6 Sustainable Ways to Go Green on St. Pat’s Day

Saint Patrick's Day is all about the green. This year, along with green beer and four-leaf clovers, consider going green for the environment, too. Our in-house sustainability expert and Director of Ancillary Services Mary Nitschke shared some easy tips to bring a little more green into your world this Saint Patrick's Day.

  1. Stop and listen: Toilets can lose 20-250 gallons of water each day and not make a single sound. There's a rubber flapper inside that can lose suction and make the toilet lose valuable water. If you hear a tinkly noise, call maintenance.
  2. Soak up the solar: March is an in-between season, so you might find it warmer during the day but still cool at night. Take advantage of the sunshine and leave your blinds open during the day. It can help to warm things up a few degrees without having to turn on the heat as high at night.
  3. Leave the light on (momentarily): LED bulbs are so efficient that they use less energy to stay on than they do to turn on. It might seem counterintuitive, but when you leave a room and plan to be back soon, go ahead and leave the light on. You'll be saving more energy than if you turned the light off and turned around to power it up again.
  4. Be lazy: A fully loaded dishwasher uses only two gallons of water. Washing the same load of dishes by hand uses 15 gallons. It might seem like you're saving water by doing it the hard way, but you can give yourself a pass and do better for our environment. All of our Neighborhoods have modern, efficient dishwashers. As long as you're washing a full load, you're good to go.
  5. Know all gaming consoles suck: Well, they suck energy anyway. Even when they're turned off, your gaming console is still using power. And not just a little. That tiny box of fun uses the same amount of energy as a full-size refrigerator. Here's how to fix that: Plug it into a surge protector, so you can easily switch it all off when you're not Halo-ing to your heart's content. Or, check to see if yours is one that lets you switch off some features so it's not all running at full power all the time.
  6. Eat green too: Consider skipping the corned beef this Saint Patrick's Day. One pound of beef takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce, but one pound of chicken only takes 886 gallons. Almonds are the second-highest water user at 1,800 gallons per pound. Walnuts take way less, but are still packed with protein and good taste. Even slight adjustments to the food you prepare each day can make a big difference.