Are you still finding it hard to lead a more eco-friendly life? This article has some great tips! Here are a few of them.
1) Make the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Just a few years ago, CFLs were bulky, expensive, and hard to find. Thanks to environmental commitments by companies such as Walmart, CFLs are now readily available for about $2 each. That’s more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but lumen for lumen (the unit by which a light bulb’s brightness is measured), CFLs use much less power. They also last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs. (When the bulbs do eventually run out, here’s how to dispose of them.)That means that the average CFL bulb will save $30 in energy costs over the course of its life. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if every American household were to swap just one bulb to CFL, we would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gasesequivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.
2) Unplug idle appliances and electronic devices. Just because that cellphone charger doesn’t have a phone attached to itdoesn’t mean it’s not drawing energy. Devices such as televisions with standby modes can use up to half the power they would draw when turned on. Don’t just turn something off: unplug it. The average household can save up to several hundred dollars a year just by pulling the plug on silent energy vampires.
3) Drive smarter. In real world testing of common fuel-saving tips, the Edmunds Automotive Network found some surprises. First, it’s a good thing to keep tires properly inflated, and this is a commonly recommended strategy for saving gas. But Edmunds found other ideas that make a more noticeable difference. Use your cruise control on the highway for up to a 15 percent improvement in mileage. Driving less aggressively is the single most effective way to save gasoline: accelerate out of lights more gently, avoid rapid braking, and only drive as fast as you must. And turn off your engine rather than idling excessively. If your car starts reliably, consider shutting it down at long lights. Skip the drive-through window, park and walk your business inside whenever possible.
4) Go meatless once a week. If you’re not already practicing a vegetarian diet, consider cutting back on the amount of meat in you consume. As Frances Moore Lapp pointed out in her bestselling book, Diet for a Small Planet, livestock production absorbs 16 pounds of grain and soy feed for every pound of meat that actually gets to the plate. Each calorie of animal protein requires 78 calories of fossil fuels to produce, and irrigation directly associated with livestock production (including feeds) amounts to about half of all the consumed water in the United States. Give meatless substitutes like Boca Burgers a try, or scan vegetarian recipes for healthy and earth-friendly meal ideas.
5) Buy local; buy in season. According to the nonprofit groupSustainable Table, the typical carrot travels 1,838 miles before it ends up in your kitchen. That’s a lot of food miles, and a tremendous amount of wasted fossil fuels and packaging. Buying regionally produced food is a keystone of sustainability: not only does it save the energy costs associated with shipping bulk produce, it keeps a portion of your grocery money close to where live. So locate your local farmers market and add it to your weekly errands. You’ll be supporting local growers while enjoying fresh, seasonal produce. You can keep up with the latest advice and tips on eating local with MNN’s Food blogger, Robin Shreeves.
And here are a few of my own: