Going Green – Why it’s important to everyone

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We all know that ‘going green’ is something we should all be doing.  We hear about it on the radio, we see it on television, we read about it in magazines and newspapers.  But if you’re like many people, you don’t really take the time to stop and think about what ‘going green’ really means and why it’s so important.  The truth is, ‘going green’ (or being more environmentally friendly) is important to all of us. By incorporating environment-saving practices into our daily lives as both consumers and businesses owners, we are doing our part to keep our world a safe and clean place to live.  In doing so, we also have much to gain in a personal sense as ‘going green’ often means saving money in both our personal and professional lives.

Green Products

Many of the products we use in our homes and businesses are harmful to our health and our environment—and we don’t even know it.  We choose them because they clean well or because we like the packaging, never thinking that we are doing ourselves a disservice.  Fortunately, there are a number of products available that are not only safe for our health, but are also safe for the environment.

Larsen Painting is one of those companies who believes in using green products.  According to Sandi Larsen, “We have used Low VOC PPG Pittsburgh Wallhide™, Speedpro™ and Speedcraft™ paint on all of our projects for many years.  Little did we know, we were “green” before being “green” was popular.  These days it’s popular and necessary to be as ecologically friendly as possible.  Thanks to PPG, we are doing that.  PPG also has a Zero VOC product called Pure Performance™ which is an excellent product as well.  Our builders and customers can be confident we’re using excellent products on their projects.”

Open Harvest is another local company that believes in being as environmentally friendly as possible and offers healthy, local food products to its many customers.  A locally owned and supported natural and organic co-op market, Open Harvest started as a store front in 1975. They have been supporting local since 1975, and currently work with over 60 local vendors. The store has over 3,000 member owners, who shop and support them. However, you do not have to be a member to shop there, everyone is welcome. Open Harvest provides high quality and natural foods with a high level of service and a reasonable price to the community of Lincoln. Open Harvest is dedicated to equitable employment practices, support of local producers, consumer education, and sustainable agricultural practices, so you know that when you buy your food products from them, you are helping to support a greener, better Lincoln.

Green Services and Practices

Reducing energy consumption is probably one of the most widely known green practices.  Installing energy efficient light bulbs, turning down the heat or air when you won’t be at home or in the office and other practical activities are the norm.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget to do the little things not only save us money, but also save energy and water.  How many times have you left your house in the winter for a long day at the office and left your home thermostat at 72 degrees?  Or how many times have you started the shower, then forgotten you need to run the clothes to the laundry and put supper in the oven and by the time you actually get to the shower, the water has been running for 10 minutes?  These seem like small things, but they do add up—both in our monthly energy bills and on the toll they take on our planet.  Make small changes and encourage your family to do the same.  Turn off the sink while you’re brushing your teeth.  Install a thermostat that you can program so you no longer have to worry about turning it down manually as you rush out the door.  Write yourself a note to turn off all the lights before you leave the house or the office at the end of the day.  Encourage your children to use both the front and back of paper when they are coloring pictures.  These are all common sense changes that won’t affect our lives in any negative way but will reap large rewards in the long run.

Floors, Inc. is a local company that takes its green and sustainability practices seriously.  According to Scott Elley, “At Floors, Inc., we are committed to doing our share in protecting the environment.  We have taken numerous steps to lead the local flooring industry in the ‘Rs’ of the green initiative: reduce, recycle and reuse.  We have initiated this as a corporate directive from management on down and have structured this in a multi-pronged approach that includes multiple target audiences to have the maximum impact.  These include; in-house at a corporate level, internally with the flooring manufacturers we represent in the flooring industry, the networks and corporate affiliations we are a part of and externally with our extended family of customer and clients and lastly, publicly with the community at large here in Nebraska.”
He goes on to give examples, such as the in-house recycling program they have implemented to reduce landfill waste, the energy saving measures they have implemented such as energy efficient lighting and the fact that they have added new product lines such as mechanically ground polished concrete in an effort to give customers additional environmentally friendly flooring options.  They are also pleased to have partners in the flooring manufacturing industry that lead the way in using recycled materials during front-end processing.  Some of these industry leaders can boast cutting their waste in half while still boosting production.

K2 Geothermal (a division of K2 Construction) is another local company that is doing its best to offer environmentally friendly products and services to its customers.  K2 offers residential and commercial heating and cooling options.  As an authorized GeoComfort dealer, they offer homeowners some of the most efficient geothermal heat pumps in the industry. According to K2’s website, this is how geothermal heat pumps work:  Outdoor air temperatures fluctuate throughout the year with the changing seasons. In contrast, ground temperatures about four to six feet below the earth’s surface remain relatively moderate and constant all year. That’s because the earth absorbs 47% of all the heat energy that reaches its surface from the sun. A geothermal system circulates a water-based solution through a buried loop system to take advantage of these constant temperatures. Geothermal systems can save you 30% to 70% on your monthly utility bills.

It’s up to all of us to do our part and help save the environment.  Whether we do so in our personal or professional lives, every change we make to save energy, reduce landfill contributions and reduce pollution will help keep our planet safe and healthy for generations to come.

If you want to lower your cost and carbon footprint be sure to visit with these great companies!

Larsen Painting – Painting the town and country GREEN!

K2 Geothermal – Nebraska’s choice for geothermal heating and cooling

Floors Inc. – Commercial floor covering performed environmentally consciously

New Horizons – Innovative Environmental Solutions

Open Harvest – Your source for organically grown groceries in Lincoln, NE

Interior Dry Cleaning Systems – Be “Green” have your carpets Dry cleaned!

Eric’s Electric Inc – Over 10 years of specialized and  individualized electrician services in Lincoln, NE  Call 402-464-6449