What Can You Do?
'If we all do a little, we can do a lot.'
The old saying holds especially true when referring to sustainability. By making small changes in our everyday lives, we can help to greatly reduce our overall carbon footprint. Below are several easy steps that can be taken to reduce overall harmful effects to the environment:
Turn off and unplug electronics when leaving the room or while not in use. Even when electronic devices are "off" they still draw electricity from the power source if plugged in.Unplugging lights, VCRs, stereos, computers, kitchen appliances, phone chargers, etc., will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but your electricity bill as well! An easy way to turn off the power usage when not in use is to plug everything into one power strip and simply unplug/turn off the power strip when not in use.
Many people are unaware of the power usage of their laptops, even while in sleep mode or while a screen saver is on, computers use as much energy as when being used. Check out the Broward sustainability website for more information on computer usage at http://www.fau.edu/broward/sustain/ComputerTips.php. Only run the dishwasher when there is a full load of dishes. It saves water and energy to run it once a week, rather than every other day for a few dishes. When buying new appliances, aim to buy ENERGY STAR® appliances, which can save you money. An energy efficient refrigerator alone can save around $90.00 per year! Changing to fluorescent lighting not only uses less energy, but lasts up to thirteen times longer! When you get more use out of them, there is less of a need for production. It will save you the money of going through light bulbs, as well as save the environment from the production/depletion offsets of each bulb. Also, be sure to properly dispose of fluorescent light bulbs as they contain small amounts of mercury which can be harmful to the environment.