Winter is fast approaching and, depending on where you live, you may already be experiencing all the fun (and challenges) that winter brings. Here’s 5 ways to be more sustainable this winter.
- Avoid chemical de-icers. Chemical de-icers are bad for your trees and shrubs, your pets and the environment. When they melt on driveways and roads, the runoff can pollute local waterways. Instead use clean clay cat litter or sand. And while you’re at it, avoid using gasoline-powered snow removal products. Use electric ones instead. They consume energy but they don’t emit greenhouse gases. Great alternatives to using either are to use snow shovels and brooms to clear away snow from your driveway or sidewalk.
- Be sure your vehicle is ready for winter. Make sure you winterize your vehicle by checking air filters, fluid levels, check tires for tread wear and proper inflation and inspect the condition of your windshield wipers. Making sure your vehicle is ready for winter will keep you safe on the road and ensure you’re not wasting time and money.
- Turn down the heat. Wear a sweater around the house to stay warm. At night or when you’re away from home, set your thermostat to a lower temperature. You can also contact your local utility company to schedule a home energy audit to find out how to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
- Even in the winter, be sure to watch your water usage. Take short showers and turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Be sure to check all of your faucets, pipes and toilets for leaks. Check for more ways to conserve water at Water Use It Wisely.
- Turn the lights off when you leave the room. When you’re walking out of a room, be sure to shut off the lights. Turn off computers when you’re not using them. Unplug charging cords from the wall when they’re not in use. Choose energy-efficient lighting and appliances (look for the Energy Star label).