10 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact

This October marks National Energy Action Month, as proclaimed by President Obama. The goal of National Energy Action Month is to encourage individuals to achieve greater energy security, a more robust economy, and a healthier environment for future generations. EcoCAR 3 is just one of many programs that is transforming the future of energy consumption.

According to the Department of Energy Home Energy Checklist, here are some things that you can do each day to monitor your own environmental impact through energy reduction:

  1. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. You have probably heard these words your whole life but the three R’s help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy. Plus, the three R’s save land and money communities must use to dispose of waste in landfills.
  2. Turn off your computer monitor when not in use for more than 20 minutes, and turn off both the computer and monitor if you’re not going to use your computer for more than 2 hours.
  3. Turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.
  4. Check your Energy-saving settings. Start using energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers. Check the age and condition of your appliances. Even if the appliance has a few useful years left, replacing it with a top-efficiency model is generally a good investment.
  5. Clean or replace filters in your furnace, air conditioner, and heat pump.
  6. Collect your utility bills. Separate electricity and fuel bills. Target the largest energy consumer or the largest bill for energy conservation measures.
  7. Plant trees. Reduce your air conditioning costs by planting shade trees and shrubs around your house-especially on the west side.
  8. Seal up the largest air leaks in your house—the ones that whistle on windy days, or feel drafty. The worst culprits are usually not windows and doors, but utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Better yet, hire an energy auditor with a blower door to point out the worst cracks. All the little, invisible cracks and holes may add up to as much as an open window or door without you ever knowing it!
  9. Evaluate your driving habits. Drive the speed limit, avoid traffic, slowly accelerate, limit the use of defrosters and air conditioning, and carpool when you can to improve fuel economy.
  10. Know that you are making a difference. Change your behavior one day at a time and encourage others to think about their environmental impact. By taking the initiative to monitor your own energy habits, we can create a sustainable future and ensure environmental well-being.


Learn how some of our teams are taking action on energy consumption in their communities here.