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Earth Day cleanup is March 29

Turning the lights off for Earth Hour is a great first step, but if you really want to see a difference, then make Earth Hour part of your everyday life.

Simple things like turning off appliances while not in use and switching your light globes to energy efficient bulbs, will all help us reach our goal of reducing our annual emissions by 5%. Even something as simple as turning out lights when you’re not in a room and switching to cleaner sources of electricity like “green power”, make a big difference.

At Home

You don’t have to live in total darkness every day to make a difference. Just follow these five quick and easy tips.

  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and reduce emissions. Lighting accounts for around 5% of household greenhouse gas emissions, and compact fluros use 75% less energy than an equivalent incandescent bulb. Although the bulbs cost more up-front, you will actually save money through the energy saved and extended life of the bulb.
  • Turn appliances off while not in use. Unplug any appliances like mobile phone chargers, TVs, microwaves, MP3 players, which are not being used and are on standby. In Australia, appliances on standby consume up to 10% of your electricity bill.
  • Turn off anything that doesn’t need to be on. A good rule is to turn off anything not being used. When you leave a room or leave the house, turn off your lights or appliances like the TV or computer.
  • Switch to green power. This is one of the best ways you can make a difference. Contact your electricity provider today and switch to green power, a cleaner, more renewable form of energy that does not contribute to global warming. If all Australians switched to green power today, Australia’s total greenhouse pollution would be cut by 30% in one year. That’s the equivalent of more than 40 million cars!
  • Use less hot water. This is not only a good water saving tip, it saves electricity too. Spend one minute less in the shower.

At Work

As well as the very simple things you can do in the office, like printing double-sided and using recycled paper, there are many other ways to help your workplace reduce its carbon footprint.

  • Get off standby. Speak to your office manager about turning off any equipment at work that is not being used, including computer screens, photocopiers and printers, particularly when you leave at night.
  • Turn off lights at the end of the working day. Before you leave your place of work remember to turn off any lights in your workspace and your computer if you use one at work. Remember to unplug your mobile phone or laptop charger when it’s not in use. Speak to your office manager about installing motion-sensor lighting after 5pm when most people have gone home.
  • Find out what’s happening in your workplace. Ask about your company’s emissions reduction policies and find out what’s already happening. Look for ways to reduce energy use in your workplace and encourage improvements. If employers know their employees are keen to make their workplaces environmentally friendly, they’ll be even more inclined to take action.
  • Encourage your organisation to have measurable emissions reduction targets. Many Australian businesses are committing to emissions targets and have plans to be carbon neutral by a certain date. Switching to green power, reducing and offsetting energy use and travel, and incorporating this into all areas of the business are critical to this process. Does your company have a plan?

source : technozone