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Case Study>The Wohlsen Center

The Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment

Discover the Wohlsen Center, a hub for sustainable initiatives at F&M College. 

Events Sponsored at the Wohlsen Center

Sustainability Initiatives at F&M

Organizations Affiliated with The Wohlsen Center

F&M's Commitment to Supporting Sustainable Objectives

Speakers Sponsored by Wohlsen Center

The Future of the Wohlsen Center

How can I lead a Sustainable Lifestyle

 

 

The Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment is a hub for sustainability initiatives at Franklin & Marshall College and the Lancaster region.  The Center was Founded by Robert S. and Carolyn W. Wohlsen to organize sustainability themed events and to popularize environmental stewardship. As outlined in the Sustainability Master Plan, adopted in October 2012, F&M is committed to fostering sustainability development at the college.  The Wohlsen Center strives to lead sustainability efforts at F&M, inspiring students and the community to be more conscientious of their environmental impact. The Center, situated on the center of F&M’s campus, is proud to offer sustainability services that satisfy three primary objectives:

  • Education

  • Action

  • Example

 

Education:

The Center's facilities include a fieldwork laboratory, offices for staff members, and a seminar room for demonstrations and workshops. The facilities serve as a functional environment for the College's mission to provide excellence in undergraduate education. Faculty members utilize the Center's facilities to enrich their curriculum with concepts of environmental stewardship and sustainability.  The Wohlsen Center is a resource for students and campus visitors by providing information for living a green lifestyle; local and regional outreach activities, and co-curricular opportunities.

Action:

The Wohlsen Center is a processing ground for determining the practicality of ideas generated by people in the community.  Through the innovation, execution and encouragement of sustainability enhancement efforts, the Wohlsen Center embodies F&M's reputation as a leader in environmental stewardship.  The Wohlsen Center's personnel assist with the coordination of activities and promotional events organized on campus. The Center offers a wide range of services by supporting communication and collaboration between various entities on campus.

Example:

As a model for community supported sustainability efforts, the Wohlsen Center exemplifies ways to reduce dependence on unsustainable resources. The sustainable practices that are exemplified at the Wohlsen Center may inspire entities across Lancaster County to adopt similar methods of sustainability.  

 

Who Works at the Wohlsen Center?

Faculty and Professional Staff at the Wohlsen Center:

  • Sarah Dawson – Director
  • Nora Theodore – Post-graduate Sustainability Intern
  • Thomas Simpson – Sustainability Coordinator
  • Kim Warshawsky – Project Assistant

 

Internships:

The Wohlsen Center, which began in October 2009, has five student interns who are active for two semesters. The center also helps students find off campus internships. “An intern at the Wohlsen Center must be dedicated to the cause and to promoting sustainable events on campus.,” said Sarah Dawson, director of the Wohlsen Center. Some things interns do is help administrators, maintain beehives, and maintain gardens.

Events Sponsored by the Wohlsen Center

Sustainability Week

Possibly the most important week of the year for Sarah Dawson and the entire staff, Sustainability Week was a time for the Wohlsen Center to shine on campus. Sustainability Week began on Sept. 29 and continued through Saturday, Oct.5. The week's main event was a talk by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the famed attorney, environmental activist, and radio talk show co-host.   Since the Wohlsen Center is a relatively new organization they are still trying to “figure out what works and doesn't work,” said Dawson. “We are trying to get speakers who are really well known.” The problem is that students are only familiar with a handful of speakers who are influential and well known in the environmental movement. Since many well-known speakers come with a high price tag, it can be difficult raising enough money to have them speak to the College. Kennedy was one of the most prominent speakers ever sponsored by the Wohlsen Center. The auditorium was almost packed as Kennedy, struggling with a little stage fright, took the stage and started his hour-long speech. He quickly became more comfortable, keeping the crowd engaged with his remarks on coal, the war on sustainable energy, and mercury poisoning.  Kennedy, an avid fisherman, explained during his speech that he liked to catch the fish and eat them. The problem, he said, is that the fish are contaminated with mercury. He recently went to the doctor to have his mercury levels tested – they were ten times the amount considered to be safe.

