Author Archive

AWESOME List – WITI South Florida

Women in Technology International (WITI) is a professional organization that we both belong to.  If it weren’t for WITI, we may have never have met (although we feel the universe would have brought us together somehow).  This group is unique in that it provides both educational and networking focused events that seek to build relationships, rather than just exchanging business cards.  What we like best at WITI events is that there is a “No one stands alone policy” at all gatherings.  This means that if you attend a WITI event alone, you won’t need to stress about meeting other people and having someone to talk to.  The events are full of fun and information and you are guaranteed to meet some really interesting people.  Oh, and guys are welcome too!  Check out WITI.  If you are curious, but don’t want to make the “commitment” then come to one of WITI South Florida’s Geek Girl Happy Hours to get a taste of what WITI is about.   The Happy Hours are free to attend and are very relaxed and fun.  We hope to see you at a future event!

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Green Tip of the Day – Water

I was inspired to write this week about water due to a call to action to all bloggers from the Change.org Blog Action Day.  Here are two tips and some resources to help you change your water use habits for the better!

At home or on the go, reduce or eliminate your bottled water consumption.  Use a water filter (either pitcher, faucet attached or under sink) and a reusable water bottle.  This not only eliminates the plastic used for the bottles and the cost to transport those bottles, but also reduces the energy needed to recycle.  If you are on the go and need a refill, check out Tapit for establishments that will happily refill your bottle.

At the office, install a water cooler and filtration system that is either connected to your building’s plumbing or check out the newest innovative water cooler from Island Sky Water that pulls the humidity out of the air and turns it into clean, fresh drinking water for everyone in your office.  Either of these systems will eliminate the need for those ungainly 5-gallon water bottles – who wants to transport, store and get them on and off the water cooler anyway?

There are obviously more steps you can take to reduce your water footprint , which I will cover in the future, but either of these steps is a great one to start on your work of becoming leaner and greener in both your personal life and your business.

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Green Tip of the Day – Ecological Footprint

Have you ever wondered what your ecological footprint is?  We did and searched around for some calculators online.  We really like the calculator from the Global Footprint Network.  It is fun and interactive.  Don’t be shocked by the outcome!  I drive a hybrid and don’t eat much meat and my impact was much greater then I expected.  Once you complete the quiz, they offer tips to reduce your impact.   So, we challenge you to calculate your footprint and tell us how it went in the comments section below.  Are there any small changes you can make to reduce your impact?

Green Tip of the Day – Envelopes

What to do with all those envelopes you get with your bills, but don’t use because you pay your bills online? Of course, the greenest way to reduce your envelope consumption is to have your bills delivered via email, but that doesn’t work for everyone.  The next most obvious answer is to recycle them.  However, there is a way to get one last use out of them before they go into the recycle bin.  Use them for shopping lists and put any coupons you have for those items on your list in the envelope.  This helps keep you organized, stick to your list and save some money because you remembered the coupons.  Once you get back from shopping – don’t forget to toss that envelope into the recycling bin!

Green Tip – Unplug

Ever heard of vampire power?  It is the electricity your appliances suck out of the grid even when not in use.  Basically, anything with a light on it, like your DVR.  For more in-depth information on vampire power, check this out.

I’m kind of crazy about unplugging things like my hairdryer, toaster, coffee machine, etc.  Not sure if this makes a huge difference, but I have the lowest electricity bills amongst a couple neighbors of mine (who live in similar size houses with the same amount of people and dogs) that I’ve polled.  Almost 50% less in one case!  There are other things I do to save on energy costs (more on that in later posts) that I am sure contribute more to my energy savings, but one of our Simple Lean & Green mottos is small changes add up over time into large results.  Every small effort counts towards saving money and saving the planet!

Obviously, it is a pain in the popo to go around unplugging and plugging things back in again all the time.  Technology has come to the rescue!  I haven’t used this product yet myself and this is by no means an endorsement, so please do your own research before purchasing.  Check out the smart power strip which seems to do the unplugging for you.

Speaking of unplugging, why not try an electronic sabbatical and unplug yourself?  I’ve read about a few people doing this on either a regular or once in a while basis. This means not turning on your computer, or cell phone or TV, etc. for a certain period of time.  It could be a day or a week or maybe even a few hours.  During a recent vacation, I watched very little TV and only got on the computer to check on travel arrangements.  I also shut my cell phone off (mostly because my provider charges crazy international rates).   I can honestly say that I didn’t miss any of it very much and actually enjoyed the “unplugged” time a lot.

For another example of someone’s experience during an electronic sabbatical click here.

Green Tip of the Day – Driving

Everyone knows that we are burning a lot of fossil fuels with all the driving that we do, but we have to get from A to B somehow.  Depending on where you live, where you need to go and when you need to go, taking public transportation is not always an option.  So, I asked myself, “What is a girl to do?” and following are a few “Rules of the Road” that I have collected from various sources over the past few years:

Drive the highest miles per gallon vehicle that you can.  Ok, you have four kids, so a Yaris isn’t going to work for you, but there are always options.  Even saving a few MPGs is going to save you money in the long run

Keep your vehicle in good condition and make sure your tires are always properly inflated.

Combine trips and plan your route ahead of time to minimize the miles you have to drive.  This will not only save money, but will also save time!  Oh, and make sure your write that shopping list before you go (and bring it with you – that is the hard thing for me to remember) so you don’t forget the milk and have to “run” back to the store.

Don’t make that trip!  Personally, instead of going to the library to look for that book I want to read, I go online to my library’s website to make sure it is there and, if not, place a hold on the book and go pick it up when it is there.  This saves me the hassle of an extra trip.

Lastly, you could always ride a bike…which reminds me, I have got to get my bike in working order – cool weather is coming soon to South Florida!