While the governments of the world are working hard to reduce climate change, there are some things we little people can do as well. Here are 17 tips for making your life a little more environmentally friendly.
1. Upgrade your home’s appliances so that they’re more energy efficient. When you’re at the store, you can look for certified green products and those with high efficiency ratings.
2. In the winter, pile blankets on the bed instead of cranking the heater. You can also keep blankets on all of your home’s furniture and this will help keep in the warmth.
3. Instead of using a central heating system in your house, get space heaters for winter and room AC units for the summer.
4. Plant trees and shrubs at the side of your house for some natural shade. If you live in the northern hemisphere then the south side of the house gets the most sunshine, so put some big trees there.
5. Always try to cut down on how much paper you use. Instead of throwing away paper, keep it handy for scratch pad notes and scribbles, and use it until there’s no place left to write.
6. Turn off everything when you’re not using it, and keep things unplugged. Some electronics are still using power even when they’re off but plugged in.
7. Consider switching to solar or wind power. Even if you just get a solar panel or two, or a small wind turbine, you can supply at least some of your home’s energy needs.
8. Keep your appliances and the area around them clean. Some appliances like refrigerators use a compressor that works harder when there’s a dust build up.
9. Cook as much as possible with your toaster oven. Look for recipes that use it instead of the big oven.
10. Car pool, take public transportation or ride a bicycle whenever you need to go somewhere. Get out of the habit of just hopping in the car.
11. Buy goods with minimal packaging so that there’s less stuff to throw away. Whenever possible reuse boxes and bags from packaged goods.
12. Keep your home’s air filters and duct work clean. This will make the heating and cooling system work better and reduce electricity wastage.
13. Get your home’s heating and cooling system checked routinely. Sometimes thermostats go out of whack, causing people to waste energy overheating or overcooling.
14. Make sure that your home is sealed and insulated.
15. Wash clothes in cold water instead of hot. This will save energy from the heating of the water tank.
16. Wash dishes by hand from a gas hot water source or use an energy efficient dish washer. Some dish washers can use less energy and water than washing dishes by hand, so make sure yours has a high efficiency rating.
17. In the summertime, use ceiling fans and open windows instead of running the air conditioning.
These are just a few everyday things that you can do which will make a huge difference. If everybody did them, we’d help to reduce climate change in a hurry! All it takes is for people to be conscientious of how the things they do every day affect the environment. Always keep this in mind and it will help you make the right decisions. Let’s keep our world healthy!
Grant Spencer is a renewable energy enthusiast and member of the Sun Connect solar power team.