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12 ways to go green on a budget

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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.com It 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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  • Two days after the FBI Director confirmed that an investigation was underway into election meddling by Russia and any ties to the Trump Campaign, the Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee announced that U.S. Intelligence had legally monitored actions of the Trump transition, and maybe even some communications of Mr. Trump himself. Here is what we know: 1. What is in this new information? House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said he had been provided with raw intelligence intercepts which showed information related to President-Elect Trump and members of the Trump Transition team. Nunes would not identify who had provided him with the information, which he seemed to indicate came through regular channels, possibly by a whistle blower inside the U.S. Intelligence Community – it just wasn’t clear. But what was clear was that he took the information to President Trump and the White House before telling his committee, and Democratic members on that panel. Whoa. At presser, Nunes just revealed IC collected info about Americans associated w/ the Trump transition team—separate from Russia probe. — Eric Geller (@ericgeller) March 22, 2017 2. Nunes: It has nothing to do with Russia. One puzzling part of the dramatic announcement by Nunes was that the subject matter did not relate to the probe into election meddling by Russia in 2016, or ties between Russia and the Trump Campaign. If that indeed is the case, then the communications monitored by U.S. Intelligence must have been focused on some other foreign intelligence targets which were being monitored by the United States. Was it other nations that are on the radar of U.S. Intelligence? Certain foreigners who are the target of a criminal investigation? It wasn’t clear. Rep. Devin Nunes: The reports I've seen 'did not have anything to do with Russia or the Russia investigation” https://t.co/sCYhWJArgW — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 3. What is incidental collection? Is it legal? This is one of those bureaucratic phrases that sounds complicated, but really isn’t. First, incidental collection of an American during a wiretap of a foreigner is totally legal. In this situation (as described by Nunes), officials of the Trump Transition – or maybe even the President-Elect at the time – could have been in contact with foreign persons who are under surveillance. When that happens, that is known as “incidental collection.” While there are rules on how that is dealt with, just because a U.S. citizen appears on a wiretap involving a foreigner does not mean that U.S. Intelligence suddenly stops listening. Nunes said the intercepts showed that information with no intelligence value was circulated widely inside the Intelligence Community. Rep. Devin Nunes: The reports I've seen 'did not have anything to do with Russia or the Russia investigation” https://t.co/sCYhWJArgW — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 4. Democrats hit the roof. Democrats were outraged by the Nunes move, immediately saying that it raises questions about how Nunes could lead a bipartisan review of the election interference charges against Russia. The Top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (R-CA) expressed his displeasure in a statement, and at his own news conference. “You don’t take information that the committee hasn’t seen and present it orally to the press and the White House, before the committee has a chance to even vet whether it is significant.” Rep. Adam Schiff: “This is not how you conduct an investigation” https://t.co/J6dJQWqV9d https://t.co/IMLTAxmn5p — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 5. New calls for an independent probe on Russia. The dustup over the Nunes announcement opened a new door for Democrats to demand an independent investigation of the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, as Democrats have long been suspicious of Nunes, who was a member of the Trump Transition team. “Unfortunately, I think the actions of today throw great doubt into the ability of both the Chairman and the committee to conduct the investigation the way it ought to be conducted,” Schiff said at his own news conference. Schiff says Nunes needs to decide if he is Chair of independent oversight committee or surrogate for the White House https://t.co/5AaB4kTNjI — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 6. More partisan elbows from both sides. It didn’t take long for both parties to weigh in, for and against Nunes. “The unprecedented comments of Chairman Nunes are an act of diversion and desperation,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who labeled the Nunes brief of President Trump, “highly irregular conduct.” On the other side, the statements were just as pointed. “The Chairman’s statements today detailing the incidental collection and dissemination of the Presidential transition team’s communications is highly concerning,” said Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH). I used to deal with FISA SIGINT all the time. That's some seriously compartmented stuff, folks. I am still in shock about Nunes' disclosure. — John Schindler (@20committee) March 22, 2017 7. White House welcomes Nunes information. After taking all sorts of flak for claiming that he had been wiretapped by President Obama, President Trump and his aides found themselves with some new ammunition in their arguments about how U.S. Intelligence has treated Mr. Trump. Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the Nunes information was a “startling revelation.” The President – who has routinely ignored questions about his Twitter wiretap claims – was more than happy to give a quote to the TV cameras, saying it made him feel vindicated. President Trump on if he feels vindicated by Rep. Devin Nunes’ comments: “I somewhat do” https://t.co/5WJCX615rG — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 22, 2017 This could well boil over again next week, when the House Intelligence Committee holds a second public hearing about Russia on Tuesday, March 28.
