The Facets of Sustainable Living

The US Department of Transportation developed new fuel-efficiency standards requiring cars for model years 2017-2025 to have a performance of at least 54.5mpg. (For more insight, see the infographic: Going the Distance)

Increasing fuel efficiency would reduce oil consumption, pollution, and household spending.

Yet, you don’t have to wait until 2017 for these three things to come into effect. Aiming for a sustainable lifestyle can be just as effective.

The first step in adjusting your lifestyle would be to consider your home. Is your house properly weatherized? Ensuring that your home is well insulated prevents over heating or cooling and reduces energy consumption.

Then, determine whether your appliances unnecessarily draw energy and unplug electronics (such as cellphone chargers) which continue to use electricity even when not in use.

Next, are you relying on renewable, clean energy to power your home? A solar water heater, for example, could decrease your water heating bill by 50-80%. Hence, you may want to consider obtaining your power from an energy supplier that generates electricity from wind, solar, water, or biomass sources. Often, renewable energy companies will offer competitive rates for renewable energy. (For more insight, see the info graphic: America’s Energy, Where It’s From and How It’s Used). You can also source residential renewable energy here using Power2Switch (but you already knew that didn’t you?).

Finally, you may inspect your diet. Foods produced locally and seasonally mean less transportation and thus less fuel consumption. Furthermore, consider reducing your meet consumption to a few meals per week. Industrial meat production leads to pollution through the intensive use of natural resources.

By making more deliberate choices, we can prevent the depletion of the Earth’s resources and ensure that the world’s growing population meets its basic food, water, and energy needs.

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