August 7, 2020

Advice on how to Live Sustainably at Home - Part 3. Office and Technology

Written by Jenna L. Lee, Intern at Go Gratis, Inc.

Contributed by Jenna L. Lee, Intern at Go Gratis, Inc.

Looking at large environmental issues such as global warming and climate change can be a daunting task. It may raise the question of how one individual can make an effective change. However, change starts with one person. By implementing small sustainable alternatives into daily life, it will in turn lead to an eco-friendlier lifestyle. With this in mind I have created an easy to follow guide to become more sustainable in easy ways.

Office and Technology

Renewable Energy

Main Takeaway: Convert to solar energy to save money, decrease dependence on fossil fuels, and help our environment by using a clean and renewable source.

Using solar energy is an alternative to electric and gas electricity. Solar power is energy that is generated from the sun in the form of electric or thermal energy. The most common way to harness this energy is through photovoltaic solar panels that will convert the sun’s rays into usable energy. The solar panels are typically installed on the roofs of homes because it is easiest for collecting the sun’s rays. The cost of solar panels has dropped significantly since their advent and in the long run saves people thousands of dollars in energy bills. The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in the U.S. is an incentive many people take into consideration when choosing solar energy. This tax credit allows you to deduct 26% of the installation cost from your federal taxes. However, by 2022 this will be completely gone for residential solar installation. Solar energy is an amazing source of energy because it is 100% clean and a renewable energy source. It also reduces the reliance on oil, coal, and natural gas. These fossil fuels create very harmful emissions that pollute the air, contaminate the water, and erode the soil.  Source

LED Light Bulbs

Main Takeaway: Using an LED light bulb provides a longer lasting life and brighter light while using less energy.

The typical light bulb in most places and homes is a 60-watt incandescent light bulb, which produces around 800 lumens of light. 60 watts uses a lot of energy and can run your electricity bill pretty high. An eco-friendly and money saving alternative is the LED light bulb. The light emitting diode or LED light bulb produces light 90% more effectively than incandescent light bulbs. LED light bulbs do not burnout because they use heat sinks that absorb the heat produced and disperse it in the surrounding area, making the lifetime of the light bulb longer. When an incandescent light bulb needs 60 watts to produce 800 lumens, an LED only needs around 7-10 watts to produce the same number of lumens.  Source

Saving Energy, the Easy Way 

Main Takeaway: If it’s not in use, turn it off!

Something as easy and simple as remembering to turn the lights off when you’re no longer using them or turning the water off while brushing your teeth can really make an impact. This saves energy and water all while keeping that money in your pocket.

Reduce Waste and Go Digital

Main Takeaway: Convert your bills and statements from paper to digital to reduces unnecessary waste.

With the digital age upon us almost everything is on our phones, computers and tablets. An easy way to reduce paper usage is to convert paper bank statements and bills into digital ones rather than receiving them in the mail. Sometimes not everything can be done online, if you need to send out packages choose an eco-friendly packaging that can be easily reused, recycled or composted. This can help reduce the amount of unnecessary goods ending up in landfills that take hundreds of years to decompose. 

A Green Thumb

Main Takeaway: Get a desk plant to help provide more oxygen and help boost self-esteem.

Bringing in some greenery as a nice desk plant can improve the environment you are in. Plants release more oxygen, and this can help offset pollutants that are in the air making it cleaner and better for your health. There are many different plants with different qualities that can help with humid areas or that can last in cool rooms. Plants have a positive effect on mood and can help boost self-esteem. 

Contributed by Jenna L. Lee, Intern at Go Gratis, Inc.

Thank you for your contribution Jenna!

Photos: Unsplash

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