 % and turning off lights in rooms not being used.

Lindsay (Membership): Use cloth diapers and wipes and to use reusable snack bags.

Jaime (Marketing): Continue to not buy bottled water (I'm on my third year :) Reclaim water from my shower while waiting for it to warm up, to water my plants. Have more of my bills be paperless.

What will your Green Pledge be for 2009? Here are just a few ideas! Let us know if you take the challenge and remember that even if you don't succeed in your goal, just being aware of your choices and how they affect the environment is a big step. Informed choices are the key!

  • Carpool once a week.
  • Ride your bike to work once a week.
  • Take a reusable coffee cup for your caffeine fix
  • Don't buy bottled water
  • Hook up your tv, dvd, stereo to a power strip and turn the strip off when not in use.
  • Try to go meat free once a week
  • Use washable dishes at work instead of disposable
  • Try to switch to natural cleaning products
  • Use reusable shopping bags (not just leave them in your trunk)
  • Offset your carbon footprint
  • Replace your lights with compact fluorescent (or LEDs!)
  • Go paperless with online billing
  • Sign up with http://www.greendimes.com/ to reduce your junk mail
  • Write a letter a month to your congress person telling them your environmental views
  • Try to reduce the disposable stuff you buy
  • Eat only sustainable seafood
  • Shop at the farmers market more often
  • Buy organic dairy
  • Eat more organic foods
  • Buy local produce
  • Sign up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) and get a box of veggies straight from the farm http://www.localharvest.org/
  • Try to avoid fruits and veggies flown in from other countries
  • Invest in organic sheets and towels
  • reuse one-sided paper
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room
  • Set your thermostat up 2 degrees in summer and down 2 degrees in winter
  • Sign up for green energy through your utility company
  • Use dish towels instead of paper towels
  • Only run full loads of dishes in the dishwasher and laundry in your washer
  • Wash your clothes in cold water
  • Make sure your windows and doors are sealed correctly
  • Buy Energy Star appliances
  • Start composting!!!
  • Use organic fertilizer in your garden
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