According to NASA, climate change is a very real problem that already is affecting the environment: “Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.” We also are experiencing a loss of sea ice, an accelerated sea level rise, and longer, more intense heat waves. Fortunately, you can make some environmentally-friendly changes in your home and within your community to raise awareness about climate change and help stop it. Living like every day is Earth Day is a great way to start.
Replace Old Appliances with Energy-Efficient Models
If you have older appliances in your home, especially if you have an extra refrigerator or freezer in your garage or basement, replace them with energy-efficient models. Not only do new appliances use less energy, but they use less water, too. The more efficient your appliances are, the more money you will save on water, electric, and gas bills.
According to HelpSaveNature, about 20 percent of the total energy consumption in average American households is due to using electrical appliances. When you switch to an energy-efficient appliance, especially those with the Energy Star label, you significantly reduce your energy consumption, and the less energy your household consumes, the more the environment benefits, because fewer fossil fuels are used and fewer harmful gases are released into the atmosphere.
While you’re taking steps to increase the energy efficiency of your home, you also can replace traditional light bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs. After opting for energy-efficient bulbs, you can continue to reduce electricity consumption by choosing bulbs with a lower wattage, using dimmer switches, using lamps instead of overhead lights, and turning off lights when not using them.
While typical families in the US spend at least $2,000 a year on home utility bills, you can rack up the savings by making a few changes. Homeowners can reduce utility costs significantly and help the environment by taking measures to increase energy efficiency and reduce water waste at home.
Homes and business that go green have quite a positive impact on the environment. By making green upgrades, homeowners can reduce the amount of water and electricity required to run a home and reduce their associated greenhouse gases. In fact, green-certified homes potentially use 15 percent to 30 percent less energy and water than homes using conventional standards.
Specific things you can do to go green at home include efforts that increase energy efficiency and reduce water consumption. To get started, Angie’s List recommends homeowners complete the following tasks:
- Install low-flow sinks, showers, and toilets to save water
- Create a rain garden to collect rainfall, and direct the water from your washing machine to your yard to reduce your use of irrigation systems
- Install solar panels to power at least 20 percent of your home, and stick with energy-efficient large appliances
Involve Your Community
The changes you make to create a more eco-friendly home are the first steps toward helping the environment. Go a step further and take your knowledge to the community by hosting an information session, writing a letter to the editor of your local paper, organizing a trash pick-up day, or sponsoring a carpool event. You can create a group on social media or create an event and share it with followers to rally support.
Involving your community is key because the more people who work to stop climate change, the better. You also can reach out to youth groups at area churches or approach high school students or clubs about getting involved in helping your community go green. Local government officials and business owners also are likely to get on board to help improve your community, especially if there are grants or other incentives involved.
You can do your part to help fight climate change by making environmentally-friendly adjustments at home and within your community. Replace old appliances and light bulbs with energy-efficient models. Then, go green at home by increasing energy efficiency and reducing water consumption. Making these small changes can mean a world of difference for our planet now and in the future.