Sometimes environmental problems seem so huge, it’s natural to wonder if there’s anything we, as individuals, can do to help. Most of us already know the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The good news is that there is plenty more that each of us can do, and we can all begin with little changes. These individual things accumulate, all adding up to big success.
One need look no further than the recent rollercoaster gas prices. It was only a couple of months ago that we saw prices go over $4.00 for a single gallon of gas. Nationwide, consumers responded by driving less, consolidating trips, carpooling, and taking other measures to reduce the among of gas they used in their vehicles. Simple economics says that when demand decreases, prices drop. Now prices at the pump are the lowest they’ve been in a few years – under $2.00 a gallon in many cases.
So, what are some other little things each of us can do to help the environment? Here are a few ideas.
Each time a lightbulb burns out, replace it with a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL). They cost a little more initially but use less power and last a lot longer. Over time you save energy and money.
Reuse plastic or paper bags. Most stores now sell reusable bags to tote home your groceries. These are great! However, if you do get plastic or paper bags at the supermarket, find a way to reuse them. Plastic bags make great liners for indoor trash receptacles. Stack newspapers in paper bags before you set them out for recycling. Use a plastic bag over and over to take your lunch to work. Some stores even take them back and recycle them, too.
Turn off things that aren’t in use. Do you have video game consoles at home like X-Box or Wii? The National Resources Defense Council conducted a study and discovered that these consoles use nearly the same amount of power when left on and unattended as they do when someone is playing them! Shut them down when you’re finished your game and you’ll save energy.
The same goes with computers, chargers, and a host of other appliances and gadgets around the house. These all draw energy when left on, even if nobody is using them. Unplug the chargers from the wall and you’ll save even more.
Don’t forget the old rule our parents taught us, too. Turn off the light when you leave a room.
There are three easy things that anybody can do. Not so overwhelming after all, when you look at them as small steps!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009