It takes only small steps to make a big difference.
Creating a new, climate-friendly energy future is a daunting task. But in reality, small steps by many people will change the world and protect the planet.
Here is a short list of the things you can do today to make a difference. Many of the items listed below will save you money too. That’s right—you might even make a little green by being green.
Seal the deal. We waste a lot of energy inadvertently heating and cooling the outdoors. Fully close windows, weather strip, caulk gaps and holes and upgrade your insulation and windows when you renovate—you can save up to 20 percent on your annual heating and cooling costs.
Recruit the best. Upgrade to high efficiency (ENERGY STAR) water heaters, AC units, lighting and appliances when it is time to replace old units—many of these upgrades even are available with substantial tax breaks!
Surf. Many states, cities and utilities have programs that make up the cost difference between high-efficiency appliances and the average. Do a quick Internet search on your local utility Web site to see if there are such programs in your area. Energy saved is money saved.
Set and forget it. A programmable thermostat reduces energy use by adjusting temperatures while you sleep or when you’re not home. Keep your home at 68 in the winter and 72 in the summer—just a few degrees can save you more than 10 percent on your heating bill.
Put the bottle down. Bottled water and other highly packaged items contribute to landfills and emissions. Filter systems are cleaner and cheaper. Ninety percent of the cost of bottled water goes to the cap and bottle, making it 240 to 10,000 times more expensive than that of tap water!
Designate a driver Where possible, use public transportation or carpool. Better yet, walk or bike instead and enjoy the fresh air—studies show that getting out of your car makes you healthier and happier.
Talk it up. Share what you do with your friends and coworkers. Let your public officials know that you care about climate issues and remember them in the voting booth.
More you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and do your part to address our global climate challenge.
- Plant trees, which absorb carbon dioxide
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Wash your clothes in cold or warm water
- Turn off the heated dry function on your dishwasher
- Change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)