Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

You are Invited!

Please come to the next City of Greeley Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committe Brown Bag Lunch.  It’s this coming Wednesday June 15th from 12:15-12:45 at Centennial Library located at 2227 23rd Ave. in Greeley.   The topic is,  And the Living is Easy – Reducing Fuel Costs:  It’s good for You, Your Pocketbook and the Air.   To learn a  few tips from the previous lunches, click here.  The future events are listed here:

  • July 20: Don’t be All Wet – Reduce Outdoor Water Use and Have the Nicest Yard on the Block
  • August 17: How to Raise Less Toxic Kids
  • September 21: –Back to School:  The Environmental 3R’s + 1 (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle + Repurpose)
  • October 19: It’s Spooky – Vampire Energy Loss-Taking the Fear out of Energy Conservation)
  • November16: Let’s Talk Turkey – Simple Ways to Green Your Holidays
  • December 14: Don’t be Left Out in the Cold – Be a Draft Dodger

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Memorial Day Special. Save $10 off the Purchase of $30 or More.

To receive $10 off the purchase of $30 or more, please go to and use this coupon code OURFRIENDS10  when you check out.  This coupon expires Tuesday May 31 at 9:59p.m. so don’t wait.

Remember, I give a free Green Home Makeover to all of my real estate buyers and sellers.  If you know of anyone who is considering buying or selling a home, (friends, neighbors, adult children, co-workers, apartment dwellers, people in you service clubs etc.)  please refer them to me.  It is a great time for first time home buyers.  Interest rates are low and there are many homes to choose from. 


Hollis  Berendt GRI, EcoBroker®  Resident Realty

Independent Authorized Eco Consultant Green Irene


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Sowing the Seeds of a Healthy Community

Saturday April 30th at  4:00       View the film FRESH     This is a FREE event                                                                                                         Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley  929 15th St. Greeley

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination,  environmental pollution, depletion of natural    resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.    Clair Boyles of Boyles Family Farms will speak with us about the importance of family farms.  After the film, we will share a meal of local foods.  So far we have donated  fresh spinach,  salad greens, eggs, milk, ice cream, bread, butter,  honey, rhubarb pie, gooseberry pie and preserved from last years bounty peaches, raspberries,  pickles, tomatoes and jam.  If you’d like to donate local cheese, beef or poultry or any of your preserved foods, please do so.  This is not a requirement to attend.  Please come with or without a donation. 

 At 7:00 we will watch the film GASLAND.   Please contact me at 970-590-3289 if you have any questions. Come to all or part of this event.


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Clean is Green

Hi All,

I look forward to seeing you Wed. March 16, 12:00-1:00 at Centennial Library.  The  City of Greeley Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee,

Toxic free, sustainable cleaning

Brown Bag Lunch Series will present  this month’s topic of Clean is Green. Why do we call it cleaning, when all we do in spread toxic chemicals around?   The program begins at 12:15 and ends at 12:45 to give you an opportunity to arrive on time and get back to work without delay.  Bring your friends and co-workers.  Dont miss winning a door prize. Scroll down to  see previous post for the years schedule of topics in this series.

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Enviromental Stewardship Monthly Brown Bag Lunches

 Greeley Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee announces monthly Environmental Brown Bag series

 Residents interested in learning ways to be good stewards of the local environment can start the new year off, courtesy of the Greeley Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee (ESAC), this month at the first of a year long series of programs.

 The first Environmental Brown Bag titled “Breathe Easy” is scheduled for January 19th at Centennial Park Branch Library, 2227 23rd Avenue, to provide information on improving indoor air quality. The program will start at 12:15 and end at 12:45. Please bring your lunch and a friend. There will be a door prize drawing.

 Future sessions will be held the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the same time. The list of topics includes:

  • February 16: Don’t be a Drip- Reduce Indoor Water Use
  • March 16: Green is Clean – Non-toxic Household Cleaning
  • April 20: Barefoot in the Grass – Reducing Chemical Use in your Landscape-Composting, Grasscycling and more ways to a Safe, Healthy Lawn
  • May 18: Is Your House Trashed Out – Household Recycling Made Easy
  • June 15: And the Summer is Easy – Reducing Fuel Use-Good for Your Wallet and the Air
  • July 20: Don’t be All Wet – Reduce Outdoor Water Use and Have the Nicest Yard on the Block
  • August 17: Back to School – The Environmental 3R’s + 1 (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle + Repurpose)
  • September 21: How to Raise Less Toxic Kids
  • October 19: It’s Spooky – Vampire Energy Loss-Taking the Fear out of Energy Conservation)
  • November16: Let’s Talk Turkey – Simple Ways to Green Your Holidays
  • December 14: Don’t be Left Out in the Cold – Be a Draft Dodger

 The ESAC is a group of dedicated residents working with City staff through the Natural Resources Division of the Community Development Dept. Their mission is to promote stewardship of local resources by providing information to individuals, families and businesses to help them save money and improve the environmental quality of Greeley through energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor and outdoor air pollution prevention and more.

