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12 ways to go green on a budget

A recent Earth Day survey from consumer website RetailMeNot revealed that 94 percent of Americans would purchase green products. When asked the top reasons we have for not living a completely “green” lifestyle, 42 percent of respondents said because it is too expensive. Seven in ten consumers (70 percent) will only consider buying “green” products if they cost the same as or less than non-green products.

Most people said they would be more willing to buy energy-efficient appliances and electronics or environmentally friendly water bottles than items such as solar panels and hybrid vehicles.

Those are pretty major purchases (except water bottles), but it is possible to start small and still make changes. In recognition of Earth Day, here are 12 things you can do (one per month) to live a greener life by the end of a year … without spending more money.

  1. Take advantage of online resources that offer tips on greening your life. One of my favorites is www.theGreenGuide.comIt is a consumer-focused site that provides information on products and practices that help you live a healthier, greener lifestyle.
  2. Many health and environmentally conscious individuals buy organic foods, but another option is to buy local. Local farmers may use pesticides, but probably not the massive amounts that large companies do. And when you buy at farmers markets, you can always ask the farmers about their practices. Buying local also means you can get fresher produce while supporting local businesses.
  3. Get digital subscriptions to magazines. Request e-bills. Purchase e-tickets. Read e-books and e-file your taxes. Reducing the paper in your life is a big step in living green.
  4. Walk — or at least plan the most efficient driving route — for your weekend errands. Try carpooling or taking public transportation to work, even if it is just once or twice a week to start.
  5. Vow to make one day per week a meat-free day in your diet. You may enjoy it enough to try it more often.
  6. Reuse items instead of buying ones made from recycled materials. For example, don’t buy disposable cups made of recycled materials; use a water bottle or coffee mug.
  7. Remember to take your reusable bags into the grocery store (or any other store) when you are shopping instead of letting them pile up in your trunk.
  8. Support businesses that are committed to green practices.
  9. Research and invest in green beauty products that will give you the results you desire. You can reduce your exposure to chemicals and support environmentally sound practices while still being glamorous.
  10. Don’t just fill your home with CFL and LED bulbs. Remember to turn off the lights when they are not in use. Employ other strategies to keep energy costs low such as opening the blinds or drapes in the winter to let the sun heat your home and wearing layers of clothing indoors so you can turn down the heat.
  11. If you’ve never shopped thrift or consignment stores, give it a try. Make thrifting a fun adventure by joining special events.
  12. Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need it. Wasting money means more waste overall when you accumulate items you don’t need or use.

Be sure to check these freebies/discounts and events for Earth Day.

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  • Responding to concerns about personal security for lawmakers after last week’s gun attack at a Congressional baseball practice, U.S. House leaders are moving to provide extra money to members for protection back home, as well as new funding to bolster the work of police and security officials on Capitol Hill. Under a plan approved by a House spending subcommittee on Friday, the Congress would provide an extra $7.5 million next year to the Capitol Police for an “increased security posture” around the Capitol, along with $5 million to the House Sergeant at Arms to help with security for lawmakers back in their districts. “We are taking a new fresh look at security,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), the Chairman of subcommittee that deals with funding for the Legislative Branch. Our FY18 Legislative Branch funding bill increases efficiency & transparency in Congress, enhances security for Members & our constituents. pic.twitter.com/FI36tF2XeH — Rep. Kevin Yoder (@RepKevinYoder) June 22, 2017 “The tragic events of June 14 weigh heavily on these deliberations,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which could vote on the extra money as early as this next week. Also being put into motion is a separate plan to funnel an extra $25,000 to each member of the House – about $11 million in all – to help them increase security back in their districts. “The scariest part for us is there used to be this impression by the public that we all had security everywhere we went,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). “Now, everyone knows that isn’t the case,” Ryan added, as he lent his support to the extra funding for security as well. The money in this budget bill would not take effect until the new fiscal year – which starts October 1 – so, House leaders are ready to okay extra money immediately for members worried about security back in their districts. Roll Call newspaper reported that could be approved in coming days by the House Administration Committee. Yoder said Congressional leaders are also waiting to see if money raised in campaign contributions for House elections could be put to use for security as well. “Pending an FEC (Federal Election Commission) decision, we’re also looking at whether campaign funds could be used to continue to support security upgrades at personal residences,” Yoder added.
  • An unknown aged girl went to the hospital with burns to her legs, following an overnight house fire. KRMG’s told the fire started around 2:40 a.m., at a residence on West 50th Court North. The homeowner says he was able to get his daughter, grand daughter and sleeping brother out of the house. So far, firefighters haven't released a cause for the fire.  The homeowner believes fumes from a gas can in the garage may have cause the blaze.   
  • Multiple people had to be rescued early Saturday morning in Rogers County. OTEMS paramedics report a boat started to sink on Oologah Lake just after midnight. “Additional information was received that the boat had its nose in the air, four individuals were in the water, and only one was wearing a PDF (personal flotation device),” an official said. “A Rogers County Deputy spotted what might be the boat south of Winganon Bridge but was unable to determine the precise location. However it was located by the Northwest Water Rescue unit and at 0048 hours the rescue boat reported that it had located the victims and was loading the fourth individual into the boat.” KRMG’s told the victims were hanging onto the hull when they were found. So far, no injuries have been reported.  Officials also haven’t released any names.   We do know the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has taken over the investigation.  
  • Tulsa investigators are looking for a driver who fled the scene, after hitting a male pedestrian late Friday night. Police report the auto-pedestrian collision happened around 11:34 p.m., near East Admiral and North Yale. “The pedestrian victim has been declared deceased at this time,” police said.   Investigators don't have a description of the driver or the car.  Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.
  • We know this might start an argument, but according to Business Insider, Oklahoma's most famous band EVER is the Flaming Lips. Business Insider admits the song 'She Don't Use Jelly' is the Norman-based indie rockers only U.S. hit. But they say the band has had many hits in the U.K. and Europe and, even more impressive, three Grammys to their credit. Some on the list are hard to argue with, like Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band in New Jersey or Nirvana in Washington State. You can see the entire list of the most famous bands here.