Energy consciousness starts at home!
• If you have an older refrigerator – 8 to 10 yrs old or more, by replacing it with an Energy Star rated model, you will save a tremendous amount of energy, emissions and lower your energy usage and/or bill, as an added benefit. And be conscious of not loitering in front of that refrigerator with the door open! It takes a lot of energy to cool it back down once you have let all the cool air escape. We place everything that goes into or out of the frig. on the counter next to the frig. and move things in and out as quickly as possible.
If you are considering going Solar, things like this mean you will need fewer solar panels to meet your electrical needs and mean more energy will go back to the grid, helping others benefit, as well (if you are grid-tied), possibly even mean a bigger refund from the power company, if you are tied to a company that incorporates this policy. If not – let your power company know of your desire for them to do so!
Your refrigerator and your water are the two biggest Energy Hogs or users in your home!
That being said, you can save water by using aerators on your faucets and shower heads. Taking shorter showers and being conscious of turning off the faucet and not wasting water will benefit all. Fill your sink part way when washing and rinsing dishes, vs. letting the water run…
• It will soon be garden time and many of you love those ‘beautiful’ lawns. Be considerate of you water usage here, by cutting back on watering your lawn and garden. Rain barrels can be quite decorative and a great way to save water in this manner. Or you can follow Prince Charles’ example and plant wild (edible) flowers for your lawn or even garden vegetables!
Permaculture and container gardening is a great solution for a garden, even when you have limited space. Be creative! All plants are beautiful! Incorporate veggies and herbs into your flower beds and extend them into your lawn for big benefits to yourself and the environment…. and our carbon emissions!
Gardening has so many benefits – with transportation and food costs, continuing to rise. Growing, harvesting and preserving your own food makes more sense than ever! …Especially when using your own compost and please stay away from chemical fertilizers that are made from OIL! and actually deplete the soil of the nourishment we need to live and thrive.
• Also – have you considered a battery operated lawnmower? They use ZERO gas or oil! They do NOT pollute, are much quieter… And if you are solar powered, your carbon footprint is raised to a level even higher. I know – we use one, with an extra battery and consider ours a ‘solar powered lawn mower’, since we are 100% solar powered! You can always do more, as we still look for ways to reduce our own carbon footprint… (I even bought a battery operated chain saw, for use with small jobs that require one!)
• Composting and recycling in your home can become a habit and reward you with so many benefits, such as nourished soil for your gardening… or waste at that dump with the cost associated with the removal of that waste. Buy in bulk and/or bring your own containers to be able to purchase from bulk sections in your grocery store. (The products are probably much fresher, too!)
• Something else to know about is that paving ones driveway might not be the way to go any more. Tar-based products have plenty of chemicals in them and use a lot of oil! Consider a shale or crushed stone drive. Our 1/2 mile driveway is covered with Sta-pac, a crushed stone product and does not track or keeps the mud at bay.
• And, finally, now that spring is here and summer ahead, consider your bicycle as an alternate means of transportation, even if it means getting up earlier and a bit of effort – the benefits far outweigh it all (health, financial and environmental) – even hooking onto public transportation with bike in tow, if you need to go a distance to work or shopping (get some bike and back packs to hold your goods). Many buses have ways to allow you to take your bike with you. If we all did this just one day a week, think of the HUGE amount of emissions that would be going into the atmosphere!
Walk to work or the store – esp for that cup of coffee (beats me why one doesn’t just make it at home, anyway – certainly reduces in your gas usage, the waste and the manufacturing emissions to make that cup, lid…).
Green Energy Times welcomes your ideas to help reduce our emissions. Let us know of your ideas and what you are doing or plan to incorporate into your own lives. Set the example for others!