The time has come,” the solar company said, “to talk of many things. Of electricity, and plants, and upcycle projects. Of recycling, and new beginnings.
Climate change is real and just like saving money, every little bit counts. It may not change the world when you go solar, or start composting, or focus on upcycling old things, or even get an electric car, but when, one by one, more and more people do these things, it does make a difference. Even the smallest change you make in your life to make it greener will have a positive impact.
The New Year is just days away and it’s time to sit down and think about what resolutions you can stick to for a greener and more sustainable life. Not everyone can commit to all of these resolutions. Some require more money up-front, even if it will save money down the line. However, there are several things that everyone can do to be greener in 2016.
To make it easier on you, we’ve compiled a nice, long list of green resolutions that you may peruse and choose from. Have a look!
Greener Living Starts Here
- Go solar! Depending on what state you live in and your financial situation, this may or may not be a realistic option, but it is still an important one to mention. If you have a battery storage system to go along with it, even better! If you want to go solar in Southern California, give us a call! A free quote can’t hurt and we have a great promotion going on that will make it even more affordable: $0 down and we’ll make your first year’s payments.
- If you’re planning on getting a new car anyway, go electric, or, at least, electric-gas hybrid.
- Leave the keys, put on the sneakers. If you live it an area with good walkability, leave the car next time you want to grab a cup of coffee, have lunch, or make a quick trip to the grocery store. If you live within a few miles of work, you may also want to consider walking or biking to work.
- Recycle old cell phones and electronics. 130 million cell phones are thrown away annually, adding tons of waste (literally) and hazardous materials to our already full and toxic landfills.
- Not using it? Unplug it! 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.
- Give the planet a break one day a week. Choose one day, or even a morning or afternoon, every week, to unplug. No TV, no lights, no phone, no computer, no air conditioning or heating (within reason, obviously). Take time to be aware of and enjoy the environment around you.
- Reduce food waste by composting at home.
- Make sure all your light bulbs are energy efficient
- Get a high-efficiency showerhead and save up to 3,000 gallons of water per person, annually.
- Reusable bags, reusable bags, reusable bags.
- Drive smarter. By not speeding and making sure your car is properly maintained, you can improve your fuel efficiency.
- Find and seal air leaks in your home to optimize heating and cooling.
- Closed unused air vents when heating or cooling your home. If no person or pet is using a room, it doesn’t need temperature regulation. This will make increase the flow of heat or cool air to the rest of the house.
- Go native. The time for water-guzzling lawns have passed, especially in drought-stricken California. Replace your lawn with a native landscape that, once established, won’t need any extra water. For more ways to help save water, check this out: http://solaroptimumblog.com/2015/04/23/drought-is-here-what-are-you-doing-to-help/.
- Plant trees on the sunny side of your property to shade your home in the hot summer months.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
- Wash only full loads of laundry and, if possible, dry it on a clothesline outside instead of using the dryer.
- Install high-performance windows. Do this before deciding your air conditioner needs replacing.
- Have a garage sale! Just because you don’t want something anymore doesn’t mean someone else can’t use it. Don’t just throw it out. On the other side, you can shop at garage sales too. Buying used saves resources.
- Do you really need that second fridge in the garage? If you don’t, pull the plug. It’s a waste of energy and potentially a waste of food if you buy more than you can use before it goes bad.