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Bright and Green Ideas

Amy Campbell

March 4, 2008

2 Min Read
Bright and Green Ideas

Last night, I attended our town meeting, in which we review and scrutinize all aspects of budgeting, from the recreation department to school finance, sewer payments and support of the senior center.
As a first-term member of the school board, Ive been initiated by fire to the whole budget processnumbered and encumbered, as I tend to think of it.

I cant even balance my checkbook, let alone a multimillion-dollar education account. But thats what were hired to do, and thats what we try to accomplish; all the while clipping corners and dollars at every chance we can, anticipating the scowls of penny-pinched and jaded elderly folk surviving on Social Security checks.

Why in Gods name would you pay thousands of dollars to replace all the light bulbs in the school if they were still good? one person asked while others grumbled. To save thousands more in the long run, answered the school -board chairman. You see, our school is going green, replacing all the ancient light tubes with energy-efficient bulbs. We save money and the environment benefits at the same time. Snap!

Seems like an easy trade off, but Im not sure how many folks are aware that the new compact fluorescent lamps use less energy, decreasing electric bills and saving 2,000 times their own weight in greenhouse gases.

At the recent ISS Expo in Vegas, several seminars drew large numbers of attendees to learn about green building. Many developers are doing their homework in anticipation of upcoming legislation; others want to do whats best for the environment and their bank accounts.

I recently came across another idea I thought worthy of passing on: reusing building materials. Several organizations have set up websites that act as online swap meets for construction materials of all types. Visit some like www.thereusepeople.org and www.builder2builder.com, or discover others on your own. Theyre something like free online classified ads for used building materials, offering tax benefits and keeping usable materials out of landfills.While our industry may be still green at going green, some of you might want to take your first baby steps at joining the revolution.

At the very least, consider switching out your bulbs to the energy-efficient, cost-efficient CFL options. Want to learn more? Log onto the Environmental Defense Fund at www.edf.org.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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