Author: Kelsey, Eco Emi Team Member
As many know, the month of April is dedicated to Earth Day. However, you may be wondering what this day truly means or how it first came into existence. Of course, it is a way to show and spread awareness about environmental protection, but how do we actually partake in doing this?
Just a brief history about this holiday, Earth Day was first created in 1970, by Senator Gaylord Nelson who first developed the idea after being inspired by an anti-Vietnam war “teach in” at a college campus. He envisioned this holiday would transform the minds of the public and change their attitudes to become more earth friendly and environmentally conscious. Since then, more than one billion people in over 174 countries participate in this each year focusing on clean energy and making it the largest civic event in the world. Because of this movement, we now have the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.
While these are great steps taken to spread awareness, there is still a great deal to be done to reduce our carbon footprint, wastefulness, and encourage alternate energy and consumption. This is where you can step in! This year, make it a habit to be consistent stewards to our planet and help share the responsibility to preserve natural resources for future generations.
If you don’t feel like “going all out” this year, by participating in an event or club, you can follow any of these quick tips to help jump start your dedication to green living.
Turn off electronics
- Did you know that even though you may have turned off your TV or other electronic devices off, they are still pulling energy if they are plugged into the wall? Just plug these into a UL certified power strip, and when you are done using these; you can switch the power off for the night to prevent this.
Buy refillable containers
- Instead of buying those plastic sandwich bags for the kid’s lunches, invest in a reusable containers or bags. This helps save you money and the earth!
Reduce the use of hot water in the clothes washer
- Almost 90% of the energy used in the wash is used to heat the water. Try reducing the temperature to a cooler level; most clothes will come clean even with cold water!
- Instead of using those plastic bags that are provided at a grocery store, choose to use your own reusable bag. This preserves resources that are used by cutting down on the number of paper and plastic bags that are thrown out after a single trip. Some stores, such as CVS, even offer an incentive to skip the bagging, like a dollar back on your CVS card for every four trips that you bring your own bag.
- For every gallon of gas that you burn in your vehicle, it produces 19 pounds of carbon dioxide. If you obey the speed limit and avoid unnecessary acceleration, you will conserve gasoline and your car will work more efficiently. Be sure to check the pressure in your tires and properly add air as needed. Doing this can help improve gas mileage by about 3%.