Part 4 of 6: 

Living more simply so others may simply live, we make lifestyle changes to reduce our energy use. We can choose empowering things to do for the environment even in the current political atmosphere. A Carbon Fast* is one way.

Even turning on a light uses fossil fuels (unless you have solar panels). Many people don’t make that connection. Americans overuse fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas. The burning of these fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere creating warming, aka “the greenhouse effect.” One way you experience this kind of warming directly is by sitting in a car in the summer with the windows up and the AC off. It gets hot — and then hotter. This is what’s happening to our earth — with severe consequences.

An easy thing to do is turn off the lights. Make it a mindful family practice, even a game. This Saturday, March 25 engage in EarthHour.org with the mindful practice of turning off devices and lights for an hour. Walk or bike. Become aware of the impact of the foods you eat and choose local foods that are whole, nutrient-dense and have a lower carbon footprint. Adjusting your thermostats even two degrees warmer in summer and cooler in winter saves so much energy.

Another way to reduce energy use and save money is with a home energy audit. Insulating and air sealing your attic, basement, doors and windows reduces energy use and gives the quickest return on investment to lower utility bills forever. Elevate Energy is one organization that does home energy audits for $99. Or you can host a house party and receive a free home energy audit. Encourage your house of worship to schedule a free presentation (http://energyimpactillinois.org/residential/). Homes that reduce energy usage 15% qualify for Energy Star Certification, adding to resale value. A win-win for you and the planet. 

*The Ascension community is midway through a Lenten Carbon Fast: http://tinyurl.com/gw8r8c8. Scroll down to the Calendar. Dominican University staff, students and faculty are engaging in the Interfaith Power and Light Carbon Fast: http://tinyurl.com/zgqkj75. Who else?

Join in and share your carbon fasting success stories in the paper or online.

Join the discussion on social media!

One reply on “Reducing energy saves money and breathable air”