What exactly does it mean to be environmentally conscious? Does it mean recycling? Choosing renewable energy sources over fossil fools? Well, yes, all of it. It is choosing to unshackle yourself from the bonds of dangerous, and limited, fossil fuels. It is choosing to be conscious about what you are throwing into your trash. Is it plastic? Paper? Recycle it. Rather than have plastic live in the ocean or in landfills and not degrading, plastic can be recycled back into the system without ever harming the ground and water. It even saves a company’s money by recycling rather than whole teams being sent out to clean out landfills.
Okay, so being environmentally conscious can help the environment, but what else can it do?
Less Fossil Fuel, More Green Energy
This is the traditional loop the average individual is caught in: you use energy from a fossil fuel source, that harmful fuel is than pumped into the atmosphere where it collects at an alarming rate. Now, imagine a home is not properly sealed or HVAC systems are not properly cleaned. The house uses even more energy than it normally would, more harmful fuel gets pumped into the air and the atmosphere takes a bigger hit. The solution is three-fold: insulation, sealing and energy.
First, it is required that a house is properly sealed. This is going to reduce the amount of energy HVAC systems use because it does not have to work so hard against the elements. Leaks in ventilation can invite more humidity, thereby, increasing energy usage. You could easily knock off 10 percent of your energy bill getting your home sealed and insulated, especially attics, since you lose a large portion of your energy to the roof. Make sure insulation is between 12 and 15 inches. Now that your house is properly sealed, you are effectively reducing the amount of energy your house uses. Remember that, it will come full circle soon.
Your next stop is cutting the cord on fossil fuels as much as possible. It is understandable not having the opportunity to completely rid yourself of a gas-powered vehicle. For the time-being, make small steps by slowly replacing HVAC systems with energy efficient models. If your HVAC system is pushing double-digits, it is time to toss it.
One of the best moves you can make that will help cut yourself from fossil fuels is investing in solar energy. You are going to save money by reducing the amount of electricity that is used from the grid since it will be supplemented by the solar panels, in turn reducing energy waste. Which you can then use those savings to buy yourself an electric car. You would effectively cut yourself from fossil fuel.
And so it comes full circle; a properly sealed home with an energy efficient HVAC system–leading to an energy efficient home–running off of solar that can also power your electric car. That is what it takes to be environmentally conscious. Small steps lead to big changes.