November 1, 2013
My TV20’s community initiative, Green Means Go, addresses the Detroit area’s rapidly growing interest on environmental issues and concerns that contribute to the sustainability of the planet.
Green Means Go brings to the forefront the importance of energy conservation and living green by providing tips and suggestions to live eco friendly while at home, work, play and on the road.
GREEN MEANS GO… CLEAN GREEN
presented by Empire Today
Proper cleaning and maintenance will keep your carpet, flooring and window treatments looking beautiful for years to come.
Green Your Cleaning Routine
Hardwood Flooring Care
• Empire suggests always following manufacturers recommendations.
• Spills and tracked-in dirt should be wiped up right away.
• Sweep, dust or vacuum using a hard floor attachment once a week or more if needed. Do not use vacuums with beater bars or hard heads.
• Clean with a recommended cleaning product made for hardwood flooring as needed.
• Don't allow liquids to stand on your floor.
• Never use buffing machines as they can damage your hardwood flooring.
• Steal wool or scouring power is abrasive and will damage your floor's finish.
Green Your Cleaning Routine
Professional Carpet Cleaning vs. Do-It-Yourself
• Empire recommends that customers have their carpet professionally cleaned every 6 to 12 months.
• Have the right equipment. Their tools have more extraction power to remove excessive moisture that could cause damage to your carpet.
• Know the right approach. They are trained to know the proper cleaning agents that can help address specific stains or soils
• Understand carpet. They recognize differences in fibers and carpet construction, which helps them determine the proper approach for cleaning.
• Apply stain and soil protectants. Professional carpet cleaners may be able to re-apply a topical treatment to your carpet that could help protect against future stains and soiling.
Green Your Cleaning Routine
Laminate Flooring Care
• Use only soap-free cleaners.
• Remove loose dirt with a dust mop or a gentle vacuum without a beater bar.
• Wipe up spills right away.
• Only use cleaners that are designated for laminate flooring, and be careful not to saturate the floor with the cleaner as it could cause damage.
• Never wax, polish or use buffing machines.
Green Your Cleaning Routine
Ceramic Flooring Care
• Clean with a damp mop at least once a week. Mop heavy traffic areas more frequently.
• Never use detergent or soap. These products can dull the tile's surface.
• Place mats at doorways to help tap soil and other substances that would otherwise be tracked onto your floor.
• Add protective pads to furniture legs.
Green Your Cleaning Routine
Vinyl Flooring Care
• Remove loose dirt with a soft bristle broom.
• Clean with a damp mop for everyday care.
• Wash the floor occasionally with a gentle (non-abrasive) floor cleaner. Always follow cleaning product instructions and adhere to cautions before use.
• Do not use detergents, abrasive cleaners or "mop and shine" products.
• When using a vacuum cleaner, disengage the beater bar or use the "bare floor" setting to avoid damaging your flooring.
About.com/greencleaning - Get floored with these eco-friendly floor cleaning tips! Discover how to maintain your floors in a safe, environmentally friendly way.
1. Choose the Correct Cleaner: While it may be true that many cleaners are multi-purpose, some are only good for certain floor types, so you need to determine if you need a cleaner for multiple surfaces, just wood or carpets and rugs.
2. Consider Cellulose Mops: Cellulose mops are biodegradable and often made from plant based fibers. Look for ones that are free of plastic, dyes, and added antimicrobial benefits.
3. Ditch Disposable Floor Wipes: Use rags or microfiber cloths that you can re-use. For mopping, simply spray a cloth with an all-purpose or floor cleaner.
4. Get Down with Doormats: They prevent grime and dirt from being tracked into your home. Several eco-friendly ones are available from all-natural to recycled rubber.
5. Grab A Bucket: Great for mopping floors and general cleaning, a bucket or two is essential. Stainless steel is very eco-friendly, but heavy, whereas buckets made with recycled plastic are a little easier to tote around.
6. Kick Your Shoes Off: Think about all the places your shoes may have been -- gas stations, public bathrooms, city streets, etc. Then think about all the things that could be getting tracked into your home. Ask family and guests to kindly remove their shoes.
7. Meander Over to Microfiber: Brooms and mops with easily removable microfiber heads can be tossed into the washing machine. Microfiber isn't necessarily easily biodegradable, but it does have its green benefits. Fewer chemicals are required to clean with it and has been shown to be superior in picking up bacteria.
8. Suck Up to an Eco-Friendly Vacuum: Keeping your floors dust, dirt, and allergen free is essential to keeping a clean and green home. The "greenest" vacuums are bag-less and feature recycled plastic construction, washable HEPA filters, and low energy requirements.
9. Switch to a Steam Cleaner: Steam cleaners are great for their ability to eliminate bacteria, zap viruses, and do what elbow grease can't - kill dust mites.
10. Whisk Away Dirt: Sweep away dirt and debris with an ol' fashioned corn whisk broom. Because it's made from all-natural materials, it's good for you and the environment.
GREEN MEANS GO… LIVE GREEN
presented by Empire Today
Impact the environment from the inside out with these energy efficient home upgrades
• Roll out the "green" carpet. Look for natural fibers and minimal chemical treatments.
