Via Flickr – by EladeManu
If you don’t think you’re an energy waster, consider these eye-opening statistics:
· Americans generate 30 percent of the world’s garbage, but only make up 5 percent of the world’s population. (University of Utah’s College of Architecture and Planning)
· A 2009 McKinsey & Company study found that Americans spend $130 billion per year on wasted energy. (Energy Resource Center)
· Each day pipe leaks cause the U.S. to lose 7 billion gallons of drinking water. (ThinkProgress)
Unfortunately, simply by living in the U.S. we all contribute to pollution and energy and water waste. Even an avid recycler and self-proclaimed treehugger like myself knows I could do more to help the environment and to reduce my overall contribution to all that waste.
If you’re looking to reduce your impact on the environment, here are a few ways you can help by “greening up” your household:
Go green when you clean. The products you use to keep your house clean may actually be polluting the overall environment. As RealSimple.com notes in its article on easy tips for making a “green home,” “plant-based products from companies that have a complete list of ingredients on their labels” is the way to go. When you choose greener cleaners, you’ll put less pollutants into the air and reduce your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals.
Buy local produce. It’s probably not something you’ve thought much about, but the foods you buy have to travel thousands of miles to reach your table. As this article notes, these miles traveled require tons of crude oil and lead to green-house gasses being “spewed” into our air. It explains that when you buy locally your food doesn’t have to travel as far, which means less pollution.
Maintain your pool. There’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the pool, but what isn’t so refreshing is how much a poorly maintained pool can contribute to water waste. As this article on reducing pool water use notes, when you fix leaks quickly, use a pool cover to reduce evaporation, and take other measures, you’ll decrease the overall amount of water your pool uses.
Use power strips. Here’s a great tip for reducing your monthly power bill: use more power strips. In its list of 70 green living tips, Prevention.com explains that even when your iPhone isn’t plugged into its charger, the charger is still “sucking energy from outlets.” By using power strips, you can turn the power supply on and off as needed.
We could all do more to help keep the planet clean and green for years to come. Thankfully, many of the ways we can reduce our own individual energy and water waste are very easy to implement. By following these and other tips, we can play a vital role in protecting the environment.
Jasmine Dyoco is a fan of crossword puzzles, gardening, books on tape, learning (anything!) and fencing. She truly enjoys the work she does with Educator Labs and hopes you’ll stop by the site to learn more!