The environment is making headlines this spring. It was recently announced that United States President Barak Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign the Paris Climate Agreement on April 22nd to address climate change in alignment with global celebrations of Earth Day. The Earth Day Network has also pledged to plant one tree for every person on the planet by 2020 – an estimated 7.8 billion trees in total. While our world leaders have stepped up to create visible change in the environment, it is important to recognize the massive impact homeowners also have on the environment. The more sustainable, energy-efficient solutions you incorporate into your home, the cleaner our planet will be. The options to make a lasting impression on the climate are endless:
Plant a Tree
Phoenix metro residents should take note: it is best to only plant trees that are native to the local climate to help preserve Arizona’s ecosystem. Palo Verde, Mesquite, Desert Willow, and Acacia trees are all beautiful options to complement your home’s landscaping. Trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, so cleaner air is just one tree away. Bonus: plants help cool the air, so this will also make your yard a pleasant place to be in the hot desert summer.
Check Your Appliances
Appliances like washers and dryers, refrigerators and air conditioners all need repair at some point, but what many Scottsdale residents don’t realize is the drain inefficient appliances can have on their home energy bills. Old or malfunctioning appliances that run on a regular basis can add hundreds to your home’s expenses each month. A qualified professional can check the brand, year and warranty status of your appliances to see if they can be repaired or if they are simply due to be replaced by more energy efficient models. Change is a good thing when it comes to home energy use!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
There are a lot of ways to reduce the amount of trash you produce on a daily basis. Bring a reusable cup or mug to your favorite coffee shop in the morning instead of accepting a paper cup. Pack lunch in reusable glass containers. Buy products in bulk to reduce packaging waste (but avoid double-packaged single serve wrapped snacks). Even making the jump to commit to a regular recycling program can give new life to old plastic bottles, glass jars and shredded paper. You can improve the environment just by making better choices on a daily basis.
Donate Old Clothes
While we’re on the topic of recycling, did you know clothing donations are actually good for the environment, too? Manufacturing new clothes requires a great deal of both energy and water. When you donate gently used clothes to resale stores, you help contain the influx of new apparel that is put out into the world each year. Besides, your style rocks! Don’t let it go to waste.
Phoenix and Scottsdale are home to some of the Southwest’s best farmer’s markets. Locally-grown food is easier on the environment because there is less transport required to get that that food from the field to your plate. Not only are you doing the environment a favor, but you’re also supporting local farmers and enjoying the full market experience on a sunny weekend. What could be better?
Take a Walk
Walk, bike, or even ride your scooter to destinations that are within a 2-mile radius of home. Not only will you get more exercise, but you will also reduce carbon emissions caused by driving everywhere. If you do need to drive across town, call a friend to see if they want to carpool. This may save both of you an extra drive and you’ll have company while you run errands. Several mobile apps actually exist to help you find carpool and rideshares. Check them out to find the best option for you, be sure to share a photo on social media with the hashtag #DitchYourKeys to spread awareness of local rideshare options.
Unsubscribe from all junk mail lists. Opt to have receipts emailed to you instead of accepting a paper copy. If you currently receive paper bills mailed to your home, switch those to email-only as well. Not only are your receipts a lot easier to sort on a computer, but this also saves you the hassle of sifting through dozens of receipts each time you want to make a return. It’s all right there in your inbox.
Watch Your Water
Water shortages across the world and drought conditions in the Sonoran Desert make water conservation a no-brainer. You don’t have to skip showers, but definitely reduce the amount of time you spend letting the water run. Similarly, turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth and check your faucets for any leaks or drips.
Offset Your Carbon Footprint
Many large companies offset their carbon emissions, but did you know average citizens can do the same? Companies like TerraPass actually allow you to pay for clean power (usually wind or solar) to offset the dirty power you use on a daily basis. This is a great way to invest in the planet even with a busy schedule.
Attend an Event
There are many Earth Day events in Arizona, so pick the one closest to you and plan a day out! This is a great chance to get out, enjoy some fresh air, and learn more about the various ways you can contribute to keeping our planet healthy. Bike Share and the light rail are available to keep your commute to the events as sustainable as possible.
It’s easy to get involved with Earth Day celebrations not just during the month of April, but every day. The more awareness we have of our impact on the environment, the more we can do to create positive change in the future. Kickstart your efforts to save the planet by scheduling your air conditioner repair today. This is best way to save energy and keep your cool in Scottsdale this summer.