July 10, 2009
Small changes in your daily life can really add up!  Here are a few tips that will make a difference in our health and the health of our environment:
1.     Change your oil regularly
2.     Check your tire pressure regularly
3.     Turn your thermostat down
4.     Grow a houseplant or two
5.     Use cloth towels instead of paper towels
6.     Use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic
7.     Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic
You may have already incorporated some of these suggestions into your life and are basking in the copious benefits of your excellent choices.  But if you haven't already done so, consider making a small change or two that will quite likely make a positive difference in your life.  
Below are some background details on this issue's 7 lucky tips, which I enjoyed researching and I hope you'll also enjoy reading!
Taking Sustainability Home: 7 lucky tips

Most of us know that a well-tuned car burns less gasoline, so if you are getting your oil and filters (air and oil) changed regularly, kudos to you! Less well-known (to me, at least) is the fact that when Americans drive their vehicles on under-inflated tires, it not only reduces the lifespan of the tires but squanders 4 million gallons of gas each day. Check tire pressure monthly, best done when the car is cold.

Turn the thermostat down - even 5 degrees will cut your energy bills by 10%. With what you save on your energy bill, you could buy a new sweater and wear it as you lounge around your slightly cooler, yet pleasantly temperate, and more affordable home.

Grow a houseplant or two.  Peace lily, spider plant, mother-in-law's tongue, heartleaf philodendron, Boston fern: they may sound like plants you'd find in your Great Aunt Millie's overstuffed parlor but these hard-working, pollutant-sucking plants not only give off oxygen at night while you sleep, they clean toxic agents such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and other scary sounding multisyllabic words from the air in your home, school, or office.

Dr. B.C. Wolverton discovered that common houseplants helped neutralize the effects of "sick building syndrome" while working as a scientist at NASA. He wrote a book about his discoveries, "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office" and has co-authored a new book which further investigates how plants contribute to the health and well-being of humans. (Read more at: or

If every U.S. household replaced one roll of regular paper towels with 100% recycled ones, we'd save 544,000 trees. If you want to get even more radical, reduce the number of paper towels you now buy and use cloth rags on those spills instead. You can wash and reuse the rags and it's cheaper than buying paper towels.

Aren't we all familiar with the horror stories of plastic showing up on pristine desert islands and in the bellies of birds, fish, turtles, and any marine creature you could care to name?  And of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the "man-made" island twice the size of Texas composed of the world's discarded plastic, located in the North Pacific Ocean gyre halfway between Los Angeles and Hawaii?

So-maybe it is time to start bringing your own reusable shopping bags with you when you go for groceries. More and more stores are giving credit when shoppers supply their own bags. Hard-to-recycle plastic bags have been banned in San Francisco grocery stores since 2007, resulting in 5 million fewer plastic bags every month. Many cities and countries have followed suit, by either banning flimsy plastic bags altogether (Kenya and Uganda) or levying a stiff tax on them (10 cents per bag in Toronto). (3/27/2008, San Francisco Plastic Bag Ban Interests Other Cities and 3/26/08,Garbage Mass Is Growing in the Pacific, both at:

Or how about carrying a water bottle with you or keeping one at your desk? If you work at the corner of Shelby and Congress in downtown Detroit, there just so happens to be a new water filtration system in the building - so fill up your water bottle often and drink long and deep!

(Green tips gleaned from the Sierra Club web site at:
POLL:  If Avanti were to offer a non-plastic branded water container for sale (under $15), would you buy one?   CLICK HERE:
Looking for new great ideas!
We are always looking for new ideas on how we can all work together towards our goal of making both Avanti and Omnigraphics more sustainable companies. 

We encourage anyone to submit their ideas or thoughts on what we can do to anyone on the Sustainability Committee.  The members of the committee are: Cal Kerr, Athena Inempolidis, Alana Glantz, Nick Tritt, Matt Gall, Charlotte Hill, Dave Phipps, Liza Pulgini and Mary Butler (Omnigraphics).

Thanks and go green!


Mary Butler
Sustainability Committee Rep (Omnigraphics)
avanti recycled
"Meeting the needs of the present without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"