Laredo's Green Blog

Laredo's Green Blog

Turn your Fridge into an Eco-Fridge

by Isela Ramirez on 07/09/13

If you can’t afford to buy a new energy efficient refrigerator, don’t worry  there are ways to make your old fridge an energy saver and still save you money. Nowadays, many of us are looking for ways to save at home. Here are some ways you can make your refrigerator green and save green:

Not too cold - Your refrigerator is constantly running all day every day, a change in temperature can actually make a difference.  To keep your refrigerator at an energy efficient mode, the optimal temperature to have is freezer 5 ° F and refrigerator 37° F. Avoid any loss of energy, make sure the seal of your refrigerator door does not have any gaps.

Don’t waste– Having your refrigerator organized can prevent wasted food and money. Keep track of your food’s expiration dates and store your foods that are about to expire in front of your refrigerator. Create a weekly meal plan according to the foods stored in your fridge. Don’t forget to eat your leftovers, store them in the center so it will be the first thing you see. Make an inventory of your food and keep it in the refrigerator door to know what you need to buy and don’t need to buy.

Keep it clean- Many people forget about cleaning the back of the refrigerator and that’s the most important part to clean. Your refrigerator will run up more energy if your coils and vent are dirty. The coils on the back of the refrigerator often build up dust and lint which will make your refrigerator work harder. Make sure to clean the bottom and back of your refrigerator at least once a week, this will allow for proper ventilation and operate efficiently.

Reuse and Recycle- Don’t throw away that empty jar of spaghetti sauce. Reuse your take out containers, plastic produce bags, and any containers that your city doesn’t accept for curbside recycling. Use those empty jars or containers to store leftovers. There are plenty of ways to extend the use of these containers such as for storing and collecting various items in your refrigerator or home.

Fill it up- Stock up your refrigerator, it will run more efficiently when it’s full. A refrigerator half full or practically empty is just wasted energy and money.

Applying these simple changes can make a difference for your refrigerator and your wallet. There’s always ways to make green changes in your home that will help our environment and best of all save you money. 

Enough with Littering

by Isela Ramirez on 06/05/13

Every day, everyone of us sees countless forms of litter all over Laredo. The majority of the trash out there on the streets and empty lots can be recycled. Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, plastic bags, cardboards, all these items can be recycled instead of littered in our streets causing harm to our environment and causing taxpayers money to clean up this unnecessary trash.

 Many cities all around the U.S. have taken steps to make their city clean and green. Laredo definitely needs to get on board and become committed to going green. Many people complain about our littering problem, but not many take action to do something about it. Every action the people of Laredo make is a representation of our city and littering certainly sets an unattractive representation. It is mind-boggling to see people throw trash in the ground when there is a trash can two feet away from them. It’s not just the city’s problem to clean up the litter in Laredo, it’s our problem as well. An annoyance that happens constantly is people tossing out trash while driving. Even if it’s a small piece of trash such as a cigarette butt, it’s still litter and it can still cause harm to our environment. If you’re driving and you have some trash in your car, it’s not a big hassle to wait until you get to a trash can. Let’s not forget big litter problems such as tires, mattresses and electronic waste. Unfortunately, it is common to see old tires even stacks of old tires dumped in empty lots and on street sideways. Not only are these illegally dumped tires an eyesore, but they create a health hazard because they are a breeding ground for mosquitos.  If you too are bother by litter, here’s what you can do to help: Call 311 to report any illegal dumping you see  and get your neighbors to be proactive in reducing trash in your neighborhood.

 Litter in our city sets an unappealing display to our tourists and people moving into Laredo. More importantly, litter can decrease the value of property, costs us money to clean up daily, impacts our health, animals and our environment. Let’s be litter-free and more responsible about Laredo’s environment!

Water Conservation in Laredo

by Isela Ramirez on 04/03/13

One of the most important resources on Earth that we cannot live without is water. Currently, the City of Laredo is considering applying water restrictions due to our city and state’s drought conditions. Laredo’s water source comes from the Rio Grande River which is an endangered river due to pollution and drought. To protect our water source and help Laredo’s drought conditions, here are some tips to save water at home:

Less water- Everyone likes to have a green plush lawn and with Laredo’s strong heat many people tend to overwater their lawn. Overwatering can create a moldy and unhealthy lawn. Grass only needs watering once every eight or ten days. To make sure your grass retains its moisture, water your lawn at night or early in the morning.   

Recycle your water- Don’t let water go to waste. There’s plenty of ways you can recycle your water such as watering your plants with water used to boil pasta or veggies and wash your car in your lawn to water your grass.

Fill it up-Don’t let the water flow while you’re washing your dishes, fill up your sink instead.

Grab a broom- While it may be easier to use a water hose to clean your driveway, use a broom! Sweep up your driveway and you’ll save many gallons of water.

Turn it off – There’s no reason to leave the water running while you’re shaving, washing your face or brushing your teeth in the bathroom sink. Fill up the sink to shave and wash your face. Turn off the water to brush your teeth. Leaving the water running adds up to gallons and gallons of good water being wasted every month.

Collect rainwater-On those rainy days, leave out buckets and collect rainwater. Save that water for your lawn, plants, or even for washing your car.

