22 Ways to Refresh Your Green Routine in 2022
January 1 resolutions starting to wane? Why not re-resolve to make 2022 the year that you refresh old habits with easy actions for greener living? To help you stay on track all year long, we’ve broken it out into seasonal eco-friendly ideas. Plus, these new green habits might just help save you some “green” on your energy bill, too!
- Check your environmental impact with a Carbon Footprint Calculator. Consider all the ways you can make smarter, more environmentally conscious decisions about your home energy, transportation and waste habits.
- Lower your home’s thermostat setting by a degree or two and stay warm by layering up with clothing or blankets instead. A programmable thermostat can help save you even more energy and money by automatically turning down the temperature at night or when no one is home.
- Limit idling your car to no more than three minutes. Sure, it feels good to get into a warm car in the cold weather, but leaving your car running while it heats up just adds emissions and pollution to the environment.
- Go paperless wherever possible. Most stores and services give you the option of emailed receipts and invoices rather than printed versions (including Duke Energy’s paperless billing option) – say yes to paperless!
- Make recycling a no-brainer. Most of us have a wastebasket in every room of the house. But have you ever considered also placing recycling stations on every floor (not just in the kitchen)? Easy and convenient access to recycling bins in places like the home office and bathroom can help save a lot of paper, plastic and other recyclables from ending up in landfills.
You did it! Even during winter, you found some ways to add “green” all around. Keep up the great work!
- Audit your home’s energy use. See where, when and how your household uses energy to identify areas that could use some tightening up. Reducing the amount of energy waste in your home helps reduce your carbon footprint and save money overall. Schedule a free home energy assessment to see how your household measures up.
- Plant a tree this spring and make every day Earth Day. As your tree grows, it stores carbon and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Be sure to call 8-1-1 before you dig, and read up on choosing the right type of tree to plant in the right place in your yard.
- While you’re spring cleaning, think about the appliances you use and how you can maximize their efficiency. Run only full loads of laundry and hang clothes to dry rather than using the dryer. In the kitchen, minimize food waste by freezing or repurposing leftovers. Don’t prewash your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher and run only full loads.
- Collect rainwater in a barrel. Spring storms can dump hundreds of gallons of water onto your roof. Help save money on your water bill and conserve this natural resource by capturing this water in a rain barrel to use for watering plants, landscaping, washing cars and other outside uses.
- Spring is a time for DIY projects. Help make your home more energy efficient with just a few simple DIY quick-fix projects. When you use less energy, you save on your monthly energy bill, and that’s a DIY improvement your budget will thank you for.
You’ve really “sprung” into action this season to tackle these tips! Way to go!
- Save energy and water. To help your household use less water, encourage shorter showers, fix any leaky faucets and install low-flow showerheads and toilets.
- Use your oven sparingly. It’s hot outside, so cook with smaller appliances rather than your oven to help keep your kitchen as cool as possible. If you do need to use your oven, try batch cooking on one day of the week, rather than heating up a cold oven multiple times during the week.
- Consider renewable energy options. Talk to us about setting and maintaining goals for using more renewable energy. Duke Energy offers a range of clean energy solutions that you can use, no matter where you live – as a renter, homeowner or in multifamily housing. We’ve got convenient options for anyone to begin investing in renewable energy.
- In the market for a new appliance? Choose energy- and water-efficient appliances when your old models need to be replaced. Dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, ovens and refrigerators all offer ENERGY STAR® certified models that use less water and less energy.
- Use tote bags instead of plastic bags. Whether you’re browsing local farmers’ markets or shopping the big chain stores, the plastic you can save really adds up!
Nice job! Are you starting to see it’s “no sweat” to add more eco-friendly habits to your day?
- Switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs. Daylight saving time is a great reminder to brighten up our homes with energy-efficient lighting. Switch out your outdated incandescent bulbs with more eco-friendly light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they may cost a bit more upfront, ENERGY STAR certified lightbulbs actually last longer and could save you between $30 and $80 in electricity costs over a bulb’s lifetime.*
- Eliminate energy vampires. When you're not using devices, appliances, equipment or lights, turn them off. Better yet, unplug them, since standby mode still draws electricity.
- Travel responsibly. Consider an electric car the next time you go car shopping. Check out our EV resources to learn more about how these smart vehicles help reduce carbon emissions. Or, help make a positive environmental impact simply by biking or walking where you need to go whenever possible.
- Insulate and seal. As colder weather approaches, it’s a great time to caulk, seal and weatherstrip around your home. By making your home more airtight, you’ll help keep more heated air inside during the winter (and cooler air during the summer) so that your HVAC system won’t have to work so hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.
- B-Y-O-Mug. It’s PSL season! Instead of being served with disposable cups and lids, commit to bringing your own mug to the local coffee shop for your daily grind.
Your new green routine is “autumn”-atic now, right? We hope your 2022 resolution is just the beginning!*Source: https://www.energystar.gov/products/lighting_fans/light_bulbs/buyers_guide/why_choose_energy_star
- Get some fresh air. Connect with nature, enjoy the breeze, soak up the sun’s rays (and vitamin D). You’ll improve your mood and refresh your mind. Don’t forget to open the windows to remove indoor air pollution during mild weather, too!
- Improve your environmental literacy. Read up on how important green living is and how even small personal goals can add up to meaningful progress for the environment. We invite you to explore our sustainability goals as a company and see the conscious actions we take to positively impact the “triple bottom line” – people, the planet and profits. Come along with us as we all strive to improve our green routine in 2022 and beyond.