The green movement is in full swing and more people are making a conscious effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Despite the focused activities of so many concerned citizens, we remain in the clutches of the oil industry. There has been dialogue for some time regarding breaking our dependency on oil, yet the green movement remains relatively small compared to our oil consumption. However, there are practical steps we can all take that will significantly reduce the amount of oil consumed. Collectively we can make a difference with our individual efforts, no matter how minor they may appear. Below are some simple steps we can take to reduce our dependency on oil:
1. Walk or ride a bike to work or to community activities. Concentrate on finding places close in to your home, office, or other community centers. Have back up plans in case of bad weather, and work with others to provide quality and safe locations for storing your bike. This can also be a solution to our current health issue of obesity. Obesity is a major cause of various health related problems and places a severe financial strain on our health care system. By riding a bike, walking, or jogging we not only are promoting good health, but helping the environment as well.
2. Use recyclable bags when shopping and purchasing products, or bring cloth bags with you. Eliminating plastic bags will help save landfills, reduce oil byproducts used to make plastic, and greatly reduce the amount of litter around the country.
3. Install an energy efficient furnace or air conditioner. The newer models are much more energy efficient, and can save you money on your month to month energy costs. Reduce your energy bill and play a part in conservation in making the planet greener.
4. Consider solar as an alternative energy source. The residential market for solar is growing and has tremendous expansion potential. In some markets you can also find rebates from both the manufacturers and from the government – ask when you buy.
5. Hang your wash on a clothesline or in the sun to dry, and eliminate the dryer whenever possible. What could be more natural than natural drying – and it enhances the life of clothes too.
6. Carpool to work whenever possible. Everyday the highways are crowded with cars occupied by a single person. Sharing the ride will make the trip more enjoyable while cutting down on air pollution. Or use public transportation. Many of our major cities offer extensive bus lines, and are moving towards mass transit.
7. Buy a fuel efficient vehicle. Hybrids have become a popular choice among smart vehicle consumers. The future looks even brighter as electric cars are scheduled to debut in 2011. Anticipate electric models to improve over time as they will offer more power and interior upgrades.