The theme at this year's Sustainability Week was conserving water and reducing waste. Aside from Kennedy's rousing speech, Sustainability Week included a Trashion Show, a food workshop series, a free lunch at the Fair Trade Cafe, and mediation at the Millport Conservatory.
The complete listing of events at Sustainability Week were as followed:

  • Lisa Sanchez, Lancaster County Park naturalist, hosted a Wild Foods Workshop, held at the Wohlsen Center at 5p.m. on Tuesday.  The event was free to students at faculty on campus.
  •  At 11:30 a.m. Wednesday theFair Trade Cafe had a free lunch of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for students and faculty. To wash down the scrumptious lunch, made from organic, locally grown products, infused water was available for anybody with a water bottle.
  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. gave a speech at 11:30a.m. On Thursday. His speech, “Our Environmental Destiny,” was followed by a reception at the New College House.
  • The Annual Trashion Show held at 7:30p.m. On Friday, gave creative students a unique way to express themselves through trash. The Trashion Show was held in the Steinman College Center Atrium. 
     

 

 

Trashion Show

The Trashion Show is a competition that awards designers and models with the “trashiest” outfit. All of the outfits are made from materials that can be found in a recycling bin or trashcan.  Student s let their creativity shine through with designs made from combinations of plastic wrap, aluminum cans, bubble wrap, cardboard, gum, tin foil, plastic bottles, bread, food packaging, and other items that can be made into outerwear.  The event was held in the Steinman College Center at F&M College.

 

 

Sustainability Initiatives at F&M

Water Bottle Filling Stations

The water bottle filling stations were instituted this semester. “At the beginning of the semester, all 2300 students received a water bottle,” said Dawson. There are 22 water bottle filling stations for everybody to use. “The stations are kind of neat because they record how many plastic bottles you are saving.” The college will be installing 20 more water bottle filling stations soon. The money for this project was given to the Sustainability Committee by the board of trustees. Dawson said, “After the S ustainability M aster P lan was finalized, the board gave us money for sustainability programs like the water bottle filling stations.” 

 

Department of Earth and Science

Despite not offering sustainability minor in the curriculum, F&M's Department of Earth and Environment offers three majors that are focused on studying the earth.“ One class I teach,” said Dawson, is called, “T his is Garbage” - the class is about consumerism and the environmental and social impacts of that. The Environmental Studies major at F&M immerses students into the troubling issues that keep scientists and activists up late at night. Global warming, watershed destruction, and alternative energy are some of the hot button issues that will be explored by students in this major. Students currently pursing a bachelor’s degree in Environment Studies at F&M find themselves learning how to develop environmental policy and make decisions from a stakeholder’s perspective. This major is a perfect fit for students who prefer smaller class sizes, with fewer than 20 students in most classes.

The next class offered under the Department of Earth and Sciences umbrella is Environmental Science. Students with a predisposition to math and science, as it relates to the environment, would be interested in the interdisciplinary approach taken in the Environmental Science curriculum. Students will explore local and worldwide environmental problems three departments: Chemistry, Biology, and Earth and Environment.  Student’s benefit from the diversity of teachers in three of the college's most recognized departments. The program offers several perks – access to GIS software, instruments used by professionals, and professional grade laboratories.

Geosciences is the final major concentration offered by the Department of Earth and Science.  As its name suggests, the Geosciences major focuses on the geological components of the environment.  Many classes are taught outside to integrate field-based exercises, which are critical for evaluating minerals and rocks, and the factors contributing to our planets inner and exterior landscapes. The major is continually regarded as one of the top programs for undergraduates in the country.  The department sponsors annual research excursions to Puerto Rico and Hawaii.      

 

Recycling system overhaul

Franklin & Marshall College used to sort all of their recycling the traditional way. “It used to take them a long time to sort out all the different recyclables such as paper, cardboard, and bottles,” said Dawson. The old bin labels were not clear and inaccurate. Now F&M uses single stream recycling so everything can go into the same bin. 

Single stream recycling

Also called “fully commingled” or “single-sort,” single stream recycling is a process that combines all papers, plastics, and various metals into a collection truck. The contents go to a processing plant, where everything is sorted and sent to a materials recovery facility to be reused. The old process of recycling requires the separation of material before collection, a tedious process that many people don't participate in out of confusion. Benefits of single stream recycling include:

 

 

 

  • More people take part in single stream recycling because participants are no longer required to separate their recyclables. This means Franklin & Marshall students can dump all of their items in one container without worrying about placing something in the wrong bin.
  • Single stream recycling is cheaper for Franklin & Marshall College because trucks with one compartment cost less to operate than larger trucks.
  • The new recycling program at Franklin & Marshall College may add materials to the list of items that can be recycled. 

