(from the EPA at: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/home.html)
Change a lightbulb, and you help change the world. Replace the conventional bulbs in your 5 most frequently used light fixtures with bulbs that have the ENERGY STAR logo and you will help the environment while saving money on energy bills. If every U.S. household took this one simple action, we would prevent greenhouse gas pollution equal to the emissions from 10 million cars.
When buying new appliances for your home, look for ENERGY STAR qualified products in more than 50 product categories, including lighting, home electronics, heating and cooling equipment, and appliances.
Clean air filters regularly and have your heating and cooling equipment tuned annually by a licensed contractor. When replacing old equipment, choose a high efficiency model and make sure it is properly sized and installed.
Sealing air leaks and adding more insulation is a great do-it-yourself project. The biggest leaks are usually found in the attic and basement. If you are replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR products. Seal and insulate forced air ducts in attics and crawlspaces. A home energy auditor can help you find air leaks and areas with poor insulation, as well as evaluate the over-all energy efficiency of your home. By taking these steps, you can eliminate drafts, keep your home more comfortable year round, and save energy.
Green power is responsible electricity generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind, sun and geothermal. You can buy green power from a utility company, or you can modify your house (with financial incentives from the government) to generate your own. Using and buying green power helps stimulate the research and development of renewable sources.
Recycle newspapers, beverage containers, paper, and other goods. Use products in containers that can be recycled and items that can be repaired or reused. Support recycling markets by buying products made from recycled materials. Reducing, reusing, and recycling reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases from resource extraction, manufacturing, and disposal.
Use a push mower, which consumes no fossil fuels and emits no greenhouse gases. If you do use a power mower, make sure it is a mulching mower to reduce grass clippings. Composting your food and yard waste reduces the amount of garbage that you send to landfills and reduces greenhouse gas pollution. See EPA’s GreenScapes Program for tips on how to improve your lawn and garden while also benefiting the environment.
Municipal water systems require a lot of energy to purify and distribute water to households, so saving water (especially hot water) can lower greenhouse gas emissions. Be smart when irrigating your lawn or landscape by watering only when needed during the coolest part of the day (early morning). Turn the water off while shaving or brushing your teeth. Do not use your toilet as a waste basket – water is wasted with each flush. And did you know a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day? Repair all toilet and faucet leaks right away. See EPA’s WaterSense website for more water saving tips.
Tell family and friends that energy efficiency is good for their homes, their pocketbooks, and the world, because it lowers greenhouse gas pollution.
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