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Environmental Health

5 Ways to Reduce Pollution for a Healthier World

Editor’s note: Whether it’s indoor, outdoor, individual or corporate, pollution can seem an overwhelming problem that is impossible to solve. But there are steps you can take to reduce pollution in your own home and be part of an effort to make the world healthier. Here are some smart strategies from the experts at ENERGY STAR,  a federal Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency.

Change five lights

Change a light and you help change the world. Replace your five most frequently used lights, or the bulbs inthem, with ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR, and you’ll use less energy, which means less pollution from power plants. If every household did this, together we’d prevent more than one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases.

Look for products that have earned the ENERGY STAR

Ask for us by name. You’ll get the features and performance you want AND help reduce air pollution. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products in more than 40 product categories, including lighting, home electronics, heating and cooling equipment, and appliances. If you are building or buying a new home, ask about ENERGY STAR — we qualify those too.

Heat and cool smartly

Improve the performance of your heating and cooling system. Have it serviced annually by a licensed contractor, and remember to clean or replace air filters regularly. To avoid heating or cooling an empty house, use an ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat. And when it’s time to replace old equipment, choose an ENERGY STAR qualified model, and make sure it’s sized and installed properly. If just one household in 10 did this, the change would prevent more than 17 billion pounds of greenhouse gases.

Seal up your home

Drafty windows and doors, cold walls or ceilings, and high energy bills are all symptoms of air leaks (usually in the attic and basement) and poor insulation. Seal air leaks, add insulation, and choose ENERGY STAR qualified windows when replacing old windows. That way you’ll improve the comfort and durability of your home, save energy and help protect the environment.

Tell family and friends

Slip it into a conversation with your mother. Talk about it at a neighbor’s barbecue. Pass it on at a PTA meeting or at work. We’re asking you to help spread the word that energy efficiency is good for yourhome and good for our environment. Already Americans have purchased one billion ENERGY STAR qualified products and last year alone reduced pollution equivalent to taking 18 million cars off the road. But we still have a long way to go. Tell five people and together we can help our homes help us all.

For more information, visit www.energystar.gov.

 

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