Quick shower – This is a popular repeated tip, but still important to share to keep your shower time to no more than 10 minutes. Bring a timer into your bathroom and set it to 8 minutes to help you manage your time.  To save even more water, brush your teeth while you shower.  

Make a change! Many people don’t value how water is vital to our quality of life. Not only will you be helping our environment, but you will see a lower water bill too! Contact Ecovative Changes to make your business or home green and save money! Call (956) 635-7760 or email iselarmz@ecovativechanges.com

Less is Green

by Isela Ramirez on 03/05/13

The amount of waste each person produces every year is enormous. Our landfills look like an infinite mountain of trash and a majority of that trash can be recycled, but goes to waste instead. We all need to reduce the trash we create to help our environment and give our landfills more space. Here are some helpful tips to reduce your waste:

Less plastic bags- There are not enough people in Laredo using reusable bags. One major problem considering pollution in Laredo is plastic bags. Everyday, plastic bags are flying around, caught in branches, and are unnecessarily thrown away instead of being recycled. If you’re forgetful about bringing your reusable bags, leave them in your car, set a reminder in your phone, or leave them by the door.

Fewer water bottles- It’s puzzling that nowadays people have the need to stay constantly hydrated and have a plastic water bottle in their hand. Even more puzzling is that it actually takes water to make a plastic water bottle. The big misconception which Dasani and other big brand plastic water bottle makers have made is advertise to society that plastic water bottles are safer, cleaner, and all natural. All lies. Don’t be fooled by their marketing schemes. You’re already paying for the water you have in home. Why not drink it? Buy a filter, use your reusable water bottle and save money. Tap water if perfectly safe and actually gets tested many more times for contaminants than these big brand corporations.

Less waste- The amount of waste we produce is staggering and this is not just harming us, but all living organisms in our environment.  Buy products you only need and will use for a long time to reduce waste. Don’t throw away your unwanted furniture, old electronics, clothes or anything you want to get rid of. Instead: Use Facebook to give away or sell your old stuff, be generous and give it to charity or if you need extra cash go to recycling centers. Several recycling centers in Laredo are now taking old electronics and give you cash for recycling.  

Pre-cycle- Most people don’t think of the amount of waste they bring into their homes when they go shopping. Pre-cycling is a great way to reduce waste and it’s less recycling too. The next time you go grocery shopping, look at how much packaging products have. Nowadays, products are pointlessly over packaged with different types of plastic, styrofoam, cardboard and other materials. Try to buy products that have less than two types of packaging.

Less is definitely green. It saves you money, time and helps our environment! 

If you’re looking to make your business or home eco-friendly, contact Isela Ramirez at (956) 635-7760 or email: iselarmz@ecovativechanges.com. Do you have green tips or ideas you would like to share? Contact me to post your tips here!

Take it a Step Further

by Isela Ramirez on 01/09/13

As we start a new year, it’s time to make green changes for our city and help preserve Laredo’s scenic environment. While it’s great that many people are recycling and reducing their carbon footprint in their homes, here are some ideas to take it up a notch to go green:

1.       Less trash – Litter is a common problem here in Laredo from gum wrappers to mattresses, litter is litter doesn’t matter the size. We can’t stop every litterbug out there so be the example and pick up other people’s trash and throw it in the trash can. If possible pick up plastic bottles, plastic bags and add them to your blue recycle bag. You’re not only helping to reduce trash in Laredo, but you’re taking an extra step to collect trash that can be recycled.

2.       No straws- Some of you might think, how much harm can straws do? Straws are made out of plastic which contain petroleum and other chemicals, it takes a huge amount of energy, and we only use it for a one time quick use then off to the trash it goes. Reduce your use of plastic and next time you’re at a restaurant drink your beverage without a straw.

3.       Stop idling! -  Another common problem in Laredo is idling. Many people leave their cars turned on while either waiting for someone or talking on the phone. In several cities in the U.S., it is against the law to leave your car idling for more than 10 minutes. Idling creates more carbon emissions into the atmosphere, causes air pollution and affects our lungs. Don’t waste your gas, reduce air pollution for Laredo and don’t leave your car idling for more than 3 minutes.

4.       Go outside- We are spending too much time indoors that we have forgotten how to good and healthy it is to be outside. Yes, Laredo gets extremely hot from May to September, but when the weather is tolerable make an effort to spend time outside. There’s countless activities to do outside that are better than any electronic gadget. Turn off your TV, iPads, Xbox and enjoy the outdoors!

5.       Grow your own food- You may have noticed that sometimes the fruits and veggies you buy at grocery stores aren’t ripe, are stale, or even taste artificial. Control the amount of chemicals and pesticides in your food and grow your own at home. You don’t need a big yard to grow your own fruits and veggies, reuse items you no longer use such as containers, and start growing some food. All you need is good soil, seeds, sunlight, water and care.

Hopefully these ideas will spread out and even spark up new ones. Many cities in Texas and in the nation are making huge changes to go green and it’s time that Laredo joins in! Contact Ecovative Changes to get your business or home green at (956) 635-7760/ Email: iselarmz@ecovativechanges.com