12 Ways To Make The People's Stimulus Green

I just read about the People’s Stimulus Package and am impressed.  Started by an Alabama pharmacist who thought his little town need its own stimulus, he gave his employees $700 bucks each ($300 to part timers) in $2 bills.  All he asked is that they give 15% to a charity and to spend the rest locally in independent stores.  Now, Turman Commercial Painters has formalized the program and are hoping it spreads across the country.

I hope it does, but I would add one more requirement: Make the spending green.

Buying local is itself an excellent greening strategy, in part because of evidence that there are significant social, environmental, and economic benefits to creating local economies. Beyond that, a local green stimulus is a great opportunity to educate staff about what they can do with a few extra bucks.

Here are twelve easy, low-cost things you can do to stimulate the local economy green-ly:

  1. Join the locavore movement and buy produce, bread, food stuffs and crafts made within your home town .
  2. Buy some high efficiency bulbs.
  3. Repair leaky faucets and fixtures.
  4. Install water displacement devices in toilets that reduce the volume of water used with every flush.
  5. Buy aerators for faucets to reduce the amount of water coming from fixtures.
  6. Install software that automatically eliminates wasteful pages in printouts like GreenPrint.
  7. Buy a bike and cycle to work.
  8. Buy a GPS system to plan out driving routes in advance and to use the most direct route possible and avoid backtracking.
  9. Buy a reusable water bottle.
  10. Buy recycled content paper napkins, toilet and facial tissue and trash can liners.
  11. Buy reusable mugs, dishes and cutlery to eliminate disposable kitchen items.
  12. Buy reusable shopping bags.

These are just a few ideas, but you get the picture.  I love the idea behind the people’s stimulus project, I just say: Make it green.  What do you think?  Got any good ideas?

Image: Peoplesstimulus.org

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About the Author

Jennifer Kaplan writes regularly about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for EatDrinkBetter.com and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was been named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - find her on .