News: Blog

Jan 6, 2014 by City of Redmond

Green Tips for Weathering the Winter

Although we aren't experiencing the extreme winter sub-zero temperatures as much of our nation, there are things that can be done to better prepare us for winter weather. Below are some green winter weather tips.

  • Consider using non-toxic de-icing substances such as clean clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace/stove ash to prevent hazardous waste from chemicals.  Chemical de-icers can be hazardous to our pets, your trees and shrubs, and the environment.  Antifreeze that leaks from car engines and chemical snow melters on driveways and roads can pollute surface waters and groundwater through the soil.
  • Winterize your vehicle by checking your air filter and fluid levels, checking tire tread wear and proper inflation, and checking the condition of your windshield wipers.  Ensuring your vehicle is read for weather changes will reduce damage, which prevents waste from broken parts, and will keep you safe on the road.
  • If you  have a wood-burning fireplace, save your ashes in a tin instead of throwing them away.  Cold wood ashes can be mixed in with your compost heap to create a valuable soil amendment that provides nutrients to your garden.
  • Use electric snow removal products rather than gasoline-powered ones.  While electric products consume energy, they do not emit greenhouse gases.  As alternatives, use snow shovels, ice crackers, and brooms to clear snow from your sidewalk, porch, or driveway.
  • If you have a manual thermostat or no thermostat at all, one way to save energy and money this winter is to install a programmable thermostat.  When installed and used with the four pre-programmed temperature settings for weekend and weekdays, you can save about $100 each year while staying comfortable. 
  • Close the recycling loop.  Many articles of clothing, such as jackets, scarves, gloves, and boots, are now made from recycled materials.  Most fleece products are made from recycled plastic soda bottles, and certain clothing and shoe manufacturers use recycled cotton scraps and rubber tires to make their products.
  • Winter storms often cause power outages.  Prevent waste by keeping rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones stored throughout your house with your flashlights.  If you do use disposable batteries, prevent hazardous waste by buying batteries with low mercury content.
  • Recycle old newspapers by making rolled paper logs for your fireplace.  Roll newspaper sheets around a broomstick until your log is the desired size, then soak your log thoroughly in water.  Dry the log overnight and use like ordinary wood. 

Happy Winter!

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Dec 16, 2013 by City of Redmond

Here Are Some Final Green Holiday Tips

  • Decorate with more energy efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes) strings rather than the larger, old fashioned lights.  LEDs are small light sources that are illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material.  LEDs are exceptionally energy efficient when producing individual colors, many using up to 90% less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light.  For example, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent build could power 140 LEDs - enough to light two 24-foot strings.  And be sure to turn them on only when someone's around to appreciate them.
  • Avoid foil and plastic-embossed paper because it uses more resources in its manufacturing process.
  • When you're not enjoying a fire in your fireplace, close the flue and block the hearth to prevent heat loss.
  • Buy a living tree you can plant outside or keep as a houseplant after the holidays.
  • Buy a tree grown locally to save energy associated with transportation.
  • Buy a smaller tree.  There's less to dispose of when you take it down, and shorter growing time translates into less land required.

Happy Green Holidays to All.

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Dec 9, 2013 by City of Redmond

Here are some more tips to green your holiday scene.

Cards

  • Buy cards made from recycled paper (look for "post-consumer content") and printed in non-toxic inks.
  • Buy cards and envelopes that can be recycled in your town.  Choose cards printed on white stock without metallic or plastic coatings.
  • Buy cards wrapped in the least bulky or most recyclable packaging.
  • Consider substituting postcards for cards that require envelopes.
  • Reuse the fronts of old holiday cards as gift tags.

Food

  • Store leftovers in reusable containers
  • Buy food gifts with as little packaging and processing involved as possible.

Shopping

  • Bring your own bags on shopping trips so shops won't have to give you new ones with your purchases.  If using a plastic bag, be sure to bring it back to the store for recycling the next time you go.
  • Don't accept a new gift box with your purchase if you have a supply of old ones, or try to wrap it without a box.
  • Use your legs or mass transit when shopping or buy your gifts by phone or on the web.
  • Make a decision to go to shops in areas you can walk or bike to, rather than the ones you have to drive to.  When you need to drive, combine several errands into one trip or travel with friends.

