Accordion

  • Control your temperature.  Cool your home at 78°F or warmer with the thermostat fan switched to auto.  For additional savings, use a programmable thermostat and set the temperature to 82° when you're away.  Savings can be $200-300 per year.  If you like to keep it cooler, consider installing renewable energy with a solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop array to help offset the environmental impact of running your AC.
  • Switch to LED bulbs.  LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) use 75% less energy than regular light bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.  Don't let the initial cost be a deterrent---LEDs pay for themselves through energy cost savings in the first four months!
  • Choose your appliances wisely.  When replacements are needed, choose high efficiency applicances. Look for EnergyStar and WaterSense labeled refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers. 
  • Use your electronics wisely.  Even when they are turned off, many electronics go into stand-by mode.  Chargers plugged in without an electronic also use result in an energy loss.  These devices can account for 10% or more of your electricity bill, so unplug or use power strips to stop the energy leak. Read more here.

  • Recycle old electronics.  If your TV, cell phone or computer is on its last leg, don't throw it away! Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.  Visit www.epa.gov/recycle to search for drop-off locations.
  • Adjust your water settings.  Turn the hot water heater down to 120°.  Combine that with washing clothes in cold water and savings can be $200-$300 per year.
  • Install a solar thermal or photovoltaic water heater.  Though initially more expensive, these alternatives can cut energy bills by as much as 75% within the first year.
  • Equip every tap with a high efficiency faucet aerator.  Faucet aerators reduce water use while maintaining flow.  They cost very little ($4-6), are easy to install and have quick return on investment.  Depending on the aerator's flow rate and water use, you could see an annuals savings of $15-40.
  • Replace your shower head.  High efficiency shower heads are designed to maintain water pressure while using much less water than traditional models.  This quick fix will reduce your shower water use by 20-60%.
  • Use Florida-Friendly landscaping.  Native plants will use less water, be more resistant to local plant diseases and provide habitat and food for wildlife.  Layering with mulch also prevents rapid water loss, and as a result, reduces frequency of watering. Visit fyn.ifas.ufl.edu for more Florida-Friendly landscaping principles.

  • Compost. 20-30% of garbage, including coffee grounds, food scraps, and yard clippings, can be composted and the resultant product can be added to soil to help your yard flourish. For more information on how to get started, visit this SWA website on backyard composting!

  • Harvest rainwater. Collect and save rainwater from your gutters with a rain barrel and use it to water your flowers and plants.  Water in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are the lowest to reduce water lost through evaporation.

  • Unsubscribe from printed catalogs and other paper mail.  Each year, printed catalogs consume 53 million trees and enough water to fill 81,000 swimming pools! You can control catalogs and unsolicited mail by visiting www.catalogchoice.com.  If you have a magazine or newspaper subscription, consider switching to the digital version. 

  • Buy a fuel efficient car. A 30 mpg car will save the average driver about $1,000 per year in fuel costs when compared to a 20 mpg car.  Go even greener with an all-electric vehicle!

  • Try carpooling. Studies show that carpooling can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One study estimates that if one passenger were added to every tenth vehicle in the U.S., we could reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 68.0 million tons (Jacobson and King, 2009).
  • Bring your own utensils. Bring silverware from home or find a set of bamboo cutlery that you can buy online. Next time you're at a fast food restaurant, look at how many people around you are utilizing single-use plastic utensils, and imagine how much waste they're creating!
  • Carry a reusable water bottle. Minimize the need to purchase single-use plastic bottles. They're bad for you and they're bad for the environment. 
  • Print less. Learn how to use your computer's print-to-PDF function, and try saving and sending PDFs instead of printing every document.
  • Start a sustainability team for your office. Teams can spearhead new initiatives, spark innovation, and instill a sense of responsibility for employees to change their ways and set a good example.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room. There's no need to light up an empty room. By making it a habit to turn lights off, you'll reduce your company's carbon footprint and save money! Try placing reminder stickers on lightswitches to help spark the initiative.
  • Avoid the drive-through lane. When going to a fast-food restaurant or bank, avoid idling and burning unnecessary fuel. Instead, opt to walk inside. Chances are, the lines are shorter!
  • Increase your fuel efficiency.  By avoiding sudden stops, hard braking and driving the speed limit, you can increase your fuel efficiency 5 to 30%.  It is also good to regularly maintain your vehicle---change air and fuel filters and regularly check your tire pressure.
  • Consider investing in bamboo utensils. There are tons of options when it comes to reusable utensils, but bamboo is especially useful when you're traveling through an airport or train station. Metal utensils are great to set off metal detectors and lose your favorite set of cutlery.
  • Pack plastic-free snacks like fruit or nuts to avoid buying convenience store snacks that are plastic or foil-wrapped.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle. After passing through airport security, you can usually fill your water bottle at a water fountain or water fill station. Utilize these stations, soda fountains, and hotel fitness centers, to have free water during any trip! On a flight you can ask to have water poured directly into your reusable bottle to avoid using a single-use plastic cup. Worried about germs? Bring a small tupperware of dish soap and you can clean your bottle along the way!
  • Stay at a sustainable hotel. Try to stay at a hotel that has been certified a green building rating system like LEED. If the hotel you're staying at does not offer recycling, locally-sourced food, or water-savings opportunities, encourage the adoption of new programs on a comment card.
  • Save energy and water by leaving the "Do Not Disturb" sign up on your hotel doorknob. This will cut down on the cleaning supplies, water, and electricity that would have been used to clean your room during a short stay. By hanging up your towels, the universal sign that you'd like to use them again, you can prevent hotel staff from washing towels after just one use.

 

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What you can do to be more sustainable and resilient - garden soil with sprouts in background

Be informed, empowered, and engaged.


The choices we make in our day-to-day lives inspire others and make a difference. Whether you're home, at work, in school, or traveling, consider practicing the following behaviors to reduce your carbon footprint and help us make Palm Beach County a more sustainable and resilient community.


Sustainability Tips:

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Resilience Tips:


  • Use resources like this webpage to improve your understanding of climate science. This will allow you to better understand climate-related news and share your knowledge with others!
  • Visit our Mapping Tools webpage where you can explore free platforms that allow you to better visualize different scenarios of sea level rise and coastal flooding.

  • Review our webpage on King Tides where you can learn more about when to expect king tides, what causes such drastic tidal changes, and how we can prepare and adapt to flooding events.
  • Most importantly, visit Palm Beach County's Emergency Management website to learn more about your evacuation zone, where the nearest gas stations and emergency shelters are relative to your home, how to prepare an emergency safety kit, what it means to create a family disaster plan, and where you can go for current and accurate information on any emergency situation.




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 Sustainable living poster with six every day tips.