Resource Library/10% Challenge

From Green Needham
Jump to: navigation, search

10% Energy Challenge More Ideas: Add up the carbon credits for the actions you plan to take and type them into the box on Action 19 of the 10% Challenge. Remember to count only the new actions you are taking.

  • Start Recycling: If you are not currently recycling but will start recycling your household waste (paper, glass, bottles and cans, plastics, etc), credit yourself 1000 pounds of CO2 avoided.

  • Expand your recycling. If you are already recycling the basics but can add items such as cell phones, ink cartridges, sneakers, "techno trash," scrap metal, building materials, etc., credit yourself with 200 pounds of CO2 avoided. For ideas, see Recycling just about everything

  • Stop junk mail (click here to find out how) and go to paperless billing as much as possible. Give yourself 800 pounds of CO2 avoided if you add this to your plan.

  • Change the margins -- an easy, small change that can make a big difference if enough people do it. Default margins on the computer are often set at 1 to 1.25 inches. Simply setting the margins to .75 inch will save paper every time you print. There's actually a national campaign to get individuals, companies, and universities to adopt small margins. Check out for more information, including instructions on how to change your margins. Give yourself 100 pounds of CO2 avoided per year if you reduce your margins.

  • Print on draft mode (inkjet printer). This mode is fine for many uses and will greatly extend the life of expensive ink cartridges. Give yourself 100 pounds of CO2 avoided per year if you start to use draft mode.

  • Clean your refrigerator coils to keep the appliance running efficiently. (Make sure to unplug it first.) You'll be surprised at how much dust and pet hair can accumulate. Consult your usage manual or visit Give yourself 100 pounds of CO2 avoided if you clean your refrigerator coils.

  • Start a compost pile. (Compost bins are available at the DPW building on Dedham Ave. for $15 and $20. Instructions are provided.) Give yourself 400 pounds of CO2 avoided if you add this to your plan.

  • Line dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. Give yourself 700 pounds of CO2 avoided if you stop using the dryer (or 350 pounds if you plan to do it half the time).

  • Upgrade your window coverings. Add insulating curtains or double cell cellular shades to increase the r value of your windows. Check local home supply stores or order online (google "double cell cellular shades" or "insulating curtains.") If you add insulating shades or curtains, give yourself a credit of 400 pounds of CO2 avoided.

  • Keep your water heater thermostat no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Credit yourself 500 pounds of CO2 avoided if you turn down your water heater to 120 degrees. Click here for more information about water heater temperature and how to change it.

  • Consider offsetting your CO2 emissions. After you've done all you can to cut your own emissions, you can balance out some of your remaining emissions by supporting projects that cut CO2. See Green Needham's information on carbon offsets (including NStar's new wind energy option). If you buy a carbon offset, add the number of pounds offset and add it into your carbon credit. If you sign up for NStar's program, credit yourself 2000 pounds of CO2 avoided for covering 1/2 your electrical use, and 4000 pounds of CO2 avoided for covering all your electrical use.

Member tips Look at suggestions that members and friends have sent us!

Do you have more ideas that have worked for you? E-mail us at and tell us about your ideas.