Everyday steps towards conservation of resources

With all of our big picture talk about conservation we sometimes forget about the small but extremely meaningful things every single one of us can do on a daily basis to conserve energy and resources. Each one of us must “walk the walk” in our everyday lives when it comes to conservation. Here are a few very simple steps that everyone can take:

1) Don’t use water bottles. If you are like me then you might not like the taste of faucet water and think that bottled water is cleaner. Many studies have shown that the latter is not even always true. Regarding taste, there are several water filters on the market that make water extremely pure and good tasting. Think of the amount of energy wasted over the lifecycle of 1 bottle, whether it be for the materials, extraction of the water, transportation of the water via trucks that use oil, lack of biodegradability, and even if recycled, the energy it takes to recycle. Now multiply this by the 24 or so bottles in a pack and multiply that by how many packs you use in a year. I think you get the picture. I used to be a huge offender with water bottles. Now I simply bought a water filter that will last me several months and have great tasting clean water with no wasteful bottles. Plus, seriously, how annoying is it to carry those bottles in from grocery shopping. Also, when I go to restaurants I order cups of water, never bottles.

2) Minimal to no dishwasher use. Now some may find it difficult or not have the time to use manual washing but even if you do decide to utilize a dishwasher, do not use any of the extra setting such as “sanitize, high temp wash, heated dry”. These all use large amounts of electricity and are un necessary.

3) Turn off Lights. This one has been around for decades but some people still insist on leaving lights on for no reason (kids I’m talking to you here)! If there is nobody in the room, why waste the energy? Aside from the fact that your (parents) electricity bill will be higher (lighting energy costs are around 20% of an electricity bill, higher in commercial buildings http://bit.ly/7C87rj), you are placing increased energy demands on a system that runs on primarily non-renewable resources and non-environmentally resources.

4) Minimize Air Conditioning. I would also say to minimize heating but its a bit easier to do with airconditioning because all you have to do is open a window and voila! I cant say how many times I have walked into my house and a room mate has turned on the air eventhough its cooler outside!! Ok maybe for new orleans and other southerners this is not very often the case. But the difference between setting your thermostat at 75 degrees versus 65 degrees is HUGE!!!

The steps that can be taken are endless and many involve a change in mindset. Before you do or purchase anything…anything at all..think about all of the steps that had to be taken to achieve or build it and think really hard..do i really need to do or buy this???


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