How are you celebrating Earth Day? Or better yet, how do your daily actions honor our planet? For us, Earth Day is not a day, but rather a way of life. Our friends at Recycle Utah and Summit Community Power Works help us to honor that lifestyle daily.
Recycling has come a long way in the last 20 years, but is it ever really enough? A quick field trip to your local landfill will probably have you scurrying for new ways to reduce and reuse. Get to know the offerings of your community recycling center and organization. Locally, Recycle Utah (http://www.recycleutah.org/) is committed to reducing waste and preventing ground water pollution by collection programs, education programs, workshops, and events. Did you know recycling is just one way to lessen your impact.
Summit Community Power Works is another local organization helping our community to lessen our impact on the environment by informing residents how we can reduce our power use. The ultimate goal of SCPW is a $5,000,000 prize grant for reducing power use. SCPW serves to educate, but it is up to each of us to act. If we win this nation-wide competition, these prize funds will be invested right back into making our community more sustainable. Sometimes doing the right thing can pay off.
You may be wondering how you can “green” your lifestyle in your current and future home. We’ve put together a list of our favorite tips for your present and future homes.
- Switch out your light bulbs for L.E.D. Why? Longer life span = lower cost. Longer life span = less waste. Pure light = better for your eyes.
- Smart Thermostat. A smart anything is just better. What’s not to love? Enjoy better design, a more efficient operating system and managing your home from your smartphone.
- Compost. Have you ever thought about how much of your weekly trash is composed of food waste? At our house it is significant, and all of that green waste could transform into compost for our garden.
- Consider new construction or remodel projects wisely. Choose efficient and effective materials. You may spend a few more dollars today, but in the long run, you will likely see savings outweigh the expenses.
- Manage your window treatments – Allow the sun to shine through in the winter assisting in heating your home. In the summer shift your schedule to keep the cool air in during the night and allow cool air to enter during the cooler evening hours.
- Buy a newer home. Seriously, newer homes are built with modern technology and materials supporting efficient methods.
- Is your refrigerator running? Just like when you go out for a run, you want to make sure you are running efficiently. The same goes for your appliances. Would updating these bigger home appliances save you in the long run? Take a close look at your refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer.
- Forget the clothes dryer and hang your wash out to dry. Your clothes dryer is likely your most inefficient appliance and it doesn’t do your clothing any favors.
- Upcycle! How many ways can you use that old newspaper or dryer sheet (assuming you can find an old newspaper, and since we just told you to stop using your dryer we may need to rethink these examples.) Can you repurpose an old piece of furniture rather than buying new?
- Vow to remove single-use containers from your life. Rather than a 6-pack of beer bottle consider a growler. Stop buying water bottles and invest in a reusable container, remember to bring your reusable bags to the grocery store.
These little changes can add up to cost savings for your home (amongst other benefits). We urge you to consider what changes in your daily life you can make to lessen your impact on the environment. Whether you implement these actions into your life during Earth Week or next month, the Earth will thank you, and so will we!