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The earth is getting warmer.  There’s no doubt about that.  The average temperature of our planet rose 1.4°F over the last 100 years, and is expected to continue on that path over the next 100 years.  Some are even predicting an increase by as much as 11.5°F, and with these temperature changes come environmental changes.  Droughts, heat waves, rising sea levels, and melting ice caps are slowly becoming the norm, taking a permanent residence on the back burner instead of where they should be…front and center!

As residents of the earth, it is our responsibility to keep it healthy and inhabitable.  The Environmental Protection Agency has simplified this by doing the research and giving us 25 lifestyle changes that are sure to reduce climate change.

AT HOME

  • Replace your five most frequently used light fixtures with energy efficient bulbs.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing appliances, heating/cooling equipment, and electronics.
  • Improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by changing your air filters regularly, installing a programmable thermostat, and performing regular maintenance to your equipment.
  • Reduce air leakage by caulking, weather stripping, and insulating your home’s envelope.
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle! Newspapers, plastic bottles, and junk mail can all be recycled.
  • Conserve water wherever possible. The EPA states that “three percent of the nation’s energy is used to pump and treat water.”
  • Build a compost pile in your backyard to limit the amount of trash you send to landfills.
  • Purchase green power or invest in renewable energy by installing solar panels.
  • Calculate your home’s carbon footprint to understand where your emissions come from and how to eliminate them.
  • Spread the word about your green initiative to your family and friends, and help them get started with their own projects!

AT THE OFFICE

  • Adjust the settings of your computers, laptops, and other equipment to power down when idle.
  • Look for ENERGY STAR-qualified printers, copiers, and computers.
  • Tell your facility maintenance department about the ENERGY STAR buildings program, which will further assist your building’s performance.

 

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