If a typical American is considered an obese, junk food munching couch potato, who drives a gas guzzling SUV completely oblivious to the negative impact his carbon footprint is having on the environment, the latest green attitudes survey could solidify this stereotype. Americans were ranked last when it comes to sustainable behavior. They were also ranked among feeling the least guilty about their disproportionate resource consumption.
Top Ranking Consumers of 2015
At the top of the list are countries with developing economies such as: Brazil, China, and India. The lowest ranks are earned by those in industrialized countries. The behavior of American consumers is still considered the least sustainable of all 17 countries that were surveyed. So, the question is, what can you do to become a greener American?
10 Easy Ways to Become a Greener American
Use Power Strips for Electronics All you have to do is have your electronics plugged into a power strip and shut the strip off nightly. Amazingly, 40 percent of the electricity that is used to power home electronics is actually consumed while they’re off
Do Not Idle Your Vehicle Anymore Keep in mind that every minute you spend with your car’s engine idling is wasting gas and causing wear and tear on the vehicle. If you idle your car longer than 10 seconds, you waste more gas than is used for start-up. In general, American’s waste almost 3 billion gallons of gas yearly. The cost of this wasted fuel? Approximately $78 billion.
Choose Green Energy Over half of the electricity consumers use within the United States, currently have green power available to them through their utility company.
Use Cellular Blinds Using Cellular blinds will lower home energy costs. They offer superior insulation and help reduce noise.
Wash in Cold Water Turn your washing machine’s dial to cold. The majority of loads don’t need hot water. Approximately 90 percent of the energy a washing machine uses is related to heating water.
Turn Your Thermostat Down Since the majority of households spend up to 70 percent of their energy budgets on cooling and heating, it pays to turn down the thermostat. For each degree the thermostat is lowered, you will save up to 3 percent on your next heating bill. Raising it a degree in the summer will have the same effect on your cooling bill.
Utilize Online Bill Pay You can save natural resources and eliminate late fees by choosing to enroll in online bill-payment options. Consider this, paperless billing does more than save over 18 million trees; it also eradicates the fossil fuel necessary to transport all that mail back and forth. You will also save money, because you will not need to use envelopes or buy stamps.
Print on Both Sides Printing on both sides of a piece of paper is not a difficult task; however, most
people still only print on one side. The United States used 4 million tons of copy paper each year. That comes out to about twenty-seven pounds per American. By printing on both sides that twenty-seven pounds can decrease to fourteen pounds each.
Reject Junk Mail According to greendimes.com, over twenty-five billion gallons of water and approximately one-hundred million trees are utilized to send Americans junk mail each year. To stop 75 percent of that mail, register on the Mail Preference Service at the Direct Marketing Association Website. While it costs $1, within about ninety days the majority of unsolicited mail will discontinue.
Carpool If your drive to work is a 50-mile round trip, with at least half of it being your typical stop-and-go traffic, you will eliminate about 10 percent of your monthly carbon emissions if you carpool. These ten simple tips will help you become a greener American. It will save you money while helping our environment.