By Lisa Pemberton, Puyallup Tribal News staff writer
The battle against climate change can take place at home, in the office and out in the community.
If your New Year’s resolution is to help reduce your personal contribution to Mother Earth’s climate crisis, consider trying some of these tips.
- Load up those appliances: Dishwasher and clothes washers are huge energy and water users, so make sure you’re doing full loads, or adjusting the water setting for each use.
- Switch to rechargeable batteries.
- Pay bills electronically.
- Give gifts of experience instead of material items.
- Use energy efficient appliances.
- Take shorter showers.
- Turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth can save up to 8 gallons of water, or more than 200 gallons per month, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Use healthier household products, such as natural and environmentally friendly beauty products, cleaners and detergents.
- Check your HVAC system filter once a month. At minimum, filters should be changed every three months. “A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy and contributing to climate change,” the EPA posted on its Earth Month Tip blog.
- Use real mugs, dishes and cutlery for lunch, instead of single-use items.
- Go paperless, whenever possible, and only print documents when necessary.
- Check your settings: make sure to activate energy-saver settings on your laptop, tablet and other electronic devices.
- Order green materials, such as recycled paper and envelopes and pens and pencils made out of recycled materials.
- Use double-sided and black and white as the default for print jobs.
- Power down computers, monitors and power strips before leaving for the day. Turn off office and conference room lights, too.
While out and about:
- Take a reusable cup to your favorite coffee shop.
- Bring reusable containers to the restaurant for your leftovers.
- Skip straws, or use reusable or compostable ones.
- Paper, plastic? Neither! Store a few reusable grocery bags in your car. (Just don’t forget to bring them into the store with you.)
- Use public transportation, walk or bike as much as possible.