• Choose carpet with padding made from recycled materials.
• Consider hardwood, bamboo and cork flooring as eco friendly long term options.
• Cork is considered an ideal flooring material for many reasons: (1) the natural elasticity makes these floors especially comfortable. (2) the wood provides thermal and acoustic insulation. (3) they are hypo-allergenic, so they won't attract dust, are fire-resistant and serve as a natural insect repellent.
• Bamboo, a popular green flooring option, lasts longer and can withstand more use than conventional hardwood floors. These floors are naturally resistant to water, mildew and insects, and are sustainable since bamboo grows quickly and abundantly.
• Purchase Energy Star windows designed to reduce heating and cooling costs.
• Choose window treatments that help insulate against heat loss ad heat gain.
• Home automation systems not only save money, they can make a home more eco friendly.
• Home automation can let you control everything that happens in your home, including lighting, home security systems, temperature monitors and electricity usage.
Empire Today has many "green" products and services available to update your home. Call 800-588-2300 for quality, professional installation on carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic and vinyl flooring as well as window treatments.
GREEN MEANS GO… WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed PICK 5 for your environment. www.epa.gov/pick5/
Environmental action means taking the simple steps in the different places where we live. By choosing five or more of these ideals; water, air, land, energy, waste and advocacy and sharing your own, you are joining thousands of others who are doing the same.
1. Use only the water you need, and reuse when possible.
2. Dispose of solid and liquid wastes and medications safely.
3. Protect your local water source from pollutants, excess pesticides and garbage.
1. Pass on gas! Take public transportation , car pool, plan your day to reduce trips and vehicle emissions.
2. Make sure your home's air is healthy. There are three basic strategies to improve indoor air quality - source control, improved ventilation and air cleaners.
3. Reduce your potential for exposure to mercury.
1. Use pesticides safely! Reduce or eliminate where possible.
2. Learn more about composting, try it out!
3. Learn more about 'Greenscaping' - EPA's Green Scapes program provides cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for landscaping.
1. Save time at home. Choose energy-saving appliances fir they're available.
2. Go renewable! Create your own power from wind, the sun, water or bio-fuels.
3. Find alternate ways to reduce use of diesel and other fuels for transportation, production and energy.
1. Reuse. Upcycle. Take something that is disposable and transform it into something of greater use and value.
2. Recycle metals, plastics and paper.
3. E-cycle - recycle and/or properly dispose of electronic waste such as computers and other gadgets.
1. Share your commitment on Facebook and Twitter.
2. Raise Awareness! Talk to others about the state of the environment, locally or globally.
GREEN MEANS GO… CLEAN GREEN
Reduce your carbon footprint at home with eco-friendly tips
• Clean with EPA certified products made from ingredients that are at least 95% naturally derived.
• Wash your clothes in cold water to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions.
• Shed your shoes at the door to keep toxins and pesticides out of your home.
• Leaky faucets and showers waste thousands of gallons of water a year. Fix the leaks.
• Recycle everything, especially paper.
• Use natural light or compact fluorescent bulbs.
• Turn off unused or unnecessary lights, computers, printers, stereos, television and other electronics devices if you leave the room.
Green – A generic term used to describe something that has a benign or moderate effect on the environment.
Clean/Renewable Energy – Energy generating technologies that release little or no emissions, such as solar, hydro, wind and heat.
Electronic Vehicles – Cars powered by electric motors, powered by a controller, which is powered by a
rechargeable battery pack. An electric car is supposedly 35% to 97% cleaner than a gas car.
Energy Star – A U.S. EPA program that evaluates and determines energy consumed or saved by products that either rely on energy to run or can reduce energy use through their application. The Energy Star label means that a product meets minimum energy efficiency standards.
Fuel Efficient – Automobiles that reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide, they produce less air pollution and global warming emissions per mile driven.
Hybrid – Cars that combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor, they produce below average emissions and get above average gas mileage.
Organic – Food and fiber grown or produced in accordance with the National Organic Standards Act. There are no toxic pesticides and fertilizers, synthetic hormones, antibiotics, sewage sludge, GMO’s or radiation.
Recyclable – A product that after its useful life can be re-manufactured into another useful material or product,
keeping it out of the waste stream.
Recycled – Materials that have been recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream, either during the
manufacturing process or after consumer use.
Solar Powered – Solar cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity, the process allows the sun’s energy to be stored in a battery that runs the unit. The process costs nothing and is nonpolluting.
GREEN MEANS GO… SAVE MONEY
Upgrade to Energy Star appliances, not only are they energy efficient by allow for federal tax credits
Energy Star distinguishes energy efficient products which, although they may cost more to purchase than standard models will pay you back in lower energy bills within a reasonable amount of time, without a tax credit.
To be eligible for the credit, windows, doors, skylights, water heaters, AC and insulation must
• Meet Energy Star program requirements
• Be installed in a taxpayer’s primary residence
• Be installed by December 31, 2011
Homeowners may receive a tax credit equal to 10% of the product cost up to
• $200 for eligible windows and skylights
• $500 for eligible doors
Homeowners may receive no more than $500 total for all energy efficiency tax credits.
