It’s not an exaggeration to say that what we do to reduce our own carbon footprint affects not just our immediate surroundings but every living thing on the planet. The good news is that meeting this challenge becomes easier with practice and can start with just one change in behavior. Read our online magazine below to learn about ways we’re trying to live green at the Aquarium. Many are methods you can adopt, too. We will update these pages as we implement even more ways to Go Green.
It’s easy being green! Your actions and choices can have a big impact on protecting our environment. Here are some small ways to get started:
- Turn off the lights. If you are leaving a room for longer than 20 seconds, you’ll save energy by turning off the lights behind you.
- Check your thermostats. Keep your house warm in the summer and cool in the winter. In addition to saving energy, your internal thermometer will be better acclimated so you can enjoy more time outdoors.
- Refill a water bottle. Instead of buying a new bottle every time you need a drink, leave refillable water bottles where you use them, such as a gym bag.
- Bring your own bags. Keep an assortment of reusable bags in your car for your errands to reduce the amount of paper and plastic shopping bags you use.
- Check your tire inflation. You can increase your gas mileage by up to 3 percent if you keep your tires properly inflated.
- Water wisely. Water your garden or lawn in the early morning or late evening to reduce water loss. You’ll enjoy cooler temperatures and the chance to see wildlife when they are most active.
- Eat locally, seasonally, and sustainably. Find local and seasonal sources of food to reduce transportation. Carry a Seafood Watch pocket guide in your wallet so that you can choose ocean-friendly seafood. Make one vegetarian meal a week to eat lower, and more efficiently, on the food chain.
- Recycle. Make our resources last longer by recycling everything you can: plastic, cardboard, paper, aluminum, batteries, and cell phones.
- Carpool. Talk to your co-workers and friends from school to find a way to share rides. If you can add your errands to the same trip, you’ll be extra efficient.
- Clean green. Cut up old t-shirts and linens to use for cleaning rags. Old-fashioned cleaning solutions, such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, borax, and salt, can keep your home looking clean and green.
- Share your ideas. Talk to your friends and family about the small changes you’ve made. Swap ideas or create a Green Neighborhood group.
- Once you make these small changes a habit, here are some ideas for bigger changes you can make for a bigger benefit to the environment:
- Buy energy efficient appliances. When it’s time to replace appliances or an HVAC system, make sure you buy one that is energy efficient. Don’t forget to dispose of the old one properly.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Reduce energy use at your home by having automatic changes in your heating and cooling at times when you aren’t there.
- Reduce water use. Install low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets in your house to reduce the amount of water that you use in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Rethink transportation. Can you bike to work? Walk to a popular lunch spot? Challenge yourself to cut your transportation costs in half by carpooling, walking, biking, and using public transportation.
- Make informed decisions. Think about the impact of your purchasing decisions on the environment. Choose options that are more environmentally friendly in packaging, production, or design.
- Compost your scraps. Give some nutrition to your soil by composting fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
- Garden more, water less. Use native landscaping in your lawn to reduce the amount of grass and its associated fertilizers. Install rain barrels to collect water from your roof and put it to work in the garden. Grow your own food to eat very locally!
- Contact your representatives. Stay informed of important environmental legislation, and let your representatives know that you want a healthy ecosystem for humans and animals.
- Start a green team at work. Create or join a green team that examines sustainability in your company. Encourage recycling, carpooling, and creating and purchasing sustainable products.
- Give back. Whether it’s your time or your money, donate to those organizations that are making a difference to keep our environment healthy.
energySMART, a Chattanooga Gas energy education program,
is a proud supporter of Green Practices