Energy Resolution

I took some time off from Green Piece Blog to enjoy the holidays, but now I'm back.

I am a New Year's Resolution kind of person. I like the opportunity for a fresh start and re-focusing.

One of the things I resolve to do every year is to reduce my impact on the environment. The great thing about making this type of resolution is that it means I'm going to save more and more money on my utility bills every year.

If you follow this blog closely, you'll know that last year I changed my recycling habits by taking the garbage can out and replacing it with a recycling can, forcing myself to think about recycling first. I replaced all the bulbs in my home with fluorescents and used less heating/A.C. I started replacing the filter in my A.C. more regularly and discovered public transportation. All of these things have made a huge impact on my utility bill and have greatly decreased my carbon footprint.

As I move into 2008, I've started thinking about new ways that I can make a difference. I hope you incorporate some of these new things into your life as well.

First, I am going to plug a surge protector into the outlet in my wall that is controlled by a light switch. All of my stereo, TV, DVD/VCR, and video game equipment will be plugged into that surge protector so that when I'm not using any of this equipment, I can easily switch off the power and reduce the "Phantom Energy" burners. If you don't have a light switch in your home that controls a wall outlet, you can learn about a remote controlled surge protector HERE.

Second, I am going to switch to green energy from my local utility company. We use Pepco here which means I can move to wind or green energy for my energy needs rather than using coal or oil as energy sources. The city contracts out their renewable energy sources and buys the equivalent amount of power I use from these different sources. Its a slight cost increase, but I'm buffering that increase by doing things in my home so I'll be using less electricity.

Third, I am going to begin volunteering in my community to help clean-up dirty rivers, streams, and open spaces so that more birds and wildlife will inhabit the area. You can also do your part by avoiding fertilizers with chemicals and un-natural nutrients that poison water sources, picking up your dog's waste, eliminating un-natural pesticides and planting native trees or plants.

Fourth, I'm going to try to buy local, organic food at farmer's markets. Its about making the trip from farm to table shorter so less gasoline is required for transportation. Its also about using less pesticides, fertilizers, etc. that are bad for our oceans, rivers, and drinking water. Finally, its about keeping money in the local economy.

These are four relatively simple things I'm doing immediately to try to change the impact I am having on the earth. If you have more ideas suggest them below. As always, I'll let you know as I find new ways to make this a healthier planet.

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