5 Ways You Can Help Protect the Environment

Sabrina Lopez
April 15, 2019
3 min read

There's much talk in the news these days about our country’s role on the global stage regarding the environment. It’s a hot topic that’s particularly hard to explore given diverse political agendas and the hunger of a 24-hour news cycle. So, let's take a different approach and explore this topic from the individual's perspective.

Some genuinely good news is emerging from all the politically charged environmental hubbub: Americans are more aware of environmental issues and the direct impact of our changing climate. Most importantly, there’s a growing understanding that every person has a role, not just world governments and corporate titans.  

In that spirit and with Earth Day right around the corner, we’d like to offer the following five tips for reducing your environmental footprint while living a “greener” and hopefully healthier lifestyle.


1. Buy seasonal groceries from local farmers

It has been estimated that 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food. Buying local, naturally-grown produce while eating a diversified diet that includes less meat and more in-season vegetables will dramatically reduce the carbon emissions of fertilizers and pesticides. This approach will also reduce the gas required to produce and transport your “anything you want during any season” dietary habits. Buying locally also feeds your local economy!


2. Dry your clothes outside

Electric dryers are electricity gluttons. Maybe not the biggest in your home (are you listening, AC?), but the clothes dryer is one of the easiest to avoid. The average electric dryer uses about 550-kilowatt hours of electricity every year if it runs an average of one hour every other day. Depending on where the energy in your home comes from, that’s the equivalent CO2 output of burning more than 400 pounds of coal. Install a simple clothesline or use a portable drying rack. Our abundant sunshine will dry clothes faster than a typical cycle, and you’ll dramatically cut your annual CO2 output while also saving money on your power bill. 


3. Reduce your water usage

It takes much energy to pump, treat, and heat the readily available water in your home. You can save energy and reduce waste by washing your car less often (get a California duster), choosing climate-appropriate plants, and installing drip irrigation. Hence, your plants receive only what they need, opting for water-efficient options when purchasing shower heads, faucets, toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines.


4. Change your driving habits

Getting an alternative fuel vehicle is an obvious solution, but did you know that simply keeping tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by up to 3%? Also, keep your engine tuned because some of the most basic maintenance tasks can increase fuel efficiency by up to 40%. And finally, drive the speed limit. Speeding and excessive acceleration can reduce gas mileage by up to 33%. The best part is that all these fuel-saving tips will also save you money. It’s a genuine win for you and a win for Mother Earth.


5. Go solar

A modestly sized residential solar array can easily produce more than 21,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually for the average Arizona home. In terms of CO2 emissions, that’s equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions of more than 15,000 pounds of burned coal every year, all while dramatically reducing the amount of money you spend on your monthly utility bill. Cleaner AND more affordable electricity—what’s not to like?

If you want to add solar to your home, we invite you to download our free solar guide, Is Solar Right For You? You'll learn the critical factors contributing to a solar purchase decision

*This blog has been updated since its original publication date of 6/5/2017.