Stopping global climate change when it comes to the individual simply boils down to going green. Any actions you can take that help prevent greenhouse gas emissions, physical waste, and wasted energy will help. Going green is really not as annoying as you might think and you don’t have to take things overboard to make a difference. Here are 15 things you can do immediately to go a little green and help fight climate change:
1. Shave some points of your thermostat.
Set your thermostat a few degrees colder in winter and a few degrees warmer in summer. You probably won’t notice the difference, but you’ll save money and reduce energy consumption.
2. Unplug your appliances when not in use.
These days, off doesn’t really mean off. Standby mode wastes energy.
3. Switch your laptop from using Standby mode to just Hibernate.
Again, standby mode still wastes energy. Hibernate might take a few extra seconds to recover from, but it’s worth it.
4. Get a new monitor.
If you’re still using big hot and heavy CRT monitors, step into the new millennium and get yourself an LCD. How often do you get to buy new stuff and save mother earth at the same time?
5. Work from home.
Not only do people who work from home get more work done on average, but you’ll be saving energy and avoiding the stress of a commute. Plus, you’ll avoid needless interruptions from your co-workers.
6. Kill paper bills and junk mail.
There are very few instances where you can’t get your bill in electronic format and save paper. No, you don’t actually need a paper copy. They’re just taking up space and killing trees.
7. Stop drinking bottled water.
This is a pet peeve of mine. The entire bottled water industry is a scam in plain site. Get yourself a water filter for your home and buy a reusable aluminum bottle to carry around with you.
8. Maintain your computer.
If you keep your computer maintained, up-to-date, and purring like a kitten, it will last longer. The longer you can hold onto the same computer, the more you can help the environment.
9. Borrow stuff instead of buying it.
I know many that read this blog are book hoarders, but are you really going to ever read that new Stephen King again? Even if you are, why not just borrow it from your local library when the mood strikes? It’s great to own stuff, but it saves the environment if you just borrow stuff instead.
10. Turn off the coffee maker.
Nobody is going to drink that last sip of coffee left in the pot, so keeping the warmer on is just wasting energy. Not only that, but you could end up ruining a perfectly good carafe.
11. Turn off those lights.
Instead of relying on lamps and bulbs, open your blinds and curtains. Take advantage of natural lighting. It saves energy, reduces waste, and makes you a happier person (true story).
12. Park the car.
Avoid the drive-thru like the plague. The EPA estimates that if one million drivers turned off their cars, rather than idled unnecessarily, for just two minutes per week for an entire year, pollutants would be reduced by more than 750 tons.
13. Be a vegetarian.
Not all the time, but even having one meal per week where you don’t include any meat can have a positive effect. Meat consumption is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. While this will not effect my love for steak, it might be nice to dig into some veggies every once in a while.
14. Shorten your shower.
Either that or take a cold one. Using hot water wastes a lot of energy, so take the opportunity to save it whenever you can. It doesn’t really take that long to wash yourself, does it?
15. Wash your clothes in cold water.
Not only will this prevent your colors from running, but it also helps save hot water and there are even detergents that work better specifically in cold water.