Making Plans for a Green 2019
It’s a scary time for planet earth. Climate change means that the arctic is melting, severe storm systems are becoming more common, and across the globe we continue to pump a startling amount of C02 into our precious atmosphere. While politicians bicker about the best way to handle what is surely the most immediate and threatening crisis our species has ever faced, we are left wondering to ourselves: “Well, what can I do about it?”
Making a New Year’s Resolution that combats climate change isn’t as hard as it sounds. By dedicating yourself to clean energy sources it is possible to not only combat climate change but also reduce your carbon impact and save on your electricity bill. Here’s our list of the top five energy-conscious New Year’s Resolutions that you can get started on right away.
Switch to LED Lightbulbs
Not only do LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs last more than 25 times longer, it is estimated that they use 70% less energy than traditional bulbs. While it is true that LED bulbs are more expensive than traditional bulbs and it can take some time before that cost is covered by your reduced energy bill, the reduction in your household carbon footprint is immediate. Changing out your lightbulbs is a fast and remarkably easy thing to do, which means that doing a favor for the planted is as simple as making the right decision in the household aisle.
Walk, Bike, or Run to Work
According to the EPA, the typical passenger vehicle can emit around 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. For a planet that’s on the brink of climate catastrophe, that’s a lot of C02. Fortunately, making a change that’s good for the planet is as easy as leaving the car at home. Walking or riding to work even one day a week is enough to reduce your carbon footprint by a significant amount.
It gets better: a study published by the University of East Anglia in Britain found that not only is walking to work better for the environment, it actually makes you happier as well.
Ditch the Bottled Water
Americans are drinking bottles water faster than ever before, and the results are quite alarming. The Pacific institute estimates that in 2006, the production of bottled water for American consumers required nearly 17 million barrels of oil, not including the oil required to transport the bottles to the point of sale. Considering that most of these bottles are tossed out after a single use, that’s an incredible amount of oil for something as simple as water. Replacing your disposable habit with reusable water bottles can go a long way over the course of a single year. If that’s not enough, think of the amount of money you can save.
Eliminate Phantom Power
All those new toys you got over the holidays, whether it’s an HDTV or a cell phone charger, is responsible for the gradual leak of electricity, even when the device isn’t turned on. This ‘phantom power’ can add up to a substantial amount over the course of an entire year, especially when you consider the amount of devices that are plugged in around the house.
Eliminating phantom power is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and make a positive contribution to the environment. Installing powerstrips is an easy way to accomplish this, as it allows you to shutoff power to multiple appliances with the flick of a single switch.
Use Local Wind and Solar Energy (& Save $$$!)
Connecting to a local clean energy source is easier than you think, requires no installation or upfront payment, and can account for an 80%-90% reduction in household emissions over the course of a single year. With Common Energy, you can connect a local 'community solar' project to your existing energy utility. It’s the kind of decision that is as smart for the environment as it is for your energy bill, meaning you can kick off the new year with the peace of mind that you’re doing your part. You can sign up in less than 5 minutes with Common Energy.