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Jakob Barry's blog

10 Ways to Green your Super Bowl Experience

Each year the National Football League (NFL) spends time and energy on Green-oriented projects throughout the city where the Super Bowl is taking place. ... read more

Although most of us won’t be going to the actual game a good segment of the population will watch it from the comfort of their own homes and likely in the company of groups of others.

These gatherings, sometimes large, can be a lot of fun as Super Bowl Sunday takes on a life of its own in many communities. Nevertheless, the event has the potential to produce large amounts of waste and wasted resources across the country.

Greener Gift Giving

Because gift giving is such a focus of the holiday season many of the environmental issues which pile up from sea to shining sea over the final month and a half of each year are gift related. It doesn't mean people shouldn’t give their loved ones presents but with a little extra preparation we may be able to reduce our gift giving carbon footprints dramatically. 

For instance consider some of the following: 

DIY Wrap

Wrapping paper comes in all shapes and sizes and although only a little is used in each home it all adds up to a lot of waste. That’s why if you’re planning on concealing a gift so it’s a surprise try reusing or repurposing things from around the house to make your own wrap.


For example, if you’re planning to give a new baseball mitt or tennis racket wrap it in the sports section of the daily paper and add a little color to the newsprint with pencil, crayon, or markers. Even if you don't buy the paper anymore ask a neighbor for his copy. 

Another idea is to wrap a gift in an article of clothing you’re no longer using. Going with a sweater or vintage shirt the same size as the person receiving the gift means they’re essentially receiving two gifts in one! 

Renew something old

In some ways it’s so easy to go out to a department store, purchase gifts, wrap them up, and call it a day. However, if we want to get around all the waste from packaging and give the gift giving a truly green twist try renewing or fixing something which a loved one hasn’t had the time or funds to do themselves.... read more

A Greener Summer Guest Room

greener guest roomGuest rooms come in all different shapes and sizes but they aren’t always set up with the environment in mind. This may not matter to family and friends visiting from out of town because they are only passing through. However if you have a lot of guests visiting over the course of the warmer months implementing a few green upgrades to the guest room may tip the scales so it’s working more with the environment than against.

That being the case with the summer vacation season fast approaching consider some of the following tips for a greener guest room:

  1. CFLs: Change all incandescent light bulbs in the guest room (and adjacent bathroom if there is one) to compact florescent lights (CFLs). These energy saving bulbs will use up to 80% less power meaning if a guest leaves a light on it won’t show much on the electric bill.

    2.  Drafts: Guests arriving over the summer are sure to use the air conditioning on warm nights, especially in humid regions like Fort Lauderdale. For this reason its important to make sure the system is working efficiently and not draining unnecessary power. This means fixing any drafts around windows and doors and cleaning or replacing filters.... read more

A Greener Move Back to the Dorms

Even before the semester officially begins one of the first things students must plan is moving into the dorms.

Decisions need to be made on what to bring and strong hands found to haul possessions from place to place.

At the same time thoughts should be given towards making it a greener move so the effects on the environment of thousands of students journeying back to school at once is lessened.

Some considerations include the following:

Bring less stuff: Not only will lightening the load make life easier when moving in (and vacating) but fewer possessions means the vehicle transporting them will use less fuel. Also, since dorms are only temporary settings it’s a good challenge to try and be a creative remodeler who only needs a few items to generate that cozy comfortable feel. ... read more

Greening the Dorm Room This Year

Green dorm roomsWith the new academic year just about to begin it’s time to start thinking about how college and university students can make a greater difference when it comes to improving the environment and one place they can all start with together is in the dorm. 

After all, some dorms have so many students the amount of waste produced by those buildings alone is tremendous and it’s not only physical trash that’s the problem. The waste includes utilities and how they are used inefficiently.

That being the case, the following are a few suggestions for greening dorm life up a notch.

1.    Recycle: Whether it’s snack time, meals, or just needing a refreshing drink the things we consume generally come with some type of packaging. For this reason each dorm floor should have its own recycling station so everything that applies can be sorted and disposed of appropriately. 

2.    Conserve water: A major drought has taken hold of part of the U.S. in recent years which means water conservation is extremely important. Dorm residents should be encouraged to take shorter showers and close the faucet between brushing teeth and rinsing when water isn’t necessary.... read more

Going Green When Downsizing

Because life gets so busy we often forget about all the stuff collected throughout our lives and how much of it in the big picture is truly insignificant. That’s why downsizing and letting go of a lot of belongings is a great way to feel lighter and spring is the perfect time to begin the process. 

As you start making progress, though, one thing to consider is how to responsibly dispose of the items you no longer want. After all some things are truly trash while many others aren’t and there’s no sense adding to a landfill when something greener can be done with them. 

... read more
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