Green Mountain Energy® BLOG

6 Small Actions That Can Make a Positive Impact on Our Earth

The next time you find yourself around a telescope, do yourself a favor and take a gander at some of our neighboring planets. If you have a keen eye, you’ll notice something they have in common: they aren’t very hospitable.

Think about it — all the other planets in our solar system are either insanely cold, way too hot, or made out of gas. No trees, no birds, no Venus flytraps… nothing. Even Venus doesn’t have Venus flytraps. How crazy is that?

That’s why Earth is so awesome. We have all those things, plus a whole lot more:

  • Puppies
  • Coral reefs
  • Aardvarks
  • Lily pads
  • Ostriches
  • Rainbows

Earth Day is right around the corner, and we want to celebrate all the reasons why she’s the best blue sphere this side of the Milky Way.

However, since there’s only one Earth, we all have to do our part to pitch in and protect her. While this task might sound daunting, you might be surprised to learn that it only takes a few small steps to make a huge difference.

Here are six little things you can do that can make a positive impact on our planet:

Follow rules of recycling
Follow rules of recycling
Follow rules of recycling

Ah yes, recycling… a classic. As we all know, preventing otherwise reusable resources from ending up in a landfill is always a good thing. However, you might not realize that there are some guidelines when it comes to using your recycling bins. If these rules aren’t followed, the contents could just end up in the dump with the rest of your garbage.

Here are a few tips on how to ensure your recyclables can be reused:

  • Find your recycling guidelines on your city’s website and follow them.
  • Wash out containers and flatten cardboard boxes.
  • Find public recycling bins if your locality doesn’t provide a recycling service.
Reduce the use of petroleum
Reduce the use of petroleum
Reduce the use of petroleum

One of the best things you can do for the planet is to find ways to use fewer fossil fuels — especially petroleum. Fossil fuels are one of the main contributors to pollution and carbon dioxide (C02) emissions.

Try these simple ways to cut down on petroleum:

  • Walk or bike to nearby locations.
  • Carpool and use public transportation when possible.
  • Consolidate Amazon deliveries.
  • Sign up for a carbon offset plan for your car.
Let the light LED you
Let the light LED you
Let the light LED you

LED bulbs are far more efficient than old-school incandescents and CFLs. While the majority of your home’s lights might already be LEDs, there are a few places in your house where old bulbs might still be lurking. And, whenever you turn them on, these greedy lights are using a little too much electricity and slowly driving up your energy bill.

Take some time to check these areas for older, less efficient bulbs:

  • Fridges and stove hoods
  • Garages
  • Basements and crawlspaces
  • Patio and porches
  • Aquariums and other animal enclosures
Go sustainable instead of single use
Go sustainable instead of single use
Go sustainable instead of single use

Single-use containers like cups, bags, or boxes are often used when you buy a drink, go food shopping, or send a package. These disposable methods of storage significantly contribute to landfill waste and your carbon footprint. To clean things up a bit, swap out single-use containers with sustainable, reusable options.

Here are a few examples:

  • Ditch the plastic for stainless steel straws and water bottles.
  • Get a reusable coffee cup for your morning brew.
  • Invest in reusable grocery bags to cut down on paper waste.
  • Use resealable food containers instead of sandwich bags.
  • Combine shipments when using delivery services like Amazon.
Grow some shade - plant a tree
Grow some shade - plant a tree
Grow some shade - plant a tree

One of the best ways to go green is literally to add green to the planet. Trees are nature's air conditioners, creating shade and devouring carbon at the same time. You can get a tree at any garden center or nursery. You can also check with your city planning office to see if there are any programs that will give you a tree for free.

Don’t have a yard? No worries! There are plenty of reforestation programs that can use your help in the way of a small donation.

Swich to clean energy
Swich to clean energy
Swich to clean energy

If you’re looking for a good place to start helping the planet, consider one of Green Mountain Energy’s 100% clean electricity plans, fueled by sunlight and wind. Choosing one of these sustainable options is one of the most impactful changes you can make to lower your carbon footprint.

Let’s face it: none of us wants to lose to Mars in the annual Best Planet of the Year competition. That would be pretty embarrassing. So let’s keep our 4.5-billion-year winning streak going by keeping our planet clean and green!

Find a renewable energy plan that helps your home go green.

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