The Hawkeye

Building greener habits at home

Rojit Ghimire, [email protected]

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America produces the most waste and recycles the least. Electricity is not used very wisely here either. When there is heavy energy wastage, it may seem to average Americans that there is nothing that can be done from their side. It may be hard to stop the big, carbon-emitting corporate companies, but we can still make a difference by adopting some greener habits. 

The U.S. does not enforce recycling. Usually, the waste materials are not sorted out. This is the reason a lot of recyclable material gets mixed with trash, landfilled, incinerated and littered. But, we can still sort out the waste in our homes. The degradable waste can be managed at home by burying or burning it. Some recyclable waste can be taken to nearest recycling plant on a regular basis. This can help contribute to a greener planet and earn some extra bucks.

It does not feel right to see light and electronic appliances turned on unnecessarily during the night. Even in a developing country like Nepal, recycling and energy consumption are given a priority.

Because climate change is questioned by leaders here, America is out of the Paris Agreement. Now that the agreement has been denied, America must figure out some stronger strategies to stop energy waste. While politicians try to find solutions on a bigger scale, we can save some energy ourselves.

Turning off the light and AC after use can be the first step. This minor change in our habits may save energy, because a lot of energy is wasted in our homes too.

Even at ULM, the lights in the library, cafeteria and other buildings are rarely turned off at night, when no one is using them. If we encourage the campus administration to stop doing this, it can also save energy.

Some people make the argument that they can do whatever with the energy they are paying for. We must understand that the energy we are currently using is not going to be here forever. Saving energy helps to bring down the total cost of bills and helps us save more money in general.
The American government has also incentivized the use of solar and wind energy. They are not usually used, because they are not as efficient as generic forms of energy like fossil fuels. If we use more of these new forms of energy, the investment in that field increases. This stretches the boundaries of this country’s resources, making them better every day. We can start by using solar or wind energy sources for our home systems. This will provide us with some energy at cheaper costs while growth in the field also increases.

Following these steps may not stop climate change overnight, but building these greener habits definitely has a positive effect on the environment, no matter how small.

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Building greener habits at home