Earth Day is observed annually on April 22nd to foster appreciation of the earth’s environment and bring awareness to the issues that threaten it. People from all around the world join together to plant trees, clean oil spills, and more. In honor of this past week’s celebration, here are some tips on how to treat every day like it is Earth Day.
1. Live Where Public Transportation Is Convenient.
Choosing where to live may be the single most important factor in how much energy is consumed. A home's location relative to transportation choices has a large impact on energy consumption. People who live in a more compact, transit-accessible area have more housing and transportation choices compared to those who live in spread-out developments where few or no public transportation options exist besides driving. Choosing to live in an area with transportation options not only reduces energy consumption, it also can result in significant savings on and transportation costs.
Public transportation reduces the number of cars in street, and thus helps improve air quality, alleviate traffic congestion, and reduce noise.
Vanpooling and cycling can also be used as alternative modes of transportation for individuals.
2. Use Non-Gas Modes of Transportation
Walking will not only improve one’s health, but it can also play an important role in improving our quality of life by protecting and improving the environment and sustaining natural resources. Walking is highly efficient in its use of urban space and energy in that it rarely causes injury and provides greater personal security. Walking can also reduce stress, especially if taken at the park.
Riding a bicycle is great for longer distances when walking is just not as efficient. Cycling produces zero pollutants and does not burn any non-renewable fuels. Short car trips waste more fuel and create more pollutants than long car trips.
Other gas-free modes of transportation include scooters, roller blades, skateboards, and electric cars and motorcycles.
3. Get Comfortable at Home Without the HVAC
Find an area in the home where the right mix of temperature, humidity, and breeze creates a comfortable setting. These comfort zones in the home may change throughout the year, so try finding different locations depending on the weather. Finding these zones will help reduce the need for heat in the winter and A/C during the summer. Homes that have more windows to let in fresh air and natural light tend to be more attractive than the contrary. Fill any hidden gaps and cracks where air may escape from windows, walls, and crawl spaces. Cover up the windows with shades when it’s too hot outside or let light into the room when it’s cold.
4. Dress Appropriately
Wearing the right clothing is obviously the cheapest, easiest, and fastest way to saving money around the house compared to the amount of money spent on renovating the home. Insulation of the body is much more cost and energy efficient than insulating a whole room or house. Insulating the body only requires a small layer of air to be heated, while a heating system has to warm all the air in a room to achieve the same result. Dressing appropriately will reduce energy consumed for heating and cooling.
5. Reduce Material Possessions
Live life with less materialistic things by getting rid what is not being used. Living lean works well for those who care about the environment and hope to reduce their carbon footprint. Most people, at least in the United States, would have to admit they have too many material items, yet they keep yearning for more. Focusing on not junking up Mother Earth helps maintain the minimalist lifestyle. This lifestyle encourages us to get rid of clutter, use what we have, and pass on to others what we no longer need. Living with fewer things lowers the energy consumption used to produce and maintain. The less people consume the less damage there is on the environment.