Preserving the environment we live in is a huge task. If we all pitch in, and take a couple small green steps, collectively, we will make a huge impact on our environment.
My biology teacher told our class one day that huge ecological disasters, for example, the Exxon Valdez, is dwarfed in comparison to the amount of pollution we cause DAILY!
I'll be showing you a couple things I do in my life to help provide some relief to mother nature.
Step 1: Lighting/Cooling/Electrical consumption at home
Lighting, cooling and energy consumption is a very important aspect of our daily lives.
Here are a few helpful hints on how to consume less electricity, so that local power plant has less energy to produce, which in turn lowers the amount of fuel they have to burn, lowering the CO2 output.
The first thing you can do, but will probably be the most expensive investment, but will pay for itself in the long run is....
These light bulbs consume a fraction of what old light bulbs use, and provide more light as well.
You can purchase them at any home improvement store, such as Lowe's, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart.
You can save money by purchasing the packs that have a couple bulbs in it.
Each bulb you change can save about 30 USD yearly in your electricity bill. If you change 10 bulbs in your house thats already 300+ a year in savings, which brings your monthly bill down about 25 dollars. NEAT!
Another thing you can do to save electricity is... OPEN A WINDOW! Let some of that free sunlight light up your home! There is a downside to this though... sunlight = heat = increase in cooling costs. But like always there is a way around this.
If you have windows facing north or south, you can open those up, and there wont be as much direct sunlight, which wont cause too much heat. In the morning you can crack the shades a bit on east facing windows, then open them up at noon, that way there is never that full intense light coming in. Play around with this.
Basically close the windows where the sun hits directly, and open them up as the sun moves throughout the sky.
A word on cooling. The air conditioner in a home is probably the largest expense in your electric bill monthly. Set the A/C at a bearable temperature during the day, and raise the temperature a little at night since its obviously not as hot outside.
You can also turn off the A/C and open up your windows; let some fresh air into your home!
Insulation is extremely important in effective cooling your home. Try and prevent as much of the cooled air in your house escapes, caulk up windows or put weather stripping on your doors.
I live in a very old house with a flat roof and no insulation in the roof, and now during summer it gets extremely hot. What I did to help with some of the heat was buy a couple of those windshield shades for your car, and put them up on my windows to reflect some of the heat. IT WORKS!
When leaving your house, try to keep the doors open for as little as possible, keep the cool air inside.
Turn off that computer when you're not using it! A computer tower running 24/7 costs about 10 dollars monthly. Turning it off, or putting it on power save mode will save you a couple bucks a month, it will also reduce some of that heat being produced in your home :)
Disconnect appliances when your not using them, although you may like to think that the display on your DVD player on standby inst consuming much... it adds up!
Water heater is another biggie on the list. During hot summer months, turn down the temperature, and when the cooler seasons come in turn it up again!
WARNING IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ELECTRICAL KNOWLEDGE DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS, YOU COULD KILL YOURSELF, CALL A CERTIFIED ELECTRICIAN TO DO THIS FOR YOU
Keep the fridge and freezer doors open for as little as possible, alot of energy goes into cooling these things.