Flowers have to be thrown out after a few days and their production involves heavy chemical use (see this National Wildlife Federation article). This Valentine’s Day, give a potted plant instead! Live plants not only last longer, they have the added benefit of improving air quality. Another option is potted herbs such as basil or rosemary, which can then be used to flavor that special Valentine meal!
Photo by Susan O'Donnell
Most mass-market cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that contaminate your air and can threaten your health. (See Green Tip on vinegar and water as a cleaning solution, February 8, 2019). To protect the environment and save money, here is another use for vinegar as a non-toxic cleaner for your home from https://greatist.com/health/27-chemical-free-products-diy-spring-cleaning:
For a heavy-duty toilet scrub that deodorizes while it cleans, pour ½ cup of baking soda and about 10 drops of tea tree essential oil into the toilet. Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the bowl and scrub away while the mixture fizzes.
For daily cleaning, fill a small spray bottle with vinegar (about 1 cup should do it) and a few drops of an essential oil of your choosing (lemon and tea tree both work well). Spray on the toilet seats, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe the surface clean.
Photo by Susan O'Donnell
Converting our energy sources to 100% renewable, sustainable energy is a critical step in achieving the Greenhouse Gas reductions necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. You can advance your community toward this goal by choosing an electricity provider that generates power from renewable sources.
photo by Zac Zac, Flickr
In the late 1990s, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) allowed for electric suppliers to compete in the market place, and some of those providers offer 100% renewable energy. AFewSteps recommends two organizations, The Energy Co-op and Green Mountain Energy, which provide green energy (including locally sourced options) to the PECO territory. You can find more information on these and other companies by going to www.papowerswitch.com, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s website providing information about the multiple electricity suppliers available in Pennsylvania. Look for a plan without enrollment, cancellation, or monthly fees.
How do I sign up for green energy?
The best way to sign up is by calling the supplier on their toll-free number. Some suppliers also allow you to sign up online at their website, but there may be options not listed there. You will need to have your PECO account number (at the top left of your bill) handy in order to authorize the transfer of service, and may have to verify your identity. This is to protect you from unscrupulous operators.
The Energy Co-op EcoChoice Pennsylvania 215-413-2122
Green Mountain Energy Pollution Free™ Farm to Market 1-855-531-5066
Will I get multiple bills?
No. PECO will still send one bill each month. The gill will include the electricity generation charges from The Energy Co-op or Green Mountain Energy as well as PECO’s transmission charges.
Whom do I call if I have a problem?
PECO. PECO will still provide the electivity service to your home.
Will my service be affected?
No. You will still experience the same reliable service hat you have in the past.
Can I switch back?
Yes. You can switch back to PECO or another provider if you want. Be sure to read the details of the contract given by the provider.