 

Organizations Affiliated with the Wohlsen Center

 

Millport Conservancy

The Millport Conservancy was host of one of the featured events of Sustainability Week this year.  Founded in 1988 by Robert and Carolyn Wohlsen, the Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that rests on an 85-acre plant species and native wildlife refuge. The mill, adjacent structures, and the farmland surrounding the area were purchased in 1969.  The Conservancy delights tourists and locals with winding trails that lead to the millrace and deep into the meadows and forests. A product of the watershed project in Lancaster County, the Millport Conservancy attracts visitors with its award-winning restoration efforts. The Millport Conservancy operates in conjunction with the Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment.   The Millport Conservancy is actively engaged in the following projects:

  • The native plants and wildlife, buildings, land, and water at Millport Conservancy need to be preserved to protect the future of the sanctuary.
  • The promotion of environmental sustainability is one of the non-profit's most important goals. The Conservatory, with the help of the Wohlsen Center and other organizations, hosts educational and programs and research opportunities for children, adults, and scientists.
  • Spanning 84-acres of land, the Millport Conservancy, though vast compared to other wildlife reservations, on the constant hunt for obtaining neighboring properties.
  • Nesting areas at Millport can be used as educational tools for the natural expansion of wildlife and water flow. Experts will plant, monitor, and study nesting areas to support this endeavor.
  • Touted on F&M's website as an area with a high concentration of trout, Millport advocates the practice of catch-and-release fly-fishing on Lititz Run.  

 

 

Urban Wildlife Research Program

As part of their commitment to educating the community on environmental issues, the Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment is a proponent for researching ways to coexist with urban wildlife. As a result of human interference, wildlife is forced to survive in segmented habitats or in urban and suburban environments. Animals and insects often adapt to these new habitats and contribute to the overall health of an ecosystem. The Wohlsen Center believes that we need to be aware of the impact our actions have on a larger scale, and consciously make efforts to improve our coexistence with urban wildlife. In order for urban conditions to improve for wildlife, the Urban Wildlife Resource Program collects and interprets field data to initiate and promote positive changes.      

 

Honeybees

The creation of a honeybee apiary at Franklin & Marshall College was proposed by Veronica Thomas 11', who was inspired after attending a lecture by Pennsylvania Master Apiarist Dennis vanEagelsdorp.  Dr. Sarah Dawson invited vanEngelsdorp to speak during her Wildlife Conservation for a Changing Planet course. Thomas, after listening to the speaker talk about the worldwide honeybee population decline, was concerned and determined learn more about honeybees. The Dean's office at Franklin and Marshall College offers an annual Sustainability award  - Thomas submitted her idea was awarded enough money for the creation of a honeybee hive. Through her research, Thomas was able to prove that bee populations can be trained to avoid plants that have been treated with pesticides and herbicides. F&M students are working on discovering the widespread implementation of her findings today.  

The worldwide honeybee population decline is known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Research into the epidemic indicates that common pesticides, namely neonicotinoids, are the primary cause of population decline.  Honeybees are essential for the health of any ecosystem. With as many as one third of our food crop being pollinated by honeybees, they provide many benefits to a habitat and the surrounding area. Much research is being done to determine other factors that contribute to honeybee collapse.

 

The Dirt Army

The Dirt Army, first cultivated in 2009, is an organic, student maintained garden that is growing in size and popularity at Franklin & Marshall College. A section of land that was just 40 by 40 feet has grown to 100 by 40 feet, as the army continues to attract more students. The group originated from another student club, the Environmental Action Alliance. As they work in the garden, students use army terms, referring to some students as “Commander and Chief,” or other such monikers.
Special guidelines were followed to make keep the garden completely organic. The first step was to have the garden tilled, not with a machine, but by hand – a process that is time consuming creates some very sore forearms. The Dirty Army uses no fertilizers or pesticides, despite organic versions that are available today, choosing, instead, to only use water on their crops. No irrigation methods were utilized when creating the garden. The Dirty Army believes that a gardener can only have a true connection with his garden after all the shortcuts to having a bountiful harvest are eliminated, leaving only plants, water and a gardeners touch.            
Members of the group care about more than having a bountiful harvest, they also care about spend time getting to know other members, learning about having a healthy lifestyle, and tending to the garden on a regular basis. The garden, which is situated near an athletic field, produces beans, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, lettuce, corn, beets, zucchini, and several other vegetables.
Everything that is grown is donated, eaten by members of the club, stored for future use, or used in various soups at the Fair Trade Cafe. The ultimate plan for the Dirt Army is to have their produce sold at local organic markets in Lancaster County.  Selling the produce at market might be a few years away, but the Army is having an immediate impact on-site at Franklin & Marshall College. One of the biggest benefits of having a garden on campus, some members would say, is that students might see the garden and be inspired to create their garden.  The food you eat doesn't have to come from a foreign place; it can be grown from a small area of land on your property.
    

