Did you celebrate Earth Day this year? It is the time to plant more trees and think about ways we can cut down on our own footprint on our planet. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22nd and was first celebrated in 1970. Worldwide it is celebrated in more than 193 countries and various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection and is coordinated by the Earth Day Network.
Many of us are looking for easy ways that we can make a big impact. Did you know that going paperless saves trees and helps to reduce Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions? A tree can only on average produce 17 reams of paper, they take 100 years to grow large enough to produce that amount, and 110 lbs of CO2 is released into the atmosphere during production. Americans generate roughly 85 million tons of paper yearly into the waste stream and the U.S. pulp industry is the 2nd largest consumer of energy in our country (Source https://paperlessproductivity.com/eco-impact/).
Let’s look at the environmental impact on just 10 million pages of paper:
- Cuts down 2,500 Trees to make. If those trees grew consecutively, they would take 2,500 years to grow!
- 56,000 gallons of oil is used for the machinery to produce the paper
- Waste takes up 450 cubic yards of landfill space and
- 595,000 KW of energy is used
Think about your account with Great Basin, do you have paper statements mailed to you? On average, monthly statements have 2 pages or more of printed information, plus the envelope is another piece of paper, that would mean a minimum of 3 pieces of paper per statement per member. Each member gets 12 statements a year for their checking account, which is roughly 36 or more pieces of paper per year per account. If we take that number, compared to how many members we have that is a minimum of 60,000 pieces of paper each year just for printed checking statements alone! Imagine if we all switched over to e-statements, they offer the environmental benefit of not using paper, but they are also available for your convenience whenever you need them and can be downloaded, shared, and when necessary printed from anywhere you need to. It’s easy, a free service, gets you your statements faster, and keeps your information secure!
Another way you can make a big impact on our environment and your carbon footprint is to update your home to make it more energy efficient. Most everyone already knows that by replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs like Halogen, CFL’s, and LEDS can reduce your electric bill as well as helps the environment. There are other things you can do beyond your light bulbs and it doesn’t have to break the bank to accomplish improvements and we are here to help! Were you aware that Great Basin offers Energy Saver Loans? These loans can be used towards home improvements on your home like:
- Replacing doors, skylights, furnaces, air conditioners, coolers, heat pumps, or attic fans with energy efficient products
- Sealing energy leaks and adding insulation
- Purchasing energy-efficient/Energy Star appliances such as refrigerator, freezer, washer/dryer, stove, oven, and microwave
- Xeriscape conversion
It is said that 35% of all heating and cooling is lost through the roof of your home and more can escape through the walls, windows, doors and other air leaks. By replacing your existing appliances and taking the steps to sufficiently insulate and seal air leaks you can reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to 20 percent (Source: Great Basin Energy Saver Loan).
Another great place to make an impact on your bills as well as the planet is by converting your yard or portions of your yard to xeriscape. For those who don’t know what xeriscaping is, it is when your landscaping requires minimal to zero water irrigation. It is a popular choice in Nevada already and is a natural and aesthetically pleasing choice for our climate. There are few areas in the US where grass grows with rainfall alone, and most lawns require supplemental watering throughout different seasons. American households on average use 320 gallons of water each day and 30% of that water is used on watering lawns and gardens. As much as 50% of the water used on lawns is wasted due to run off, wind and evaporation. We are all familiar with droughts, low water tables, and record high temperatures that our beautiful state of Nevada can offer, and every little bit helps to conserve our water resources for when we really need it. Xeriscaping also reduces pollution due to pesticides and other chemicals used on our lawns to maintain their lush green appearances but offers the additional bonus of being low maintenance and will save you the time of up-keeping your property as well as save you the money it takes to maintain ( source: https://greengroundswell.com/the-american-lawn-environmental-impact-of-turf-grass/2013/07/25/).
This Earth Day, and every day, we ask that you join us in trying to make our planet a better place by making little or big changes to your life and home. Each of us is important in this mission to ensure that our planet survives and thrives. If we all take these steps imagine what a happy and healthy environment we could create and enjoy for generations to come. if you are interested in getting help setting yourself up with e-statements or applying for an energy builder loan come into a branch or give us a call at 775-333-4228, we would be glad to help!Share: