Five Ways to Help Protect the Environment at Home

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Ever wanted to do something to help the environment, but you just weren’t sure what would really make a difference? Here are five easy ways to make a true difference for the environment and reduce your household’s carbon footprint.

Unplug Unused Appliances

“Phantom” energy loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as TVs, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances.  In the average home, 25 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.  This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance when you’re not using it.  Better yet, plug multiple appliances into one power strip and simply turn off the power strip when you’re not using the electronics.

Reduce Your Junk Mail

Save countless trees and reduce landfill waste by reducing the amount of junk mail you receive.  There are many free and subscription-based resources which will remove you from unsolicited marketing lists.  Contact the Direct Marketing Association to be removed from many companies' mass marketing mailing lists for up to five years.   Also, opt out of receiving those bulky phone books by contacting the manufacturer and asking to be taken off their mailing list. 

Green Up Your Kitchen

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Choose non-toxic, eco-friendly kitchen accessories, such as products made from sustainable bamboo or 100% recycled materials.  Also, opt for non-toxic or plant-based cleaning products.  Many of your favorite brand-name companies offer naturally safe and effective household products to keep your kitchen clean and healthy.

When stocking your kitchen with produce and groceries, try to buy locally-grown or organic produce.  In the United States, food typically travels over 1,000 miles from farm to plate, which results in high energy consumption and reduces the quality of your produce, so opting for local foods is better for both you and the environment.  Organic produce is also safer because it is grown without harmful pesticides.  Look for the label “USDA Certified Organic” on all organic foods at the grocery store to know you’re buying a more sustainable product.

Water Wisely

Use water wisely to help conserve one of the world’s most precious resources.  Outside of the home, water your landscape in the early morning rather than during the day when the sun is at its peak, and apply mulch to areas around gardens and shrubs to protect from evaporation. 

Inside the home, aerators on your household’s faucets and low-flow toilets can help you save water without even thinking about it.  Also, be sure to fix leaky faucets – a single dripping water faucet can waste 212 gallons of water a month!

Choose cleaner electricity

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And last but not least…choose clean electricity!  The single largest source of industrial air pollution in the U.S. is traditional electricity production, generated from non-renewable, polluting sources such as coal.  Purchasing cleaner energy is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your household’s share of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

For more than a decade, Green Mountain Energy Company has been producing power from renewable sources like wind, which is naturally replenished and 100% pollution-free.  When you switch to pollution-free electricity you can help change the way power is made!

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Source: Green Mountain Energy
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