Whether you're a longtime "green" gardener, or a new convert to the idea of living with less impact on the plant, you need good information.
Phipps offers these resources to get you started on the path toward a more sustainable life.
1. Learn and Live Green
Some of the simplest things we each can do to build a sustainable ecosystem include learning about green issues, practicing recycling, and teaching kids to value their environment.
- Learn about sustainability and meet others who care.
- Envirolink: A non-profit clearinghouse of sustainability resources.
- The Natural Step: Working to build an ecologically and economically sustainable society.
- Natural Resources Defense Council: Get the latest news on environmental laws and policies.
- Sustainable Business: See how the business world is going green.
- See the pollution Scorecard for your community.
- Sustainable Pittsburgh: Promoting sustainability in our region.
- Green Drinks Pittsburgh: Socialize with other environmentalists.
- What, how, and where can I recycle?
- E-cycling Central
- Earth 911
- National Recycling Coalition
- Battery Recycling
- City of Pittsburgh recycling information
- Construction Junction: Donate your used and surplus construction items (everything from bathtubs to paint) for someone else's project, and find what you need at a bargain price.
- Inspire the next generation to be a green generation
- Ecoliteracy: Teachers, get some great green lesson ideas.
- Green Squad: Help kids become aware of environmental issues.
- Our region offers numerous opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
- Visit our State Parks.
- Venture Outdoors
- Pittsburgh City Parks
- Bike Pittsburgh
2. Buy Safe, Local and Fair
Reconnect with the food you consume by learning where it comes from.
- How your food products are produced can have a major effect on their safety.
- Environmental Working Group: How safe are the products you buy?
- Green Seal: Which products are best for you and the environment?
- Seafood Watch: Is your seafood safe?
- Got Mercury: How much mercury is in your fish?
- Certified Humane: Are your meat products raised humanely?
- Food that travels long distances from where it is grown wastes energy and is not as fresh, and buying local helps to support the local economy.
- Food Route: Where does your food come from?
- Find local producers:
- Farm to School: Bring sustainable eating habits to your school cafeteria.
- Find out about Slow Food.
- Food doesn't get any more local than when you grow it yourself, and many people find gardening relaxing and enjoyable.
- Be a Seed Saver and encourage biodiversity.
- Beyond Pesticides: Find safe alternatives.
- Buy No Mow lawn mix and save gas.
- Find out what plants can help keep your workplace clean.
- Composting can convert some of your household garbage into fertile soil for gardening or planting.
- Teachers, make composting a classroom activity.
- You can make smart choices even when products are not grown locally. Fair trade practices support the environment and local economies around the world.
- Fair Trade Certified: Learn more about fair trade and sustainable production.
- Forest Stewardship Council: Promote sustainable forest management with the products you buy.
- Rainforest Alliance: Save the rainforest!
- La Prima: Buy fairly traded coffee beans.
- Make informed choices about a variety of everyday products.
- The Green Guide
- We Can Live Green
- New American Dream
- Find volunteer opportunities around the country and the world.
- Student Conservation Association
- World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
3. Get Energy Smart
Nothing impacts the planet more than our appetite for energy. Here are some resources for becoming more energy smart:
- Energy conservation means simply using less electricity.
- How To Reduce Your Energy Consumption
- Burning fossil fuels to make electricity is the largest source of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
- Learn about the science behind global warming.
- Does your electricity come from mountaintop removal?
- Is green energy available for your home?
- Buy carbon offsets to support green energy.
- Native Energy
- Green Tags
- Green buildings are designed to use less energy and limit impacts on the environment. These buildings are sprouting up locally and around the world.
- U.S. Green Building Council: Learn about green buildings.
- Green Building Alliance: See what's green locally.
- The vehicles we drive can harm the environment as well, but technology and innovation are taking steps to reduce this pollution.
- Green Vehicles: How environmentally friendly is your vehicle?
- Learn about alternative fuels.
- Zipcar: Join a car share.