Three things most of us do each day have a big impact on the earth. I’m talking about eating, flipping a light switch and using water in the bathroom. When it comes to these three areas, you can reduce your impact on the earth by making some simple choices with big environmental benefits.
Consider Where Your Food is Grown
Transportation of food is a giant contributor of greenhouse gases. At your grocery store, look for a sticker or sign that tells you where the produce was grown, and encourage the manager to buy food grown closer to where you live. At the farmer’s market, develop a relationship with your favorite vendors, and don’t be afraid to ask where those tomatoes were grown. Talk with market coordinators about what they do to ensure the farmers selling at their markets are growing all of their own offerings.
To get the freshest produce possible, buy it when it’s in season. Memorial Day weekend typically marks the beginning of the summer produce season when you can expect to find fresh berries, peaches, cherries, plums, apricots, nectarines, potatoes, summer squash, corn and melons.
Don’t feel like shopping around and reading signs? One sure way to buy locally grown and super fresh food is to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), which allows you to purchase a share of seasonal produce you’ll receive every week during the growing season.
Go with LED Bulbs
Yes, LED lighting is more expensive at the register, but LED lasts two to five times longer than fluorescent lighting, and up to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting!
Plus, LED uses at least 75 percent less energy compared to incandescent. Read more about the advantages of LED lighting at Energy Star.
Upgrade Showerheads, Faucets and Toilets
The low-flow bathroom fixtures offered today feature great water pressure combined with water and energy savings. Most of the water you use in your home is hot, and it takes a lot of energy to heat that water. You can cut energy and water use by selecting toilets, faucets and showerheads that carry the EPA’s WaterSense label.
According to the EPA, if one in 10 Americans upgrade one full bath with WaterSense fixtures, the resulting savings would equal around $1.6 billion in utilities per year, and about 74 billion gallons of water. Calculate your own potential savings.
Do you find out where your food comes from before putting it in the cart? Have you purchased LED lighting? Would you be willing to upgrade a full bathroom with WaterSense fixtures?