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Going Green – Owner Tips

At Wyndham we are committed to minimizing our environmental impact through conservation, education, innovation and programs in our local communities. Last year, WorldMark by Wyndham celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Earth Day with a request for owner tips on going green and we were overwhelmed with your positive and creative responses. To celebrate this environmental holiday again, we invited you to email us your best personal tips for going green. Needless to say we were once again amazed by the imaginative responses! See what owners have been doing to be Green!

Owner Tips on Going Green

Our family saves water in rain barrels (makeshift trash cans) which we have adapted to our gutter system at different locations around the house. We have many fruit trees and use this water for them. This last storm we saved over 200 gallons of water. We hope to better our system so we can store more water.

Sandra and Gabriel Zacatelco, Santa Ana, Calif.

I replaced my old steel front door with a fiberglass front door and replaced all of my old windows with triple paned glass windows to save energy.  I have saved more than 40% in energy since I made the change!  Next I am planning to upgrade my older appliances for more energy conservation and to help the planet.

Victoria Keisner, Mount Vernon, Wash.

We routinely recycle our food garbage into our recycling bin (which is almost as big as our garbage can) and then into our "red worm" bin. The red worms eat it readily and produce what Oregonians call "black gold" for composting onto your flower pots tops, your garden and anything you are growing.  It is wonderful, because every time we pour the compost out onto a board, we collect the worms, split up our tightly bound up worm ball and then put the compost onto the garden.  The red worms LOVE freshly cut grass, weeds, large stalks of tomato plants, etc.  Good green way to do things!

Jane Spence, Tillamook, Ore.

I recycle with a local company and slowly I have gotten my neighbors to start too. I take them a bag and pick it up every other week. I have to drive 42 miles to take in the stuff, but I do it on the way to work. My neighbors have chickens so I have one bucket on my counter for scraps for them and one for compost. Also, this past month I have exchanged my toilet for water conservation version. I do many more things just to get by. I save on heating bills by burning wood, and insulating one thing a year - that is a tax credit! We all need to work together just to save a little at a time goes a long way.

Kathy Fink, Colorado City, Colo.

In the process of building a new house, we currently live in my mother-in-laws basement.  Living with her two teenage children has been a struggle as they are not nearly as 'conscious' about discarding things like we are.  We convinced them to participate in the city's voluntary recycling program and have been able to go from using two large city trash bins per week to recycling over 75% of our household items used and only throwing out one-two garbage bags per week.  We have also worked at reducing the amount of power used in the last year by about 50%.  Now if we could get the two high school kids to start car pooling.

Mitch & Rosa Sherman, Pocatello, Idaho

We bought a paper shredder and ALL of our paper that doesn’t go in our compost bucket, except colored items, goes through the shredder. Then it goes on our compost. It’s amazing how much less we put out in the garbage.  

Kathy Harris, Wenatchee, Wash.

My family has cut out using paper towels for everything, since we have to wash anyway. I now use dish towels in the kitchen instead of a paper towel for everything. Napkins will be our next change - instead of paper napkins at the table, cloth will be nice. We also take the water that would be going down the drain while waiting for the shower to heat up and place a bucket under the faucet to use for watering the plants and yard. And, I have started taking my refill cup with me when I go to Starbucks, it's a nice change and I feel like I am helping in my small way.

Yvonne Oberlender, Cedar Park, Texas

Turn off computer monitors when leaving at the end of each work day – even “hibernating” uses energy. Use re-usable plates, bowls, cups – wash with biodegradable detergent at work. If you have to use plastic bottles of water – re-fill them for at least a week before trashing them. This one everyone knows – slit or cut plastic drink holders from six-packs so there are no complete circles. Recycle!  If you can’t afford to pay the fees charged by your city, find someone who uses the service and ask if you can put your cardboard, etc. in their recycle bin.

Shawna Wiberg, Roy, Utah

I have two rain barrels for collecting rain water which I use to water my plants. Also a worm bin where I get rid of almost all of my garbage.  Then use the worm castings and the worm juice as fertilizer. You would be surprised at how much the RED SQUIGLELY WORMS eat and how fast they reproduce.  I've eliminated all the grass in the front and replaced it with drought-tolerant plants, saving on water, fertilizer and upkeep of a lawn. Also, our car is never washed in the driveway.  The soap just drains into our lakes, streams and eventually to the Puget Sound.  If you want to wash your own vehicles at home do it on the lawn.

Dianne Boerger, Auburn, Wash.

When I change my cat’s water bowl each day I water my plants with it instead of just letting it go down the drain.

Elizabeth Egan, San Clemente, Calif.

Everything in our home is used over and over until it is not useable any longer then it is recycled or composted.  Examples are Ziploc bags, plastic containers, glass jars, cloth bags, etc. Shopping trips always include cloth bags.  Very little goes into the garbage can each week. 

Cindy Ward, Stockton, Calif.

I do not put my garbage container out every week for pickup because I do not have very much.  Sometimes I can go a month without putting it out.  My reasoning is that less fuel is used by the truck if it doesn’t have to stop at each house.

Joanne Campbell, Boise, Idaho

Our family bought plain old buckets from the cleaning supply section and used them to collect water in the shower while waiting for it to get warm.  We use it wash the tub, sink and flush the toilet!  It saved us a lot of money!  We relocated to California. and had to pay an average rate for our sewer last year.  This year, we are in the lowest rate bracket!  ka- ching! We also have three kids who end up wearing out socks regularly.  I usually notice these when I am folding the laundry and this goes for the long lost pair that never pairs up.  Instead of throwing those away immediately, I put them in a pile (behind the hamper) and use it to clean the blinds with.  It fits right into my hands and I am giving one more use before I toss them into the garbage.  No paper towels needed!

Nicole Barto, Windsor, Calif.

I have two buckets in my shower and use them to save the cold water while warming up the water before I shower. I use them to water my plants, clean my bathroom and even flush the toilet.

Mimi Jimenez, San Diego, Calif.

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