You have started turning off lights, purchased a water saving shower-head, and have even begun riding your bike to work when it’s warm. What other ways are there to be responsible to use the developments of green technology on an individual or household level?
Some of the main trouble with consumables is that their production causes extreme pollution and/or their use leaves waste behind. There are some consumable products about which we have very little choice. However, other daily products have been developed which allow for families and individuals to make simple changes in purchasing choices that could literally change the world.
Energy Saving Light Bulbs
One of the easiest switches to make is changing from conventional incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents. Regular light bulbs are energy suckers and also release a significantly higher amount of carbon dioxide into the air. Compact fluorescent light bulbs last about ten times as long, reduce carbon emissions by about half, and use less energy to run. Although the upfront cost of energy efficient light bulbs might cause some sticker shock, do the math and you’ll realize that it costs less over the long haul. Plus, that’s less time you have to spend shopping for light bulbs over the next decade. So you have 9 fewer light bulbs headed into a landfill, it is better for your family’s health, and you can save money! It’s a win-win-win.
Almost two billion batteries each year end up in landfills, just in the United States alone. Harmful chemicals and toxins are in these seemingly innocuous batteries, and they need to be handled as hazardous waste, however many people simply throw them in the trash! Buying rechargeable batteries and a charger will save you money over the long haul, as well as eliminating the risk of dangerous mercury and cadmium from entering into the environment and water sources from landfills.
Vehicles and Transportation
If you live in a place where it is impossible to walk or bike to work, and public transportation is either unavailable or ridiculously time-consuming, you probably own a car. But just because you own a vehicle doesn’t mean that you cannot be eco-friendly. Before it’s time to buy a new car, consider buying a hybrid or electric car for your commute. These vehicles use less fossil fuels, get more miles per gallon, and are continuing to make progress in efficiency and convenience. Plus, many larger cities give priority parking spaces to those needing to “plug-in”.
Just as with light bulbs and batteries, you may feel like you are spending a lot more money when purchasing an energy-efficient appliance. However, although the upfront cost of Energy Star labeled appliances might be a bit higher, these can cut annual energy costs buy up to twenty percent, or hundreds of dollars. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that original price tag will be recovered very quickly and you’ll feel better by helping with a greener earth.