April 22, 2019 4:35 PM
by Andrew Basmajian
A version of this article originally appeared in the April/May edition of Seascape.
Climate change is real, and here in Santa Monica we’ve identified this as one of our biggest city-wide priorities. Here are 15 ways you can personally eliminate carbon releases into the atmosphere, creating a better carbon balance for climate action.
LIGHT IT UP
LED lights use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25 years! Reduce the amount you spend on your energy bill and how often you have to change your light bulbs by using LED lights.
CUT IT OFF
Electronic devices like TVs, audio equipment, and multi-function printers consume electricity even when not in use because they remain in a constant standby mode. These phantom loads raise your energy bill and can really add up over time. Smart power strips can cut power to the device while not in use.
Manage home heating and cooling with smart or programmable thermostats, and save up to 30% on your energy bills.
KEEP IT AT 100%
All Santa Monica residents now enjoy 100% renewable green power from their electricity provider. Keep it at 100% green power and enjoy carbon-free electricity, or opt for the 50% and 36% green power options. The 36% rate is comparable to the standard power rate.
LOOK AT THE LABEL
Next time you’re looking to replace an appliance, office equipment or lighting, look for an Energy Star-rated product. They work more efficiently than traditional appliances and can save you money on your energy and water bills.
Solar Santa Monica is a free service for residents and businesses looking to go solar. Solar experts will provide you with unbiased technical advice to help you navigate the changing rules, incentives and financing options.
Getting outdoors and employing old-school mobility options like walking, biking or skateboarding is one way to promote a safer and more convenient car-free and carbon-free community.
There’s car sharing, ride sharing, bike sharing, Big Blue Bus, Expo, and the list goes on.
Still need to drive? Consider the driving experience and convenience of all-electric or hybrid-electric vehicles for your next purchase or lease.
Even after you reduce, many products can be recycled or composted. Recycling and composting are most effective when there is no contamination. Learn about what you can and cannot compost, and recycle whenever possible.
Buying local produce helps reduce the need to transport food long distances to supermarkets.
EAT MORE PLANTS
Focus on eating more plant-based foods to reduce your carbon and water footprint and benefit your health.
Check for leaks and sign up for a free water consultation for your home or business to learn ways you can reduce your water use, and to point you toward incentives that can help.
Replace showerheads, toilets, faucets and washing machines with more efficient water-saving models. Generous rebates are available.
Replace lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping and install rain barrels to capture rainwater. Generous rebates are available.
Go to the Office of Sustainability and the Environment website for more information on climate change and how to take action.
Sustainable Outreach Coordinator