  • When Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler talks about the Latwon Goff investigation, one can hear the frustration in his voice. Goff made the list of Tulsa’s Most Wanted at the age of 16 for a string of armed robberies. He was caught, arrested, and convicted after entering guilty pleas on eight counts in February of 2015. But shortly after he turned 18, and under Oklahoma law as a youthful offender, he received a judicial review of his case. That’s when Tulsa District Judge Sharon Holmes, acting on the advice of the Office of Juvenile Affairs, ordered that his guilty pleas be expunged, that he be allowed to change those pleas to not guilty, and that the charges against him be dismissed. And that, according to Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, came as something of a shock. “To just somehow think that he magically changed what was probably a lifetime of bad decisions, I just found it hard to comprehend that we can just take the word of somebody like that, and cut somebody like that loose without any monitoring,” he told KRMG Wednesday. Goff was arrested after a pursuit in Tulsa Wednesday on suspicion of two armed robberies earlier in the day. But police were already looking for him in connection with a murder in Dallas. Investigators there named him as a suspect in the killing of Jason Eli Edwards, 39, in February. That was just two months after Judge Holmes ordered his release. [CLICK HERE to see the online court records of Goff’s 2015 case] But apparently it didn’t take him even that long to find more trouble. He reportedly told Tulsa detectives he committed an armed robbery within four hours of his release from custody last December. Kunzweiler tells KRMG his office argued strenously against turning Goff loose. “Of course now, he’s accused of committing a horrible offense,” Kunzweiler said. “If he is in fact the person responsible for the death of that person, our system up here failed that family.” He added that he will work with prosecutors in Dallas to determine the best course of action now that Goff faces charges in both jurisdictions.
  • A Hollywood screenwriter has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Walt Disney Pictures off ripping off his idea for last year’s blockbuster film “Zootopia.” Gary L. Goldman, known for his work on “Total Recall” in both 1990 and 2012, “Minority Report” and “Big Trouble in Little China, alleged in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that Disney copied a franchise he pitched to the studio in 2000 and 2009.  Disney denied the allegations in a statement, calling the lawsuit “riddled with patently false allegations.” “It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court,” Disney said. Goldman said in the lawsuit that he pitched Disney the idea for “Zootopia” about a society of animals exploring life in America. He included drawings in the suit that show a remarkable similarity between the animated characters he said he presented to Disney and the characters Disney used in the film. He also listed in the suit other films he contends Disney stole including “The Lion King,” “Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc.” It’s unclear what kind of compensation Goldman may be seeking from Disney, but box office analyst comScore reported “Zootopia” made more than $341 million in domestic ticket sales.
  • A Michigan State University student has received dozens of phone calls after creating and sharing a dating resume. Joey Adams, 21, was inspired to make the resume after asking out a girl who eventually rejected him, the Lansing State Journal reported. 'She asked if I had a dating resume,' he said. 'I didn't have one, so she told me no.' Adams shared his dating resume online last week after a woman posted on the university's class of 2018 Facebook page saying her roommate needed a date for a formal. The resume included hobbies and what he looks for in a romantic partner. Adams said it started as a joke, but the resume rapidly gained popularity. Less than a week later, Adams has been featured on BuzzFeed and 'Good Morning America.' There's also been a growing push through social media to have Adams on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show.' 'It's been a cool experience, and my mom is really loving it,' he said. Adams has since been invited to several formals in and around Lansing, some of which he plans to attend. The college junior says the phone calls are 'overwhelming,' especially during midterms week. 'I'm wishing things would go back to normal even though I know it won't happen soon,' he said. 'But for now I'm just having fun riding the wave.
  • We repeat, new emojis are on the way. Many people get very excited about new emoji, which in case you don't know, are the little smiley faces and other such pictographs people use in text messages. According to Emojipedia, they'll be released in June, but might take longer to show up on some operating systems, depending on when those are updated. Word is there will be 56 new ones, including a giraffe, a rock climber, a bearded man, a face with a monocle, and a face making the shush gesture with its finger, among others. What emoji do you think you need in your life? Send us an open mic on the KRMG app and tell us. Click here to see the full list of possible new emojis.