Saving Money While Saving the Earth

By Shyla Parsons

Money. The one item that can bring so much joy and fear at the same time.

What if I told you that you could save money by being eco-friendly as well. Other than some of your basic ways at home: letting the sun into your house, changing your diet or even walking more – you can save money in the workplace too.

Back in 2016, the Morgantown City Council declared it as the “Year to Go Green.”

This was a community-wide plan to clean up the city of Morgantown. In response to that, Friends of Decker’s Creek and the Morgantown Green Team created a business coalition. Their mission is to get local business of Morgantown involved to go green. They are helping teach these businesses that they can save money by going green.

 

 

Again in 2018, they revised their plan to better the community and planet even more! This created the Morgantown Municipal Green Team Strategic Plan.

 

Now, let’s go back to the the basics, because small steps lead to success – right?

 

Cutting back on the use on energy, not only saves you money on your bills, it is also better for the environment. Another great factor includes jobs. By using more reusable energy sources creates the need for more jobs. Back in 2014, the green energy industry employed 7.7 million people.

A study from 2009, conducted by Union of Concerned Scientists, found that by reducing the demand of fossil fuels will lead to lower and more stable natural gases and coal prices for electricity generations. This saying, that by 2025, the typical household would save more than $67 in annual gas and electricity costs.

 

According to Earth Friends: some simple ways to conserve energy at work or home, which results in saving money, include           (see website for full list)

  • turning life off when leaving a room
  • turn of computers at the end of the day, as well as the actual power strip
  • adjust temperature at the end of the day
  • replace light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs

By going green, you can save money. Leaving your wallet happy and the earth happy.

Money does buy happiness!

Waste Bins: More To Them Than You Think

By Shyla Parsons

Walking around the campus of West Virginia University, you have probably seen two types of waste bins. One bin allowing you to throw away regular waste, while the other one allows you to recycle your waste.

 

In 2017, West Virginia University gathered 1,455 of recyclable items. This number may seem high, but is actually lower than what was gathered back in 2016.

 

Due to the decline in numbers, the University has been working to improve their ability for all types of items to be recycled. With the installment of single-stream recycling, WVU has had a 60% increase on their campus.

 

Using these bins for single-stream recycling allows the community to participate in recycling, without worrying about what items they are throwing into the bins. Meaning, it makes it easier for consumers to recycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While many students may look past these bins without any thought in recycling, others are participating in this recycling program without realizing it. By allowing a variety of all items to be recycled, lets the normal trash bins be used for only non-recyclable items.

These everyday items are not the only things that can be recycled on campus. The Office of Sustainability allows for almost anything to be recycled. Many people may not realize that they can also recycle old electronics and ink cartridges too.

 

So if you’re wanting to begin a more green lifestyle, but getting started is too much to wrap your brain around, just begin by those old electronics that you have sitting around. You know, the ones you have had for years, that continue to take up space. Instead of worrying about nobody wanting to buy them, you can take them on campus and recycle them.

 

Recycling is an easy way to get started with going green, and doesn’t always have to be plastics or metals. It can be anything from phones, laptops, to something as simple as clothes.. Yes, even clothes are able to be recycled on campus.

You can learn more about what items you are wanting to recycle here.

 

Longview Power; In For The Long Run

When you first see one of these bad boys, your first reaction is to probably think, “pollution.” Everybody has that first initial response to thinking that any smoke stack is what is killing the planet, or even worse, the cause to global warming. Power plants do put off a large amount of gases, that can be harmful to our health and the environment. However, in Morgantown that isn’t the case anymore.

Back in 2011, Longview Power Plant was commissioned, being of the ‘newest, cleanest, most efficient coal-fired power plant.’

What makes Longview more efficient, is that this plant releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, when compared to other power plants. Longview produces a percentage of its power by using natural gases. Not only does using natural gas provide a cleaner way for producing heat and electricity, it also is more economically friendly.

It doesn’t stop there though. Longview also announced that it plans to launch solar power panels, beginning in 2022. While WV falls behind when it comes to natural gas power plants, this will put the wild and wonderful state one step closer to becoming more green. The idea that a power plant that is used for electricity and heating is able to produce those usages with a solar panel and more natural gases, is every eco-friendly lover’s dream.

While this is a big step for the use of power in the state of West Virginia, hopefully it can bring other states to using more efficient fuels for their plants as well. By helping clean up these plants;  these plants can help us clean up our Earth.