There’s been enough ink spilled on 2020. Suffice to say, it wasn’t the year any of us anticipated. So in the spirit of renewal, we’re looking toward a happier, healthier, and greener 2021 — though it won’t come without its challenges.
With so many of us moved to rely on in-home electronics and digital connection to get us through a day, there’s never been a greater opportunity to take charge of our own conservation efforts. Our workplaces’ carbon footprints and our personal carbon footprints have quickly become one in the same, which puts more power in our own hands to pay back the earth.
Here’s where you can start.
1. Reduce your energy consumption.
Your daily routine requires more energy than you might expect. Everything from your washing machine all the way down to your electric toothbrush requires an energy source, and over time, it all adds up.
If you’re looking for some simple places to scale back your energy use, start by looking up. Overhead lights are among the biggest kilowatt consumers in your home, often because homeowners simply forget to turn them off.
Rely on natural light during the day as much as possible — add mirrors or bright colors to your home to help compensate for the loss of overhead light
Dedicate at least an hour or two-hour window during the sunniest portion of your day to turning your lights down — or better yet, completely off.
Make the switch to CFL bulbs if you can. Many local governments and energy companies will even offer free CFLs to anyone looking to replace their incandescent bulbs.
2. Recycle your plastics.
With home grocery delivery, food delivery, package delivery and even laundry delivery at all-time highs, the pandemic has introduced a staggering increase of single-use plastics in our homes.
Even necessary PPE items such as masks and gloves are often made with recyclable materials, yet often find themselves in the unfortunate clasp of a trash can, dumpster or — worst of all — roadside gutter.
Recycling our plastics is one of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day in 2021 as we continue to deal with the ramifications and lifestyle adaptations of COVID-19. Never before have so many boxes and bags found their way to our doorstep, and it’s our responsibility to see them back to the places they can be reused.
Again, many town, city and state governments have opened recycling centers and access points to the public as a result of COVID-19’s logistics demands, so as tempting as it may be to toss your extra plastic to the curb on trash day, bunch it all together and make a weekly run.
3. Eat green.
Speaking of food delivery services, there’s also never been a time with greater access to more food options within a finger’s reach.
Choosing where you shop, what you purchase and what you have delivered can put a positive dent in your carbon footprint. You’ve probably heard the statistics around cow flatulence and its role in damaging our environment, and while some of the data may be sensationalized, there is truth in the earth-friendly value of buying choosing grass-fed, humanely treated meats. Same goes for your fruits and veggies — those farmed and sourced sustainably (and with fewer pesticides) are undoubtedly better for the earth.
So look for the organic stickers. Order from the places you know are treating the world right. And before you leap for your phone to get something delivered, consider what you can reuse in your fridge that you might otherwise have throw out.
4. Drive green.
While the pandemic saw an immediate drop in the number of cars on the road, 2021 has seen a return to steadier traffic flows. Driving is an integral part of the American lifestyle, and while the dawn of self-driving vehicles and expanded public transit offerings may soon see their time in the sun, traditional automobiles won’t be going anywhere fast.
The best we can do is drive responsibly. If it’s within your means, choose a car with electric or hybrid capabilities. If it’s more realistic, set limits for yourself for destinations within walking or driving distance. Anything under 10 miles, for example, calls for a bike ride. Anything under a mile calls for a walk.
5. Make the switch to solar.
One of the biggest differences you can make in your home actually sits on top of it.
Installing a solar power system — no matter how big or small — creates an alternative energy source for your Long Island home that can supplement the energy you draw from the grid. And if all that power saved isn’t incentive enough, our current Long Island solar savings might be.
At Greenlogic, we’ve been supporting the earth and installing solar power systems for homes and businesses on Long Island for as long as we’ve been in business. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, find you the perfect solar solution and help you ring in Earth Day the right way.