Even if you don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions, please do so this year by becoming more conscientious of saving energy so that we can all contribute to create a healthier planet!
The average American ecological footprint is 5 times more than other parts of the world. Living in Costa Rica, we use less, but it is always good for everyone to cut back.
Here are some ways to do so:
- Only boil the amount of water you want to use as it takes more energy to boil extra water that is not necessary.
- When you leave a room, make sure you turn off the lights, TV, fan, air conditioner, and stereo.
- Before throwing things away, make sure you can not use the item for something else, such as to reuse the wrapping paper of a gift, make birthday cards out of old ones you have, reuse containers, get shoes repaired, or get the broken machine fixed.
- Recycle cans, plastic bottles and glass containers.
- Take shorter showers, 5 minutes is great. If you take 10-minute showers you could be wasting enough water to fill up a swimming pool and be creating 2,200 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from the energy used to heat the water each year! Try setting the thermostat of your water heater to a lower temperature. Try buying a low-flow shower fitting to reduce the flow of water by 50%.
- Growing up in areas that did not have a lot of water to use, we learned to flush the toilet only when necessary, not after each use. We had a saying “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.” I think you get my drift! Another way to save water with the toilet is to fill a two-liter soda bottle with water and sink it into the tank. Then you will use 2 liters less each time you flush. If you are buying a new toilet, look for the HET (high-efficiency) label when purchasing. Not only will you save water but also your water bill will go down.
- If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher, only run it when it is full and you will save up to 20 gallons of water a day. If you wash dishes by hand, don’t run the water until you have to rinse. To wash, fill the sink with water so that you don’t waste water while you are washing. When rinsing do so as quickly as possible to save water.
- Use solar power wherever possible, only wash clothes in cold water, line dry clothes instead of using a dryer, when using a dryer, keep the filter clean, close curtains when the sun is beating in, clean you’re a/c’s filter regularly.
Everyone can make a difference. Now that you know how, do it to feel good about yourself and to make this a great planet to live on.
Have a great year from all of us at Kids Saving the Rainforest!