Looking for ways to demonstrate your commitment to protecting the environment this Earth Day? There are plenty of ways you can help save energy, reduce the pollution in our air, and protect our climate for decades to come. Here are some of my favorite tips that my EPA colleagues recommend for making a difference at home, school, or work.
- Change a Light! The average home has approximately 30 light fixtures. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $70 each year. If every American home did this, we would save $8 billion each year in energy costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from about 10 million cars!
- Reduce your carbon footprint! Leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1,600 pounds per year. Save up errands and shopping trips so you need to drive fewer times. If you commute to work, ask if you can work from home at least some days, and you’ll reduce air pollution and traffic congestion – and save money.
- It’s electric! You can check how much of your electricity comes from clean, renewable sources, such as wind or solar. Green power produces less carbon emissions, reduces air pollution, and helps protect against future costs or scarcity of fossil fuels. If green power is a consumer option, check price differences from suppliers before you buy.
- Breathe easy! On unhealthy air pollution “action alert” days, wait to mow your lawn until it’s cooler in the evening or early the next morning. You help reduce air pollution for everyone near you if you run gas-powered equipment, like lawn mowers, when it’s cooler. You also protect your health by avoiding ground-level ozone during the warmest part of the day. Check your air quality now.
You can find more suggestions at Environmental Tips, but don’t limit yourself to these suggestions. If you have a unique way to celebrate Earth Day, share your tip with us!
About the author: Shanshan Lin is an intern for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation communications team. She is also a graduate student at George Washington University.