10 December 2007

5 Easy Ways to Help the Environment

I will have to begin this to say that I'm not a treehugger, but I have thought about a lot of common practices in our American lifestyle that are wasteful. Some of this is out of convenience; some of it is out of ignorance. Below I am going to list five easy ways that you can adjust your lifestyle, or make simple changes to help the environment.

1. Adjust your thermostats
Try lowering your home thermostat to 68º Fahrenheit (20º Celsius) in the Winter or 78º F (26º C) in the Summer. Also adjust your water heater to 140º F (60º C) or lower. You will be surprised on how little you will notice the difference. My house is an older house with some single pane windows, therefore I keep my thermostat a bit higher at about 72º F.

2. Switch your regular incandescent light bulbs to Compact Florescent Light bulbs (CFL).
CFL's are more efficient than standard light bulbs as they convert more of the energy supplied to actually producing light. I blogged about CFL's in April and I have switched to them in my house as well. They create a nice light and work just as well as regular lights. I have seen my electric bill drop quite a bit because of this change.

3. Turn off lights and appliances
You would be amazed on the amount of money you can save by just making sure that lights are turned off in rooms that are not occupied. Appliances can also be a big drain on your electric bill as well; keep appliances on standby if you have to.

4. Recycle
Recycle all your paper waste as well as cans and bottles. Most communities have curb-side pickup available, but if they don't there are usually convenient drop off points for your recyclables.

5. Transportation
Try to eliminate unnecessary travel by planning out your route and make it as efficient as possible. If possible try to use alternative forms of transportation such as bicycle or public transportation. Even one day a week can make a difference.

Hopefully those of you reading this will take the time to use these tips and help preserve our planet a little bit longer. Most of these tips don't take much to implement, so try them out and you'll be surprised on how you will readjust quickly.

Global Stewards
Practical Environmentalist
Development Crossing

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