Be sure to check back next week for more green holiday tips.

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Dec 2, 2013 by City of Redmond

Here are some easy tips to "green" the holiday season.

As we feast, give gifts, decorate and travel during holiday season, we also consume lots of resources and generate lots of waste.  The amount of household garbage in the United States can increase by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, from four million tons to five million tons.

The holidays are special, but this year's festivities don't have to negatively impact our environment. There are a number of measures that all of us can take to lessen the amount of trash we produce and the amount of time we spend on the road.

Holiday parties and other activities present many opportunities to reduce waste through reuse and recycling:

  • Have a create-your-own decoration party. Invite family and friends to create and use holiday decorations such as ornaments made from old greeting cards or cookie dough, garlands made from strung popcorn or cranberries, wreaths made from artificial greens and flowers, and potpourri made from kitchen spices such as cinnamon and cloves.
  • Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day. Doing so will not only save energy, but will also help your lights last longer.
  • Think "green" while shopping. Try to buy items with minimal packaging and/or made with recycled content. Check product labels to determine an item's recyclability and whether it is made from recycled materials.
  • Consider the durability of a product before you buy it as a gift. Cheaper, less durable items often wear out quickly, creating waste and costing you money. Look for items that embody the concept of reuse.  For example: swings made from used tires, wooden toys made from scrap wood, craft kits that take advantage of used goods or discards, and drawing boards that can be erased and reused.
  • Thousands of paper and plastic shopping bags end up in landfills every year.  Reduce the number of bags thrown out by bringing reusable cloth bags for holiday gift shopping.  Tell store clerks you don't need a bag for small or oversized purchases.
  • Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping papers or newspapers. Also remember to save or recycle used wrapping paper.
  • Donate the older toys that you no longer use to charities.
  • Bake cookies or other goodies for your friends and loved ones and package them in reusable and/or recyclable containers as gifts.
  • If you host a party, set the table with cloth napkins and reusable dishes, glasses, and silverware.  Consider renting more formal tableware that you might not use very often.  Also save and reuse party hats, decorations, and favors.
  • Compost leftover food scraps and leaves.
  • After parties, fill your dishwasher to capacity before running it.  You will run fewer cycles, which saves energy.

Check back us for more "green" holiday tips in the upcoming days.

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Nov 18, 2013 by City of Redmond

Join Puget Sound Energy at Redmond City Hall on December 10th for their ReEnergize Your Lighting Event! 

LED and CFL lightbulbs will available for sale at deeply discounted rates to help you transform your home into an energy (and money) savings superstar.

Starter kits include dimmable LED light bulbs, "warm white intant on" CFLs, and more!

PSE will be on hand with energy advisors to help you find the lighting that is right for your home. They will also be collecting old CFL bulbs that need to be recycled.

Re-Energize Your Lighting Event

Redmond City Hall (15670 NE 85th Street, Redmond)

Tuesday, December 10th

11:00am to 6:00 pm

 

Visit pse.com/lighting to see a full list of lightbulbs for sale.

 

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Nov 14, 2013 by City of Redmond

November 15 is America Recycles Day

The use of electronic products has grown substantially over the past two decades, changing the way and the speed in which we communicate and how we get information and entertainment. According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Americans now own approximately 24 electronic products per household.

Donating used electronics for reuse extends the lives of valuable products. Recycling electronics prevents valuable materials from going into the waste stream. Consumers now have many options to recycle or donate for reuse their used electronics. Many computer, TV, and cell phone manufacturers, as well as electronics retailers offer some kind of take back program or sponsor recycling events.

Before donating your computer or other electronics, make sure the equipment is reusable. Donation organizations have limited or in many cases no resources and employees to diagnose and repair hardware. A functional, working system—especially with monitor, wiring, and software licenses—is a lot more useful and requires less upgrading than a nonworking, incomplete computer. Check to see what the donation organization’s minimum computer requirements are (e.g., Pentium processor, Windows 95). Donation organizations might not accept (or might charge a fee for) older, less useful equipment (e.g., 386 processors, dot matrix printers, less than 14 inch color monitors).

To learn more, visit httP://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/erecycling/index.htm.

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