Good morning KI Green, and happy Friday! Two days left to submit your sustainability efforts to the KI Star Steward Contest. If you’re holding back because you don’t think your efforts are worthy, you’re probably a better steward than you know. We found an awesome site, “The Everyday Environmentalist” that categorizes sustainable practices by work, play, health, and travel. There are dozens of fresh ideas— we’re sure you do some of them :-) . Tell us which of these practices you champion by commenting here!

Here are a few of our favorite ideas. They’re our favorites because they target our biggest-impact habits and offer reasonable “why not” solutions.

  1. Buy “shade grown” or “Fair Trade Certified” coffee. Anyone who depends on a morning cup(s) of coffee deserves to drink the best stuff for them, and for the environment. Keeping the globe caffeinated is a huge agricultural undertaking: more than 5 billion pounds of pesticides are used annually for agricultural purposes across the globe. Further, coffee trees that are grown within tropical forests (not in place of them) provide habitats for over 150 species of migratory birds. These “shade grown” coffee trees benefit both the environment and the actual beans; shade grown beans ripen more slowly giving them fuller, richer flavor. If you can buy locally grown coffee beans, too, you’ll be especially sustainable. Find where you can by “Bird Friendly®” coffee here!
  2. Going paperless. Switching from mail bill pay to online is a serious sustainable feat. If only one in five households switched to electronic bills, statements and payments, the collective impact would save 151 million pounds of paper, avoid filling 8.6 million garbage bags and eliminate 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to The Nature Conservancy. Plus, consolidating your bills online is easier to manage!
  3. Unplug your electronics. Keeping your electronics plugged in keeps a constant flow of electricity going to your circuits. Plus, it increases the risk of electrical fires and blown fuses. Try plugging in proximate electronics to a power strip, and make it an older child’s nightly chore to safely unplug strips every night before bed.

So there you have it, Star Stewards! Check out the Nature Conservancy’s other great ideasKindermusik Green - Sustainabilityhere, and don’t forget to submit your OWN ideas and efforts to the Star Steward Contest by Sunday, November 11!

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