Solutions to Your Biggest Environmental Pet Peeves

Picking Up Trash

While the mission of Green Mountain Energy is to use the power of consumer choice to change the way power is made, protecting the planet also requires reducing waste and conserving our resources. With that in mind, we often use this blog as a forum to promote sustainable best practices.

Do you take your time carefully sorting and disposing of your recycling, trash and compost? Do you take every chance to reuse goods and promote a green lifestyle? For those who are passionate about limiting their environmental impact, it can be easy to get frustrated by observing wasteful behavior of others. But rather than dwell on the negative, we’re here to provide solutions to these pet peeves.

Environmental Pet Peeves and Solutions

Below is a list of common forms of pollution, waste, etc., as well as solutions to address them.

  • Littering: Trash on streets, sidewalks and highways is completely avoidable. If you witness someone littering in Texas, there is recourse. Learn about the “Report a Litterer” program in this blog.
  • Food waste: Seeing half-eaten bananas or coffee grounds in the trash is discouraging. These items can be composted. In Seattle, residents can be fined for tossing out food in the trash. Jump-start your composting efforts this year by tapping into the resources in this blog.
  • Smoking vehicles: Few things are worse than being stuck behind a car or truck spewing fumes from its tailpipe. It’s particularly bad in traffic. This article explains how Texas residents can report these high-emission vehicles.
  • Idling vehicles: Ever see people waiting in their cars to pick up someone and they leave the engine on? Think about cars at the airport who idle while they wait on their loved ones to land. Unnecessary idling also happens in grocery store lots as people circle looking for the spot closest to the front. The solution is knowledge. Remind your friends and family that Americans waste nearly 4 million gallons of fuel every day by idling our cars unnecessarily. Sometimes economics are the biggest motivator.
  • K Cups: Single-serve coffee cups are all the rage these days, but they contribute to massive amount of waste. Fortunately, there is an alternative. Read this blog to learn more.
  • Water waste: It happen to all of us – you turn on the faucet, start brushing your teeth, and your mind begins to wander while water rushes down the drain. Turn off your faucets when you’re not using them! Also, be sure to fix leaky faucets as soon as you can. A single dripping water faucet can waste 212 gallons of water a month.
  • Wasteful at work: Despite people’s best intentions, it’s easy to forget to turn off your computer when you leave the office, or leave your monitor on. There is a multitude of ways to increase your workplace energy efficiency. But you can’t manage what you can’t measure. At Green Mountain Energy, we recently participated in a “Workstation Energy Efficiency Challenge” with Lucid Design Group to create some healthy competition among employees to reduce their usage. Learn more in this blog, and perhaps you can adopt a similar practice in your place of work.

Do you have any eco pet peeves that we missed? Post your comments below.