Earth day is upon us which means Spring is in full swing.
Here are some simple ways to be a little greener and save a little more green along the way.
1. Drive Less, Hubway More
Commuting 10 miles roundtrip without tolls in a car alone cost $162.37 a month and emits 151 lbs. of CO2*. Harvard offers a generous discount on Hubway bike share that allows Harvard Community Members to purchase an annual pass for $50 a YEAR! Even if you dedicated just one day to commuting via bike you would still be helping out Mother Nature, helping others by having one less car on the road and saving money from the gas you would have had buy to fill up your car.
2. Start a garden
It’s good for your health, the environment and your wallet. Imagine bringing a salad to work for lunch that you can tell your co-workers came all from your new green thumb. Eating home grown foods is good for the environment because fewer trucks have to transport the fruits and vegetables to the grocery store which saves energy and fossil fuels. Plants are good for people and animals because they make the oxygen that we need to breathe. Plus think of all the free exercise you will get with maintaining your food source, not to mention all the vitamins and nutrients you will be obtaining from the fruits and vegetables in your organic backyard garden. Again reducing trips to the grocery store and emissions you would release from driving your car there and the costs of gas and maintenance.
3. Shut it down
If everyone in Harvard left their computers running all year, the result would be 16.3 million lbs. of CO2 emissions. Setting computers to stand-by for half that time could save up to $1.3 million in electricity. Think about what you could be saving at home with one simple switch1.
4. Timing is everything
Consider switching your household thermostat for a programmable thermostat, such as a Nest Learning Thermostat. It will allow you to set the room temperature on a timer or an app making it even easier to save energy when you are not home. If you lower your thermostat 10° while out for the day you’ll save roughly 10% on your energy bill. Contrary to popular belief it actually takes MORE energy to keep a home warm than it does to warm it back up1
Stop by one of our branches on Earth Day, Friday April 22, to get your free packet of seeds for planting in your future organic garden.
* Calculations based off of a 10 mile roundtrip car commute, 21 days a month, with a car that averages 20 MPG, $15 for monthly parking and gas at $2.09 a gallon. Estimate includes estimates based on: AAA Your Driving Costs, Federal Highway Administration’s Cost of Owning and Operating a Vehicle, and EPA Transportation and Climate information.
1. Money and energy saving tips and calculations are provided by Harvard University Office of Sustainability.