 Contact me if you have questions.


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I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Times are tough and cash may be short but here are some ways to stretch your holiday dollar and go green at the same time.  Many of these suggestions can be used year round.

Gift wrapping

  • Be creative.  Have your children draw or paint pictures and wrap gifts with their artwork. 
  • Use old calendars that have photos, drawing and paintings.
  • The Sunday funny papers have long been used as gift wrapping.
  • Use brown paper bags and decorate with ribbons, bows, or colored yarn or string.
  • Scraps of old fabric, baby blankets, and sheets can be repurposed and reused year after year. 
  • Give your gifts in re-usable shopping bags.
  • Use old jars, bottles, cans and boxes.  These are especially good for homemade treats. You can decorate these and make them an artwork.
  • Home supply and paint stores have books of wallpaper samplers that are no longer in stock.  See when these will be replaced with newer samples and ask if you may have the old books. These work well for wrapping small to medium sized gifts.


  •   Make handmade ornaments.  Christmas ornaments were handmade until the mid1900’s. Being creative gives families an opportunity to turn off the TV and be together in the holiday spirit.
  •  Make ornaments out of recycled materials, pine cones, and ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­last year’s Christmas cards.
  • String spools of thread, popcorn, cranberries, or make paper chains.
  • Make gingerbread cookies, or cut ornaments out of flour dough and paint them.
  •  If you switch from regular incandescent lights to LED lights you will see a significant drop in your electric bill.  You can recycle your old bulbs at  Send in your old bulbs and will give you a 15% discount on the purchase of new LED bulbs.
  •  Put your lights on a timer to save even more energy.
  • Recycle your tree at GReeley Organic Waste located one mile east from highway 85 on 8th St. Tuesday through Saturday 9:00-4:00.


              When cooking:

  • Try a crockpot, pressure cooker, microwave or toaster oven. These use much less energy than your oven or stove.
  • Glass and ceramic pans retain heat better than metal pans and insulate food better than metal. Lower the baking temperature 25 degrees when using glass and ceramic pans.
  • Use pots and pans that match the pan size to the size of the unit. A 6″ pot on an 8″ burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Using the right sized pot on stove burners can save about $36 annually for an electric range, or $18 for gas. Cover pots and pans with fitted lids to retain the heat.
  • Do not pre-heat the oven when roasting or broiling.
  • Turn off your electric range or oven 2-3 minutes before the end of cooking time. Retained heat will finish the cooking.
  • Do not open the oven door!  The temperature drops 25-30 degrees.
  • Let frozen foods defrost before cooking them.
  • After your coffee is brewed, pour it into a thermos and turn off the coffee machine. This saves electricity and keeps the coffee from getting a burnt flavor.
  • Use reusable plates, cups and cutlery whenever possible. 

This is only a sampling of ideas to save money, energy and resources.  If you are interested in a Green Home Makeover,  A Green Business Certification, environmentally safe products, or would like an informational seminar for your service organization or place of business, please contact Karen Scopel  at>, or Hollis Berendt at 

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Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday.   This is a movement to raise awareness of the importance of small businesses to our society.   For every $100 spent at small businesses, $68 is returned to the community.    One way to help a small business thrive in this down economy is to click here, a link to my Green Irene page, or the on the Green Irene link on the right side of this page.   Here you can purchase all things environmentally friendly.   Items range from soy candles,   children’s items such as a toy recycling truck or non-toxic soy crayons, non-toxic cleaners,  a carbon monoxide detector, compostable sugar cane plates and much more.  You can also purchase services such as a Green Home Makeover or a Green Business Certification.  Please let your friends know about Green Irene.  I appreciate your support.  

Please don’t forget other small businesses in Greeley such as Mariposa Flowers and Gifts, Your Place Coffee, or Your House in Order.

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