Environment Week 2017
Thank you for your participation in Environment Week 2017. Your participation in this annual event, however small or large, contributes to our company goal of preserving and restoring the natural resources of the world. SSC’s offices honored this year’s theme of “Reducing Our Carbon Footprint” in various ways. Photos and descriptions of each site’s activities are included below. Please take a moment to view the photos and the following closing suggestions on how to reduce our carbon footprint.
Landfills are an incredible source of greenhouse gases and pollution. Recycling the basics can cut the amount of garbage you send to landfills by up to 50% or more.
Several waste management services now have low-cost recycling programs, and if yours doesn’t, look for a local recycling facility that picks up or accepts drop-offs. Many are free, and some items like cans could even net a small amount of money.
In addition to recycling trash waste, think about other ways your family can recycle and reuse to reduce consumption of resources and greenhouse emissions. From old clothes and toys to old furniture and packaging materials, see what can be given a new life or donated rather than discarded.
Even though paper is recyclable, the less you use, the better for the planet. Rather than getting piles of mail you just trash or never look at, choose paperless for all of your statements, newsletters and bills.
Several banks and billing companies offer small credits for paperless billing. Most will still send you important documents by email, and you can always print them if you need to.
Plastics, especially new plastics, are a big drain on finite petroleum resources and major contributor to greenhouse gases. Try to reduce the amount of wasteful plastics your household uses by opting for greener, reusable materials.
Trees and plants consume CO2 and help purify the air, offsetting a portion of carbon emissions. An adult tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of CO2 per year, and can even reduce household heating and cooling costs by providing shade and insulation.
If you have a yard, consider planting trees, shrubs or even a garden packed with superfoods to reduce your footprint. If you don’t have a yard, you could seek out a community co-op garden or look for local volunteer planting groups or events.
One easy way to reduce your family’s carbon footprint is to simply be conscious of your thermostat’s settings. When you aren’t home, set your thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter to conserve energy. If you can, program it to adjust automatically.
You can also use ceiling fans and air fans in the summer to reduce AC costs, and use low-energy space heaters and bundle up to save on heating. Colder temperatures are good for sleep, so keeping thermostats low during winter can have multiple benefits!
To sleep comfortably, use seasonal bedding and breathable pajamas. Efficient heating and cooling mattress pads like the ChiliPad can also keep you comfortable without hiking up energy bills.
Spiral-shaped, energy-saving Compact Fluorescent light bulbs cut energy usage significantly compared to incandescent bulbs. When incandescent bulbs burn out, replace them with low-watt CFLs or LED lights instead.
From refrigerators to dishwashers and computers to water heaters, appliances account for a big share of your family’s carbon footprint, and your energy bills.
When it’s time to replace old appliances, look for the Energy Star label to compare efficiency and find options that save on energy and/or water. Big strides have been made in the past 10 years, and you could even save money over time by upgrading old, inefficient appliances.
Look for home furnishings and mattresses made with low-VOC and sustainable materials when you buy new. Volatile organic compounds in paints, glues and foams outgas into air, and many also disperse significant greenhouse gases in manufacturing.
Sustainable, plantation-grown woods, bamboo, glass and metal offer greener solutions for furniture. Organic cotton and other renewable natural fibers offer better choices for fabrics and textiles around the house as well.
Another small change your family can make to reduce carbon footprints is to simply drive less.
The average person puts 240 miles on their car each week. Carpooling, biking, or riding public transit even one day can have a big impact. You can also try to incorporate more walking and biking as a family to reduce auto mileage.
Performing regular maintenance on your car ensures exhaust emissions are in check and that you are getting optimal gas mileage. When you need to buy a new car, look for a vehicle that gets at least 25 miles per gallon (the industry average of 2013), or opt for a hybrid model.
With over 7 billion people currently calling planet earth home, it’s easy to think that our actions won’t make a difference. However, if every person made minor changes to their daily routines, small savings can make a huge impact.
Just by driving 20 fewer miles per week, performing regular vehicle maintenance, adjusting your thermostat, enabling your computer’s sleep function, washing two loads of laundry on cold, recycling waste, and replacing three incandescent lights with CFLs, your family can reduce it’s CO2 footprint by 5718 pounds or nearly 3 tons per year.
Additional changes like choosing 10% green power can save an additional 2148 pounds per year, while replacing single pane windows with Energy Star windows can save an additional $150 and a whopping 8841 pounds per year.
As you can see, there are so many ways, both big and small, that you and your family can contribute to a healthier planet. Reducing your family’s carbon footprint is as easy as making a few conscious changes to your daily routine and making wiser choices as a consumer.
What’s your biggest motivator to go green? What do you think is most important about the eco-friendly movement? How would going green impact your lifestyle?