May 1st, 2020
April commemorates Earth Day, and, while the month might be over, there many ways to live green every day. These steps are easy, can be implemented immediately, and, best of all, help keep our environment healthy. Everyone wins!
Kill the vampires. Walk around your apartment and unplug any electronic devices and appliances you’re not using. These include TVs, computers, printers, cell phone chargers, video game consoles, and CD and DVD players (we know some of you still have these!).
Most electronic equipment still consumes energy when turned off and plugged in – about 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. That’s enough to power a home for two months! No wonder they’re called vampires.
Watch that wash. Try to wait for a full load before turning on the washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher. You use the same amount of energy to power them whether you have a half load or a full one. Each washing cycle uses more than 25 gallons of water – make sure every drop counts. When using the dryer, clean out the lint filter after every load.
Doing dishes? Scrape your plate, but don’t rinse it, before putting it into the dishwasher. Pre-rinsing is no longer necessary with today’s technology and detergents, and you might use more water to pre-rinse than the dishwasher uses for a full wash cycle.
Don’t guzzle the H2O. Take quick showers and don’t let the water run when shaving or brushing your teeth.
Monitor your thermostat. Turn down your thermostat by two degrees in the winter and up by two degrees in the summer. You’ll eliminate 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide during the year.
Recycling, a classic that still works. For decades, we’ve all heard how wonderful recycling is. That’s because it works! Consider the fact that recycling just one aluminum can saves the amount of energy required to run a TV for three hours.
In this technology-obsessed world of ours, many retailers and other companies also will take your old gadgets for recycling. Computers, monitors, cell phones, and other electronics often contain toxic materials that should not sit in landfills.
Lower the lights. Change to fluorescent light bulbs – which use approximately 66 percent less energy than regular incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. Always turn off lights when you aren’t home, or in a particular room, to save energy. You can also install automatic timers to turn off lights in empty rooms.
Let the sunshine in. Among the best, most inexpensive ways to warm your apartment is by letting sunlight in. Open blinds, drapes, and shutters and allow solar energy to brighten the indoors naturally.
As you can see, it’s easy to go green. You don’t have to turn your life completely upside down. Just start small, go slow, and make the adjustments gradually. Make every day Earth Day! For more tips, visit the website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at https://www.epa.gov/environmental-topics/greener-living.