FOOT

The Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment is a supporter of FOOT, an organization for first-year students interested in the Environment and Sustainability.  Officially labeled as a pre-orientation program, FOOT starts new students off on the right foot with several activities. Short for First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips, FOOT is a backpacking trip to the Appalachian Trail led by seniors and juniors at F&M. The breathtakingly beautiful Appalachians will be on full display as you embark on a three-day, three-night backpacking adventure on the same historical trails that attract tourists to Pennsylvania every year. This thrilling opportunity gives newcomers the chance to mingle with other students who share similar interests.  For the price of $150, all food, entertainment and transportation fees will be covered.  Contact FOOT at jmadden@fandm.edu or salter@fandm.edu for more information.

Elementary School programs sponsored by the Wohlsen Center

The Wohlsen Center partners with ZooAmerica to teach elementary and middle school kids about wildlife. ZooAmerica brings owls and other animals so students can experience hands on education. We also have greenhouse tours that you can purchase from the admissions office. 

ZooAmerica

ZooAmerica, located at Hershey Park, is an 11-acre walking tour park that has over 200 animals from around the globe. The zoo offers the following promotional events: Behind the Scenes Tours; Girl Scout Days; Photo Caption Contests; Animal Encounters and Outreach Programs.  The zoo opened at Hershey in 1905, when Franz and Louis Zinner moved from Germany and talked to Milton Hershey about creating a park for their 12 prairie dogs and a bear cub. In 1982, after many years of expansion and remodeling, the zoo became one of only two zoos in Pennsylvania, and 50 in America, to receive the American Zoo and Aquarium Association's accreditation status. In recent years, ZooAmerica upgraded their bear exhibit with a 13,000-gallon water chamber. The park offers discounted prices for groups of 15 or more people.

 

Sustainability House

The Sustainability House epitomizes F&M's sustainability goals by teaching students to live communally and to be a source of information on and off campus. A group of students live at the house just like they would a normal apartment – cooking food, purchasing food, fighting over what temperature to keep the apartment, taking turns cleaning the dishes, and being conscientious of sustainability practices together.  When asked about the Sustainability House, Dawson, said, “The house typically has 24 to 26 students living there at any given time.” The Sustainability House received a grant, providing enough funds to purchase an array of solar panels that have been placed on the roof, she said.

 

RideShare

Since 2009, the Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment and RideBuzz.org have been working together to popularize carpooling at Franklin & Marshall College. The program, organized online, unites riders and drivers together to limit carbon emissions and save money.  “This program has been forgotten about in recent years,” said Dawson, “More time and attention should be given to the RideShare program.” At one time, she said, RideShare had approximately 260 members taking advantage of its carpooling services. The program is primarily used for faculty and students who have a long distance commute. Only those interested in carpooling with a Franklin & Marshall email address may participate in the RideShare program.

To participate in the program, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Visit www.ridebuzz.org/user/register to register. You will be asked to enter your F&M email address.
  2. 2. An email from RideBuzz will be sent to you shortly. Follow the link to confirm your registration.
  3. Now you may request a ride or offer rides as needed on the Ride Buzz website. Bookmark the site to return and check your ride lists with ease.

 

The Fair Trade Cafe

The Fair Trade Cafe is a student-run cafe that is connected to the Wohlsen Center. The cafe sells soup and grilled cheese sandwiches made from local and organic ingredients.  At only $4 for menu items, the cafe offers homemade food that is fresh and delicious at an affordable price.  The cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating. “The bread and cheese are delivered from local farmers to campus and the vegetables for soup come from organic stands at market, “ said Dawson.

