Happy Earth Day!
Here at Blue Raven Solar, this is one of our favorite holidays of the year. It is great to see everyone participating in efforts to keep the air clean, plant life flourishing, and our planet healthy. This is all necessary to keep the earth livable and safe for humans and animals to continue to thrive for generations to come.
We are closely connected to this cause as a national provider of clean, renewable energy resources for homeowners. Although we are helping homeowners make a big difference for the planet, there are other simple things each of us can do throughout our lives that can help even more and might even save you some cash.
Here are five simple ways to live every day like Earth Day:
1. Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle
One plastic water bottle in a landfill takes 450 years to decompose. Though using plastic water bottles from your local grocery store can be convenient, filling a reusable water bottle can not only save the earth from more plastic waste, but it can save you money, which is why we call this one an “investment.”
Blue Raven Solar is headquartered in Orem, Utah, and we are lucky to have extremely clean tap water, but many cities do not have that luxury. To combat that, a water filter is typically less than $30, and a reusable bottle can be as little as $2-3. You can even get a water bottle with a filter for less than $20.
Compare these small costs to continually purchasing more cases of water, even if they may seem cheaper at first. A reusable water bottle can last for years, and filters only need to be replaced every couple of months (and are quite cheap)! A case of 40 water bottles costs $5 each and can become more expensive than the other option in 7 cases or less. If you drink enough water every day, it can happen quickly. Many people do not even finish a water bottle before it is abandoned, which is a waste of plastic and a waste of money.
2. Keep a Couple of Reusable Grocery Bags
Much like reusable water bottles, this has been an option for years, and many people have made reusable bags a normal part of their grocery routine. They are thin enough to store without being a hassle, but tough enough to support all your groceries! With these bags, there is no need to double-bag or worry about the seams ripping apart at the bottom. And, beyond groceries, they can be used for any carrying!
While reusable grocery bags may not save you money (they cost a couple dollars each), it is a simple and cheap way to make a difference.
3. Shop Second-Hand
One of the best ways to save money and make a difference is to shop second-hand.
Clothes and household items are often donated to thrift stores that are in perfect or near-perfect condition. Instead of spending $20+ on a T-shirt, you can go to your local second-hand shop and get one for much less, sometimes less than $1!
For the planet, shopping second-hand has several benefits that you might not even consider! According to greenwithless.com, the exploitation of the natural resources used often involves pesticides, intense fertilizers, and other chemicals. Skipping over the emissions released in transportation, only 15% of consumer-used textiles are recycled, and the remaining 85% end up in landfills or are incinerated, causing more air pollution.
Shopping at thrift stores can also help you find unique items and support local businesses. However, if this is not practical for you, you can also be very intentional and thoughtful about your non-second-hand shopping. Reducing impulse buys can help your bank account and refraining from fast fashion can keep your closet full of high-quality clothes, reducing the possibility of unethical labor and unnecessary pollution around the world.
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
You have been hearing it since you were in elementary school: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. These three R’s can help us make a big difference to the planet’s health, if we can remain dedicated.
Recycling can be a hassle for some, especially if cities do not promote or support it. Some households must transport their recyclable waste to public spaces, and this practice is inconvenient and impractical for many, so they choose not to participate altogether. This is completely understandable, so those that do not have regular recycling pickup are encouraged to participate in local legislative decisions affecting the city’s responsibilities around recycling and to reduce waste in every way possible.
If recycling is accommodated by your local municipality, do your part! Be conscious about what goes in the trash and what goes into the recycling bin and do your best to take all necessary steps to correctly recycle so that your efforts to recycle are not thrown away, literally.
5. Rethink Your Energy
Turning off lights and not running your air conditioning, among many other things, can have major impacts on your utility bills and energy usage. It seems that many homes will do just about anything to reduce their electricity bills, but they are not yet aware of the best thing they could do to save money: installing a solar panel system.
Going solar may seem to be the most unrealistic and impossible suggestion here, but we promise that it is one of the most simple and effective steps you can take to reduce your personal carbon emissions. And it is much more affordable than you might think – in fact, if you can afford your current utility bill each month, you can afford to go solar, and you’ll save money in the long run.
With Blue Raven Solar, you can make the switch to clean energy for $0 down, and coupled with federal and local incentives, your system cost can be drastically reduced.
Blue Raven Solar’s Commitment to a Greener Future
Earth Day helps to remind us that we only have one planet, and it is up to us to take care of it. Do what you can to make a difference.