By guest blogger Neil Stawsh of climatewise.co
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Sometimes the really big problems our world faces can seem like they are beyond our control. Climate change can appear to be one of those uncontrollable, major issues. After all, if something affects the entire planet, what can one person do to help? Thankfully, there is a lot you can do to for our environment to help stop climate change in its tracks.
Cut home energy waste
How tidy is your footprint? Making sustainable home improvements is a great first step toward reducing your use of our planet’s resources. You can cut your energy use with home upgrades, such as installing solar panels, adding insulation, or converting to geothermal heat. Also, consider your windows. Are they drafty or inefficient? Simply installing more energy-efficient windows can potentially save 25 to 30 percent of your home’s energy use—as well as hundreds of dollars a year. To get a better idea of where you might be wasting energy, consider investing in a home energy audit. During these evaluations, a professional checks your property for several areas of concern, including the safety of your furnace, appliances, and water heater, how adequate insulation is, moisture concerns, and any issues such as drafts or water inefficiencies. In this way, you can target improvements to cut water and energy waste, lower your impact on the environment, and save on your utility bills.
Choosing energy-efficient appliances is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. Not only do these gadgets cut the amount of energy used to wash your dishes and cook your food, some communities and utility companies offer incentives for your investment.
Improve driving habits
You might be under the impression you need to invest in an electric car or take public transportation to cut back on how much gasoline you burn. Those are wonderful options if you can work them out, but not everyone can make those changes. With a handful of small alterations, you can keep the car you have while reducing your burden on the environment. As Latina Lista explains, simply modifying your driving habits can help stop climate change. For instance, aggressive driving habits like tailgating, bursts of speed between lights, and weaving in and out of traffic burn an excessive amount of fuel. Moderating your driving can improve your mileage from 15 to 30 percent on the highway, and as much as 40 percent in town. Reducing the number of belongings you leave in your vehicle equates to hauling a lighter load, which can also cut fuel use. And next time you’re stuck in traffic, parking your car when you’re stopped for a minute or longer provides significant fuel savings, using only 10 seconds worth of fuel when you start up again.
Changing the lightbulbs in your home is an easy and effective way to reduce your negative impact on the environment. As Prevention notes, traditional incandescent bulbs are especially inefficient, but compact fluorescent light bulbs are an easy, environmentally friendly choice anybody can make to help stop global warming. You can reduce your energy use, your energy costs, and your household’s greenhouse-gas emissions just by switching your bulbs.
What’s happening in your backyard? Simply planting trees can be a boon to the environment and cut your energy usage, and provide natural insulation, temperature regulation, and moisture control. Tree roots absorb rainwater and protect against erosion, and the needles of evergreens act as a natural windbreak. Adding any form of vegetation is a boon. Consider adding trees, a rain garden, and drought-resistant, native plants to your own landscape. Also, encourage your hometown to plant community gardens. Community garden plots are not only beautiful and environmentally friendly, they provide opportunities for exercise, the chance to grow produce, and a chance to connect with other people in your neighborhood.
One person can make a big difference in stopping climate change. Check your home’s energy use and your driving habits, change your lightbulbs and appliances, and add some trees and greenery. All of us working together can make a positive and healthy impact!