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Green Advice for New Dads

Author Gordon Wangers
Submitted 13-05-2009

Being a stay-at-home dad comes with many challenges, making it difficult to take on the added responsibility of going green at home.  Gordon Wangers, father and a founder of Sierra Club Green Home (SCGH), a new Web site aimed at helping Americans make their homes healthier and more sustainable, is extremely familiar with both sets of obstacles.  As such, he has developed a straightforward trio of acronyms that will simplify the idea of going green for all dads.  

According to the SCGH team, going green at home is similar to learning how to run: it starts at a CRAWL, then grows to a WALK, and ends with an advanced RUN.  The below steps laid out in these acronyms will help dads take steps toward going green and ultimately making their homes healthier for their children.

C – Use CFL light bulbs (These eco-friendly light bulbs use 75 percent less electricity than
       traditional light bulbs)
R – Recycle (Use Sierra Club Green Homes’ exclusive recycling tool to find a drop off  
       location near you)
A – Air seal (Find the leaks in your home and seal them with water-based caulks to save up
       to 20 percent on your home energy costs)
W – Water off while brushing your teeth (Simply turning the water off can save up to 2,880
        gallons of water a year)
L – Lights off (Switching the lights off every time that you leave a room can save up to 35
       percent on your power bill)

W – Water fixture replacement (Install low flow water fixtures to reduce water use by
        up to 40 percent)
A – Appliances replacement (Replace old home appliances with Energy Star appliances that
       use less than half the energy)
L – Low and no-VOC purchases (Use paints and sealants with zero   or low volatile
      organic compounds (VOCS), to reduce the amount of toxins released into the air of your
      home)
K – Kill plastics #3, #6, and #7 (Eliminate the use of storing food in these plastics, which
       have been shown to leech chemicals)

R – Renewable energy (Tap into renewable sources such as solar, wind turbine or
       geothermal to power and heat your home)
U – Utilize gray water and rainwater systems (Be on the cutting edge of water conservation
       by installing water systems that reuse relatively clean waste or rain water to irrigate
       lawns)
N – New insulation and windows (Install instillation free of added formaldehyde and
       low-emissivity, “low-e”, windows, which keep heat in and can lower heating cost by up
       to 30 percent)

– By Gordon Wangers

Gordon Wangers is a founding partner of Sierra Club Green Home, a recently launched Web site designed to educate and assist Americans on how to make their homes more energy efficient, environmentally sustainable and healthy. To learn more, visit www.sierraclubgreenhome.com