GREEN MEANS GO… GO GREEN ACTIVITIES
Take time to celebrate planet Earth and visit an eco-friendly location in Metro Detroit. From organic eateries and conservation exhibits to community projects, there’s something for everyone.
• The Fly Trap
22950 Woodward Ave., Ferndale 48220
• Golden Gate Café
18700 Woodward Ave., Detroit 48203
• Café Muse
418 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak 48067
314 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor 48104
• The Sprout House
15233 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Park 48230
• Eastern Market
2934 Russell St., Detroit
• Western Market
447 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale
• Ann Arbor Farmers Market
315 Detroit St., Ann Arbor
• Produce Palace International
29300 Dequindre Rd., Warren
• Fruit Asia Farmers Market
23105 Coolidge Hwy., Oak Park
• Avalon International Breads
422 W. Willis St., Detroit
GREEN MEANS GO… TRAVEL GREEN
Travel green to your Motor City destination with these energy saving transportation guidelines and options
“Green Vehicles” are deemed to be more environmentally friendly – notable for alternative energy, fuel efficiency or low carbon emissions.
• Slow down! Fuel economy decreases about 1% for each mph over 55
• Take the bus, car pool or ride the people mover
• Consider driving a hybrid vehicle that combines a gas engine with an electric motor to lower emissions and increase fuel efficiency. Hybrid Cars include Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion,Volkswagen Jetta and Chevrolet Volt. Hybrid SUVs include Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander, GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe.
Green Maintenance Tips
You can save money and energy and wear & tear on your vehicle with proper care and maintenance. Here are the items that most affect fuel economy.
►Motor oil • Top off and change oil as necessary with manufacturer-recommended grade “energy conserving” motor oils. Doing so can improve fuel economy by up to 2% according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
►Air Filters • Make sure you change your air filter at the end of its recommended lifespan, every 15,000 & 24,000 miles. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve a vehicle’s gas mileage by up to 10%, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
►Engine performance • Enhance fuel economy performance by having engines tuned and spark plugs replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendation schedule. A single misfiring spark plug can cut fuel economy by up to 4%, according to the EPA.
►Brakes • Improperly maintained brakes can result in unwanted drag. A brake inspection is suggested every 12,000 miles. This unnecessary resistance can have the same effect as driving with a foot on the brake pedal, a dramatic drop in fuel economy.
►Warning lights for “service engine” or “check engine” • Ignoring these indicators may result in poor fuel economy performance and require expensive repairs.
►Tire wear • Replacing worn tire with a manufacturer-recommended size and style can save hundreds of dollars a year. To improve fuel economy performance, consider low rolling resistance replacement tires.
►Tire inflation pressure • Keeping tires inflated to at least the manufacturer-recommended pressure can improve fuel economy by up to 3%, according to the EPA.
►Unnecessary items • Unnecessary weight lowers fuel economy. Remove heavy items from your trunk and back seat.
►Evaporative Emissions Controls • Poorly operating evaporating emission controls can fail to capture gasoline vapors and recycle them to the fuel tank. Faulty controls waste gas and degrade air quality.
5 Green Driving Tips
1. Avoid quick starts and aggressive driving. A smooth, steady speed saves gasoline and reduces wear & tear on the engine, tires, transmission and brakes
2. Use overdrive and cruise control. Overdrive gears slow engine speeds, saving gasoline and reducing wear.
3. Combine trips when possible. Your engine runs more efficiently once it’s warmed up, so avoid making multiple short trips. Stop-and-go driving also burns more gasoline.
4. Reduce drag. Remove roof racks and other items from your vehicle when you’re not using them.
5. Avoid unnecessary idling. In addition to contributing to engine wear and tear and air pollution, consider that when your vehicle is idling, you are getting 0 miles per gallon as you use.
GREEN MEANS GO… THE FUTURE
Eco-friendly changes provide us not only options to reduce our carbon foot print and those of our children and pets.
Reduce your pet’s carbon “paw print”
• Choose natural & organic food products that meet nutritional requirements rather than unhealthy additives & preservatives
• Dispose of pet waste in biodegradable bags and use eco-friendly cat litters, avoiding brands with mined minerals
• Ask your veterinarian about natural flea and parasite prevention
• Give your pet toys made out of earth-friendly products like recycled plastic bottles or hemp
• Use earth-friendly pet shampoos and grooming products whenever possible
• Remove stains from carpets and floors with non-toxic pet cleaners made from organic & biodegradable ingredients
• Lend a helping hand to animals in need by donating unwanted pet collars, bedding, leashes, or toys to animal shelters and rescue missions.
Take baby steps in preserving the future of the planet for the next generation
• Try baby wipes made with 100% regenerated cellulose fiber from bamboo and are biodegradable
• Use cloth bibs instead of plastic throwaways
• Traditional diapers disposables take up to 300 years to decompose. Biodegradables decompose within months
• Fill your child’s room with zero-emissions bedroom furniture
• Use eco-friendly bath products made of olive oil and soy, no artificial dyes or colors
• Feed your child baby food that is 100% USDA certified organic; no salt, preservatives, gluten, dairy, additives, sugars or fibers