2024 is finally here, and with a new year comes new possibilities. As we look forward to the year ahead, we’re making a list of all the things we can accomplish together by making good choices for the planet. No matter where you are on your green journey, we’re here to help you take the next step.
Here are 4 eco-friendly choices you can make today that will have a positive impact on this beautiful planet.
1. Ditch the gas guzzler and drive an EV
Electric vehicles are more affordable than ever these days, so now is the perfect time to ditch your old gas-powered car for one that rides on pure electricity. Transportation is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions in the U.S., so buying an electric vehicle means plugging into a cleaner transportation landscape.
We can even help you out with EV buying experts, charging station maps and 100% solar energy plans tailored for electric vehicle drivers so you can live green and drive clean.
2. Avoid the landfill by composting your food waste
Food scraps and yard waste make up more than 30% of what we throw away. When these organic waste products reach landfills and start to decompose, they release harmful greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, directly contributing to climate change. Why not use them to help your plants and garden grow instead?
3. Leave single-use plastic on the shelf and use reusables
Single-use plastic products like shopping bags and water bottles add tons of unnecessary trash to the waste stream every day. Next time you’re going out shopping, bring along reusable bags and carry a refillable water bottle wherever you go.
4. Shrink your carbon footprint by choosing 100% clean electricity
There’s no way around it: when we make cleaner choices for ourselves, we help make the planet greener. One of the best choices you can make for a cleaner planet is to commit to clean energy for your home.
By powering your home with 100% clean electricity, you’re cutting out one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions in your life. It’s a good choice that supports a healthier planet. When 2025 rolls around, you can say you did your part to help make our planet cleaner and greener.
We’ve partnered with Market 32 to offer a clean energy plan that rewards you with 10,000 AdvantEdge Rewards points ($100 value) after 2 months of service, and 1,000 points ($10 value) every 6 months for as long as you stay on your plan! Learn more here.
When temperatures drop, it’s time to raise your awareness about ways to conserve energy in your home while keeping warm.
From energy-efficient appliances to tackling some basic home-improvement projects, our cold weather energy tips make it easy to decrease your carbon footprint, all while saving on energy costs.
- Make smart heating choices
Heat is essential during the colder months, but heating your home can make up half of your energy costs. Stay savvy when it comes to running your furnace to warm your home with a few simple adjustments.
– Perform any seasonal maintenance on your heating system.
– Give your home time to warm once the heater is turned on. Bursts of hot air won’t make it warm any faster.
– Be sure dirty air filters aren’t making your system work harder; clean regularly and replace them as needed.
– Reverse your ceiling fan. Position the blade direction clockwise to push warm air down from the ceiling to the floor.
– Don’t block vents or registers, so heat has a clear path into the room.
– Use the sun to your advantage by opening curtains and blinds during the day (especially on the south side of your house). Close them at night to reduce drafts.
- Weatherize your home
With cooler temperatures and fewer insects around, it’s a perfect time for home maintenance. Making a few changes to your home can help you save on energy costs and help the planet.
– Upgrade your windows from single to double pane (watch for ENERGY STAR options to increase your savings). If that’s out of your budget, utilize coverings like blinds, drapes, solar film, or shades.
– Check insulation thickness and add more if necessary.
– Weatherize your home using caulk or weather stripping. Seal air leaks around letter drops, vents, door frames, and windows. Don’t forget the attic, where there are small openings that are often overlooked.
– Upgrade your appliances to the most energy-efficient options. Watch for ENERGY STAR labels and ensure the size matches your needs.
- Adjust your appliance use
Your appliances got a serious workout during the summer heat, so give them a break. Making a few minor adjustments to your appliances can help you conserve energy and save money.
– Turn your refrigerator to an energy-saving setting.
– Reduce the temperature to 120° on your water heater and wrap an insulating blanket around it.
– Be sure to wash laundry in warm or cold water.
- Use smart gadgets
Thanks to advances in smart technology, it’s easy to automate your home to fit your unique lifestyle. Best of all, taking advantage of smart gadgets can help you save on energy costs in your home.
– Opt for LED lights. They use 90% less electricity and last longer than traditional bulbs.
– Use smart power strips to turn off your electronics. You can even create a master setting to automate your usage.
– Programmable thermostats allow you to customize heating schedules that fit your routine.
– Use motion sensors and timers for outside lighting to minimize unnecessary use.
– Use solar lighting for your lawn and garden.
It’s easy to stay eco-friendly when you tap into our cold weather energy tips. Our Green Living Tips have even more ways to live greener while saving a little green when temperatures drop.
We’ve partnered with Market 32 to offer a clean energy plan that rewards you with 10,000 AdvantEdge Rewards points ($100 value) after 2 months of service, and 1,000 points ($10 value) every 6 months for as long as you stay on your plan! Learn more at greenmountainenergy.com/market32.
Do you love summer farmers’ markets but wish you could use those flavors for a Thanksgiving cobbler? Wish you could reduce the waste from store-bought canned goods? Did your backyard garden give you way more produce than your household can possibly eat before it turns? It’s time to get canning!
Canning isn’t just for your grandparents anymore, but they were certainly onto something—it’s the greenest way to take your pantry to the next level. Home-canned food offers plenty of benefits, like:
– Seasonal produce year-round. Fresh fruits and vegetables found at the height of their season at your local farmers’ market in the summer can make a tasty appearance on your table any time of year.
-Knowing what’s in your food. Since the only thing in your canned food is what you put into it, it’s a good way to avoid artificial additives.
-Room for creativity. You can try out new recipes for jams, soups, salsas and more.
-Saving time. Too rushed to make dinner from scratch? Reach for that yummy homemade soup or pasta sauce you canned in advance.
Before you get started, make sure you have the basics on hand:
This is just an overview of the canning process. Check out more detailed information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. We hope you have a great time getting creative and cutting down on food waste with this time-honored activity!
More ways to live sustainably:
Canning is an excellent (and tasty) way to cut back on food waste and plastic use, but your green efforts don’t have to stop there! Since you’re on a roll, see our other simple tips for cultivating an Earth-friendly lifestyle on our blog here.
Our favorite way to live greener is also one of the easiest: choosing to use clean electricity in your home. We’ve partnered with Market 32 to make going green even more rewarding, featuring 100% renewable energy plans that let you save at the checkout line. Learn more here.