Green Your Home
How You Can Go Green!
5 Easy Ways to Green-Up Your Home
- Compact Florescent Lights (CFLs): Replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs can save around $30 per bulb on your energy bill!
- Digital Programmable Thermostat: Programming your thermostat can save around 10% on your energy bill each year.
- Shower and Faucet Heads: Replacing shower and faucet heads with low-flow heads and aerators can reduce your water use by 40%.
- Toilet Water: Filling a jug or bottle with water and placing a few pebbles or some sand in it to weigh it down and placing it in your toilet water tank is an easy way to save around 10 gallons of water each day.
- Unplug:Unplugging unused appliances and cell phone chargers can save a bundle on your electrical bill. Even though you may not be using them, they still suck up electricity.
5 Ways to Green Your Food
- The Big O - Organic: When you eat organic, picture the healthy ecosystems which produced that food, the workers who are safer from chemicals, the land, water, and air that is being protected, and the wildlife that is being allowed to thrive. Organic vegetables, fruits, grains, juice, dairy, eggs, and meat are grown and processed in ways that support healthy people and a healthy planet. For details on the meaning of organic, see the USDA Organics homepage at www.usda.gov
- Fair fare: Fair trade certified food ensures a proper wage and working conditions for those who harvest and handle it. But fair trade is green for the environment as well. TransFair, the only fair trade certifier in the US, has strong environmental standards built into its certification process that protect watersheds and virgin forests, help prevent erosion, promote natural soil fertility and water conservation, and prohibit GMOs and many synthetic chemicals.
- Go local: Buying seasonal, local food benefits the environment for a lot of reasons. Since most food travels an average of 1,500 miles to reach your table, locally sourced food cuts back on the climate change impacts of transportation. Generally speaking, local food also uses less packaging, is fresher, and comes in more varieties. It also supports small local growers and lets them get more for their produce by not having to spend so much on packing, processing, refrigeration, marketing, and shipping.
- Compost the leftovers: Greening your meals isn't just about the food that winds up on the plate, it's the entire process. Composting leftovers will ease the burden on the landfill, give you great soil, and keep your kitchen waste basket from smelling. Apartment dwellers and yard lesswonders can do it too!
- Ease up on the meat: Meat is the most resource-intensive food on the table and eating less of it can be the single most "green" move a person can make. Producing meat requires huge amounts of water, grain, land, and other inputs including hormones and antibiotics, and leads to pollution of soil, air, and water. A pound of beef requires around 12,000 gallons of water to produce, compared to 60 gallons for a pound of potatoes. Going vegetarian or vegan is a profoundly meaningful environmental choice so if you're a meat eater, try cutting out just one serving of meat each week.
Buying local foods is beneficial for many different reasons. Since there is less time between when your food was harvested and when it gets to your table it's fresher. It supports the local economy in your community while also requiring less packaging, travel distances, and waste.
- Protecting the Environment and Your Health: Farming with pesticides and fertilizers can cause water pollution, and leave unwanted pesticide residues on the food we feed our families. You can protect your health and improve the environment by choosing local, organic foods. Furthermore buying local cuts out the middle man and thus reduces transportation which helps prevent waste and pollution.
- Nutrition: Typically, food on the average Michigan plate has traveled 1,500 miles! Food loses vitamins and minerals as it ages. So, because buying local shortens the time it takes produce to get to a market, eating locally is also healthier, of higher quality and organic.
- Trust: Concerns about the health and safety of food are becoming more and more pronounced, buying locally adds to consumer confidence. Consumers get face-to-face contact with growers and producers which help them gain trust as well as a stronger sense of community.
Local Farmers' Markets
In the past five years, the number of farmers markets in Michigan has grown from around 90 in 2001 to over 150 today. Visit the Michigan Farmers Market Association's website to find a comprehensive list of markets throughout the State of Michigan. Or go to http://www.localharvest.org/ and view an exhaustive directory of local markets throughout the Country.
- Allen Street Farmers Market (Corner of Allen Street and Kalamazoo Ave) May - October. Open every Wednesday from 2:30PM - 7PM EBT and Project FRESH accepted. Market Manager: Kate Nault: 517-367-2468.
- East Lansing Farmers Market Downtown East Lansing at Valley Court Park. July 8th - Oct. 28th. Sundays, 10AM - 2PM. Market Manager: Michelle Carlson 517-319-6888.
- East Lansing Food Co-op (ELFCO) 4960 Northwind Dr, East Lansing. Monday - Saturday, 9AM - 9PM, Sunday 10AM - 8PM. Wide range of organic groceries and some local products. 517-337-1266.
- Foods For Living 2655 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing, MI 48823 (517) 324-9010. Carry the finest quality fresh, natural, organic and whole foods, nutritional products, and body care products. Monday - Friday 9AM - 8PM, Saturday & Sunday 10AM - 6PM. 517-324-9010.
- Grand Ledge Farmers Market 213 S. Bridge St. in Downtown Grand Ledge at Maypole Park. Saturdays, May 12th - October 27th. 9AM - 1PM. Contact Terrance at 517-643-1849 for more info.
- Holt Farmers' Market 2150 Cedar Street, in the old fire station building. Saturdays, May 12th - November 17th, 9AM - 2PM. AND Thursdays in July, August and September, 4PM - 7PM. 517-268-0024.
- Horrocks Farm Market 7420 West Saginaw Hwy, Lansing, MI 48917. Open 7 days a week from 7AM - 10PM. 517-323-3782.
- Lansing City Market 325 City Market Drive, Lansing, MI 48912. Open Tuesday through Friday from 10AM - 7PM & Saturdays from 9AM - 5PM. City Market Manager: Heather Hymes 517-483-7460.
- MSU Student Organic Farm Stand Located on Michigan State's campus at Farm Lane, in front of the Auditorium. Thursdays, April 5th - October 27th. 11AM – 5:30PM. Cash or check only. Offers tours and workshops to help the public understand the process their food goes through.
- Old Town Farmers' Market 203 E Grand River Ave, at Turner St in Lansing's Old Town District, Lansing. May 6th, June 3rd, July 1st, August 5th, Sept. 2nd, Oct. 7th. 10AM-3PM. Market Manager: Mike Davis Jr. 517-485-4293.
- St. John's Farmers Market Maple Street: between Cass St. & State St. (M21). Saturdays, June 16th - October 27th. 8AM - 12PM. Market Manager: Shirley Davis 989-224-7863.
- Williamston Farmers Market McCormick Park. June 7th - September 27th. Every Thursday 3PM - 7PM. Market Manager: Christine Miller 517-719-6193.