It’s hard to believe that New Year’s is just around the corner and 2017 will become a thing of the past in the very near future. New Year’s resolutions are always a fun topic amongst friends and family during this time of the year. It’s the time we make the decision to better ourselves: by eating healthier, working out more, spending more time with the family, or buckling down at work.
All of these resolutions are good and well, however, why not make this year the year you resolve to not only help yourself, but help all of nature as well? It sounds like a pretty hefty resolution, right? In actuality, there are many simple changes you can make around your house that will greatly impact your carbon footprint and help the planet at the same time.
If you don’t yet recycle, this is a good place to start.
Nobody likes to admit or think about it, but, according to an article published this year in The National Geographic, a whopping 91% of plastic does not get recycled (https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/). Unfortunately, all of us take some responsibility in the plastic that ends up in landfills or in the oceans, and the best thing we can do to stop this is reduce, reuse and recycle. Maybe you live in an apartment complex that doesn’t have a recycling bin or you just haven’t really gotten into the “groove” of recycling. Perhaps you’re not really 100% sure on what can and cannot be recycled or do not understand the little numbers on the bottom of containers. In Phoenix, plastics with the numbers 1 or 2 in the recycling symbol on the bottom of containers are accepted for curbside recycling pickup. For more information on recycling programs in Phoenix, visit: https://keepphxbeautiful.org/resources/
Opt out of using paper or plastic.
A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce the amount of harmful products you use. If you purchase coffee often, keep a thermos in your car. Most coffee shops are happy to make your drink in your own cup, and at Starbucks you even get a 10 cent discount for being green! Plastic grocery bags are not recyclable and take hundreds of years to degrade, and should therefore be avoided. It’s a great idea to keep reusable grocery bags in your trunk so their always handy when you head to the store. Stores like Trader Joe’s have incentives such as entering a raffle for customers who bring their own bags. Another great way to cut down on wasteful paper consumption is to cut up your old t-shirts to use as rags – thus greatly reducing your paper towel usage.
Use energy efficient lighting.
Don’t run out today and exchange all your lightbulbs with energy efficient replacements if they are working properly. However, as they burn out, replacing your current bulbs with compact fluorescent light or CFL bulbs is a cheap and easy way to go green. These bulbs are estimated to last 5 times longer than traditional bulbs and use much less electricity to do so. On top of all this, CFL bulbs are brighter and produce more light than their traditional counterparts.
Cut down on energy usage.
There are many easy ways to cut back on energy usage in your home. It is good practice to unplug your electronic devices when they are not being used. You could also wash your clothing on the coldest setting when possible. Not only does this reduce the risk of your colors bleeding, but it also reduces energy consumption greatly. In fact, the Worldwatch Institute estimates that about 85% of energy consumption used in washing clothes goes towards heating the water. Us Arizonians can also take advantage of our 330 days of sunlight per year and hang dry our clothing rather than machine drying it.
Invest in solar window screens with CC Sunscreens.
Of course, this is our personal favorite way to live greener. Investing in high quality window solar screens will block either 80 or 90% of the sun’s harmful rays from entering your home. Because of this, SRP estimates that window solar screens would reduce an average family’s energy bill by 25%. Window solar screens also help the environment by protecting your belongings such as your furniture, carpets and drapery from fading from the sun – meaning you need to replace it less often, thus creating less waste.
For a consultation, contact us at CC Sunscreens today.