There is no time left for magical thinking in US energy policy or personal energy behaviors. With some newfound maturity, Americans could cut their energy use in half today by making a few changes, among them:
- Turn off lights when leaving rooms.
- Dry laundry outside when weather permits.
- Buy only high-efficiency products and appliances.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust home temperature.
- Install insulation and seal home air leaks and save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (energystar.gov).
- Unplug phone and MP3 chargers, TVs, and computers when they’re not actively in use. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.
- Walk, bike, bus, or carpool to work ten days each month. That’s a 50% reduction in solo work-related driving!
- Drive the speed limit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you’ll see a 7 to 23% fuel economy benefit.
- Walk or bike to all destinations of less than two miles. It takes only 20Â minutes to walk one mile at an easy pace. It takes less than ten minutes to bike that distance.
- Sell your car(s) and join a local car sharing organization. HOURCAR has solar-powered and hybrid cars at your service in the Twin Cities.
- Cut your airplane trip frequency in half. Air travel is an enormous carbon generator and is liable to spoil the planet we relish visiting.