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Best Green Ideas of the Week

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Lots of green stuff caught my eye this week. I loved this article: Utilities Turn Their Customers Green, With Envy. Here's an excerpt:So, in a move that has proved surprisingly effective, the district decided to tap into a time-honored American passion: keeping up with the neighbors.Last April, it began sending out statements to 35,000 randomly selected customers, rating them on their energy use compared with that of neighbors in 100 homes of similar size that used the same heating fuel. The customers were also compared with the 20 neighbors who were especially efficient in saving energy.Customers who scored high earned two smiley faces on their statements. "Good" conservation got a single smiley face. Customers like Mr. Dyer, whose energy use put him in the "below average" category, got frowns, but the utility stopped using them after a few customers got upset.What a great idea! Take our natural competitive drive and turn it into a force for helping our environment. Does this have legs? How else could we set up green competition?On a different track, do you have a mail order catalog problem? I do. My father recently moved and his mail was forwarded to my home. Oh my!! I cannot believe all of the catalogs that are jammed into my mailbox these days. I've been saving them for the day that I can spend hours making phone calls to get taken off their mailing list. (Like that day is coming anytime soon!) Then a friend came to my rescue with this Catalog Choice website that makes the whole process a lot less painful. Yeah!

Valentine Card

Finally, with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I've been wondering what to do with all the little cards my 10-year-old brings home from school, besides simply recycling them after she's thoroughly reviewed them and determined her social standing in the class. Any ideas? I did find the Care2 free eCard website. If you are going to send a Valentine's card (doesn't work for kids' classroom exchanges) this could be a cool way to go.  For every eCard sent, Care2 makes a donation to an environmental nonprofit to save a square foot of rainforest.Any thoughts out there on taking any of these a step further?

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