Green Youth Movement
Learn Green

Learn Green

1. Use Less Air Conditioning and Heat

The average American family spends over $1,300 a year on energy bills. We've come to rely on our homes as being energy-guzzlers: air conditioning, heat, and appliances have become our standard of comfort. Unfortunately, all of these are very inefficient and harmful to our environment. Saving energy is really in all of our best interest. The well being of our planet relies on conserving energy. As a society, we should be moving toward renewable energy.

Before shopping for energy efficient home products, conduct an audit of your home. Look at how much energy you currently use and how much you could save with new appliances.
Here are some great ways to reduce energy consumption:

  • Use energy efficient home products such as: heaters, stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers, air conditioning systems, water heaters, cook tops, solar panels, and microwaves.

2. Drive less and walk more!

As Americans we love our cars. We think nothing of driving less than a mile to the bank, the store or even from one parking lot to another. As our waistlines and our dependence on foreign oil increases, the quality of our life and air decreases. Grabbing the keys to go has become second nature to us.

It's time to change!

Driving less will lead to a healthier, cleaner environment and will save you money on fuel.

  • For every gallon not used, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide is saved from entering the atmosphere.
  • Walk or ride your bike, which is also good exercise! Enjoy something different.
  • Carpool to work or school.
  • Ride the bus.
  • Shop locally or online to avoid unnecessary trips by car.

3. Recycle, Reduce and Reuse

Waste and how you handle it, affects our world's environment. Your environment includes the air, water, land, plants, and even man-made things. The waste we create has to be carefully controlled to be sure that it does not harm our environment or health. You can help by learning and practicing the three R's of waste management: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

You can recycle up to 84% of your trash simply by taking it out of the garbage can and putting it in the correct recycling bin.

Here are some great ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle:

  • When shopping, always bring your own bag!
  • Buying in bulk gives you the best product to package ratio.Avoid single serve containers whenever possible.
  • Avoid buying products that use excessive packaging.
  • Wash and reuse plastic cups, utensils and bags.
  • Take along washable cups or travel mugs instead of disposable.
  • Recycle glass, paper, plastic and newspaper.
  • Say NO to junk mail!
  • Use washable table napkins instead of paper ones.

4. Light Bulbs

Changing the world starts with simple actions. When you replace light bulbs or light fixtures with energy efficient ones, you preserve energy resources and reduce the risk of Global Warming while saving time and money buying and changing light bulbs in your home. Energy Efficient qualified lighting provides bright, warm light and uses approximately 75% less energy than standard lighting, producing 75 percent less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer!

  • Replace a normal light bulb with compact fluorescent light bulbs-they last ten times longer
  • Fluorescent light bulbs take 2/3 less energy.

5. Use the "Off" switch

Most people think that when you turn something off, it actually turns off. Most people assume that it stops drawing power. Unfortunately, that's not true in the case of most electric devices. Most of them just hover in standby mode.
The "Phantom load" is the energy that is sapped by appliances when they are plugged in, but not turned on. By turning everything off or unplugging, you save big on your energy bill. In the average American home, 40% of all electricity is used to power appliances while they are turned off.

  • Turn off lights, TV, computer, DVD player, cell phone charger, and stereo when finished using them.
  • Reduce your demand. Do you really need 2 TV's in one room?
  • Remove chargers from the wall when you're not charging.

6. Use Less Hot Water

Upgrading to a tank-less water heater in your home not only saves energy but it also provides more reliable hot water because it only heats the water you use instead of heating and storing hot water. Using a tank-less water heater you will also not have to "run the water" in order to wait for the hot water to come, saving water and time. The third largest expense in the home water heating.

  • Take baths instead of showers
  • Wash on cold when possible

7. Get Energy Efficient Products

Efficient energy products have the ability to reduce energy from 30-50 percent. If one of your household items is ready to be replaced, why not replace them efficiently?

Now is a great time to upgrade your washing machine to a high efficiency model. HE washers use significantly less water per load and spin clothes dry a lot more so they don't need to spend as much time in the dryer.

  • Tax rebates offered for some energy efficient appliances
  • Save money in energy costs

8. Spread the word and tell others to conserve!

Why not carpool with neighbors when you are heading to the same market? You can save in gas and get to know your neighbor better when you combine trips around town that require a car.

  • Share this information with friends and family about the small changes you are making in your life to help global warming. It will help get the word out and hopefully one day most people will be aware of the issue.

9. Plant a tree

Why not do something good for the environment while improving your curb appeal? Planting a tree will help clean the air while beautifying your home. Yet another benefit to a tree is the shade it provides as it grows. Shade from trees help keep your house cool so you need less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature. If you are not a hands on kind of person, you can go to and pay to plant a tree anywhere in the world!

  • Photosynthesis takes carbon dioxide and turns it into oxygen.
  • Beautifies your neighborhood
  • Planting a tree is a fun family activity.

Copyright © 2009 Ally Maize