Are we causing irreversible damage to our earth? Are we causing global warming? I think so, and it’s our responsibility to do something about it.
Check out the latest: Ancient Ice Shelf Breaks Free…
Here are a few simple things you can do to reduce your energy consumption and help solve the climate crisis. They are all simple and cheap ideas, so you have no excuse not to try them! And you’ll probably even save money if you follow this tips. (or click here)
1) Conserve hot water: heating hot water is a large source of home energy use, so take shorter or cooler showers, install low-flow shower-heads, wash your clothes in cold water, and wash dishes by hand instead of using your dishwasher.
we use our dishwasher as a cabinet
and we wash all of our clothes in cold water
2) Reduce standby power waste: any appliance with a remote or a clock is always on even when it is “off” and therefore consuming power, so plug your TV, VCR/DVD, microwave and other appliances into powerstrips which you can turn off when you aren’t using the devices
we turn off the power strip whenever we aren’t watching TV
3) Turn off your computer: a lot of people leave there computer on all day and all night, instead turn your computer off when you aren’t using it and turn on low-power mode timers so your computer will automatically hibernate when you are away for a period of time
4) Buy blankets: In the summer, use your air conditioner as little as possible, and in the winter turn down the heat and cuddle under some blankets. Just a few degrees difference can save tons of energy and reduce your heating bills.
our blankets take up our couch, but they sure are nice to cuddle under
5) Stop driving and get a bike!: Americans are both overweight and the largest consumers of energy worldwide. The solution? Buy a bike! A $500 investment in a really nice road bike is much less expensive than car payments or insurance, and you will stay healthy while saving the environment. Build your life around a biking and use it as your main mode of transportation as much as possible.
i do most things by bike instead of by car, even in the winter, including grocery shopping (my bike is the red one in back- isn’t it pretty?)
6) If you have to have a car… make it a small one: Refuse to buy a car that gets less than 30mpg… and if you have enough money, get a hybrid. Our culture and advertising has made us think that “bigger is better” when it comes to transportation, but really, you just look ridiculous driving a pick-up or a Hummer on our country’s smooth streets. And all of you SUV drivers, why oh why? There is no excuse for driving big cars unless you have large families or are using your vehicle regularly for hauling stuff around. Consider why you decided to buy a large car, and if it is for aesthetics or popularity, please please turn it in and get something reasonable.
7) Consume less: Now this is a very very hard thing to change in America’s consumer-driven culture, but consider consuming less. Manufacturing new items uses a lot of energy and materials, and so does packaging and shipping items. So borrow things or rent them, and whenever possible, purchase things used. Shop at thrift stores, buy used cars, and borrow from your friends, family, and neighbors. And don’t buy it unless you really need it.
8 ) Pre-recycle and recycle: Purchase items that have less packaging and have been produced locally, especially when grocery shopping. Locally grown produce has less packaging and travels much less distance, saving tons of energy. And I know you have heard this before, but RECYCLE RECYCLE RECYCLE. Recycling saves energy because re-using resources uses much less energy than gathering new resources.
chicago doesn’t really have a recycling program, so we clean all of our recyclables and save them to bring back to WI where they will actually be recycled… here is our recycling pile in the kitchen
9) Shop with reusable bags: When you go out shopping or to the grocery store, bring reusable bags with you and refuse to put your items in plastic or paper bags.
here are our shopping bags- you can get the Trader Joe’s bag at any TJ store for only $.99
10) Eat less meat: Yes, eating less meat can reduce your energy consumption. It takes a lot more energy to produce and transport meat than to deliver equivalent amounts of protein from plant sources. Grazing land also destroys trees which cuts down on our country’s absorption of carbon dioxide from the environment, which leads to global warming.
11) Use compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs): Compact fluorescent lightbulbs may cost more than traditional lightbulbs, but they last 10 times longer and use 66% less energy, saving you tons of energy and money over their lifetime. So ditch the old bulbs and buy the cool-looking curly ones!
our bathroom had 12 incandescent lightbulbs, so we unscrewed them all and replaced 3 of them with CFLs
12) Support renewable resources: Consider putting solar panels on your home and pay an extra few dollars a month to your electric company to support the creation and use of renewable energy sources.
And last- share this list with your friends and keep learning yourself. It’s time you take responsibility for your energy consumption and your contribution to global warming.