Wartburg College fair encourages community to "go green" - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wartburg College fair encourages community to "go green"

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

It's getting warm outside, and if you haven't already, you'll probably be cranking up the air conditioner before long.  But all that energy use can be costly.  That's why students at Wartburg College in Waverly are offering tips to "go green".  And small steps can in fact make a big difference.

Shirley Bonzer pedaled her hardest on a stationary bicycle Sunday.  She realized it took a lot of leg power to get an older, incandescent light bulb hooked up to the bike to glow.  But it was a breeze to make a newer, compact fluorescent bulb light up.  It made her think that switching to CFL's might be a smart move in her 100-year-old home.

"Kind of stayed away from them because we first bought some of the newer ones several years ago and didn't like them.  But it sounds like they've improved them.  So we might give them a try again," Bonzer said.

And for good reason.   It's estimated that switching light bulbs alone can save you up to $200 a year.  Bonzer hopes that's just the beginning of her energy savings.  She's also signed up to have Green Iowa Americorps do an energy audit of her house.

"The gentleman I talked to about doing the audit was real excited about coming to our home, since it is an older building, to see how it turns out.  Then they help you figure out what to do to correct some of the things that do need done to help save energy," said Bonzer.

Sunday, about 20 local agencies and businesses helped teach folks like Bonzer about becoming more sustainable, from power use to recycling to gardening and buying local foods at the farmer's market.

"Don't get overwhelmed.  Pick one thing.  Start with what's easiest for you, whether it's recycling or eating local.  I mean, there's so many different ways to start living sustainably.  And it really will snowball in your life if you just start with that one thing if you haven't already.  If you've already started with one, pick your second," said Anne Duncan, Wartburg College environmental sustainability coordinator.

By making that commitment, it won't take long for you to see energy savings and good feelings of helping the environment add up.

Students at Wartburg College have amped up their efforts to go green.  In the past year, adding recycling bags to residence halls on campus has helped to more than double how many students recycle.

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