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Green Living Certification
Chapter 3 - A day in the life
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3 A day in the life

In this chapter, we'll examine a fictional day in the life of Sam, a computer programmer who lives in Berkeley, Ca. Sam is married with 2 children and he works in San Francisco.

Though this is a geographic area that's known for liberal leanings, Sam is constantly frustrated by his wife's lack of understanding about Green issues. She puts plastic bags in the recycling bin, and often throws her plastic water bottles in the trash.

But Sam is very focused on his Green lifestyle and lives as Green a lifestyle as he can. He knows there's more he could do, but right now he's pleased with what he does do.

5 a.m. - Sam gets out of bed and heads to the bathroom. He doesn't flush in order to save water, but knows that his wife will flush after she gets up and uses the toilet.

He figures that by not flushing, he's saved at least a gallon of water. Sam and his wife recently replaced their old toilets with newer ones - the old toilets used as much as 3 gallons of water with each flush.

5:15 a.m. - Sam does yoga. Sam doesn't do yoga as part of his Green leanings, but he does think it helps him focus and be more in touch with the Earth. Plus, it feels good first thing in the morning.

6 a.m. - Sam heads into the kitchen to make some tea. For convenience, he prefers tea bags, but realizes that they make more trash, so he uses loose tea and steeps his tea in a tea ball instead.

After his tea, Sam realizes he needs to get ready quickly and makes some oatmeal. He refuses to buy the instant oatmeal in the individual packages and chooses to buy oatmeal in bulk instead. He adds some locally grown organic berries to his oatmeal and enjoys the quiet until his wife and kids get up.

He reminds the kids to put their sandwiches in plastic reusable containers rather than zippered baggies before he heads into the bathroom to shower.

6:30 a.m. - Although it's a cold morning, the family has agreed not to turn the heat on today in order to save energy and reduce their emissions, so Sam decides to take a hot shower. Before getting in, Sam plugs the bathtub so the water stays in the tub. Sam sets a timer for 5 minutes and when it goes off, he dutifully gets out.

6:45 a.m. - Sam uses a large plastic cup to scoop up some of the shower water and he makes the rounds of watering the plants. Watering his plants 3 times a week like this saves about 5 gallons of water. While he brushes his teeth, he shuts the water off rather than let it run, and saves another 2 gallons of water.

7 a.m. - After saying his goodbyes, Sam heads out the door. He walks a mile to the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station to catch a train into San Francisco. While on the train he makes a call to the contractor who's going to install some new insulation in Sam's house today. This will save as much as 30% on Sam's energy bill and will make the house more energy efficient.

8 a.m. - Right before Sam gets to his office, he heads into Starbucks. When he orders his Chai tea, he pulls out an insulated mug and hands it to the barista. He figures if even 1 out of every 100 Starbucks customers did the same, they all could make a significant difference in the amount of trash Starbucks cups generate each day.

8 a.m. to noon - Sam has little opportunity during the day to practice Green habits, but he does recycle every piece of paper once he's done with it and he often pulls paper out of the recycling bin to use as scrap paper for notes and the like. It's not uncommon for co-workers to find little notes from him scribbled on the back of interoffice memos. Mostly, though, Sam encourages everyone to send more emails to save on paper altogether.


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 By: RAYMUNDA on Apr 8, 2008
 By: Melonie on Sep 4, 2008
  I don't have enough clothing to only wash it once a month. :-) I've done most of these for years and I can attest to the difference in my utility bills and those of neighbors with the exact same size homes with less "green" habits. It *does* add up - and you'll have a greener pocket to boot. (Yay!) Funny how they mentioned the "if it's yellow..." adage. Love it. As for layering for warmth on cold days - shawls are all the rage for ladies again, especially those who knit. And knitters/crocheters have an extra way to keep warm: every year my mom starts a new afghan for someone in the late fall and works on it all winter long. As the afghan grows, it keeps her lap and legs warm while she is relaxing in front of the TV or waiting for dinner to bake. The same could be done for those who quilt if working on a lap project.
 By: Yadira on Jan 21, 2009
  Everyone in my house helps around to save as much water as we can for example when we take baths we wet our selves and then we turn off the water we soap ouselves and shampoo our hair and then we rinse, it does works because we run water a lot less. Another thing is that we use fluorescent light bulbs they do help to save energy.
 By: Joshua on Feb 5, 2009
  Having trees around your house is a great way to regulate the temperature, too! Deciduous trees that shed in the fall are the best, because they provide shade in the heat of summer, but let the warmth of the sun through in the winter. When you build a house, don't clear cut! It might be easier durring the build, but the added effort now will save you much greif in the future. If you allredy have a house with no tree cover, a $10.00 donation to the Arbor Day foundation will get you 11 beautifull trees to plant. They come to you at the ideal planting time for your area.
 By: Reem on Feb 17, 2009
  I have always been very conservative in using water.I live in Saudi Arabia where water is scarce.Some times there is no water left in our water tank so we have to go and buy water and wait for hours.Water here in Saudi Arabia is more expensive than car fuel!!
    By: Dan on Dec 17, 2009
  Its to bad that someone can not solve this problem. I saw a really cool design on a distillate plant that is powered by Geo Thermal and solar energy. It took sea water in and out came fresh potable water. They even have ones that can supply a house. The only thing is to get the sea water to you.
 By: RASAKI on Jun 17, 2009
  Every intelligent persons in this world would think twice before causing any dmages to the environment as it were from today."Please let everyone contribute in saving our planet,because we don't have any other planet to leave on".

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