 

 

 

 

F&M’s Commitment to Supporting Sustainable Objectives

Sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee, implemented in 2010 by Interim F&M president John Burness, consists of a Sustainability Task Force that includes five students and 22 staff members who are committed to developing long-term sustainability measures at the campus. In 2012, the committee developed a Sustainability Master Plan to guide F&M's sustainability efforts. Members of the Sustainability Committee:

Linda Aleci
Associate Professor of Art History
Barry Bosley
Associate Vice President for Administration
Sarah Dawson
Director, Carolyn W. & Robert S. Wohlsen Center for Sustainable Environment
Shawn Jenkins '10
Special Assistant to the Dean of the College for Strategic Projects
Sarah Ann McGahran '13

Elizabeth Munk '14

Jeffrey Nesteruk
Professor of Legal Studies
David Proulx
Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer
Wendell Ressler
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Thomas Simpson
Millport Conservancy Liaison and Sustainability Coordinator
Bryan Stinchfield
Assistant Professor of Business, Organizations and Society
Nora Theodore '13

Sean Tippen '14

Kent Trachte
Dean of the College
Mike Wetzel
Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Campus Planning

Sustainability Master Plan

The Sustainability Master Plan at F&M, created by the Sustainability Committee, highlights the university’s mission to continually improve their environmental stewardship.  At http://www.fandm.edu/beyondgreen/sustainability-master-plan, a full description of F&M's Sustainability Master Plan can be viewed. 

The Sustainability Master Plan mission:

"Franklin & Marshall College will become a leader in sustainability by enriching the environmental, economic and social well-being of our community. Through our decisions and actions, we will cultivate a sustainability-centered ethos that permeates the lives of our community members. We seek to minimize our use of natural resources, reduce our environmental impacts, and educate ourselves and others about the roles and responsibilities of citizens in a world of finite resources."


Sustainability Award

Few things get people more excited than the potential to win an award. This is precisely the goal of the Sustainability Award, F&M's way of building momentum for sustainability awareness and growth on campus. A $500 award from the Office of the Dean of the College is given to a student or team of students that submits the most feasible environmental innovation for F&M College.  The Sustainability Committee reviews each proposal and announces the winner during Sustainability Week. The student or students receive the funds to begin exploring and implementing their proposed topic. Students who want to submit a proposal should email sustainabilitycommittee@fandm.edu.  Listed are former winners of the Sustainability Award:

2009 Winners: The Dirt Army (Nic Auwaerter, Kelsey Lerback, and Tyler Plante), for their proposal to develop a plot of land at Baker Campus into an organic, student-maintained garden.

2010 Winners: Veronica Thomas submitted a proposal to have a bee keeping program on campus to research the bee shortage epidemic. Ali Neugebauer for bioremediation of greenhouse pests.

 

Speakers Sponsored by the Wohlsen Center

The cost of campus speakers  

The Wohlsen Center sponsors several speakers each semester, which is determined by the cost of the speaker and the operating budget that the Center received that year. “We don't have a set budget every year, so I go around to different organizations on campus and ask if they can help sponsor events with us,” s aid Dawson. “Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was funded by five or six different groups on campus.” Students are always encouraged to see the speakers but they never required attending any lectures. “He also spoke to my class, which was a little surreal, “said Dawson.

 

Robert F. Kennedy

As heir to the Kennedy Family, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has led most of his life in the public eye as an attorney, radio show host and environmental activist. He is the son of the former U.S. Senator for New York, Bobby Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. currently works as a co-host on Ring of Fire, a radio show program that exposes corrupt politicians and corporations. 

Early in his Career, Kennedy experienced the tragic death of his uncle, John Kennedy, when he was 10 years old. Only a few years later, when he was 14 years old, Kennedy's father was assassinated in 1968 when he was running for president.  The death of two family members took a tole on the young Kennedy, who was arrested for loitering and marijuana possession in high school. At 29 years old, in 1983, Kennedy was caught boarding a plain in Rapid City, South Dakota, with 182 milligrams of heroin in his carry-on bag. He was sentenced to two years probation,regular drug tests, 1,500 hours community service. 

Kennedy has six children from two marriages.  He had two children -Robert Francis Kennedy II and Kathleen Alexandra Kennedy – with Emily Ruth Black before divorcing in 1994. He married Mary Kathleen Richardson in 1994, with whom he had four children  - Conor Richardson Kennedy, Kyra LeMoyne Kennedy, William Finbar "Finn" Kennedy and Aiden Caohman Vieques Kennedy- before divorcing Richardson in 2010.

