COLUMN: Earth Day Inside


April 22 marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Earth Day! While it might not be wise to go out and pick up trash, there are still a few things that can be done from home in order to reduce our environmental impact well after Earth Day.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that a large majority of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions come from power plants. When you flick on a light switch, plug in a phone or computer, wash clothes or even bake a cake, you are using electricity. This electricity comes from electric power plants.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration states that “In 2018, total U.S. electricity generation by the electric power industry of 4.17 trillion kilowatthours (kWh) from all energy sources resulted in the emission of 1.87 billion metric tons — 2.06 billion short tons — of carbon dioxide (CO2).”

This information stands as a friendly reminder of our environmental impact on the earth. While the crisis of a global pandemic seems to be lessening our impact on the ozone outside, it is important that we do our part from the inside, too.

Simply put, if you’re not in a room, turn off the light. Avoid leaving electronics plugged in for longer than they need to be. Unplug things from the walls that you are not using at the moment, even when turned off, some electronics and appliances still use energy. Wash dishes by hand more often and try to hang dry clothes. Weatherize your home to keep the cold or hot air out. This ensures that you use heating and cooling less often.

Additionally, saving energy at home will save money on electric bills. For those of us who are not fortunate enough to have a job in these trying times, this is an excellent way to cut costs.

While you’re already saving the planet by staying at home, why not save it again by reducing the carbon footprint? And save some money while you’re at it.