Ah, Earth Day - a day in which we are forced to look at all the ways we have affected our planet and "commit" to doing more. Not many of us stick to that commitment, though, do we?
Each year, we say we'll recycle more, use less electricity, bike or walk instead of drive our cars, but it never really happens.
Why is that?
Is it because we're too stubborn to change our ways, or because we create loose plans with no real follow-through possible (for example: you say you'll conserve more electricity, but don't determine how you'll achieve that goal). Maybe its because we're too self-absorbed, and we can't bear to face the damage we've done.
Regardless of what it is, this cycle of false commitments needs to end, and it needs to end now.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to live in a world where the plot of Biodome could become a reality.
Here are some simple tips on how to conserve energy and make a real chance to better the planet (organized by category of course).
To save money on cooling costs turn the thermostat to 80 degrees or higher when you are sleeping or away from home. Raising the temperature by five degrees for eight hours can reduce your cooling costs.
Avoid creating unnecessary heat and humidity in the house during summer days. Plan to do heat and moisture-creating activities such as washing dishes, doing laundry, bathing and cooking before noon or past 8 p.m.
Limit the amount of time you run kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans.
Consider using a window fan, which requires as little as 1/10 the amount of energy needed to run an air conditioner.
Cleaning and maintenance
Only run the dishwasher when it is full, and load the dishwasher properly to ensure efficient water circulation.
Run the clothes washer with a full load, match the water level to the size of the load, and use a minimum amount of detergent. Each load of laundry uses approximately 50 gallons of water.
Repair leaky faucets and toilets to avoid wasting hundreds of gallons of water each week.
Use a bucket instead of running water to mop the floor.
I hope these tips will help you change that false commitment into a real one.