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Dedicated to Going Green? Follow These 10 Easy Steps

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RISMEDIA, April 26, 2011—Given the pressing environmental challenges facing the world, one day just doesn’t seem like enough to celebrate the earth and make long-term environmental changes. Why not use this month as inspiration and make a commitment to do environmentally friendly activities throughout the year?

Here are just 10 ideas, along with some online resources, that you could try.

Green your office–Establish a green team with colleagues to address ways to reduce your office’s impact. A recycling program is obvious. Other strategies could entail ridding the kitchen of disposable goods, replacing equipment that hogs energy, improving lighting and HVAC systems, installing a bike rack, and replacing grass around the office with a vegetable garden or native plants. For more information, visit www.greenyour.com/office.

Shop locally–Swear off buying stuff from faraway places, even if it saves some pennies. Just consider the impact that packaging and shipping your goods has on the environment. Instead, shop locally. Walking to shops saves energy and you also help neighborhood businesses thrive.

Make mini moves–Build new habits that will have an ongoing impact. Those could include the basics, such as switching to CFL bulbs, fixing water leaks (www.epa.gov/WaterSense), or cutting the phantom power at home.

Do an energy audit–Invest in an energy audit to figure out exactly how your house wastes energy. Even if you’re on a tight budget, commit yourself to making some of the changes the auditor suggests, and start setting aside money for costlier upgrades. Find an auditor at RESNET, www.resnet.us/trade/find-raters-auditors.

Go car-free–Reorganize your schedule so you can take public transit or walk to work and errands at least a day a week.

Become a locavore–Rely on local providers for your weekly produce by shopping at a farmers’ market or joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. And when it’s time for gift giving, consider buying CSA memberships for friends and clients. www.localharvest.org

Share your knowledge–Offer to make a presentation to colleagues at a weekly sales meeting about green changes they can make. Or pass the torch to the next generation by organizing an environmental event at a school or with a Girl Scout troop.

Raise your profile–Whether it’s a community garden, a rails-to-trails group, or a transit improvement committee, get involved in your community. Your participation raises your profile and connects you with new prospective clients, and your efforts have a direct impact on improving your community.

Learn something new–Still fuzzy on the details of programs like LEED or Energy Star? Wondering about new rebates and incentives? Spend two hours each week getting up to speed on industry programs and trends. One resource for such education is the Green REsource Council’s Webinars, one of the many great benefits available to NAR Green Designees. All the Webinars are archived at http://greenresourcecouncil.org/webinars.cfm for deisngees, and they include sessions on Energy Star, EPA’s WaterSense, USGBC’s REGREEN , LEED for Homes, and NAHB’s Green Building Program.

Refer a colleague—Find out how much colleagues have benefitted by earning NAR’s GREEN Designation and urge others to get green education. Discuss the greater knowledge you have to advise clients and how the designation has allowed you to best prepare your business for a changing world in which consumers increasingly value an efficient, sustainable housing stock. Right now, the Green REsource Council is offering a discount on the online Core Course and Residential elective. Registrants can save nearly $100 off the original price of the online courses.

For more information, see http://greenresourcecouncil.org/.

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