In an effort to complete the hours of community service he was sentenced to, Kennedy volunteered with the Riverkeeper organization. The Riverkeeper organization is a nonprofit organization that is patrol the Hudson River to reinforce laws and efforts to protect the river and its surrounding tributaries.   Kennedy has also had an illustrious legal career, working as Clinical Professor of Environmental Law and Co-director of the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic. For for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Kennedy works to improve environmental laws in New York as the firms current senior attorney.

Kennedy is the former president of the New York State Falconer's Association and is a licensed master falconer. He rode the length of the Grand Canyon with his daughter in Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk, an IMAX documentary. He has written many environmentally themed articles and has had two books published.  His works have appeared I the following newspapers and magazines: The Washington Post, The VillageVoice, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Outside Magazine, The Nation, The new York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Los Angelos Times, Rolling Stone, and Esquire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Van Jones

Born in 1968, Van Jones is the co-founder of four non-profit organizations. He is currently the president on Rebuild the Dream, a nonprofit organization based out of Florida that strives to find alternatives to violence. In 2009, Jones worked on several agencies and departments on climate and energy initiatives as the Special Adviser for Green Jobs, a council created by the White House Council of Environmental Quality.  

 

Annie Leonard

Annie Leonard is most recognizable for her documentary The Story About Stuff about the life cycle of material goods. Her documentary, which started out as a short film, was also published into a book version. In her early years as a proponent for sustainability, Leonard worked with Greenpeace and the National Wildlife Foundation.  Her work with Greenpeace led to the development of a treaty to prevent third world nations from disposing of hazardous waste in rivers.

 

Jennifer Redfern

Jennifer Redfern produced and directed Sun Come Up, a documentary that explores the relocation of Carteret Islanders because of climate change. Her documentary is the first that connects climate change with refugee relocation. Carteret Islanders are leaving their homeland in the South Pacific because rising sea levels are forcing them to relocate. The documentary follows a tribe of islanders, led by Nick Hakata, as they hunt for a new land in an area not prone to rising sea levels. Island inhabitants are still recuperating after a debilitating 10-year civil war, complicating the islanders search for new land.    
 The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards in 2011.        

 

The Future of The Wohlsen Center

Looking to offer more programs

1. To bring more middle school and elementary school students to Franklin & Marshall for workshops about sustainability initiatives.
2.  Bring more prominent speakers to the school.
3. Working on being a place where members of the community can come for any information on sustainability.
4. The implementation of a green orientation for incoming freshman. A hiking trip, offered by the FOOT organization, through the rugged Appalachian Trail terrain will be available to interested students.
 5. International Food Week

 

How can I lead a Sustainable Lifestyle?

Go green and save money

1. Whether living at home, in an apartment, or at a friend’s house, setting the temperature higher over the summer is one of the easiest ways to reduce your footprint and be environmentally conscientious.

2. Approximately 85% of the energy required to wash clothes is due to the constant stream of hot water being used in washing cycles. Start washing clothes in cold water to save money and the environment.

3.  Plant flowers in your garden that can withstand the intense summer heat. Planting flowers that need to be watered on a regular basis will send your water bill through the roof.

4. Support your local farmers and purchase milk, eggs, meat, and dairy products from an organic farm around your hometown. Local farmers, especially organic farmers, are struggling to make enough profit to keep the farm running every year.  Keep your money local and support organic farmers in your area as often as possible.

5. Refrain from purchasing bottled water and reduce the monumental effect that plastic has on the environment. Carry around a container to put water inside, this will save money and prevent more plastic from polluting the environment.

6. Recycle old computers, televisions, and other electrics by searching for special recycling programs in your hometown. Old electronics, especially cellphones, can be donated to organizations that will repurpose them.

7. Purchase products that are made from high-quality fabrics and respected distributors. Purchasing poorly made clothing will not only damage your bottom line, it will contribute to the amount of waste that is produced each year.

8. Research ways to make your own cleaning supplies. Making your own cleaning agents can be fun project for children. 

9. The concept of borrowing can greatly reduce your carbon footprint and improve the lines of communication between friends and family. Instead of buying that new video game or television show on DVD, talk to a co-worker, friend, or family member about borrowing the item for a few weeks. Learning this technique will allow you to save money on purchases that could have been costly otherwise.

10. Yard sales. They just might be the perfect way to burrow, repurpose, practice sustainability, and keep money local in just one stop.  Be sure to only carry the amount of money you plan on spending at yard sales in your pocket.  Since yard sales can cause some people to lose their mind and purchase everything in sight, limiting the dollars you take each trip can help prevent this.


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