7 Easy Ways to Go Green this Earth Day, Part 1

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Tomorrow is Earth Day, a day to appreciate this amazing planet and consider our impact on it.  We may not give it much thought, but we all have certain expectations about the environment.  We expect to have clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, non-polluted soil in which to grow our food, and enough resources to sustain us.  There are many things, some easier than others, that we can do to help make this world a better place for ourselves and for future generations.  In each of my remaining posts for the week, I’ll concentrate on easy ways to go green and save some green ($).

Today’s topic:  Energy.  Much of the electricity generated in the United States comes from burning coal which emits pollutants.  So by saving energy, your actions will positively affect the health of the earth and all of its inhabitants.  If we didn’t waste so much energy, we’d be able to close numerous power plants!

  1. Turn off the lights when you leave the room, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  2. Unplug rechargeable devices such as cell phone chargers, electric shavers, digital cameras, and power tools.  Even though these devices are in standby mode, they are still sucking power called phantom, or vampire, power.
  3. Plug TVs, DVD players, electronics, and computer equipment into power strips.  This will not only protect your equipment from daily power surges and extend the lifespan of your possessions, but you’ll be able to turn everything off with just one flick of the switch before going to bed or when you’re away from home.  Click here to see how much phantom power these devices are wasting even when they are “turned off”.  Also, a common misconception is that screen savers reduce energy use by monitors; they do not. Automatic switching to sleep mode or manually turning off monitors is always the better energy-saving strategy.
  4. Switch out incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescents (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs).  CFLs use about 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescents.  LEDs are even better and use about 90% less energy than incandescents and last much longer than even CFLs.
  5. Open the windows for some fresh air when the weather is pleasant instead of running the mechanical heating or cooling system.
  6. Wash your clothes in cold water because 85-90% of the energy used for the washing machine is to heat water.  Try to wash only full loads to reduce the number of times you’ll have to run the washer.  Hang clothes to dry on a drying rack, the shower rod, or outside on a clothesline, to avoid using electricity to dry them.  If you do use the dryer, empty the lint trap every time.
  7. Turn off the energy-hogging heated dry cycle on your dishwasher.  By opening the dishwasher door at the end of the cycle, you’ll allow the dishes to air dry and save energy.

Tag(s): Earth Day, Energy, Green Living


One Response to “7 Easy Ways to Go Green this Earth Day, Part 1”

  1. 10 easy things you can do for Earth Day « Going Green @your library on April 22nd, 2009 11:13 am

    […] Greenstrides and 100 Ways to Make Your Library a Little Greener)   Comments […]

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