In the spirit of the holidays, it is only fair to indulge on several tips to lower our human footprint on our beloved planet! The following three sections briefly describe steps we can all take at home and for our pleasures to become better environmental stewards.
1. "Phantom Load"
Phantom load, otherwise known as a "vampire appliance," is any appliance or electronic device that uses energy even when turned off. These include televisions, stove with digital clocks, phone chargers, among others. According to a study documented by Cornell University, a typical home has 20 "vampire appliances" and can add up about $200 to your annual energy bill. To combat these suckers, you can plug all components of your computer or home entertainment system into a power strip. Then you have the choice to power off you power strip and everything connected to it reducing your energy consumption and putting money in your wallet!
2. "It's Green to Go Veggie!"
Although changing one's way of eating, whether a meat lover, vegetarian, vegan, or happy omnivore, can be intimidating, vegetarianism has environmental stewardship written all over it! Down to Earth's webpage expresses 10 reasons why it's green to go veggie. Eating less meat has a strong potential for mitigating our human footprint on the environment (i.e. deforestation, fresh water, waste disposal, energy consumption, and ultimately global warming). Down to Earth expresses that in 2006 the United Nations said, "raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined."
3. "Cyclists Redefine Space"
As the physical environment and infrastructure in Los Angeles introduces cycling paths, more Angelinos reclaim their roads on their bikes. Number 41 on Ibike's 60 benefits from biking states that cycling reduces air pollution; i.e. a four-mile bicycle trip keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. Furthermore, in addition to being a stress reliever, biking also "Reduces deforestation for planting of rubber plantations and bio-fuel crops, because bicycles use very little rubber and fuel/lubricants."