New Years Resolution: Go Green in 2015

Another year is upon us, and it’s resolution time again. Will you join us in making a commitment to a green 2015? Below are just a few suggestions of things we can all do to live sustainably in the coming year, from reducing the amount of waste we generate, to conserving energy, to being good stewards of our water.

As a “Thank you” for including the environment in your New Year’s resolutions, Bluegrass Greensource will enter everyone who completes and submits a resolutions form by Januray 15, 2015 in a drawing for a gift basket valued at more than $350, full of awesome items and gift certificates from local businesses on and around National Avenue – our new neighborhood! Gift basket details here.

2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Use a reusable mug when getting beverages to go
Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups a year, and 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles an hour. One paper coffee cup a day adds up to 23 lbs of waste and 87.6 lbs of CO2 over the course of a year. Reusable water bottles, tumblers, and mugs reduce your waste production and your carbon footprint.

Buy items that are made from post consumer recycled material
Recycled content is good; post consumer recycled content is great. If you already seek out products that contain some percentage of recycled material, take the next step and prioritize post consumer content for extra environmental benefits; and as an added bonus, you’ll be using your purchase power to tell manufacturers that post consumer content is the way to go.

Compost food and yard waste, and use or give away finished compost
133 billion pounds of the available food supply in the United States goes to waste every year, according to a recent study by the USDA, and 21% of that happens right in our homes. Our country also generates 33.4 million pounds of yard waste annually. Don’t wrap up all that biodegradable waste and send it to the landfill – compost it instead! If you don’t have much use for the end product, consider donating your finished compost to community gardening organizations, or give it away to your green-thumbed friends.

Donate unwanted items, including furniture, appliances, and home goods, to thrift and resale organizations
If “out with the old, in with the new” is your New Year’s tradition, don’t send the “old” straight to the landfill – donate it instead! Your used furniture, appliances, home goods, clothes, books, and so much more can be someone else’s “new.” Check out Lexington’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and the Friends of the Library Book Cellar.

Use energy-efficient LED or CFL light bulbs (including in holiday decorations!)
Switching to LED or CFL light bulbs from incandescent is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to cut your energy consumption down to size. Learn more here. LED holiday decorations come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, too – so next year when you’re decking the halls, do it efficiently!

Seek out Energy Star, EPEAT, and WaterSense labeled products when replacing appliances, electronics, and fixtures
There are many eco-friendly labeling systems out there, but these are three of the big ones: Energy Star for efficient appliances, EPEAT for efficient electronics, and WaterSense for efficient bathroom and kitchen fixtures.

Landscape with native plants that require less water and fertilizer to thrive
Because native plants are perfectly suited to our local climate – they’ve grown up here, after all – they are naturally hardy options for your home landscaping, and require less water and fertilizer to thrive. They’re beautiful, too, and attract native wildlife. What’s not to love?

Organize a neighborhood litter clean-up or storm drain stenciling project
Both of these options are about water, when it comes right down to it. Our storm drain system drains directly into live streams – no filtration involved – so it’s up to us to do our best to keep that storm water clean. Litter clean-ups keep cigarette butts, food wrappers, and lots of other trash out of our water. Stenciling storm drains helps raise awareness of where those drains lead. Need help getting started? Contact our Outreach Specialists and we’ll be happy to lend a hand with planning and supplies.

Divert runoff with a rain garden and/or rain barrel
Runoff from rooftops, sidewalks, driveways, and other impervious surfaces carries fertilizers and pesticides, automobile fluids, litter, and more directly into storm drains and from there into our streams. Slow down and filter that runoff with a rain garden, or collect it in a rain barrel for later use watering your garden. You can purchase a rain barrel from Bluegrass Greensource at any time, or build your own at one of our rain barrel workshops (keep an eye on our events calendar or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter).

Make a monetary donation to support the programs and mission of Bluegrass Greensource
Bluegrass Greensource is made up of a small team working tirelessly to make central Kentucky a more sustainable place. We work with schools, businesses, community organizations, and individuals in 19 counties year-round. We can’t do it without you. If you believe, as we do, in living, working, and teaching sustainability, please make a tax-deductible donation today. If you prefer to donate by personal check, please make payable to Bluegrass Greensource and mail to (or stop by in person!):

835 National Avenue
Lexington, KY 40502


What’s in the Gift Basket?


Don’t Forget…

Complete the form to make your resolutions official and be entered to win our gift basket of National Avenue goodies! We will be accepting entries through January 15, 2015.


2015 Green Business Challenge: Registration Walkthrough

Need help enrolling in the 2015 Challenge?  We’ve got you covered.  If you need additional assistance, or are encountering an errors with the Challenge website or registration process, contact us and we’ll do our best to get it worked out.

Jump To:

Create an account with GreenPSF
Property or Space?
Add your business to the GreenPSF database
Enroll in the Challenge
Navigate the activities index

1. Head to the Challenge page: Feel free to browse; when you’re ready to create an account, the link is in the upper right corner.

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2. Select “Property User” to compete in the Challenge; if your business is a contractor or other service provider you may wish to enroll as a “Solutions Provider” with GreenPSF at a later date.

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3.  Enter general information to create your account; ideally, the contact person listed should be someone actively involved in your business’s sustainability initiatives.

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4.  Select either property or space: If your business owns its facility/space, select property; if you rent your facility/space, select space.  The activity tracks for owners and renters are slightly different.

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5.  Your property (or property and space) will need to be in the GreenPSF database in order to compete.  Try searching for your address first; it may already exist in the database.  If not, click “Add New Property & Space.”

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6.  Fill in all relevant information for your property, or for your property and space if you rent – see below.  Renters: Property information refers to the building in which you are located (in this example, a shopping center called “Fictional Plaza”), and space information refers to the space specific to your business (“Suite 555”).  Add a photo of your business if you like, then click “Save & Continue.”

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7.  Once your property/space is added, you have two options: Complete your profile, or go to the Dashboard.  To enroll in the Challenge, click “Go to the Dashboard.”  If you opt to complete your profile, GreenPSF will walk you through a series of questions about your property/space; you can finish this all at once, complete it partially and come back at a later date, or skip it entirely.  It will remain an option throughout the Challenge.

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8.  Welcome to your GreenPSF dashboard!  From here, you can access your space/property profile, view financial incentives, sync your Portfolio Manager account, see suggested ways to save, and get to the Green Business Challenge.  You can add multiple spaces and/or properties to the same account if you so desire; each space or property can compete in the Challenge independently.  But to do that, you’ll need to enroll in the Challenge.

Click “Challenges” on the left side menu bar.

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9.  You should see both the DC Smarter Business Challenge (a national competition) and the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge.  Click “Join the Challenge.”

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10.  Congratulations!  You are now enrolled in the Challenge.  Click “Get More Points” to access the activities index and start racking up points!  You will be able to view full activity details and begin completing activities on October 1, 2014.  From this page, you can also view the leaderboard and see where your business stands.

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11.  The activities index is sortable by category (drop down menu on the upper right), or by status (open vs. completed).

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That’s it!  You’re registered with GreenPSF, enrolled in the Challenge, and ready to compete.  Get your green on, Lexington!