Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

Living Green This Winter: Five Easy Steps

Source: www.energy.gov
Shoveling snow
Green is often associated with spring renewal, but winter is a great time to start thinking green and living a more sustainable lifestyle. So, if the cold gray skies of winter have you feeling blue, think green! Sustainable living is a year-round commitment and these easy-to-follow steps will help to reduce your environmental impact before the spring thaw.

 

  • Use less and save more this holiday season. Instead of buying gifts for family and friends, invite them over for a home-cooked meal or call them in lieu of sending cards. When preparing meals, buy local and organic foods; you'll save fuel and reduce emissions by staying close to home. Wrap presents in recyclable materials, such as newspapers, and make decorations from things around your home or yard.
  • Use manual tools for snow removal. After a snowfall, we often hear the roar of snow blowers. Typically powered by fossil fuels with potentially harmful emissions, snow blowers can be bad for the environment. Removing snow with shovels, brooms, and other hand tools is better for the environment and good exercise, too. Unless you have a health condition that prevents you from shoveling snow, why not do it the old-fashioned way? If exposure to cold temperatures and shoveling the snow could put your health at risk, consider hiring a neighborhood teenager to do it for you.
  • Travel green. When cold weather arrives, we all like to jump in the car and crank up the heat. You can save energy and reduce carbon emissions by bundling up and riding your bike to work or walking to the grocery store. Spending time outdoors is a great way to exercise and avoid cabin fever. Take extra precautions in the event of snow or ice.
  • Use non-toxic deicers. Commonly used deicers, such as rock salt, are made from elements that can be harmful to plants and animals, as well as the environment by polluting surface and groundwater. Consider using non-toxic deicing substances such as clean clay cat litter, sand or fireplace ash to avoid hazardous chemical waste.
  • Save energy. Reducing energy use is one of the greenest things you can do this winter. Weatherizing windows and doors and sealing air leaks will make your home more comfortable and lower heating costs. Optimize energy savings by adjusting the thermostat to 68°F and dressing in layers. Blankets and throws also will help to keep your family warm. On sunny days, heat your home with the warmth of sunlight by opening curtains and blinds. Close window treatments at night to help insulate your home.
Source: www.energy.gov
window caulk

Use the Home Energy Analyzer to calculate your environmental impact and learn of more ways to save energy and live more sustainably this winter and all yearlong.

A home energy assessment is another great way to identify opportunities to improve your home’s energy efficiency and save money. Appalachian Power customers in West Virginia can get a free in-home energy review valued at $250 through the HomeSmart Program. Some customers also may qualify for rebates. Find out more by calling 888-446-7719, or visit www.aeprebates.com.

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