Earth Day is a holiday to promote conservation and concern for our fragile environment. We are reminded on this day how much damage the human race has caused, and that we should do our best to correct what we can and prevent more damage as we go. Everyday, we live our life going through the motions and not realizing the impact that we have on our planet. A carbon footprint is term used for the amount of carbon being emitted by an activity or organization. We all have a carbon footprint, but the question is, how big is it? Here are some simple tips and recommendations on how you alone can make a difference in preserving our natural resources.
Use cleaner transportation
- Walk,bike, or take public transit whenever possible.
- Avoid allowing your car to idle. If you’ll be waiting for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine (except in traffic). And don’t take the drive-through-park the car and walk inside instead.
- Have your vehicle serviced regularly to keep the emission control systems operating at peak efficiency. Check your car’s air filter monthly, and keep the tires adequately inflated to maximize gas mileage.
- Avoid short airplane trips-take a bus or train instead.
Add energy-saving features to your home
- Install compact fluorescent bulbs in all your home light fixtures-but remember, compact fluorescents contain mercury, so look for low-mercury models and be sure to dispose of old bulbs safely through your local hazardous waste program.
- Weatherproof your home. Make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated, and consider double-pane windows. Eliminate drafts with caulking, weather strips, and storm windows and doors.
- Insulate your water heater. Even better, switch to a non-tank water heater, so your water will be heated only as you use it.
- Choose energy efficient appliances.
Adopt energy-saving habits
- Keep thermostat relatively low in winter and ease up on the air conditioning in summer. Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended to keep the A/C operating at peak efficiency.
- Unplug your electronics when not in use. To make it easier, use a power strip. Even when turned off, items like your television, computer, and cellphone charger still sip power.
- Dry your clothes outside whenever possible.
- Make minimal use of power equipment when landscaping.
- Defrost your refrigerator and freezer regularly.
- Choose green electricity. Many utilities give you the option to purchase electricity generated by wind and solar power for a small rate surcharge.
- Purchase carbon offsets to make up for the energy use you can’t eliminate.
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