While the 21st century brings with it the global challenge of limited resources, changing weather patterns and booming populations, there are game-changing innovations and efforts under way that make us believe in a brighter future ahead. At Bloomberg, every day is Earth day. And on this official Earth Day we are focusing on the actions that can be taken – by individuals, organizations and cities – locally, that can have a global impact in fighting the impacts of global climate change.
To do our part as an organization and as individuals, we are encouraging our employees to take actions that will have a positive impact on both the environment and potentially their wallets. As a result we have identified six opportunities they can take that will help make a difference.
INSTALLING SOLAR IN THEIR HOME
The average home in America uses 10,837 khw every year. By using traditional forms of energy generation, 4.4 metric tons are created every year per home. By switching to solar this emissions foot print gets reduced to nothing. In addition to lowering co2 output, solar also costs considerably less than traditional energy generation.
REPLACING ALL INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULBS WITH LEDS
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are one of the most energy efficient light sources available. Based on the average amount of light sockets in a home (40) and the average amount of watts per incandescent bulb (60w), we calculated that the average home uses 3,504 kWh of electricity, if each bulb is on for 4 hours every day of the year. By switching to LEDs, which only consume about 6 watts, the amount of kWh a home uses every year drops to 350 kWh. This can save 1.29 metric tonnes of CO2 every year.
HAVE A HOME ENERGY AUDIT
Having a home energy audit completed can highlight areas of energy inefficiency in your home. If actions based on recommendations from the audit are taken, a family could save up to 30% on their yearly energy bill, saving over $230 a year.
PURCHASING A HYBRID OR ELECTRIC VEHICLE WITHIN THE NEXT THREE YEARS
A two-car family drives an average of thirty thousand miles a year; and a car getting 26 miles per gallon emits 26,400lbs of CO2 yearly. Switching both cars to electric reduces annual CO2 emissions to 6,300 lbs. This could save more than 9 metric tonnes of CO2. Not only is this a huge reduction of your carbon footprint, but it will also save you money at the pump—about $900 a year.
START COMPOSTING AT HOME
In the United States, food waste is a growing a problem. The average American family throws out 396lbs of food waste. The best way to reduce this amount of wasted food is to simply purchase less. However, when food waste is created, composting means it doesn’t go to the landfill.
If a family collectively takes three 10-minute showers a day, they will be using around 180 gallons of water with a conventional showerhead. However, a low-flow or “water smart” showerhead reduces water use to 75 gallons a day, saving 105 gallons a day. That amount of water used yearly could fill up, and overflow, the average 21ft family swimming pool.
Aside from the above actions, there are other areas we have identified that can help make a difference including: buying green electricity from a utility, eliminating plastic bags and using reusable bags, buying recycled paper products, buying local and organic whenever possible and using public transportation.
We have asked our employees to make a commitment to do one of the six above and to do their part to help create a better planet for future generations to come. These actions may not seem grand in scale, but our impact collectively can be massive if we all do our part. For more information on what we are doing at Bloomberg, please visit http://www.bloomberg.com/bsustainable/.
Contributed by Lee Ballin, Bloomberg’s Sustainability Manager.